Navy Aces & Pilots
Genda Minoru
The Death of Saburo Sakai
Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Saburo Sakai
The "last" Ace! (Lt. Kanno) *PIC*
Sakai's impressions of aces
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Genda - Sakai Controversy  
Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya
Akamatsu Sadaaki  
Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor  
"7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*  
"The Zero Mayor" KUROSAWA, Takeo  
Re: ITO Motoe (New)
Kano's victory markings (New)
Iwamoto's 3-104 (New)
Lt. Cdr. MATSUMURA, Hirata *PIC* (New)
Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji *PIC* (New)
Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (New)
ho-ichi Sugita (New)
Genda Minoru
Posted By: Paul Fontenoy < Minoru>
Date: Monday, 9 October 2000, at 1:39 p.m.
Can anyone tell me the dates of Genda's birth and death and the places where these events occurred?
Paul Fontenoy
Re: Genda Minoru
Posted By: Jim Broshot < Genda Minoru>
Date: Monday, 9 October 2000, at 5:00 p.m.
In Response To: Genda Minoru (Paul Fontenoy)
Can't give exact details, but his obituary from THE NEW YORK TIMES (Thursday, August 17, 1989) stated:
he "was a native of Hiroshima and a 1924 graduate of the Japanese Naval Academy;"
he was 84 when he "died of heart disease in a Tokyo hospital Tuesday on the 44th anniversary of the end of World War II. He would have been 85 years old yesterday [August 16, 1989?]"
The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Ron Werneth < Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Saturday, 23 September 2000, at 7:49 a.m.
Bad news out of Japan, legendary Zero pilot Saburo Sakai died of a sudden heart attack. No more details at the moment. I am honored to have met the man with my comrade Hiroyuki. Will advise when more details become available.
Ron Werneth
Tribute to Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Mike Gawell < to Saburo Sakai>
Date: Thursday, 28 September 2000, at 11:12 a.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
To the Family, Friends, Comrades, Colleagues, and those in admiration of Sakai-San
I too would like to join all of you on the flightline to add my salute in solemn honor of a great and honorable man.
As Sakai San lifts off to fly west, let us lift our voices and take our hats off to him and wish him well in his journey to a new base of operations.
Hero, Husband, Father, Gentleman, Ace of Warriors, Sensei, let us honor you by adopting your creed and conviction as our own. Your inspiration will lead us to teach others of your countries' exploits, and the lessons of your age.
I never met you Sakai San, but you have taught me much through others who have. My Children, and my children's children will know of you.
As you make that last fast low pass, barrel roll your A6M2 Zero-Sen into the sky, and head west into the setting sun, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for your life.
I am humbled before you
Mike Gawell
New information of the Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Takeru < information of the Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Tuesday, 26 September 2000, at 7:46 p.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
I wrote he was invited to the Yokosuka Naval base before, but it was mistake. Mr. Sakai was invited to the Atugi Naval base. I am very sorry about this. Even live in Japan, there is little information about the death of Mr. Sakai.
His last word was "May I sleep, now?"
Also, his informal funeral was Sept. 26. It was the funeral for the family and people who were close to him. At the end of his informal funeral, his fellow soldiers sang "Rabaul Kokutai." The formal funeral will be Oct. 14.
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Bill Leyh < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 12:56 a.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
That is very saddening. I liked him very much - even though I never met him. His was the first story of a Japanese airman I ever read. I was greatly moved by his strong sense of humanity and the eloquence with which he bore his soul for us to appreciate the value of life and the hideousness of war. Re: The Death of 
Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Bill Leyh < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 12:56 a.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
That is very saddening. I liked him very much - even though I never met him. His was the first story of a Japanese airman I ever read. I was greatly moved by his strong sense of humanity and the eloquence with which he bore his soul for us to appreciate the value of life and the hideousness of war.
He finally gets to hear Hatsuyo play the piano again
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Bill Turner < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 12:34 a.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
Really one of the true legends of fighter pilots. I remember reading his biography ("Samurai") as a young boy, and really was in awe of this fellow: one tough dude! His flight back to Rabaul after being shot up and blinded in one eye, and partially blind in the other, is really one of the great feats of flying, courage and will to survive - EVER.
The toughest of adversaries, he was a true "experten." I saw a recent story about him, I believe it was on this website. Something about Sakai flying alongside a U.S. or British DC-3, seeing that it was completely helpless, and letting it fly away. Seems that one of the passengers, a nurse, recalled the event many years later and the connection between the incident and Sakai was somehow made. Anyone hear about this?
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai *PIC*
Posted By: Garth < The Death of Saburo Sakai *PIC*>
Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2000, at 6:43 p.m.
In Response To: Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Bill Turner)
"Something about Sakai flying alongside a U.S. or British DC-3, seeing that it was completely helpless, and letting it fly away."
On February 28, 1942 he encountered a DC-3 transport while on a lone patrol mission east of Surabaya, Java. Pacing the aircraft, when he pulled alongside to inspect it before shooting it down he noticed a blonde haired woman and a small child peering at him through a fuselage window - Sakai spared the transport, letting it go on its way.
(Source: page 16 of "Imperial Japanese Navy Aces of WWII" ISBN 84-8372-218-6).
I regularly talk to visitors, school children and specialist groups on Saburo Sakai (he is recorded here at the Australian War Memorial as Sakai Saburo - which one is correct?). As we have one of the Zero's he flew (A6m2, V-173 captured at Gasmata, New Guinea in 1943) which is restored and now is suspended proudly next to a RAAF P-40E Kittyhawk "Polly".
He also requested to the Australian Defense Minister in 1997 that the crew of a RAAF Hudson he shot down over New Guinea in 1942 be awarded decorations for their bravery.
For an interesting Sakai image - go to the War Memorials photographic website and put his name in the search engine. He is sitting on an American 500lb bomb, the location of the photo is not known. Any help would be appreciated.
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Jim Broshot < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 2:43 p.m.
In Response To: Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Bill Turner)
Found this link with the story using Yahoo:
Also found an interesting interview with Sakai in the Electronic Telegraph archives (from 1995).
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Tennessee Katsuta < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Saturday, 23 September 2000, at 9:26 p.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
What a shocking and sad news...
He was a great man and inspirational to many, including myself. Some how I expected him to live on forever, but we must face the sad reality that all men are mortal. All I can say is, may he rest in peace. He is now in a much better place where he can rejoin his fallen comrades. I'm sure he'll be busy doing lots of catching up with his buddies, Sasai-san, Nishizawa-san, Ohta-san, Muto-san, Sugita-san, just to name a few.
Good bye, Sakai-san.
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Don Marsh < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Saturday, 23 September 2000, at 10:45 a.m.
In Response To: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Ron Werneth)
Thank you for bringing this sad news to my attention.
All deaths are a sad loss, but when bright stars such as Saburo Sakai blink from our sky, the point is all the more poignant. Unlike yourself, I never had the pleasure of meeting Sakai San. But from what I know about him through reading and through others, he was obviously a great individual and a man of true honor. Though I never met him, I still feel a tremendous loss, not only for myself, but for our times. I've had the honor of knowing or meeting several great men from this era that have slipped from our mortal realm into history, and every time this happens I feel that a little piece of me goes with them. Yet, I believe it is our duty to preserve their memories so that they may live on in spirit, and their character inspire and fortify posterity. Saburo Sakai will surely be remembered, and rightly so.
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Elephtheriou George < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Saturday, 23 September 2000, at 6:04 p.m.
In Response To: Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Don Marsh)
Excuse me for saying the following in Japanese. It's the best I can do for a great man that didn't have the chance to meet but feel so much in depth for helping me get more in touch with Japanese aviation and the Japanese people.
"Kokoro kara gomefuku oinori moshiagemasu"
Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai
Posted By: AGHIS BARBEROPOULOS < The Death of Saburo Sakai>
Date: Monday, 2 October 2000, at 1:27 a.m.
In Response To: Re: The Death of Saburo Sakai (Elephtheriou George)
I am saddened as everyone who appreciates this great pilot and remarkable man. His struggles in war have been a source of inspiration for all of us. His accomplishments in peace showed honor and loyalty. He was a living legend and will remain a legend for generations to come.
May the one-eyed warrior find the peace he deserves now that he rejoins his fallen comrades.
Posted By: C.C. Cheng < away your life, for your country>
Date: Monday, 25 September 2000, at 4:47 p.m.
Hi all the friends of Mr. Sakai
Follow the link below, you can find a midi of a war song of Imperial Japanese Navy, titled as 'Give away your life, for your country'.(I hope my translation is accurate)
I just learned from Mr. Takeru that this melody was usually played at Japanese Naval funeral.
May I suggest that Mr. Sakai's friends could play this melody on 14 October for this old sailor, naval aviator as a final salute? if you can not attend Mr. Sakai's funeral.
Re: Give away your life, for your country
Posted By: Bill Turner < Give away your life, for your country>
Date: Monday, 25 September 2000, at 6:52 p.m.
In Response To: Give away your life, for your country (C.C. Cheng)
How about "Umi Yukaba" (When You Go To Sea). I've heard this a number times. It's also played in "Tora, Tora, Tora" at the beginning of the film, when Yamamoto arrives on the Nagato and inspects the assembled officers.
Posted By: Takeru < message to Mr. Sakai>
Date: Monday, 25 September 2000, at 8:34 a.m.
Hello, everyone.
I introduce Japanese history and martial arts magazine’s HP bbs.
This magazine had very deep relationship with Mr. Sakai.
So, If you want to send farewell message to Mr. Sakai, please write at this bbs.
I told to the editor and he accepts your farewell messages and brings it to Mr. Sakai’s family.
You can write in English.
URL is
However, there are one big problem which is this HP is all Japanese, no English page.
So, if you can not write your message, send it to me. I will write your message for you.
Also, I want you to tell this to everybody in the world who wants to say good-bye to Mr. Sakai.
Mr. Sakai's last work
Posted By: Takeru < Sakai's last work>
Date: Monday, 25 September 2000, at 10:14 p.m.
In Response To: Farewell message to Mr. Sakai (Takeru)
Mr. Sakai's last work is sold on this site: 
You can buy it on web. It's all Japanese, but you can use translator to read it in English. Also, there is Mr. Sakai's interview on the magazine called BUDO TUSIN vol.8. This one is publishing version. If you want to have it, please wait till it is sold on line or contact to
Saburo Sakai: my inspiration
Posted By: Ron Werneth < Sakai: my inspiration>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 10:58 p.m.
Hello all,
I failed to mention Sakai-san is the reason on why my book is being written in Japanese navy pilots. His book "Samurai" got my interested in Japanese aviation. After reading his book, I made up my mind to meet the man. This is pretty hard for non-Japanese, American, but it became a reality after two trips to Japan and three years of networking. Now, I am moving to Japan to continue my work. May Sakai-san rest in peace in a better place above the earth.
Re: Saburo Sakai: my inspiration
Posted By: LCDR Jeffrey Barta, USN < Saburo Sakai: my inspiration>
Date: Wednesday, 27 September 2000, at 1:07 a.m.
In Response To: Saburo Sakai: my inspiration (Ron Werneth)
Sadly, Saburo-san died just hours after attending the American Navy's Commander, Fleet Air Western Pacific 50th Anniversary dinner, and just one week before he was to meet and be honored by the "Warlords" of HSL 51 at NAF Atsugi. He will be greatly missed by all who had the honor of knowing him, but his spirit lives on. Kempai, Saburo-san!
Posted By: Sander Kingsepp < Saburo Sakai: my inspiration>
Date: Monday, 25 September 2000, at 7:24 a.m.
In Response To: Saburo Sakai: my inspiration (Ron Werneth)
Yes, it's a sad news indeed. Saburo Sakai and his "Samurai" were my inspiration too. I was translating the "Ozora no Samurai" into Estonian and hoped to present it to him sometime...
At least he lived a full and good life.
SABURO SAKAI (1916-2000): A Memorium *PIC*
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < SAKAI (1916-2000): A Memorium *PIC*>
Date: Sunday, 24 September 2000, at 4:22 p.m.
Saburo SAKAI, a legend in his own time, has "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to dance "the skies on laughter-silvered wings. Sunward (he has) climbed (to join) the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds…." ("High Flight "by P.O. John G. Magee, Jr.)
We will always remember the scowling and determined young "Sea Eagle" and the mirthful octogenarian and proud grandparent. We will also remember his loyalty, courage, and sense of honor as well as his motto, "Never say die!"
Saburo SAKAI will always be with us in our hearts.
Jim Lansdale, JN Aircraft Board Moderator
Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Posted By: Elephtheriou George < Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!>
Date: Sunday, 4 February 2001, at 1:46 p.m.
Konnichi wa minasama,
in the "Zero" book by Okumiya Masatake, Horikoshi Jiro with Martin Caidin, pbs. Bantam 1991, pages 330-331, among a very vivid and quite detailed description it is written that "Flight Warrant Officer Kinsuke (?) Muto of the Yokosuka Navy Air corps" took on twelve Hellcat fighters alone in his Shiden-Kai, downing four and forced the remaining eight to "break off the engagement and flee the area". Also, "pilots watching from Atsugi did not know the name of the pilot...".
The above story is repeated and confirmed in the MA 439, pbs. 1994, author: Oshio Kazuhiko. Pilot's name is Muto Kanayoshi.
