On March 14th 1945, the USS Yorktown CV-10 departed to begin preliminary work for operations in Okinawa, scheduled for the first of April. She began launching airstrikes on Kyūshū, Honshū, and Shikoku upon her arrival on March 18th. The Task Group came under air attack shortly after the operations began. Around 8:00am a twin engine bomber, most likely a Yokosuka P1Y “Frances,” struck the port side. The ship responded and opened fire. The plane caught fire, but continued it’s course over the Yorktown’s bow, where it crashed into the water near the starboard side. Another “Frances” attacked and was also shot down. It was the last attack for the period of the afternoon, and air operations continued on.
Later that day, three Yokosuka D4Y “Judy” dive bombers launched their attacks against the Yorktown. The first two were shot down, but the third made it’s way past defenses and landed a bomb on the signal bridge. Passing through the first deck, the bomb exploded near the ship’s hull. Amid the fire and smoke from the explosion, anti-aircraft gunners were still able to eliminate the “Judy” dive bomber.
Unfortunately five men were killed and twenty six wounded during the attack. Even though she sustained damage during the last attack, the Fighting Lady remained fully operational. She forged on to continue fighting, and headed for Okinawa soon after.