The amazing story of RM1c Walter L. Rougeux.
Walter L. Rougeux was serving as an intercept operator in the USS NEW MEXICO (BB 40), the Flagship for Admiral Spruance during the Battle of Okinawa.   The typical mission for an intercept operator was to provide Indications and Warnings (I&W) to the commander by copying the tracking messages that the Japanese used to plot their own aircraft en route to a strike.

Based on his primary responsibility, it is highly probably RM1c Rougeux reported the estimated time of the departure of Japanese fighter aircraft from a southern the Japanese island, as well as the number, speed, altitude and positions of these aircraft.  As with any good intercept operator, RM1c Rougeux would use time, speed and distance to calculated the time which the Kamikazes aircraft would arrive to strike the USS NEW MEXICO and report it as I&W.


As reported by RM1c Rougeux, the Kamikazes aircraft arrived on time.  During the battle, four Kamikazes penetrated the Combat Air Patrol and screen resulting in one Kamikaze aircraft slamming into the NEW MEXICO, crashing just outside the watertight door where RM1c Rougeux and his CT shipmates were working.  RM1c Rougeux was killed along with 53 other Sailors.

Note: The battle of Okinawa was also known as Operation Iceberg that took place between April and June 1945.  It was the largest amphibious landing in the Pacific theater of World War II.  It also resulted in the largest casualties with over 100,000 Japanese casualties and 50,000 casualties for the Allies.

Source: Echoes of Our Past

Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story Walter Rougeux story.