On the other hand, in the Osprey's "I.J.N. Aces 1937-45" by Henry Sakaida, 1998, pages 93-94-95, pilot's name is Kaneyoshi Muto and the above story is concidered a myth made by the press of the time "surviving to this day". Muto was not alone but together with "his squadronmates".
We have two older books against one new.
Myth or reality? Any ideas? Any other books mentioning the above story?
Ens. Muto *PIC*
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < Muto *PIC*>
Date: Tuesday, 6 February 2001, at 7:50 p.m.
In Response To: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Elephtheriou George)
Well, according to Sakai, Muto "Mutokin" Kaneyoshi reminded him of Miyamoto Musashi when he shot four F6Fs down. So Muto was called "Miyamoto Musashi of the Sky".
Ens. Muto was wanted by Capt. Genda of 343 ku to support Lt. Kanno, so he went to Matsuyama from Yokosuka. On the other hand, Ens. Sakai Saburo went to Yokosuka ku from 343 ku at the same time.
Best regards,
Picture: special thanks to Budo Tsuushin
Damage Reports should be researched.
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < Reports should be researched.>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 6:12 p.m.
In Response To: Ens. Muto *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Another opinion of mine:
I think the "official" damage reports from both sides are the most important things.
Because the victory reports from both sides were not so accurate. They were sometimes exaggerated, and sometimes underestimated.
Uchida Katsuhiro
Re: Ens. Muto
Posted By: Martin < Ens. Muto>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 5:58 a.m.
In Response To: Ens. Muto *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Good to hear from you again Katsuhiro! Thanks for the Pic!
Sakai, Nishizawa, Muto and Yamazaki as well as Sakai's Iwo Wingman Shiga are the most intriguing (to me that is) JNAF Pilots... ooops! Almost forgot "Mustachio" Hagiri as well!
Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Posted By: Martin < Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!>
Date: Monday, 5 February 2001, at 2:39 a.m.
In Response To: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Elephtheriou George)
Although I am intrigued with Muto (Kaneyoshi and Kinsuke is the same man. One is a First Name, the other a Nick Name. I forget which is which.) I think that story may be a bit of an error. Sakai who flew with him at Iwo and in Home Defense sings his praises, but says that particular story is exaggerated. According to Sakai (don't have my sources with me) Muto had shot down multiple Hellcats on a number of occasions, and may have shot down four on the occasion that you mention. However, Sakai seriously doubts there were twelve Hellcats there. However, one never knows....Muto was, according to Sakai "Nishizawa, Sasai and Ota all rolled up into one" and "the toughest pilot in the navy!" Kinsuke (as he preferred to be called) was one of the best. Up there with Nishizawa, Sakai, Foss, McCambell, Moelders and Wick, etc etc.
Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Posted By: Cruiser K < Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!>
Date: Sunday, 4 February 2001, at 8:38 p.m.
In Response To: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Elephtheriou George)
I would tend to believe this story but that is based solely on my own opinion. As mentioned it does appear in Zero,
it also appears in Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units of World War II, Izawa, and Gorham. A verry similar story also appears in Samurai. The main differences is that it involves 12 Corsairs instead of 12 Hellcats and Muto is flying a Zero instead of a George. If it is the same or a different event I can not be sure he also claimed 4 shot down that day.
Cruiser K
Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Posted By: Elephtheriou George < Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!>
Date: Tuesday, 6 February 2001, at 12:43 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Cruiser K)
Now the score is up to four "old" books against one "new".
Dealing twice with twelve enemy planes, shooting down 4 in both occasions and surviving, makes him...the best pilot in the world???
No, I think it's the same incident. All books except Samurai, state that he flew a George.
I only wonder if one book repeats another....
What Martin is mentioning, that Sakai didn't believe this story to be true, I think is a guessing.
I also wonder what sources Sakaida san got his matterial from on this.
Come on!!! Any other sources?
Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!
Posted By: Martin < Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats!>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 6:07 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Elephtheriou George)
Hi George!
Good reasoning.
I've read these books too and always figured they were the same account. Regardless if Muto was flying a Zero or a George and if his kills were Hellcats or Corsairs, it must be the same story and he was one heck of a pilot!
However, Sakai may have been guessing when he said something doubtful about the incident. Who knows? I think that sometimes storys do get blown out of proportion, and that's what he was trying to say in that particular instance. (I'll look and see if I can find where I read that...can't recall without my books with me and they are not here now)
When it comes to "quotes" though, we all have to remember that when we read a book, the Author claims so and so said this or that. It isn't gospel, as Sakai himself has allegedly denied some of the stories in "Samurai!". However, I am not guessing. When I do guess, I usually qualify my guess with stating that it "is just my opinion".
I enjoy your postings...
Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Bill < Sakai>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 11:14 a.m.
I am looking for information on Sakai's Zero that he flew when he was shot up over Guadalcanal by those SBD's. I would like to know the type Zero he flew, its markings and the colors of it in order to make a model of it for our collection. If anyone has a picture, color, would you be willing to supply me with it to work from. In any case any help would be greatly appreciated. I have a print signed by him from the seventies and it is still one of my favorites in our collection. Thanks all for taking the time to read this.
Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai *PIC*
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai *PIC*>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 7:57 p.m.
In Response To: Saburo Sakai (Bill)
Hi Bill
Re: Saburo SAKAI's Zeros: Color and Markings
Four different A6M2 Zeros are alleged to have been flown by Saburo SAKAI and documented by Henry SAKAIDA in his biography of SAKAI, "Winged Samurai." According to SAKAIDA, SAKAI san has flown A6M2 model 21s carrying Tainan ku tail codes as follows: [V-103, V-107, V-128, and V-172]. Of these four aircraft, only two are known by serial number. Mitsubishi built A6M2 model 21, s/n 3647 [V-103], constructed on 3 March 1942, and A6M2 model 21, s/n 5784 [V-172 according to SAKAI], constructed during May 1942.
No one knows for certain which Zero SAKAI san flew on 10 December 1941 in his attack on Capt. Colin KELLY's B-17. However, we do know its color! According to 2nd Lt. Joe M. BEAN, navigator on the ill-fated B-17, in his eyewitness account at the time, the attacking Zeros, "were painted a soft, pale green" [Walter D. EDMONDS, They Fought With What They Had (Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1951, 128-129)]. A U.S.A.A.F aircraft intelligence report for August 1942 also noted that these Japanese aircraft were a "light greenish-grey."
In 1993, a Mitsubishi built A6M2 model 21 s/n 3647 coded [V-103] was recovered from a swamp on Gudalacanal with crew remains on board. While the crew remains are still unknown, the aircraft has been identified as one of those flown by SAKAI san. It may or may not be the one flown on his eventful mission of 7 August 1942. From its manufacture date (3 March 1942) we do know that it was not one of his early mounts.
John CHOTU, a Honiaru, Guadalcanal resident and American Charles HAGEN, examined and documented the aircraft remains of A6M2 s/n 3647 as follows:
"Overall scheme was a severely weathered flat, pale gray. Pieces, which were protected by overlying coats of paint or overlapping pieces of metal, were dirty light olive or gray-green."
Fragments from this aircraft, after rubbing with an abrasive compound (toothpaste!) were matched to FS-26350 six years after the recovery date. These fragments were recovered by CHOTU from a pile at Honiaru International Airport from what little fragments remain of this historic aircraft.
"The diagonal fuselage stripe was red and located a few centimeters behind the fuselage (hinomaru) and was approximately 15 cm in width. The fuselage was largely destroyed in the crash and an accurate measurement of the fuselage stripe width was not possible."
"The (fin) markings were (V-1 on one side and 03 on the other), painted black , and there were remnants of a horizontal stripe, 10 cm wide, about 3-cm above the V-1 marking on the left side. The paint from the stripe had worn off, however some white flakes remained. The underlying paint was darker and more light olive or dirty gray in color."
If this report is accurate and this aircraft (see drawing below (c) by Don MARSH below) was indeed one flown by SAKAI san, then we now have a basis for a more accurate rendering of one of his mounts.
Jim Lansdale
Re: V-173 another? The 'Down Under' Reisen
Posted By: Garth < V-173 another? The 'Down Under' Reisen>
Date: Thursday, 8 February 2001, at 3:49 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai *PIC* (James F. Lansdale)
I have read from sources here at the Australian War Memorial that Sakai came out to Australia during the 1980's to confirm the identity of the A6m2 "V-173" of the Tainan AG that we have on display here.
Apparently his log-book entries confirmed this, so if anybody has access to these we may be able to find some firm evidence. The particular A6m2 we have was captured on Gasmata airfield, New Guinea in 1943 by Australian troops. It was recovered in the 1970's and restored by the Royal Australian Air Force in the 1980's - Sakai then came 'Down Under' and confirmed its Identity, colours and markings.
Australian War Memorial
Re: V-173 another? The 'Down Under' Reisen
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < V-173 another? The 'Down Under' Reisen>
Date: Thursday, 8 February 2001, at 6:19 p.m.
In Response To: Re: V-173 another? The 'Down Under' Reisen (Garth)
Hi Garth
In Henry SAKAIDA's "Winged Samurai" Henry wrote on page 146, "The airframe number is 5784 and the aircraft-within-unit number was V-173 according to (Charles) Darby, V-172 according to (Saburo) Sakai."
Take your pick!!!
Jim Lansdale
Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Micah Bly < Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2001, at 11:25 p.m.
In Response To:  (James F. Lansdale)
Do we know what he was flying later in the war, when he took on the 16 F6Fs and survived? I don't remember off hand, but it seems like it would have been 1945, at Okinawa. But don't quote me on it.
Was he still flying model 21s that late in the war?
Micah Bly
Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Martin < Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai>
Date: Thursday, 8 February 2001, at 6:19 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai (Micah Bly)
Great Question! What model Zero was Sakai-san flying when he took on all those Hellcats? But I can answer some of your questions....(Got "Winged Samurai" with me :O) ) According to Winged Samurai Page 114, The fight with all those Hellcats was June 14, 1944 and he was stationed at Iwo Jima. They (the Japanese) lost about 40 (yikes) Zeros with mostly green pilots. The book says Sakai claimed 3 Hellcats in that particular fight. I've read somewhere (maybe in this very book) I don't recall and don't have time at the moment to scour the book and look- at anyrate, he said is Samurai! I believe it was, that they accounted for maybe 10 Hellcats, mostly between himself, Kinsuke Muto, Mitsuo "Mustachio" Hagiri (who fought in China with Sakai and survived the war as well) and a number of other Zero Pilots put in a claim for a Hellcat. But the Zeros were decimated. This was a familiar pattern for the Wing stationed at Iwo. Sakai, Hagiri, Muto and one of Sakai's Wingmen named Masami Shiga were shortly thereafter re assigned to Japan and participated in Home Defense from there until the end of the War. Sakai, Hagiri and Shiga managed to survive the War....
Hope this helps with some of your questions anyway.
Anyone have info on the model Zero Sakai flew?
Re: Addition to : Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai
Posted By: Martin < Addition to : Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai>
Date: Thursday, 8 February 2001, at 6:43 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Zeros Flown By Saburo Sakai (Martin)
Other books give a different day of the Month in which this particular scrap took place, as well as the losses the Zero Pilots took. Some say they lost "only" *ahem* only 23 Zeros. However, they all say the scrap took place over Iwo waters in June 1944 and that other than a few stand out performances by Sakai, Muto and Hagiri in particular, was a one sided victory for the U.S. Navy Pilots....
The "last" Ace! (Lt. Kanno) *PIC*
Posted By:  < 'last' Ace! (Lt. Kanno) *PIC*>
Date: Sunday, 28 January 2001, at 10:48 p.m.
Hi all!
He is Lt. KANNO, Naoshi, squadron leader of S301, 343rd Ku. He led N1K2-Js under the command of Capt. Genda from Dec. 25, 1944 until he was killed on Aug. 1, 1945.
By the way, he was a class mate of Lt. SEKI, Yukio at the Naval Academy.
S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 *PIC*
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 *PIC*>
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001, at 5:30 a.m.
In Response To: The "last" Ace! (Lt. Kanno) *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Hi all,
This is a picture of S301st Hikotai, 343rd ku taken in 1945. (Picture's Credit: Mr. RYU Tokyo, Japan)
Front Row (from L to R):
2nd person; Lt. KANNO, Naoshi (squadron leader, S301), 4th person; Capt. GENDA, Minoru (commander, 343 ku)
2nd Row (from R to L):
3rd person; Ens. SUGITA, Shoichi
S301 was named "Shinsengumi" ("the New Chosen Ones") by Genda and Kanno. If you would like to know about the original "Shinsengumi" of 19th century, please visit the site indicated below.
The words written on the nameplate on right side are "Kaigun Shinsengumi Shikijo" (Navy "Shinsengumi" command post).
Sugita was one of the six escort pilots of Adm. Yamamoto's LAST flight. This experience was, needless to say, Sugita's bitterest memory. He was one of the best pilot of Kanno's S301.
One day, when S301 tried to intercept US fighter planes, Genda suddenly stopped them to take off because US fighters were almost over the airfield. But it was too late. Kanno and Sugita saw the "Z" flag at the same time. In this case, "Z" flag meant the combat sign from Genda. Genda did not have time to fold "Z" flag. Kanno succeeded to take off, but Sugita was shot down when he was taking off.
