On April 6th 1945 during the battle of Okinawa two merchant ships, the S.S. Hobbs Victory and the S.S. Logans Victory were sunk while delivering much needed ammunition to the ground troops on the island of Okinawa. The Battle of Okinawa had begun only six days earlier and was to be a monumental victory for the allied forces. Edward Laughton (my great uncle) was 2nd mate on the Hobbs Victory this put him 3rd in command on the large vessel which was carrying 6,000 tons of ammunition. This single day had a great impact on Edwards's life and on the battle of Okinawa.
On the quiet Easter morning the S.S. Hobbs Victory had almost completed its journey to the island of Okinawa accompanied by another merchant ship, the S.S. Logans Victory, and a heavy cruiser, the U.S. Indianapolis. At about six a.m. they had dropped anchor at the Terma Rettos, a small chain of islands just south of Okinawa.
After only two hours the U.S. Indianapolis was bombarded with four kamikaze attacks. Although the cruiser was able to shoot down three of the four suicide planes one got through and severely damage, but did not sink the U.S. Indianapolis. The three ships were immediately ordered to move to a new anchorage two miles west of the Terma Rettos where they would have more protection from kamikaze planes. At ten a.m. only an hour after anchoring another kamikaze plane proceeded at the vessels and managed to hit the S.S. Logans Victory taking with it 6,000 tons of much needed ammunition. The only undamaged ship at their location was the S.S. Hobbs Victory which was now extremely vulnerable to Japanese attack.
Since the S.S. Hobbs Victory was now the only ship carrying vital ammunition it was on high alert for Japanese...