Here is a late-war magazine article about the U.S. Navy destroyer Newcombe (DD-586), a hard-charging ship that suffered heavy damage from repeated Kamikaze attacks off of Okinawa on April 6, 1945 (the Ryukyu Islands):
"Then the plane shot past them, ripped through the gun mount and shattered itself against the after-stack. There was a blinding flash. The NEWCOMBE shuddered and rolled heavily to starboard."
For some unknown reason, the YANK writer erroneously credited Newcombe as the first ship to be hit by Kamikaze pilots. The first kamikaze force was composed of 24 volunteer pilots from Japan's 201st Navy Air Group and made their appearance during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. The targets were American escort carriers; one, the St. Lo (AVG/ACV/CVE–63), was struck by a A6M Zero fighter and sunk in less than an hour, killing 100 Americans.
Click here to read about the Battle of Leyte Gulf - the last major naval campaign of the war.
Click here to read an interview with a Kamikaze pilot.