They trained at NAS Kahului
for 3 1/2 months and embarked aboard USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) on May 2, bound for
Ulithi Atoll in the Western Pacific.
While sailing past the Marshall Islands, Ticonderoga launched its planes, including VT-87, in an attack on Japanese-held Taroa.
Ticonderoga then sailed north
from Ulithi on May 24. On 2 June and 3 June, Ticonderoga fighters struck at airfields on
Kyushu in an effort to neutralize the remnants of Japanese air power - particularly the
Kamikaze Corps. VT-87 pilots flew in support of the invasion of Okinawa where
Ticonderoga was attacked several times by Kamikaze pilots.
During the following two days, Ticonderoga rode out her second typhoon in less than six months and emerged relatively unscathed. In mid June, Ticonderoga’s planes joined in the aerial bombardment of Minami Daito and Kita Daito islands before the carrier headed for Leyte where she arrived on the 13th.
During the two-week rest and replenishment period she enjoyed at Leyte, Ticonderoga changed task organizations from TG 38.4 to Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan's TG 38.3.
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