|Gene's Brother Joseph was killed in WWII aboard The USS Bunker Hill|
On the morning of 11 May 1945, while supporting the invasion of Okinawa, Bunker Hill was struck and severely damaged by two Japanese kamikaze planes.
| An A6M Zero fighter plane emerged from low cloud cover, dove toward the flight deck and dropped a 550-pound (250 kilogram) bomb that penetrated the flight deck
and exited from the side of the ship at gallery deck level before exploding in the ocean.
The Zero next crashed onto the carrier's flight deck, destroying parked warplanes full of aviation fuel and ammunition, causing a large fire. The remains of the Zero went over the deck and dropped into the sea. Then, a short 30 seconds later, a second Zero, piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, plunged into its suicide dive.
|The Zero went through the antiaircraft fire,
dropped a 550-pound bomb, and then crashed into the flight deck near the carrier's "island", as kamikazes were trained to aim for the island superstructure.
The bomb penetrated the flight deck and exploded. Gasoline fires flamed up and several explosions took place. Bunker Hill lost a total of 346 sailors and airmen killed,
43 more missing (and never found), and 264 wounded.
She was heavily damaged and was sent to the Bremerton Naval Shipyard for repairs. She was still in the shipyard when the war ended in mid-August 1945.