As the United States pushed deeper into Japanese-occupied territory, it became necessary to plan for the possible invasion of mainland Japan. The staging point for that invasion: Okinawa, a heavily fortified Japanese island. Tasked with the seizing Okinawa was ... General Buckner. ... Buckner was killed in combat, making him the highest-ranking official to be killed by enemy fire during World War II.
Excerpt from World War II veran Commmittee Calendar, 2017
Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr.
(July 18, 1886 – June 18, 1945) was a lieutenant general in the United States Army during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations and commanded the defenses of Alaska early in the war. Following that assignment, he was promoted to command the 10th Army, which conducted the amphibious assault on the Japanese island of Okinawa on April 1, 1945. He was killed during the closing days of the Battle of Okinawa by enemy artillery fire, making him the highest-ranking U.S. military officer lost to enemy fire during World War II.
Buckner, Lesley J. McNair, Frank Maxwell Andrews, and Millard Harmon, all lieutenant generals at the time of their deaths, were the highest-ranking Americans to be killed in World War II. Buckner and McNair were posthumously promoted to the rank of four-star general on July 19, 1954 by a Special Act of Congress (Public Law 83-508).
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Video: Battle for Okinawa, Japan [GO!]