- Letter Writer
- WWII operations
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Quickmatch
- March 2000 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Regarding “The Century’s Greatest Untold Story” in Vol. 20, No. 4, although OPERATION DOWNFALL may have been top secret, it was generally known, even in the BPF, that an invasion was planned.
When writing of my wartime naval experiences for my daughter in 1993 I wrote the following about my service aboard HMAS Quickmatch:
“On July 6 the BPF sailed (from Manus Is.) heading due north. Lieutenant Commander Becher, our Captain, told us we were headed for the home waters of Japan, where continual raids would be accomplished. At the same time he told us that the Japs were known to have at least 600 Kamikaze planes, unknown numbers of Bakus, piloted flying bombs and thousands of suicide speedboats fitted with an explosive bow.”
“Early in November we headed south from Tokyo, first calling at Sasebo, the Japanese naval base near Nagasaki. On entering the port we were amazed; it looked as if the entire US invasion fleet, plus all its transports, were at anchor in the harbour. It was only later that we learnt the invasion of Kyushu Island was set for November 1 and, as a result of the surrender, these forces had proceeded to Japan as an occupying force. It had been planned to use 5,000,000 men in the assaults on Kyusu and Honshu Islands, with expected casualties of up to one-third, or 1,666,666 men.”
Incidentally there was only 1 US main fleet, not 2. They changed names between the Third and Fifth with the change of Admirals. Several RAN ships, including the Q and N class destroyers (and many AMS) were part of the BPF and would most certainly have taken part in the invasion.