Kamikaze Attack near Okinawa
On March 31, Indianapolis' sky lookouts spotted a Japanese single-engined fighter plane as it emerged from the morning twilight and roared at the bridge in a vertical dive. ... The ship's 20-millimeter guns opened fire, but less than 15 seconds after it was potted the plane was over the ship. Tracer shells crashed into the plane, causing it to swerve, but the enemy pilot managed to release his bomb from a height of 25 feet and crash his plane on the port side of the after main deck. ... The plane toppled into the sea, causing little damage; but the bomb plummeted through the deck armor, the crew's mess hall, the berthing compartment below, and the fuel tanks still lower before crashing through the bottom of the ship and exploding in the water under the ship. ... The concussion blew two gaping holes in the ship bottom and flooded compartments in the area, killing nine crewmen. ... Although Indianapolis settled slightly by the stern and listed to port, there was no progressive flooding; and the plucky cruiser steamed to a salvage ship for emergency repairs.