After Sugita's death, Kanno became very sad and Genda regretted. So Genda promised Kanno to bring him another superior pilot. His name was Ens. MUTO, Kaneyoshi. Genda sent Ens. SAKAI, Saburo to Yokosuka ku and took Muto to his 343 ku from Yokosuka ku.
For further information, please find the books about 343ku.
Best regards,
C6N Saiuns were the "eyes" of 343 ku. *PIC*
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < Saiuns were the 'eyes' of 343 ku. *PIC*>
Date: Friday, 16 February 2001, at 6:27 a.m.
In Response To: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Hi all,
Although this is not the picture of C6N which belonged to famous T4th Hiko-tai ("Kiheitai") of 343 ku, I would like to post this picture because 343 ku thought that reconnaissance plane was very important.
Is there anyone who can add some more stories about Hikotais of 343 ku?
Best regards,
Picture provided by "Mr. KEY"
Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945
Posted By: Cruiser K < S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945>
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001, at 11:01 p.m.
In Response To: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
WOW this is incredible! I knew that all these pilots Kanno, Sugita, Muto, and Sakai at one time were affiliated with 343 in some form or fashion. However I didn't know this detail that linked there history. I knew from Samurai
that Sakai served with 343 ku as an instructor pilot and possibly a test pilot "I am not certain if Sakai served combat with 343 but I don't think he did", I knew about Sugita's doomed escort mission and about his tragic last mission. However I didn't know about Genda's promise to replace Sugita with Muto. I knew Muto served with 343 but this news is incredible to me. Just think if just one more of these great aces would have survived the war and put their histories in writing how much more we would know.
Cruiser K
Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < Art (Kanno's N1K2-J 'A 343-15') *PIC*>
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 3:10 a.m.
In Response To: Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 (Cruiser K)
Yes, Cruiser K,
I also think if just one more of these great aces would have survived the war and put their histories in writing how much more we would know.
Genda said in his book that he sent Sakai to Yokosuka ku because of his "eye". According to Genda, he wanted Muto by all means to support Kanno. So he had to send a superior pilot to Yokosuka ku. Unfortunately, Sakai had bad sight since he was injured over Guadalcanal, but Genda was sure he could be a superior test pilot. (As you know, Yokosuka Kokutai was a kind of "laboratory".)
Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945
Posted By: Martin < S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945>
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001, at 8:30 a.m.
In Response To: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Hi Katsuhiro! Good to hear from you as always! Nice pic, too! Yes, it's too bad that an aviator of Sugita's caliber died in such a way and so close to the end of the war.(Luftwaffe Ace Walter Novotny (sp) died in similar circumstances, while landing or taking off in a 262, a time when it was particularly vulnerable to attack)
Muto too, was lost so close to then end of hostilities, though he had more of a "fighting chance" when he met his end, it too was tragic to lose a aviator of his caliber so close to the end of the war. Kanno was lost too, in August of '45 if I recall correctly? (I may be mistaken)
I've read that during this period Saburo Sakai was a "training officer" or something similar, and that he was denied further combat assignments after Iwo Jima. Anyone know if this is true?
Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945
Posted By: Cruiser K < S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945>
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001, at 11:04 p.m.
In Response To: Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 (Martin)
I believe this is true as he served as instructor at 343 ku
and Yokosuka. However Sakai flew one last combat mission after the official end of hostilities the B-32 intercept mission. If this can be counted.
Cruiser K
Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945
Posted By: Martin < S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945>
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 5:22 a.m.
In Response To: Re: S301 Hikotai of 343 ku, 1945 (Cruiser K)
Thanks Cruiser for the confirmation! I was aware of the Dominator story...wasn't it called "Hobo Queen" or something?
Sakai's impressions of aces
Posted By: James Holloway <'s impressions of aces>
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 12:14 a.m.
Sirs, I've read with great interest the postings on the last aces and want to contribute a few things I hope will interest you. I had a chance to go over a list of things with Mr. Sakai to get his best recollections. I believe the Muto(flying a George) against the 12 Hellcats was true, he said he and the entire Atsugi Airbase watched all or most of the fight from the ground. Although they didnt know it at the time, he suspected ir was Muto because not too many pilots were left that displyed thet fighting caliber. He went on to say, altho Muto was the Toughest pilot in the Navy, he and the surviving Old Hands consider Ono, who became a Gekko nightfighter to be the "ICHI BAN PILOT" During the China incident he landed a biplane bomber on a Chinese airfeild they were attacking and after loading ammo from a hanger into his cockpit set the hanger on fire and took off all under fire. Sakai san says the four Zero pilots who did the same thing later were just copy cats. Sakai san apparantly did not like Genda as he became angry whever he talked about him. Finally, according to Henry Sakaida, Nishizawa mey have been a passenger aboard a Ki 21 Sally when he was killed. Either the Navy was using it as a hack machine or an Army pilot requested Navy men to help navigate over the ocean. 
Hope this is of interest.Sincerely, James Holloway
Re: Sakai's impressions of aces
Posted By:  < (jg) Akamatsu *PIC*>
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 7:03 a.m.
In Response To:  (James Holloway)
g‚…‚Ś‚Ś‚Ź Mr. Holloway,
I read your posting with great interest. Especially, the relationship between Genda and Sakai, and Navy men as navigators on Army planes.
As you say, Sakai seemed not to like Genda. Actually, he spoke ill of Genda in his last book. He said, "Genda was very good at advertising. That's why his 343rd ku and N1K2-J became very famous after the war."
‚a‚™ the way, this is the picture of Lt. (jg) Akamatsu of 302nd ku (Atsugi Naval Airfield).
Sakai said that many of his episodes ‚Ź‚† him were unbelievable, but he was a great fighter pilot anyway.
Is there anyone who can add some episodes of Akamatsu?
Best regards,
Credit of the photo: Mr. Yanagi via Mr. Ryu
Re: Lt. (jg) Akamatsu
Posted By: James Holloway <>
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 11:35 a.m.
In Response To: Lt. (jg) Akamatsu *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Hello, all, As for stories of Akamatsu, my favourite one is that in his career, he never got a scratch from enemy action, but in the last year of the war he broke his arm when he dived into an airaid shelter and rhe rest of the squadron piled on top of him. Sakai laughed alot when he spoke of him and said Akamatsu often talked Sakai into flying his patrols so that he could drink. He was repeatedly ordered to other units as an instructor but Cmdr Kozono at Atsugi refused to part with him. He bragged about shooting down over 300 planes when he was drunk and nobody wanted to correct him to his face. Unfortunately after all he went thru and to survive the war, alchoholism finally got him. Sincerely, James Holloway
Re: Lt. (jg) Akamatsu
Posted By: martin
Date: Thursday, 15 February 2001, at 8:34 a.m.
In Response To: Lt. (jg) Akamatsu *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
I too have read that Saburo Sakai allegedly said things less than complimentary about Genda....As for Akamatsu, he was a fearless flier, and again, alledgedly given to brawling and drinking. Not unlike Greg "pappy" Boyington of the USMC. This has given birth to some legends that Sakai said was not true, such as Akamatsu fying into combat drunk, and having his own air raid warning systme hooked up in a brothel. These are things that are said about Akamatsu that Sakai says was not true, but as our friend Katsuhiro said, and Sakai Said, Akamatsu was a great pilot.
According to Genda's book...
Posted By: Uchida, Katsuhiro < to Genda's book...>
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001, at 5:25 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Ens. Muto Kanayoshi's 12 minus 4 Hellcats! (Elephtheriou George)
Hi George and all,
Following is additional information.
In Capt. Genda's book "the Beginning and the End of Kaigun Kokutai" (Bungei Shunju Co.), the author Genda described this story. He said he was told this story by Lt. Akamatsu of Atsugi-ku. He said in his book, "Lt. Akamatsu was so excited and said that Ens. Muto shot down four planes until the enemies got out of Miura Peninsula. According to Akamatsu, Muto reminded the other pilots watching this battle from Atsugi airbase of famous Miyamoto Musashi."
Best regards,
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Richard Dunn < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Friday, 29 December 2000, at 1:40 p.m.
In Response To: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi *No Text* *PIC* (Uchida, Katsuhiro)
Thanks for the photo. With the passing of Saburo Sakai, I wonder if it is possible to discover whether his criticism of Lt (j.g.) Sakai regarding the July 11th, 1942 mission to Moresby (page 132 in the paperback edition of Samurai) was his true opinion or one of Martin Caidin's "inventions". It would be interesting to know if it appears in the Japanese version of the book.
Sasai led 12 Zeros escorting 21 bombers from Rabaul on that date. En route they met 6 B-17s of the 19th BG. According to Samurai, Sasai led 6 Zeros to attack the B-17s. No B-17s were shot down, one Zero lost, others hit, and the under-escorted bombers were disrupted by interceptors at Moresby and the Japanese attack a falure. Also according to the book (p.133) Sasai received a severe reprimand for leaving the bombers.
In outline this all rings true but there are some loose ends. First the Zeros did disrupt the B-17 attack. They jettisoned bombs and returned (four to Moresby, two direct to Townsville) with three damaged (exactly as claimed by the Japanese).
Sasai as an officer and mission leader would have known about 5th Air Attack Force (25th Air Flotilla) Ops Order # 141 which called for 6 Zeros from Lae to join the force from Rabaul "at Cape Nelson" on the New Guinea coast. The B-17s were intercepted 20 miles from Cape Merkus on New Britain prior to the scheduled rendesvous. The R/V at Cape Nelson never took place but this is hardly Sasai's fault. Perhaps this doesn't mitigate his responsibility but I wonder.
Other loose ends. The B-17 mission report says 7 Zeros stayed with the bombers and 5 attacked the B-17s. The cable report from Moresby and the communique based upon it says 8 fighters escorted the bombers over Moresby. Finally, Henry Sakaida in his book Winged Samurai, credits both Sakai and Nishizawa with P-39s over Moresby on that date. Two P-400 Airacobras were in fact missing after the interception.
The Japanese command may have been a little touchy on July 11th because on the 10th Moresby's 90mm AA guns had brought down two 4th Ku bombers including one carrying Shosa Naonobu Tsusaki, Hikocho of the 4th.
Elsewhere in his book Sakai is so lavish in praise for Sasai and refers to him as a friend that I wonder a bit about the lack of defense in this case. Maybe there is no defense for escort fighters leaving the bombers? If Sakai and Nishizawa did join the 6 other Zeros over Moresby, why doesn't he say so.
As far as we can tell from Sakai and other accounts, Sasai was an outstanding leader and fighter pilot. This was the one blemish on his record.
Rick Dunn
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Cruiser K < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Monday, 15 January 2001, at 11:21 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
It States on page 175 of my copy of Samurai that Sakai, Nishizawa, Ota and two others joined Sasai in the interception of the B-17's. He also does offer a slight defense saying that Sasai's decision was poor but he and the rest of the pilots sympathized with him because bombers had been hitting their base regularly and that they all wanted to get a piece of the B-17's that had been giving them so much trouble. States they damaged 3 B-17s but lost one zero, but all zeroes received many bullet holes.
Cruiser K
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: cruiserk < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Sunday, 14 January 2001, at 4:08 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
this appears im my version of Sanurai! also, on page 175.
Hard cover Naval Press Institute, with Martin Caidan and Fred Saito. I have no reason to dispute this statement.
However this book in the intro does bring to light fabrications by Caidin that have been proven false. The most notable the B-29 shootdown. As stated earlier I would tend to believe it because it has been widely stated that while a top notch and highly trained naval officer from the best naval acadamey in Japan, Sasai was still a little green in combat experience. According to Sakai attacking the B-17s and leaving the Japanese bombers was a major mistake but an understandable one for Allied bombers had been terroririzing the base previously.
Cruiser K
Re: Sasai, Sakai, Saito, and Caidin
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < Sasai, Sakai, Saito, and Caidin>
Date: Sunday, 14 January 2001, at 6:44 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (cruiserk)
Hi Cruiser
It has been maintained that Martin CAIDIN produced fabrications in "Samurai." Actually, Marty did little but take Fred SAITO's manuscript and edit some of the sentences for style. If any substantive errors occurred in the story, then they were due to SAITO who provided CAIDIN with the material.
Marty never met with SAKAI-san and died of cancer before this could be arranged. I do not have a major problem with these allegations, but I wished to set the record straight!
Re Straight Story
Posted By: Richard Dunn < Straight Story>
Date: Sunday, 14 January 2001, at 2:00 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Sasai, Sakai, Saito, and Caidin (James F. Lansdale)
Somebody actually reads some of this.
My disclaimer. First, as a kid in 1956 in a barber shop at Lowrey AFB (Lowrey shot down over Lae) I came across 'True' magazine or one of those magazines in barber shops and read about Saburo Sakai over Guadalcanal. Wow, we could actually learn the other side of the story. What a thrill. So I thank Fred Saito and Martin Caidin. Further, Martin Caidin was obviously a good writer and very successful. Hey, I liked Marooned (wasn't Richard Creena great and Martin's cameo) as well as Wings of Gold and much else. He was probably a nice man.
