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Halsey Enthusiastically Congratulates Men Rec. 10 a.m. NEW YORK, July 15.. For two successive days, warships of the United States Pacific Fleet have been shelling targets on the mainland of Japan. The United States Navy began its first .bombardment of the Japanese homeland precisely at noon yesterday, and for the next 125 minutes battleships and cruisers, led by the South Dakota, ■ hurled salvo after, salvo into the Kamaishi iron works. The ships, which once approached within three miles of the coast, fired over 1000 tons of high explosives into the iron works. Admiral Nimitz's communique says the bombardment was concentrated on installations in the area around Kamaishi, on the island of Honshu, 275 miles north-east of Tokyo. Most Powerful U.S. Ships The bombardment group is under the immediate tactical command of Rear-Admiral J. F. Shafroth. Among the ships now standing off the coast are the fast battleships Massachusetts, Indiana and South IJakota, the heavy cruisers Chicago and Quincy, and the destroyers Sutherland, Herman, Brben, and Black. The operation is under the overall command of Admiral Halsey.

Admiral Nirniiz'a communique says the newest and most powerful ships in the United States Navy, including the battleships lowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, are now shelling the Hokkaido steel mill port of Muroran, over 200 miles north of the scene of the fleet's bombardment of Kamaishi yesterday. This communique indicates that at least two mighty task forces of surface ships are roaming practically at will up and down the Japanese coast.

The- communique says that about 9.35 a.m. to-day the bombardment group opened fire on steel works and other military objectives in the seaport city of Muroran, Southern Hokkaido. This action is continuing under the immediate tactical command of Rear-Admiral 0. C. Badger. The battleships engaged are in company with lighter units Halsey's Congratulations The bombardment of Muroran concluded successfully with the targets thoroughly plastered by gunfire, says the Associated Press correspondent on Guam, in a later message. The accuracy of the gunnery was remarkable with the lowa's first 16in ranging rounds striking only 100 yards from the target, which was out of sight over a hill. Thereafter spotting planes repeatedly called "no change" as regular broadsides from each ships' nine main guns crashed into the big steelworks and ironworks. The fleet lay off the coast all day without a single plane appearing to attack. Admiral Halsey enthusiastically congratulated the men of the fleet.

At the conclusion of the first day's bombardment, Admiral Nimitz openly and defiantly announced that American battleships and cruisers would again shell the Japanese coast the next day, while fast carrier aircraft would pound airfields, shipping and military installations in Northern Honshu and Hokkaido.

J Each, of the battleships which took part in the first clay's bombardment of the Japanese mainland, the Massachusetts, Indiana and South Dakota, has a displace- i ment of 35,000 tons, is armed with nine > 16in guns, and carries a complement of 2000. Each of the three battleships in second day's opsrattais, the lowa, Missouri nnrt Wlecons'ii, liss a <-l*s'V !, - ■■■ ■ • r>; torn, nln*! "" *5Sn guns, and a complement of over 2vi)j.

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Bibliographic details

ACCURATE GUNFIRE BY U.S. WARSHIPS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 166, 16 July 1945

Word Count

ACCURATE GUNFIRE BY U.S. WARSHIPS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 166, 16 July 1945

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