The thought of someone killing them self in a misguided and always useless act, is hard for most minds to contemplate. It is never an act of bravery. Unlike a soldier who falls on a grenade or charges a machine gun nest to save his fellows, the suicide bomber is a fool and a loser. There is a special, hotter place in hell for those who recruit such fools. The only heroes of such an attack are the ones who die in their cross hairs, or have to live with the picture forever.
WARNING: many of these stories are violent and graphic. They are not intended to sensationalize, but rather to reveal the depth of sacrifice, and the debt we owe.
The Armed Guard suffered more causalities in World War II than any other Navy unit. There were the men who manned the guns on our Merchant ships. Fred Peoples found himself in a harbor at Okinawa, on a ship loaded with dynamite. The loudspeakers suddenly called the ships and shore batteries to general quarters "Suicide planes!". There were only two things Fred could do, and he did them both with all of his might:
Pray and Shoot
Gene Hostetter was on board the USS Mahon which was linked in life and death to the USS Ward. The Ward fired the first shot of the Pacific battle on December 7, 1941 when it sank a Japanese mini-sub just off of Pearl Harbor. The Mahon was on patrol with the Ward on that day. On December 7, 1944 the Mahon and Ward were off Leyte when Kamikazes sank them both. In this narrative Gene tells us of the death of the USS Mahon, and a few specific Heroes as well.
Attack on the USS Mahon
Warner Lane shared the following description of a suicide boat.
Warner Lane Suicide Boat
USS Indianapolis crewman Jim O'Donnell described yet another type of suicide boat and a strange animal called a Kaiten torpedo.
Jim O'Donnell Suicide Boat Kaiten Torpedo
Bob Long saw first hand the sadism of the Japanese war machine in the Philippines. Sgt. Long witnessed whole villages of Philippinos hacked to death with boa knives. No one was spared regardless of age or gender. Mr. Long can also testify to the gruesome death of Kamikaze pilots who gave up and tried to fly back to the base. Like I said above, there's a special place in hell for those with no soul.
WARNING This narrative is not for the tender hearted.
Cold Hearted Death