BUT... then there are the facts. Pesky facts (Hmm. Heard that at Clinton's impeachment defense so maybe that's not the right phrase). Anyway, I do not intend to state here (as I have heard others do) that Martin Caidin made up lots of stuff in many books. I will limit my comments to a few relatively pertinent 'mistakes' (lets hope thats all they were).
Fork Tailed Devil -- the P-38 story. Caidin criticizes the official version and then gives the 'real' story of Thomas McGuire's loss. His story is however more ficticious then the official version (by the way I was again thrilled to learn what I thought was the real version when I first read the book).
The Mission -- a book about Saburo Sakai and the then sitting president of the United States based upon a totally ficticious premise. The B-26 in which Lyndon Johson was a passenger was approaching the landing pattern at Port Moresby when other Marauders in the flight were encountering Sakai and others of the Tainan Ku near Lae. He proudly wore the Distinguished Service Cross (including in his lapel as President) that he received for this 'mission.' Can you imagine -- an award for valor second only to the Medal of Honor. Says something about MacArthur's political savvy as well. This fiction -- that Sakai fought with the 'Heckling Hare' carrying Johson -- was repeated in his obituary in some major newspapers.
Back to Samurai -- the story of Tainan/251 Ku and I-Operation is totally wrong. That operation in early/mid April was over before 251 redeployed the Southeast Area in May 1943. Tainan ku did not lose 49 planes there. It wasn't there. Those loses were among several air groups none of which was 251. You already know about the 'night' mission against the 'B-29' from Sakai himself.
Fred Saito cannot be blamed for all of this! Again, Martin Caidin probably brought enlightenment and joy to many of us. But he got major things wrong. He was no paragon. He wrote some non-history that has entered the popular version of history. That's a problem.
Hope I have not offended anyone by expressing these opinions. I'm sure I've made some mistakes in things I have written.
Rick Dunn
Re: Decorations
Posted By: Pete Chalmers < Decorations>
Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2001, at 9:04 a.m.
In Response To:  (Richard Dunn)
Actually LBJ recieved the Silver Star ( the third highest combat award ), NOT the DSC - Both Senators John Kerry and John McCain also recieved the Silver Star - they at least deserved the award.
You unfortunately have to examine the circumstances and cannot assess the awardee by the decorations he wears. The Brits. and the USMC have a "tight" policy re. awards and decorations which works for me. I can tell you that LBJ's award pissed off myself and lots of my compadres in Vietnam in '67 and '68.
Political awards of decorations have been common - the Bronze Star was awarded to ALL recipients of the Combat Infantry Badge after WWII ( "being in ground combat is it's own reward " to quote an old USMC Gunny I knew ), and the BS was given to most every staff (non combat) junior officer in the Army in Vietnam who served a full tour and kept his nose clean. Everyone I've met has one ! "Ticket punching" was the term used then.
Not trying to start a contentious thread here, but the vast differences between the services and eras with regard to combat decoration award criteria has been a sore point with lots of combat vets such as myself. Many folks get decorations they don't deserve, many do deserve them, and many more don't get them who deserve them. Such is life - "There it is - Don't mean nothin'" as we used to say !
Re: Decorations
Posted By: Richard Dunn < Decorations>
Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2001, at 11:06 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Decorations (Pete Chalmers)
You are of course right. Would have been easy enough to check that fact before writing about "facts." But hey a Silver Star is still a Silver Star! Highest award my Dad got was an Air Medal and he was in four major aerial invasions as a glider pilot in WW2 (He didn't go into Sicily but trained the guys did) in the ETO. He saved a Regimental commander's life and got shot a couple times (maybe I should say his highest awarrd was the PH).
In WW2 in the SWPA DFC's and Air Medals were not handed out like they were in VN. A fighter pilot returning from even a partial tour in VN would have half a dozen or more DFC's and twice that many or more Air Medals. At least the ones in the Tac Fighter Wing I was in did and it seemed typical. That didn't necessarily apply to pilots of all types of aircraft, however. I agree life is not fair but the Johnson case is particularly egregious in my opinion.
Also those WW2 guys were overseas for years! Not 12 months broken up by a couple R&Rs.
As for MacArthur at least he eventually recognized that his air force was doing a heck of a job for him.
Rick Dunn
Re: Decorations
Posted By: Pete Chalmers < Decorations>
Date: Tuesday, 16 January 2001, at 12:41 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Decorations (Richard Dunn)
I can only speak from my Naval Aviation experience, but you are overstating the case, at least for carrier aviators.
Air Medals were awarded under the "Strike/Flight" system, and as individual awards.
The "Strike/Flight" Air Medal was awarded on a "points" or flight hours basis, for "Meritorious achievement in aerial flight". You needed either 20 points or 50 flight hours, as follows:
(a) 2 points: any combat flight where hostile fire was recieved; always assumed over NVN or Laos.
(b) 1 point: any combat flight over SVN where no hostile fire was observed.
(c) 50 hours: "Combat Support" flights such as those flown by the E-2, KA-3B tankers, plane guard helos, COD.
I personally believe that this was the most "honest" decoration - if you flew 200 missions over the beach up north, you ended up with 20 Air Medals - no ifs, ands, or buts.
Individual single-mission Air Medals were also awarded, but they were sometimes the result of a recommendation for the DFC which was downgraded by ComPacFlt.
The Distinguished Flying Cross was awarded for individual acts of heroism in aerial flight, but it was also ( and more commonly ) awarded for "extraordinary achievement in aerial flight", which in practice meant approximately 100 missions "Up North" or the end of a cruise . If you had a particularly successful strike mission ( knocked down the bridge, for example, or brought back a severely damaged aircraft), a DFC was usually forthcoming. DFC's were also awarded when a Silver Star recommendation was downgraded.
Shooting down a MiG was an automatic Silver Star - I know of one F-4 RIO on his first line period of a WestPac cruise who had not yet flown sufficient missions to qualify for his first Air Medal. His bird was vectored by Red Crown to a bogie - the pilot acquired the MiG visually and fired one Sidewinder when he had the tone. The RIO never saw the MiG nor acquired it on his radar - though inexperienced, he was well-trained and a "good guy" but his role on that mission was the radios and the checklists. Under the Navy's "Crew Concept" rule, both the pilot and he got the Silver Star. Those were the rules - he didn't make them.
When you look back at WW II, it does seem unfair that those who participated often do not have the decorations that those coming later received - many aces' highest decoration was a single DFC. I would point out that glider pilots were certainly one of those "unsung" groups of pilots.
But Vietnam aviators flew many more missions than their WW II counterparts - perhaps not as long but equally as dangerous.
The closest thing to a glider pilot in Vietnam was the Huey "slick" pilot who carried troops/removed WIA's, often into very hot LZ's. I have a friend who did this for 2 tours as an Army CWO - 400 plus missions with over 100 "hot" LZ's and 3 times shot down - all before he was 23 years old - he deserves every decoration, and he has a bunch. I put those pilots and the infantry they carried at the top of my "personal" respect list.
This should really be over on the "Chat" board, BTW, and this ends my contrubution to the subject.
Re: Re Straight Story
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < Re Straight Story>
Date: Monday, 15 January 2001, at 7:57 p.m.
In Response To: Re Straight Story (Richard Dunn)
I have absolutely no problems with what you state. I know only too well about the facts concerning "The Mission."
I still stand by my original statement, that Marty added very little to the original m/s as presented to him by Fred SAITO except CAIDIN's inimitable style!
I did not comment about other CAIDIN works (which would have been off-topic), but most of your observations are, in my opinion, right on target!
Jim Lansdale
Re: Re Straight Story
Posted By: cruiserk < Re Straight Story>
Date: Sunday, 14 January 2001, at 6:20 p.m.
In Response To: Re Straight Story (Richard Dunn)
Well written Rich,
Kind of almost makes me want to remove my retraction. I have read and heard all of these stories. There is a lot of info that has been following Caidan around about dramatization or fabrication of history. I posted my reply to Jim based on the premise that I really don't know the whole story, but it was stated pretty clear in the Samurai book that I read that several stories written by Caidan have not been true. I have heard about the Johnson incident, The Night B-29 shoot down, and McGuire's last mission.
Cruiser K
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: cruiserk < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Tuesday, 9 January 2001, at 11:05 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
Hello Richard I will try to help,
From what I have read from Samurai and from what I have seen from the movie Zero pilot some of this may be true.
While Sasai became a excellent Zero pilot and an excellent leader in the beginning he was green. Sasai was trained in the art of aerial combat by Sakai the two of them became a great team. Sasai became a great ace and he owed his life and much of his development as a great ace to Sakai. Sasai was a Naval Academy graduate and he wrestled during his academy days so he had the right stuff to be a leader and he was with the exception of his fighter combat skill which was honed by Sakai. As a thanks to Sakai, Sasai gave Sakai his belt buckle and the now famous qoute "a tiger roams over 1,000 miles for its prey." While I have much respect for Sasai his leadership skills and his military training I would be inclined to believe that some of this is possibly true and not fabricated because he did lack fighter pilot skills in the begining that made him some what green, but Sasai was a quick learner and thanks to the Sakai - Sasai combination Sasai soon became known as the Richtofen of Rabaul. Sasai and Sakai go hand in hand and we cannot underestimate the importance of their team. For very shortly after Sakai had to be hospitalized for injuries to his eye for his now famous flight, Sasai met his demise at the hands of Marion Carl.
(P.S. Of course I can't prove any of this! Just my opinion.)
Cruiser K
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Cruiser K < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Wednesday, 24 January 2001, at 9:50 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
Jun-Ichi Sasai would have been considered not green after April 1942, This is around the time that he really started racking up his aerial victories. So to answer your question aprox. 3 months prior to this mission and 4 1/2 months prior to his death he would not have been considered green. Jun-Ichi Sasai's flying career was aprox. 9 months of total time between completion of flight school and his death.
Timeline for Sasai:
1939-Graduated 67th Naval Academy Class
{Nov. 1941- Completed 35th Avaiation Student Course
{Dec. 10, 1941 - First Combat. Attack on Luzon. Returned to base Engine problems.
{Feb. 3, 1942- First Aerial Combat Victory
{After April 1942- Stationed at Rabual Victories really start to increase.
{July 11, 1942- The escort bomber, but intercept B-17
mission reported on this board by you.
{August 8, 1942- Sasi's mentor Sakai is hospitalized due to injuries over
{July 28, 1942 - Died in Combat over Guadalacanal. Assumed victim of Marine Corps Ace Marion Carl.
This information from the book Japanese Naval Aces and fighter units of WWII, by Hata Izawa and Gorham.
Sakai in his book Samurai by Caidin and Saito list Sasai as breaking out of his slump even later May 12 of 1942 after months of training from Sakai, Nishizawa and Ota. On this date he is credited with 3 P-39 Airacobra victories and is said to have officially made ace status.
This was two months prior to the mission you mentioned and 3 1/2 months prior to his death.
Cruiser K
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Richard Dunn < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Thursday, 25 January 2001, at 1:34 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Cruiser K)
Cruiser K
Should be August 26th for his death. Marion Carl is pure speculation though he did make a victory claim that date.
At that time Zeros were flying to guadalcanal with their long range tanks on. Tainan Ku pilots were flying daily long missions. Even when they weren't over Guadacanal they had often flown several hours and been turned back by weather.
My question was of course rhetorical. Sasai, in accordance with JNAF practice, was made a buntaicho when he clearly was not a well experienced leader. None the less he lead combat missions while more experienced pilots were condemned to fly wing and lead shotais because they were NCOs. He was probably not confident and experienced enough to stand up to his superiors and tell them 600 mile missions without dropping belly tanks in combat were crazy.
Rick Dunn
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Cruiser K < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Friday, 26 January 2001, at 12:52 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
Amen Rick,
I totally agree with you on that! The entire Guadalacanal campaign was a most costly one for Japan, and maybe would have served them better if they retreated and fell back to defend from a shorter range. The attrition at the Canal cost Japan its other best Naval pilots not lost at Midway.
The long range flights spending over and upwards to half a day 12 hours or more in the air! By the times the pilots did make contact and combat with the enemy one would have to wonder about there mental and physical state. Some may have even been asleep. Flying with drop tanks into battle like you said is crazy, and it would have had to been one of the most craziest things in the world in 1942 to fly into combat with drop tanks in the Zero. Maybe this is what cost Sasai his life? We may never know.
I will however remember him as the "Richthofen of Rabaul".
You are right about the Marion Carl thing too it is just speculation we may never really know what happened to Sasai.
Cruiser K
Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi
Posted By: Cruiser K < Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi>
Date: Tuesday, 23 January 2001, at 6:52 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt.(jg) SASAI, Jun'ichi (Richard Dunn)
Your point is valid,
I was not aware that it was six weeks prior to his death! In this case he was no longer green but a skilled flyer.
However Sakai does come to his defense and states that he understands why Sasai did attack the B-17's and left the remaining figthers to escort the bombers. But Sakai also stated in the book that Sasai made a poor judgement in doing this. I would have to agree with Sakai's statement that the decision while brave and patriotic, was probably not the best and maybe he should have continued to escort the bombers.
Remember also that a flyers career in WWII can be, especially among some Japanese aces a short one! One can learn a lot and claim many victories in a short span.
Overall I feel that Sasai was an excellent leader and a good ace. This minor incident which I had read but forgotten would not mar his character in any way. What I will remeber most about Sasai was that he cared for his fellow flyers, and was a down to earth leader when he didn't have to be. Japanese caste system was strict but Sasai cared more for his flyers. The mistake was insignificant as far his career goes.
Allied pilots have often erred in this same type, going after prey for kills while leaving bombers with less protection than initially intended, wheter it was more strict upon American or Japanese military tacticts to do this. I don't know.
Cruiser K
Genda - Sakai Controversy
Posted By: Andrew Obluski < - Sakai Controversy>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 12:59 a.m.
In Response To: Ens. SAKAI, Saburo at S701, 343 ku (early 1945) *PIC* (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Hello, Katsuhiro-san
This is not my first time reading that I found Saburo Sakai very critical on Minoru Genda. Concerning N1K2-J as a defensive fighter in 1945 it was much more suitable for JNAF than new and improved versions of A6M. JNAF really needed modern fighters as Reppu, Raiden and Shiden to face new types of USN carrier fighters like Hellcats and Corsairs. USN had already relegated Wildcats to escort carriers. Sakai liked Zero, but without pilot protection and much higher shp in engine it was doomed to lose. N1K2-J had much stronger engine and could be successfully used to attack USN fast and armored carrier planes.
I can't understand Sakai's personal attitude to Genda. Maybe he was jealous that Genda was an Eta Jima graduate. Sakai in his book mentions that there were very small percentage of seamen that could be commissioned into ranks in IJN. He claims that he was one of the few who were so awarded and survived the war. When I looked through Hata/Izawa, Lundstrom and Sakaida I could find much more Tokumu [Special Duty Officers] than Sakai had mentioned. Sakai simply did not like officers [apart from Junichi Sasai] and did not hide his feelings.
But we can not compare these two men. Genda was one of the best brains in the Japanese Navy. He was master tactician of air warfare and he developed the idea of the carrier task force as the first in the world. Battleship admirals had to listen to a mere Commander and subordinate to his opinions. He could convince even Adm Yamamoto to alter the long prepared strategy of decisive battle in home waters. He preferred to attack enemy in his heart. And his strategy succeeded at Pearl Harbor.
Remember Midway when Vice Adm Nagumo followed Genda opinions. It was not because of Genda that IJN had lost at Midway. Even after the war Japan needed him and General Minoru Genda was named Chief of Staff of JASDF in 1962.
Sakai was fantastic fighter pilot. But as Genda could predict future and think about strategy in advance of years, Sakai could only shoot Allied planes.
Waiting for your opinions
Sakai's opinion about Genda and N1K2-J *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <'s opinion about Genda and N1K2-J *PIC*>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 7:29 a.m.
In Response To: Genda - Sakai Controversy (Andrew Obluski)
Hello, Andrew-san,
I cannot help myself admiring your knowledge and research on IJN again.
I just agree with most of most of your comments.
But regarding Sakai's feeling on Genda, I dare to say that Genda was NOT Sakai's "taste". As you say, Sakai and many other "Toku-Jun" (Tokumu Shikan & Jun Shikan = Officers and Warrant Officers who were promoted after LONG years' service. Until the middle of the war, a "Tokumu Lieutenant" could NOT command an Etajima grad Ensign! Their final rank was "Commander". ) were jealous about Etajima graduates, but Sakai disliked Genda especially. I just do not think it was because Genda was an Etajima grad.
And regarding N1K2-J, I also dare to say that N1K2-J was NOT Sakai's "taste". Actually, many pilots who were much younger than Sakai (including teenagers such as T. Kasai, K. Kato, M. Naka, etc..) welcomed N1K2-J very much.
Lt. YAMADA, Ryoichi (=JASDF Gen. Yamada. He also became JASDF Chief of Staff) says that "I experienced many fighter planes from Zero to F-15 Eagle, N1K2-J was the best WWII fighter plane. F-86 was good, too. F-86 reminded me of N1K2-J." (Yamada belonged to Etajima 71st graduation class and seven years younger than Sakai.)
An old "Tokumu Ensign" (same as Sakai) named MATSUBA, Akio (S701 Squadron) said to Genda as soon as he landed on Matsuyama Air Base that "Guraman (Grumman) is nothing any more, sir! Our N1K2-J can easily catch Guraman's tail. Four 20mm cannons are tremendous! If you give just one shot, you can knock them out so easily!" (Quoted from "Kaigun Kokutai Shimatsu-ki" by GENDA, Minoru Bunshun Paperbacks 1996)
Thus, younger men and the same "Tokumu" expert welcomed it. Taste is very important. And Mr. Sakai was one of the BEST Zero pilots without any doubts. We can say that we should choose most "preferable" way in various fields in our lives.
I think we have to listen to as many people's opinion as possible. If you would like the other oral histories, please let me know. (Of course, I have to finish Shiga's story, first! Ha, ha, ha...)
Again thank you very much for posting impressive opinion.
Re: Genda - Sakai Controversy
Posted By: Bill Leyh < Genda - Sakai Controversy>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 1:51 a.m.
In Response To: Genda - Sakai Controversy (Andrew Obluski)
Strong anti-officer feelings are common - especially in seagoing services. And trust me, it's not jealousy.
Regarding Sakai's opinions of the Shiden, I believe it was more of a flying & fighting philosophical issue for him. Sakai's entire fighting experience was using airplanes tailored for supremacy in maneuverability. To Sakai and his contemporaries, the fighter plane was a modern embodiment of the katana, where lightness, balance, and agility were all-important in a fight. The A5M and A6M were famous for their handling qualities and gentle, predictable departure characteristics. The Shiden and Raiden, with much higher power-to-weight ratios, higher wing loadings, and unforgiving departure characteristics (relative to the Zero) were not appreciated by the JNAF pilots.
In Sakai's defense, the flying characteristics of these planes were deadly to poorly-trained pilots and he, as a senior pilot and leader, would be VERY aware of the impact of that.
Often, senior officers are so concentrated on accomplishing their goals that they fail to appreciate the impact of reality at lower levels.
Re: Genda - Sakai Controversy
Posted By: James Holloway < Genda - Sakai Controversy>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 9:30 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Genda - Sakai Controversy (Bill Leyh)
I think part of Sakai's opinion of Genda comes in part ftom Genda representing the men who ran the war without actually fighting in it. His impression of Genda was" You go, you go, and you go!'I'm sure he was simplifing things but he does hate the officer caste, not from jealousy, but because the combat pilots were denied decent food and even cigeretts while the non flying ifficers did well. He actually had to have his wing man steal food from the officers mess. When Officers did fly, they had no idea what to do in combat and it was the experienced pilots that had to take over. He said there were several times he and his mates hoped the officers were shot down when it was o.ver He saw all his friends killed and he possibly only survived because he was wounded. I believe Sakai thought that Genda's input kept them in Zeroes for so long rather than improved types. I also think he belteves Genda was responsible for pushing the Kamikaze programs. He felt Genda had input in almost everything that went wrong at the end. He often mentioned Genda and the Emperor together, he felt they both had a hand in prolonging the war. As for the Shiden, as someone who mastered the Zero and an Old hand he would prefer the Zero to the Shiden, but I've gotten the impression that all the badmouthing came from pilots flying earlier Shiden 11 with all it's problems ,but they liked the Shiden Kai. Fujita's comments seem to point this out. Hope this was of interest. 
Sincerely, James Holloway
Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya
Posted By: Doclot Kristof < Commander Shigeru Itaya>
Date: Saturday, 28 April 2001, at 12:05 p.m.
Hi all,
I'm going to make the 1/48 Mit. A6M2 Zero from Tamiya (kit 61016), the model I will make is the one of pilot Shigeru Itaya, Flying Corps Commander, Fighter Unit of Carrier Akagi, with tail number AI-101. The Tamiya instructions tell me to use light grey as fuselage color. Do I have to use White of Light Grey for this plane? Does anyone has any more info on this pilot?
Thanks alot
Re: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya
Posted By: Wayne Little < Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya>
Date: Sunday, 29 April 2001, at 2:27 a.m.
In Response To: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya (Doclot Kristof)
Hello Kristof, AI-101 is not correct for Itaya's aircraft,it was flown by Tadao Kimura. Shigeru Itaya's wingman flew AI-154 so some artwork has depicted AI-155 as his aircraft with the 3 correct yellow Command stripes denoting his position as the Zero Hikotaicho,an alternative that has been narrowed down to be more likely is AI-159 but not confirmed, these details come from information kindly provided by David Aiken about the middle of last year when he mentioned that research on the subject was "Still up in the air" David may have further information on this hopefully he will provide further details.
Kind Regards Wayne Little
Re: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya
Posted By: Wayne Little < Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya>
Date: Monday, 30 April 2001, at 3:41 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya (Doclot Kristof)
Hello Kristof, the aircraft depicted in the tamiya kit as AI-101 did participate in the Pearl Harbour attack but was not flown by Shigeru Itaya and it did not carry the yellow stripes. AI-101 was flown by Naval Air Pilot 1st class (NAP1/C) Tadao Kimura.Tadao Kimura was the wingman of Lieutenant Saburo Shindo he was the Leader of the second wave of Zeroes his aircraft was AI-102 and carried yellow stripes, a broad stripe above the code and a narrow stripe below the code. The bottom stripe was approximately half of the thickness of the top code
Re: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya
Posted By: Grant Goodale < Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya>
Date: Saturday, 28 April 2001, at 7:46 p.m.
In Response To: Lieutenant Commander Shigeru Itaya (Doclot Kristof)
Kristof -
My suggestion would be to paint it in Polly Scale Concrete from their railroad colours line. That would probably be the best for December 1941 until June 1942.
There is a mix using Model Master enamels that Greg Springer has formulated. If you are interested, please let Greg or myself know.
- Grant
Akamatsu Sadaaki
Posted By: Jim Obermeyer <>
Date: Monday, 30 April 2001, at 7:42 p.m.
Does anyone have a real photo of Ensign Akamatsu Sadaaki's Zeke52 (3D-126)? With nothing but artists’ illustrations to go by, the question of weathering comes up. This guy was such a character I'm really getting into this model.
Posted By: Kiyo
Date: Monday, 30 April 2001, at 11:33 p.m.
See this page. This web site is a great reference on Japanese aces, though it is not available in English.
Posted By: Greg Springer <>
Date: Wednesday, 2 May 2001, at 7:19 p.m.
Hi Jim,
Koku Fan Illustrated # 96 is an illustrated history of the 302 ku. It is entirely in Japanese except for the color foldout illustration of Yo D-126, which states it is an A6M5 ko flown by Akamatsu. The victory marks are for Hellcats on 16-17 February 1945. On page 118 is a b&w photo of the rear fuselage and tail of this plane but the man in front of it doesn't appear to be Akamatsu. Perhaps one of our Japanese members has this book and can translate the caption for you. The finish looks pretty fresh to me, no chips. It is a Nakajima-built plane. 
Posted By: Kiyo
Date: Saturday, 5 May 2001, at 3:02 a.m.
My friend says he had seen the photo of the zero in other publication quite some time before. It is likely that the photo was taken in the spring of 1945 when the actual operating fighters of 302 Ku were far below quorum. That means that particular plane was flown not only by Akamatsu but also by other pilots. Probably Akamatsu himself had to fly other planes that were "flyable".
Whatever the case it is great that this forum's collective intelligence proves to be so much informative to all our participants.
Ciao, Kiyo
Posted By: Greg Springer <>
Date: Saturday, 5 May 2001, at 1:57 p.m.
Hello Kiyo,
I think you are correct about Akamatsu-san having flown whatever aircraft was available when an air raid alert was called. Aircraft number 26 probably had its picture taken because the great success that Akamatsu had on 17-2-45 caused six victory blossoms to be painted on it. I am also going to make my Zero A6M5ko in these markings.
Posted By: James Holloway <>
Date: Thursday, 3 May 2001, at 12:08 a.m.
Sirs, I couldn't remember the name if that book. The man standing next to the plane is Akamatsu's Chief Mechanic Ito. James Holloway
Posted By: Elephtheriou George <>
Date: Saturday, 5 May 2001, at 4:23 p.m.
To everybody,
you got me interesting on the subject. Nice thread! Unfortunately KF 96 is one of the books I'm looking for desperately. Nevertheless if anyone can drop me a scan of the page in question, we would love to translate what's written.
Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor
Posted By: Allen Kasson <'s Zero At Pearl Harbor>
Date: Thursday, 12 July 2001, at 10:36 p.m.
I have heard that the legendary Japanese fighter ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa, participated in the Pearl Harbor attack, although he didn't get any kills there. Supposedly he flew from the carrier "Zuikaku", and the tail code of his A6M2 was EII-102, can anyone confirm this for me? Thank you all in advance for your assistance. 
Allen Kasson
Re: Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor
Posted By: Allan < Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor>
Date: Friday, 13 July 2001, at 1:31 p.m.
In Response To: Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor (Allen Kasson)
Nishizawa Hiroyoshi was attached to the Chitose Ku and then later to the 4th Ku. Nishizawa Hiroyoshi was never aboard a carrier.
However Iwamoto Tetsuzo served aboard the Zuikaku, and in August 1942, became an instructor.
Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <'t he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?>
Date: Thursday, 12 July 2001, at 10:54 p.m.
In Response To: Nishizawa's Zero At Pearl Harbor (Allen Kasson)
Hello Allen,
I guess that was IWAMOTO, Tetsuzo (No.1 IJN Ace) flew from ZUIKAKU on the day of PH attack if he had to be "legendary" as you say.
Iwamoto's score: 202 (alone) plus 26 (shared)
(approx. 100 over Solomons.)
Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?
Posted By: Tony Feredo < Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?>
Date: Friday, 13 July 2001, at 5:48 p.m.
In Response To: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Hi Katsuhiro,
The score you posted on Iwamoto (202 - Alone) plus 26 shared, is this taken from official Japanese records?
Do you also have Sugita's, Nishizawa's and Sakai's? The ones I have read put the four aces at
100 - Nishizawa or Iwamoto
80 - Iwamoto or Nishizawa
73 - Sugita
64 - Sakai
Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?
Posted By: Allan < Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?>
Date: Saturday, 14 July 2001, at 8:01 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (Tony Feredo)
Officially Recognized:
Nishizawa = 87
Iwamoto = 80+
Sakai = 64
Sugita = 30+
I have always tended these figures to conversative, and could be higher.
Source: Japanese Fighter Aces and Fightere Units - Pages 239 thru 243
Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?
Posted By: Tony Feredo < Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?>
Date: Saturday, 14 July 2001, at 8:56 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (Allan)
I have seen these figures.... I was wondering what the Japanese figures were and some say it's higher than what is published today....
Scoring system changed in the middle of 1943.
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro < system changed in the middle of 1943.>
Date: Sunday, 15 July 2001, at 5:54 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (Tony Feredo)
Hello Tony,
I am sorry to be late to reply to you. (I have been out on this Saturday and Sunday.)
Until the middle of 1943, personal claiming was accepted officially, but since then, only the "unit claiming" was accepted officially.
Thus, even Sakai did not know his total scores. When he made up his mind to write "Samurai", his assistant counted his total scores by reading Sakai's war diary.
The famous Lt. (jg) Sasai's known scores are based on his letter written to his father.
Iwamoto said that his scores were 202 in his book "The Zero King". But many of the Japanese pilots quit counting. According to one of the N1K2-J aces of 343 Ku Ens. MIYAZAKI, Isamu (he says his scores are "more than 13".), "Most of us quit counting our scores because whenever we shot down the American planes, we did not feel good very much. After we shot down so many planes, we felt almost nothing actually. Next time, it would be my turn..."
Anyway, I do not think this "unit scoring system" worked well.
In February, 1945, US Navy claimed almost 400 kills over Japan and Japan lost only 80 planes or so, and Japan claimed almost 300 kills over Japan and US lost only 60 planes or so, but in my opinion, "over claiming" worked very well for their morales.
Re: Accepted Figures
Posted By: Allan < Accepted Figures>
Date: Saturday, 14 July 2001, at 11:25 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (Tony Feredo)
If you want higher figures, try these:
Nishizawa = 147
Iwamoto = 202
Sugita = 70
Sakai = 64 is the excepted figure
Be since they didn't have gun camera's, it is most difficult to actually determine what the actual score was. Eye witness accounts are no good, simply one didn't dare to linger unless you ended up like the former.
The Japanese didn't keep a tally for individual accounts, rather but by units, but even then, scores were over blown. Double and triple tallies were the norm, with a few rare exceptions. Even the "Marianas Turkey Shoot" were inflated, despite having gun camera's.
Richard Bong is said to have gotten 40, but in doing so, he lost a couple of wingmen, while Tommy McGuire was a close second. I don't think McGuire lost any wingman, but I know Bong did. Bong wanted the highest score any any cost.
Sakai didn't lose a wingman either, which speaks volumes.
Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?
Posted By: Allen Kasson < Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto?>
Date: Friday, 13 July 2001, at 2:55 a.m.
In Response To: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Hello Katsuhiro,
Thanks for the reply, I have read conflicting reports as to the actual number of kills that Nishizawa, Iwamoto, and Sugita all had. I am certain that they are the top three, followed by Saburo Sakai; but my main reason for asking was because I would like to build a model of Nishizawa's A6M2, and I wanted to make certain that I had the correct tail code. Do you know the tail code of Iwamoto's Zero? Thanks again.
Iwamoto and ZUIKAKU aviators *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro < and ZUIKAKU aviators *PIC*>
Date: Friday, 13 July 2001, at 11:09 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Wasn't he Lt. (jg) Iwamoto? (Allen Kasson)
Hello Allen,
Please click the URL shown below. This CAF A6M (USA) is said to have Iwamoto's tail code (ZUIKAKU). I guess some American people have the precise
information about this plane. (The autograph of Sakai was given to the site owner.) Regarding Nishizawa's plane, I believe many people will give you the good information.
Best regards,
CAF A6M and Sakai's autograph
"7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*
Posted By: Joern Leckscheid <'7-104' - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*>
Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2001, at 2:28 p.m.
Tetsuzo Iwamoto is known to have flown at least three different Zeros while serving at various units at Rabaul in late 1943/early 1944. According to his personal records, he flew "104" from the end of January until February 9, 1944. It was a reserve machine, his usual mount being "102". Since he didn´t record any unit prefixes, I wonder if it´s possible that "7-104", shown in this much-published picture, could be Iwamoto´s regular plane during this period?
Rabaul unit tailcodes are still a bit of a mystery to me, and to many others too, I suppose...
I am aware that Nohara-san states in MA 510 that the tailcode should be "53-104" for his plane with the sakura kill markings, but from the statement that this was only a plane he flew while "102" was under repair, this seems unlikely to me.
Are there any other sources that indicate the use of "53" as 253. Ku´s unit marking than the photo on page 184 of MA 510? Possibly this unit marking was used during an earlier period? Have the single-digit prefixes seen on many Rabaul-based Zeros ever been matched to individual units?
Any comments to this theory are very welcome!
Special thanks to Martin Ferkl for forwarding this theory to me and allowing me to use the photo and colour plate.
Source: REVI No. 35
Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero?
Posted By: Tennessee Katsuta < '7-104' - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero?>
Date: Wednesday, 16 May 2001, at 9:50 p.m.
In Response To: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC* (Joern Leckscheid)
Hi, Joern
There were quite a few Zeros stationed at Rabaul in 1943-44 with single digit prefixes such as "2","4", "6" and "7." According to Famous Airplanes of the World No.56, there were three kokutais at Rabaul at the time, and they were 201, 204, and 253 kokutais. Unfortunately, there is no record showing which prefixes correspond to which kokutais! So, who knows, the aircraft in question may be Iwamoto's aircraft. At least the "104" matches!
As for the aircraft with the prefix "53", I'm not aware of any other sources indicating that "53" stood for 253 kokutai. However, common sense indicate that "53" stood for 253 kokutai. Then what about the single digit prefixes, you might ask. Well, this is a bit of a mystery, and I don't know. If someone can tell us which single digit prefixes correspond to which kokutai ( this is a long shot, but could they even be temporary tail code for carrier based Zeros while they were stationed at Rabaul?!?), that person will be greatly appreciated for solving one of the great mysteries of Rabaul based Zeros.
Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < '7-104' - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*>
Date: Thursday, 17 May 2001, at 5:17 a.m.
In Response To: Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? (Tennessee Katsuta)
The single-digit prefixes may be related to the koku sentai (or, air attack force nos) to which the units were attached ( [2-] No.2 Sf; [4-] No.4 Sf; [6-] No.26 Sf; etc).
However, there is that nagging [9-]!!! Oh well! (:<)
Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero?
Posted By: Martin FERKL < '7-104' - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero?>
Date: Thursday, 17 May 2001, at 1:00 p.m.
In Response To:  (James F. Lansdale)
Hi James,
you can see numbers 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9 on Rabaul REisen tails. It isn´t related to Koku Sentais. I think these numbers are related to Buntais of Kokutai 201, 204 and 253 (each Kokutai was composed from three Buntais).
Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < Air Unit Codes>
Date: Thursday, 17 May 2001, at 6:55 p.m.
In Response To: Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? (Martin FERKL)
Hi Martin
You write, " I think these numbers are related to Buntais of Kokutai 201, 204 and 253 (each Kokutai was composed from three Buntais)."
Sam TAGAYA has opined the same possibility. The result, according to this hypothesis, would mean that No.201 fg = Nos 1-3 buntai or codes [1-1..] [2-1..] [3-1..]; No.204 fg = [4-1..] [5-1..] [6-1..]; and No.253 fg = [7-1..] [8-1..] [9-1..]
Another line of conjecture is that the the Koku Sentai (Sf or Air Flotillas), which saw action in the Solomons and also known as Koku Kushu Butai (AB or Air Attack Forces) were assigned the single digits as unit codes for their attached fighter units while others used the last single digit or double digit of their kokutai (fg or air group) number.
Jim Lansdale
Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes
Posted By: Ryan Toews < Air Unit Codes>
Date: Friday, 18 May 2001, at 10:17 a.m.
In Response To: Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes (James F. Lansdale)
Hello Jim,
One of the tail fins in the Blayd collection has the markings 5-136 overpainted with 3-174. This could lend credence to Sam Tagaya's hypothesis as both 201 and 204 Ko were operating out of Buin in late summer and fall of 1943. The tail fin in question was recovered from Ballale which I understand should be considered part of the Buin "complex" of airfields.
Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes
Posted By: James F. Lansdale < Air Unit Codes>
Date: Friday, 18 May 2001, at 12:21 p.m.
In Response To: Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes (Ryan Toews)
Hi Ryan
What you say is correct. However, the code [5-] could also represent the No.5 Koku Kushu Butai (No.25 Koku Sentai) which was in the Rabaul area at that time. If memory serves me correctly, I thought that this bird [3-174] had also been identified as [53-174]. Could you please post photos of same?
The [3-] might also represent the No.3 Koku Kushu Butai (No.23 Koku Sentai) in the Philippines. Many aircraft were ferried/flown in from other units to the Rabaul area to alleviate the shortages of aircraft during the desperate battles of Fall 1943.
All of these speculations need more evidence before we may say anything more definitive.
Jim Lansdale
Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes
Posted By: Ryan Toews < Air Unit Codes>
Date: Friday, 18 May 2001, at 12:54 p.m.
In Response To: Re:Rabaul Air Unit Codes (James F. Lansdale)
Hello Jim,
If 3-174 has been interpeted as 53-174 it was not done by me. At any rate, there is no room on the tail for a 5 in front of the 3-. Photos of the tail are in the research section (see photos 7.3 and 7.4). I do not believe that the
3- might represent the 23 Koku Sentai as the 3- is painted over the 5-. It sounds unlikely to me that a plane was tranferred out of the Solomons (assuming the 5- marking to be that of the 25 Koku Sentai) to the Philipines and then in the end up wind up as a wreck in the Solomons.
Perhaps a start might be to try and establish both the times and places that these numeric markings show up.
Re: "7-104" - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*
Posted By: Larry Hickey < '7-104' - Iwamoto´s Rabaul Zero? *PIC*>
Date: Thursday, 17 May 2001, at 12:52 a.m.
In Response To:  (Tennessee Katsuta)
If you check my book, "Warpath Across the Pacific," page 84, you will see a nose-to-tail photo of an A6M3 with the tail code in yellow 53-157. This aircraft would have served with the 253rd Kokutai. The photo was taken by a low-level strafer B-25D of the 345th Bomb Group during the raid on Rabaul on November 2, 1943, of a plane crash-landed along the edge of Lakunai Airdrome, at a time when the 253rd was very active at Rabaul.
Larry Hickey
"The Zero Mayor" KUROSAWA, Takeo
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <'The Zero Mayor' KUROSAWA, Takeo *PIC*>
Date: Saturday, 18 August 2001, at 5:40 p.m.
Mr. KUROSAWA, Takeo (Mayor of Ueno Village, Gunma Prefecture)
Born on Dec. 23, 1913 in Ueno Village, Gunma Prefecture.
Entered Naval Academy (Eta Jima, Hiroshima) 63rd graduation class in Apr. 1932.
Graduated from Eta Jima in 1936 and went to New York City via Panama and Cuba on the "Training Voyage" as a Cadet.
After served on Cruiser MAYA and Destroyer YUUGIRI, he was assigned as an aviation trainee officer in Oct. 1937 and was transferred to Kasumigaura Kokutai (29th graduation class).
In May 1938, graduated from the aviation training course of Kasumigaura and was assigned to Saiki Kokutai (training air unit for fighter pilots) as a fighter pilot.
Transferred to 12th Kokutai (China) in Nov. 1938. (Hiko-taicho was Lt. Cdr. KOZONO, Yasuna)
Assigned as an instructor of Kasumigaura Ku and went back to Japan in Sept. 1939.
Injured in his trainee's accident (K5Y trainer plane) on Nov. 22, 1939 and stayed at the hospital for two months.
Assigned as a Buntaicho of Wonsan (Genzan) Kokutai and went to China again in Nov. 1940.
Transferred to 3rd Kokutai in Sept. 1940 and went to Takao, Taiwan. (commander: Capt. KAMEI, Yoshio, vice commanding officer [Fukucho]/Hikocho: Cdr. SHIBATA, Takeo. Hiko-taicho: Lt. YOKOYAMA, Tamotsu)
Kurosawa recalls,
"Combined Fleet did not think that A6M fighter could fly from Taiwan to the Philippines. They were going to use Carriers RYUJO and KASUGA MARU (future TAIYO) for us to strike the Philippines. We practiced landing on and taking off from those carriers off Mt. Kaimon (Kagoshima). Just after we went back to Taiwan on Oct. 23, 1941, we heard about the details of whole operation."
"We insisted that we did not have to use the carriers and we could fly to the Philippines and come back. We strongly asked 11th Air Fleet HQ not to use the carriers. If we had used the carriers, such many planes could not take off at the same time."
"We tried not to use so much gasoline to convince the Headquarters. We estimated that one Zero needed 80 to 85 litters an hour. Thus, 11th Air Fleet decided not to use the carriers to attack the Philippines."
In the morning of Dec. 8, 1941 (Japan Time), Lt. Kurosawa woke up earlier than any body else.
"That was very foggy morning. I was almost lost in the air field. We took of around 10 A.M.. I thought that the Americans in the Philippines had already prepared well..."
"But...we saw no US planes in the air. Rikko (G3M and G4M) started bombing. Suddenly, the AA fires started to shoot so hard. My duty was strafing the air planes on the Clark Air 
Field. I strafed three times and got three bullets from the AA fires."
"After I spent all the 20mm bullets, I climbed up to 4,000 meters. Then, I saw a black P-40 rushing toward me. I started to fight against the P-40. I got his tail soon, but the P-40 dived and escaped from me. I lost speed while I was climbing, so I could not gain speed again immediately."
"I went to the US when I was a Cadet. I thought that 2/3rd of 3 Ku would be KIA on the first day of the war. But I had never imagined that P-40 was such low-performance plane."
"When I flew back to Taiwan, all of the aviators were excited. We thought that the war was much easier than we expected."
On Dec. 8, 1941, 3 Ku claimed 10 air-to-air kills (3 probables included) and destroyed 22 planes on the ground. 3 Ku lost three planes and Tainan Ku lost one plane.
3rd Kokutai moved to Davao, Mindanao on Dec. 23 to 29, 1941. In Jan. 1942, moved to Menado and Kendari, Celebes. On Feb. 2, 1942, main force of 3 Ku moved to Balikpapan, Borneo.
On Feb. 3, 1942, Hiko-taicho Lt. Yokoyama led twenty-seven A6Ms and fought against the enemy planes over Surabaya and claimed 38 fighters (5 probables included), 4 flying boats and destroyed 19 planes on the ground. 3 Ku lost three A6Ms and one guiding recon plane.
"On that day, WO AKAMATSU, Sadaaki saved my life. I attacked one flying boat on the water and climbed up as I used to do. I lost speed while I was climbing. Then, one P-40 rushed to me again. I did 'quick roll' two times and the P-40 could not help passing me by. But I lost speed again. Then, Akamatsu came suddenly and shot down the P-40."
3 Ku was dispatched to Kendari, Balikpapan, Makassar and Ambon. In late Feb. 1942, 3 Ku moved to Kupan, Timor.
On Mar. 3, 1942, Lt. MIYANO, Zenjiro led totally ten Zeros and attacked North Western part of Australia. They destroyed 24 flying boats on the water and claimed 4 kills in the air.
Since Dec. 8, 1941 to Mar. 3, 1942, 3 Ku claimed approx. 150 kills and destroyed 170 planes on the ground or the water. They lost 11 aviators.
"Since we attacked Surabaya, Their planes increased. Actually, we were stronger than them, but I did not underestimate them. They did well, too."
In the middle of Mar. 1942, Hiko-taicho Lt. Yokoyama and all the Buntaichos except Lt. Kurosawa left 3 Ku. So Lt. Kurosawa had to lead five Buntais of 3 Ku for a while.
Kurosawa was suffering from amoebic dysentery again but led the planes several times to attack Port Darwin.
In Oct. 1942, Kurosawa left 3 Ku because of illness, but the doctor said he did not have to stay at the hospital. He was assigned as the Hiko-taicho and Buntaicho of Ohmura Kokutai (Nagasaki, Kyushu). In Dec. 1943, he was assigned as the Hiko-taicho and Buntaicho of Sasebo Kokutai. Anyway, he had to visit Ohmura Naval Hospital sometimes.
In Sept. 1943, he finally recovered from illness and assigned as the Hiko-taicho of 381 Kokutai. The planes were J2M Raidens. Their duty was defense of Balikpapan.
202 Ku (former 3 Ku) was transferred to the Central Pacific, so 23rd Air Flotilla of South West Area Fleet ordered 381 Ku to come to Balikpapan immediately. J2M Raiden still had many problems. 381 Ku gave up Raiden and prepared only A6Ms.
(In Sept. 1944, they prepared six J2Ms.)
Kurosawa sent some A6Ms to Balikpapan (led by Lt. KANZAKI, Kunio). On Feb. 5, 1944, he sent five A6M5s to Balikpapan. On Feb. 26, 1944, other A6Ms led by Kurosawa left Toyohashi Naval Air Base and arrived at Balikpapan on Mar. 7, 1944.
On Apr. 1, 1944, 381 Ku consisted S602 Hikotai (A6M X 48 led by Lt. KUROSAWA, Takeo), S902 Hikotai (J1N1-S Gekko X 24 led by Lt. MATSUMURA, Hideo) and S311 
Hikotai (A6M X 48 led by Lt. KANZAKI, Kunio).
"We were very lucky because we had plenty of oil in Balikpapan. I could train my aviators very hard."
In May. 1944, Kurosawa was promoted to Lt. Cdr..
On Sept. 30, 1944, approx. seventy B-24s flew to Balikpapan. Kurosawa commanded the planes from the ground.
"Gekkos of Menado sent us the reports about B-24s coming several times. Some Zeros were equipped with 'No. 3 bombs' and I made them wait in the sky one hour before the B-24s arrives. Then, I made Zeros and Raidens fly next. We estimated that we shot down at least five planes and damaged many of them."
On the day, about thirty A6Ms and nine J2Ms of 381 Ku and about thirty A6Ms of 331 Ku flew and they lost one J2M.
US planes came to Balikpapan totally five times. USAAF lost nineteen B-24 and six fighters. IJN lost eighteen planes.
22nd Special Base Force and 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet thanked IJN fighters.
"On Oct. 17, 1944, South West Area Fleet decided to form the 'S Fighter Squadron'. This 'S' Squadron consisted of the fighters from 381 Ku and 331 ku of 28th Air Flotilla. Commanding officer was Capt. Shimoda (commander of 331 Ku) and flight commander was me."
"In the evening of Oct. 18, 1944, we received the message of the start of 'Operation Sho No.1'. My 'S' Squadron was ordered to move to the Philippines."
"Our maintenance crew checked the planes all night long and I led sixteen planes and arrived at Manila in the evening of Oct. 19, 1944."
"After we landed on Clark, I sent message to South West Area Fleet HQ about our arrival. Then, I got telephone call from 1st Air Fleet HQ. They told me to visit the HQ in Mabalacat."
"I heard that VAdm. ONISHI, Takijiro (C-in-C of 1st Air Fleet) saw our planes flying from the ground and he wanted me to come to Mabalacat."
"Since I was attached to South West Area Fleet, I refused the order from 1st Air Fleet. Then, one of the staff officers of 1st Air Fleet - he might have been Cdr. Yoshioka - came to pick me up."
"I finally obeyed the staff officer and went to Mabalacat. Then, VAdm. Onishi told me about the 'Tokko' operation. he told me that IJN would send the main force to Leyte Gulf to destroy US landing troops. But we did not have enough planes to escort the fleet. So he said that he decided to form a 'Special Attack Air Unit' to prevent US carriers to operate at least one week. He said to me, 'The sixteen planes of yours are very precious here in the Philippines now. You will be attached to my unit within a day. All of you have to move to Mabalacat before the enemy planes come in the morning.'"
"Special Attack Force was formed in 201 Ku but they had no planes. So they had to use my planes. I gave them all of my planes."
Lt. Cdr. Kurosawa and his pilots gave all the planes they had to 201 Ku. They were aboard two G4Ms and took off Nichols before the morning of Oct. 22, 1944 came. They arrived in Japan on Oct. 23, 1944.
Until Oct. 29, 1944, they received new A6Ms at Nakajima Aircraft Co. Ltd., Ohta, Gunma.
Kurosawa left Japan on Nov. 1, 1944 and arrived at Clark on next day. But all of their planes were taken away again by 2nd Air Fleet. He got angry and went to South West Area Fleet. He said, "We're not the transporters!"
He and his aviators had to go back to Japan again to receive new planes. On Nov. 15, 1944, Kurosawa and his pilots were aboard G4Ms and arrived at Suzuka Naval Air Base near Nagoya Plant of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co. Ltd..
(To be continued...)
"The Zero Mayor" KUROSAWA, Takeo Pt.2 *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <'The Zero Mayor' KUROSAWA, Takeo Pt.2 *PIC*>
Date: Sunday, 19 August 2001, at 1:59 p.m.
In Response To: "The Zero Mayor" KUROSAWA, Takeo *PIC* (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Mayor KUROSAWA, Takeo (pt.2)
He and his aviators arrived at Mitsubishi to receive new Zeros, but...
"Productivity was going down in those days. We could not receive new planes soon. When we received the fourth A6M5c (Model 52 Hei), We decided to go back to the Philippines."
"We landed on Clark to refuel on our way back. But that was my mistake. Our planes were taken away by 1st and 2nd Air Fleets again!"
"I could not disobey them because I knew how the battle in the Philippines was hard at that time. I gave them three planes. I and another pilot got on the Zero and flew back to Balikpapan. I put him in the rear part of the plane. I asked them to send two other pilots to Japan."
"When we arrived at Balikpapan, the entertainment show was being held there. I saw the singer FUJIYAMA, Ichiro at the show. I was so surprised. Balikpapan was not the main battle field at that time and the Japanese were such carefree. I wanted to shout, 'Hey, are you all right???' Because I met Lt. SEKI, Yukio in the Philippines and I knew very well how the war was hard."
He was told that he had been already assigned as the Hikocho of 381 Ku. "I had been taking care of the aviators of two Hikotais (squadrons). I had to think about our fuel, bullets and our meals. When I went to Manila at the second time, I strongly asked South West Area Fleet to send us a Hikocho (senior aviator/coordinator). After several days passed, I was assigned as the Hikocho and Lt. HAYASHI, Keijiro was assigned as the Hiko-taicho (squadron leader) of S602 Hikotai (squadron)."
Lt. Cdr. Kurosawa had to lead all the fighter planes of so-called "South West Area". He moved to Singapore. In early May, 1945, all the fighter squadrons under his command were ordered to move to Kyushu, Japan. Kurosawa and his fighter pilots moved to Kyushu in early June, 1945. Kurosawa was assigned as the staff officer of newly formed 72nd Air Flotilla (72Sf) of 5th Air Fleet (5AF). 72Sf had all the fighter Kokutais of West Japan. They were 343 Ku (N1K2-J Shiden-kai), 352 Ku (J1N1-S Gekko), 203 Ku (A6M Zero) and 332 Ku (J2M Raiden). But in those days, the Battle of Okinawa was at its "final chapter". Most of the cities were burned by B-29s. The planes from US Task Force were taking advantage over Japan. Only 343 Ku of Shiden-kai was the "exception", but the "conclusion" would not be changed.
On Aug. 15, 1945, the war was over.
VAdm. UGAKI, Matome (C-in-C of 5AF) led eleven D4Y Suiseis as the final "special attack" sortie AFTER the war. (Buntaicho of the D4Y squadron from 701 Ku was Lt. NAKATSURU, Tatsuo.) "I did not go to Oita Air Base to see them off because I was not directly attached to 5th Air Fleet." 
"I think VAdm. Ugaki knew the responsibility for the surrender, but I just could not agree with him. He should not have taken those aviators with him together. VAdm. ONISHI, Takijiro (Vice Chief of Naval General Staff) killed himself. If Adm. Ugaki had strong sense of responsibility, he should have killed himself like Adm. Onishi did."
"We had already caught some information about the surrender since Aug. 10, 1945. On Aug. 15, I remembered the sacrifices of the war and had vacant feeling..."
On Oct. 8, 1945, Kurosawa was transferred to Maebashi Naval Human Resource Office in Maebashi, Gunma. He helped the sailors to evacuate and go back to their houses in Gunma Prefecture, where Kurosawa was born.
On Nov. 30, 1945, IJA and IJN were officially disbanded. The Ministry of the Navy changed its name into "2nd Evacuation Ministry". ("1st" was Army.)
Kurosawa continued to work at the 2nd Evacuation Ministry.
In Sept. 1946, Kurosawa left the Ministry and went back to his home town Ueno Village of Gunma Prefecture. "I did not know why but I was called the 'War Criminal' by the village people. I just could not understand them." "I had never imagined that I would be the Mayor of the village in the future." After the fourteen years of service at IJN, he could not make up his mind to go back to his home town soon. His home town was too narrow and "old fashioned" for an ex-Navy officer.
