An April 1 Easter in World War II

Easter of April 1, 1945, will forever remain in my memory bank because I was a U.S. Navy sailor aboard the U.S.S. LST582 during World War II.

On that date, we were in the D-Day invasion of Okinawa carrying 550 U.S. Marine troops. It was the biggest invasion of the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of action. We were one of a 1,400-ship armada.

World War II could be considered as a two-campaign war, the European and Asiatic- Pacific campaigns.

This Easter of 2018 also falls on Sunday, April 1. Easter has not fallen on this date since 1956, a span of 62 years. I recall 100 of our U.S. planes flying overhead, which were based on our aircraft carriers.

Somewhat later, I spotted five planes overhead with red balls on their wings; they were Japanese. Suddenly all hell broke loose. We were nestled among our battleships and destroyer and let loose a barrage of anti-aircraft fire sending the Japanese in all directions. Our ship was also firing at the enemy. I was on a 20-mm anti-aircraft gun.

As I recall, we called the enemy aircraft bogeys. At the time, I was a 20-year-old sailor.

Today as a 93-year-old geezer, I have never forgotten this incident. The next time Easter falls on Sunday, April 1, is the year 2029.

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays.

The information services division of our public library has provided me with this information.

Michael J. Lacivita is a Youngstown retiree and member of Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

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