I have been looking into Operation Ten-Go and noted something curious - nearly all online sources only list the number of planes for the first wave (280).

But none really the makeup of the subsequent waves.

How many aircraft in total attacked the Yamato and her escorts and what was the makeup of planes?

1 Answer 1


The details of the engagement were included in an after-action report submitted by the Commander of Task Force Fifty-Eight (which carried out the attacks) to the Commander in Chief of the United States Fleet on 18 June 1945.

[The original document is held by the United States National Archives, and may not be available online. However, part of the report, at least, has been digitised, and is available to download from Fold3 as a 'Premium document' (This will incur a cost unless you are a member of Fold3).]

The first wave of 280 aircraft flew from Task Force 58.1 and Task Force 58.3. A further wave of 106 aircraft flew from Task Force 58.4. The report observes that:

"The original intention was for all Task Groups to launch together, but Task Group 58.4 could not be ready in time."

As a result, the aircraft from Task Group 58.4 attacked the Japanese vessels about 45 minutes after the initial strike by aircraft from Task Forces 58.1 and 58.3.

The air-attack was thus organised as follows:

"A tracking and covering force of 16 fighters were launched at 09156 [sic] and they were followed at 1000 by the strikes of Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3, and 45 minutes later by Task Group 58.4."

[I don't have access to the original, but I suspect the '09156' in the text is a simple transcription error, and should probably read just '0915']

Task Force 58.1 included the carriers:

  • Hornet (CV-12)
  • Bennington (CV-20)
  • Belleau Wood (CVL-24)
  • San Jacinto (CVL-30)

Task Force 58.3 included the carriers:

  • Essex (CV-9)
  • Bunker Hill (CV-17)
  • Hancock (CV-19)
  • Bataan (CVL-29)

Task Force 58.4 included the carriers:

  • Yorktown (CV-10)
  • Intrepid (CV-11)
  • Enterprise (CV-6)

51 aircraft from the USS Hancock (part of the first wave) took off 15 minutes late, failed to join up with the other aircraft, and subsequently did not find the enemy. This group included 12 Avengers, 15 Helldivers and 24 fighters.

A full list of the ships involved on 7 April 1945 has been collated by Dan Muir on this page.

The total aircraft that participated in the attack are tabulated below:

Table of aircraft flown against the Yamato

From the report,

"All Avenger (VT) aircraft carried torpedoes, the Helldivers (VB) were armed with a mixed load of 1000-lb. SAP, GP, and two 250-lb. GP, and the fighter aircraft with a 500-lb. GP bomb as well as a long-range tank."

  • Glad you have access to sekrit docs :)
    – enderland
    Aug 7, 2018 at 15:36

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