HMS FORMIDABLE on fire after she was struck by a Kamikaze pilot off Okinawa on May 4, 1945. Formidable was part of the 1st Carrier Squadron and launched her planes repeatedly to bombard Japanese positions. Despite serious damage, Formidable remained under her own power and, o May 31, reached the Captain Cook Dock at the Garden Island Dockyard for repairs.
Originally, kamikaze planes were dispatched in twos and threes but now they adopted pack tactics to swamp enemy defences. They picked a victim, then launched a co-ordinated assault. But if suicide operations reflected Japanese desperation, it could not be claimed that they were ineffectual. A third of all kamikazes were estimated to have hit a ship - almost ten times the success rate of conventional attacks. From: NEMESIS: THE BATTLE FOR JAPAN 1944-45 by Max Hastings, published by HarperPress
Anti-aircraft gunners, center foreground, pour a deadly stream of fire into an already-burning Japanese Kamikaze plane plummeting toward the flight deck of the USS Sangamon, a Navy escort carrier, during action in the Ryukyu Islands near Japan, on May 4, 1945. This suicide plane landed in the sea close to the carrier. Another Japanese aircraft later succeeded in hitting the ship deck, inflicting heavy damage. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy