In late March 1945, the 77th ID made 15 landings and secured Kerama Retto and Keise Shima in preparation for the assault on Okinawa. In the first fifteen days of April while at sea, the Division suffered many casualties from Japanese enemy suicide attacks as they headed for their assault landing at Ie Shima. They landed on Ie Shima on 16 Apr 1945 and captured the airfield which enabled them to continue the air assault on Okinawa and the Japanese mainland. The 77th also engaged in a bloody battle for "Government House Hill" and "Bloody Ridge".
On 18 April, just a day before Arthur's letter, famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle who was embedded with Arthur's 305th infantry regiment on Ie Shima, and who had become very close to the men he served with, was killed when the jeep he was riding in with Lt. Col Joseph B. Coolidge, commanding officer of the 305th, came under heavy sniper fire.
In The Pacific
Dear May & Bill,
I hope you both are well, I am fine. Its happened again kids - we left the Philippines and have already gone through combat again, our third campaign.
I sure wish I was allowed to tell you where I am. If I could, you'd be ever surprised. Anyway, soon the news is to be broadcast over the radio, the newspapers have gotten it but aren't permitted to put our invasions in print till a certain day. Watch for it. Ruth tells me you have quite a snappy car. I'm glad and I know life for you is ever so better now. Sure wish I was able to come back soon. I miss that wonderful white civilization. If you don't hear from me for awhile, try to understand and bear with me. Fighting keeps me quite busy. Love to Joan for me.
Your Devoted Brother - Arthur