Buckner selected a ridge where 3/8 had a forward observation post and took position between two coral boulders. The space between them was perfect for viewing the tank-infantry operations below. But fate intervened and minutes later a Japanese 47mm antitank shell hit the base of the coral, soon followed by five more shells. No one knows for sure, but either a fragment of the shell or a piece of coral hit Buckner in the chest and he died ten minutes later.
A memorial now sits at the site of Buckner's death, just off Hwy 331 near Naha. A memorial tablet, written in English, was placed on the site in 1985, after many people complained the area was not cared for. Now, it is well-tended, has several different memorials on it, and honors the Americans, Okinawans, and Japanese who died in the war.