He left his wife and children at Maebashi City and went back to Ueno Village. He started to cultivate the fields of rice, barley and sweet potatoes. He started to grow "Shiitake" Mushroom after that. Shiitake became his main farm product. But the village people were too conventional for him to get along with. He had seen the "Outside" too much during his Navy days.
"In those days, everybody was talking about the democracy. But the people in Ueno village were too stubborn and conventional to accept the concept easily."
"When I saw the politicians of the village, I was always inpatient at them. Some one had to fight for the people's welfare and the innovation of the village, I thought."
In 1955, he stood as a candidate for the assembly of Gunma Prefecture, but he failed. But after that, many people came to know him. Many village people started to rely on him.
After the several years passed, the "Dirty" Mayor was recalled and Kurosawa was nominated as the new Mayor in 1965.
In 1965, the financial affairs of Ueno Village were getting worse and the crimes committed by the village people were increasing. Many young people were leaving the village and going to the bigger cities. Mayor Kurosawa economized the finance of the village and it made the people angry at him But the financial situation of the village became "healthy".
And he believed that money was not the only thing which made people happy. Many village people thought that money was equal to the happiness. Kurosawa started to emphasize morality. Then, the crimes committed by the youngsters of Ueno Village decreased remarkably within several years. Mayor Kurosawa also thought that the village needed some own "well-known" products. The wild boars, "Miso Soup" and wood-working became the well-known products of the village. He is trying very hard to introduce the Nature and culture of the village now.
In June 1985, a Buddhist monk told Kurosawa's wife that he would experience the "Huge Incident" in the year.
On Aug. 12, he went home from Tokyo. He was putting off his clothes and watching the TV news. The TV news said that the big incident happened.
According to the TV news, Boeing B747 of Japan Air Line "fell down" and 524 passengers were aboard. Kurosawa noticed that the accident happened near his village.
Around 10 P.M., he got telephone call from Nagano Prefecture Police. They said that the plane was not found in Nagano Prefecture. The plane might had fell down in Gunma Prefecture. Nagano Police said to Kurosawa that they were going to send 1,500 riot police men to Gunma and asked Kurosawa's help. Kurosawa got his job to do at that moment.
"The Eldest Mayor" in Japan *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro <'The Eldest Mayor' in Japan *PIC*>
Date: Thursday, 23 August 2001, at 11:22 a.m.
In Response To: "The Zero Mayor" KUROSAWA, Takeo Pt.2 *PIC* (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Mayor KUROSAWA, Takeo (Pt.3)
On the night, he gave some orders to his subordinates and decided to go to the Village Office early next morning. He thought he should sleep for a couple of hours and went to bed. But he recalled some tragedic accidents he saw in the Navy and could not fall asleep.
At dawn of Aug. 13, 1985, he woke up in the noises of cars and helicopters. Around 4 A.M., his daughter drove her car and took him to the Village Office.
The riot police men had already arrived in the village, but they still could not find the exact place where the "Jumbo Jet" crashed.
Then, a helicopter sent the view of the horrible crash site through TV. Now, Kurosawa found out where the plane actually fell down.
"After people knew that the crash site was just in our village, the rescue rangers such as the riot police men and JGSDF men would gather. The press people would also come to the village. The population would be double for a while."
"The Village Office started to prepare the lunch for those people, but I did not think it was enough. I asked the ladies to make a lot of rice balls. But that was not enough. I ordered the additional meals to Takasaki Delicatessen. And now, I needed many people to bring these meals to the crash site."
"The telephone lines became very 'busy' because the press people used the telephones continuously. We were running short of the 'lines'. At last, we used the 'broadcasting satellite' for the telephone calls. Anyway, we were in utter confusion." "Then, we got the great news that one survivor was found." "The evening of Ueno Village came under such situation..."
"In the evening, the starving firemen came back. According to them, there were so many parts of the dead bodies of the passengers and it was beyond description. I could never imagine at that time that we would find totally four survivors."
"Furthermore, there were NO roads in the deep mountain. They had to carry the dead bodies for four or five kilometers to the place where the helicopters could land on. We decided to build the temporary roads in the mountain."
"In the morning of Aug. 14, I saw the answer. The rescue people who slept in the mountain cut some trees and build a simple bridge for the helicopters."
"The riot police men, JGSDF men and the firemen struggled to collect the parts of the dead bodies under the hot sun."
"In late August, we estimated that we had collected most of the bodies, but we kept on searching until September."
Japan Air Lines and the families of the passengers still remember how Kurosawa made effort to collect the dead bodies.
"When I think about the last thirty minutes of the B747, I feel very sorry for those passengers. It is too miserable to give the people such long time.
Please remember our Special Attack Force members. Waiting for long hours was just torture for them. It makes me very sad."
"When I heard about the accident, I thought that I was given a chance to be a humble helper by the Heaven. I thanked the Heaven and I have never been 'patronizing'. Then, the families of the passengers gradually opened their hearts to this village. The assembly men of the village also told me not to ask any money to JAL and that would be shame. I completely agreed with them and am very proud of the assembly men."
After Kurosawa almost solved the accident, he was invited to the Annual Garden Party of the Imperial Palace on Oct. 30, 1985.
"His Majesty asked me how was the crash site after that. I almost cried. I think I answered something."
"The Emperor dedicated his life to save the future of this country. I was a Navy man during the war but I never though that he was the God. I thought that the Emperor was just the symbol of the people or the country. I thought we had to fight to save the country (the Emperor) which we relied on."
"If you met a person who is really fair and disinterested, you will soon notice his character. You will be feel small and respect the person. The Emperor was such a person."
"And the commanding officers and politicians also have to be fair and disinterested. Well, we cannot be such fair and disinterested always, but we have to dedicate our lives to the people. Vice Adm. Onishi was such a man. He started such miserable operations, but his subordinates never betrayed him. On the other hand, a certain C-in-C of Combined Fleet led the whole fleet and called on the port of his home town before the war. He just wanted to show the Combined Fleet to his family. We young officers never trusted him after that. We looked down on him."
"Remember the mayors and politicians of nowadays. They often get DIRTY money and often break the rules. I am really angry at them."
"I think that the mayors and the politicians must be disinterested, energetic and must have the ability to lead the people. They are my policies."
He was nominated for the Mayor of Ueno Village nine times. He has been the Mayor since 1965. He was also the Chairman of the Mayors Conference for four years since August 1995.
The people in Ueno Village do not seem to let him retire for a while...
Source: "Rei-sen Saigo no Shogen" by KOHDACHI, Naoki (Kojinsha)
Re: ITO Motoe
Posted By: Jean-francois Masson < ITO Motoe>
Date: Saturday, 3 August 2002, at 6:57 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Kumano Hikocho (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Hello Katsuhiro,
ITO Motoe was born on January 8, 1911. He graduated with distinction (3rd) with the 59th Etajima class on November 28, 1931 (out of 123 graduates). He specialized in aviation graduating from the 25th Aviation class (Nov 7, 1933 - July 2, 1934) as a scout seaplane pilot. As of Jan 1, 1937, he was division officer, Kure Air Group. As of Jan 1, 1940, he was division officer, CHIYODA. At the beginning of the Pacific war, he was air officer and division officer, KUMANO. On June 25, 1942, he was posted to the Yokosuka Air Group as Air Group leader and Instructor. On April 1, 1944, he received an additional duty as instructor, antisubmarine school. On July 10, 1944, he was attached to headquarters, 1st Mobile Fleet and on Aug 5, 1944, he was staff, 1st Mobile Fleet and 3rd Fleet [I do not have his specific duties on the staff but according to his seniority He could have been assistant Air Officer (Just a guess)]. When the 1st Mobile fleet was disbanded on Nov 15, 1944, He was attached to the Yokosuka Naval District. On Nov 22, 1944, he was attached to headquarters, 2nd Fleet and on the 25th, He was staff, 2nd Fleet. On January 1, 1945, He was instructor and attached to Yokosuka Air Group and on Feb 15, 1945, He was posted as member, 2nd Air Technical Arsenal. On may 1st, 1945, He was promoted commander and He was demobilized at the end of 1945. I have no information on his post-war life but I do know He was still alive in 1978.
Best regards,
Re: Kumano Hikocho
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro < Kumano Hikocho>
Date: Friday, 2 August 2002, at 7:56 a.m.
In Response To: Kumano Hikocho (Andrew Obluski)
Hello Andrew-san,
According to the caption (although it does not explain enough), Ito left YAMATO in Feb. 1945 and transferred to Yokohama. (I guess CarDiv1 of 2nd Fleet was diactivated in Feb. 1945 and he was not needed any more. If KATSURAGI and other 'empty" carriers had sailed with YAMATO as they were supposed to do, Ito would have been aboard on YAMATO.) He stayed in Yokohama until the end of the war. (I do not know about his job in Yokohama.)
He was attached to Yoko Ku after Midway and was aboard on ZUIKAKU at Cape Engano as Ozawa's staff officer.
I hope Mr. Jean-Francois MASSON will give us more information in his spare time...
Kano's victory markings
Posted By: Jm Devinant <'s victory markings>
Date: Sunday, 1 September 2002, at 9:28 a.m.
Intrested, as modeller, in N.Kano's Shiden-kaď (343rd kokutai), I wonder about the five victory markings quoted in K.Nagao's book "Eagles of the rising sun", never seen on any consulted photographies. Thanks to all for your help. JM Devinant
Re: Kano's victory markings
Posted By: Henry Sakaida
Date: Monday, 2 September 2002, at 5:54 p.m.
In Response To: Kano's victory markings (Jm Devinant)
Kazuhiko Osuo, the historian in Japan, informed me that many years ago, he saw a private foto album which had several photographs of Shiden-Kai of 343 KU, with various victory markings! The old veteran died and the widow said that some people came over to borrow some photographs and never returned them.
The white training numbers in the Hinomaru were erased before they got into combat, but for some unexplained reason, Kanno retained his until some time after April 1945. His plane was photographed with the 15 in the meatball, but there are no victory markings seen.
We have made a profile showing Kanno's plane with the victory markings, but with the 15 erased from the meatball. Don't put any faith in the victory markings! One of their veterans told us that Kanno had them painted for morale purposes...get the idea??
Re: Kano's victory markings
Posted By: Joern Leckscheid < Kano's victory markings>
Date: Wednesday, 4 September 2002, at 8:49 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Kano's victory markings (Henry Sakaida)
about two years ago Katsushi OWAKI posted two photos of former 343 Ku. member Masao ONO.
One of these pictured him standing in front of his Shiden-Kai, showing both a victory marking besides the Hinomaru and part of the white numeral still painted on the Hinomaru. It´s the only photo of a victory marking I´ve ever seen on a Shiden-kai of that unit, but it surely indicates that Osuo-san was right!
Hope this helps and best regards,
Re: Kano's victory markings
Posted By: Henry Sakaida
Date: Friday, 6 September 2002, at 4:24 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Kano's victory markings (Joern Leckscheid)
Perfect timing! I received a response from my coauthor in Japan. I had written to him about that photo of Masao Ono. He explained that Ono posed by that plane,but it was NOT his victory marking! Ono had no further details as to who could have flown it.
Tomokazu Kasai, Shoichi Sugita's wingman, was contacted last week by my coauthor, on my behalf.Kasai remembered that Kanno's 343-A-15 had victory markings, but no others.
Kanno also flew 343-A-11 and this plane had alot of victory was also a spare flown by Kanno. Sugita flew it once or twice. Shoichi Sugit flew it at least once.
One 343 KU veteran told us not to put any credence in victory markings, saying that Kanno ordered his mechanics to paint them for morale purposes.He'd come back from a mission and would tell his mechanic, "Paint 2 markings!" or "Paint 3 markings!" He was the squadron leader and no one even questioned it because the rank and file pilots took no interest in them.Except for the squadron leaders, the others simply took whatever plane was available.
Also, I suspect that no enlisted pilot would ever have a mechanic paint a victory marking on a plane without approval from the boss.They just didn't have that kind of authority to paint victory markings on the Emperor's property since there was no policy on victory markings.
My friend, Mr. Takeo Tanimizu, was a CPO in June 1945. His Zero 03-09 is very famous. He painted victory markings on them for morale purposes.Many men in his 203 KU were inexperienced. In this case, he took it upon himself to paint the markings. I don't know if he asked his commander. At that late stage in the war, no one really cared.
So, as far as victory markings are concerned, especially in 1945, they were not for the pilot's individudal ego or vanity, but a means to instill confidence and morale amongst the younger inexperienced pilots. Even in the 343 KU, there were quite a few inexperience pilots.I place absolutely no credence in them.
Re: Kano's victory markings
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro
Date: Saturday, 7 September 2002, at 2:46 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Kano's victory markings (Henry Sakaida)
Hello Mr. Sakaida,
I often hear the same kind of stories you mentioned.
1. Morale purpose
Mr. Sakae Matsunaga (D4Y3 pilot) said in his book, "We painted 'Z' flag on our tail fins, but our boss told us to extinguish them immediately. He said that painting indivisual marks was against the regulation. We obeyed him but we were uncomfortable."
2. Spare plane
When I asked Mr. Saburo Abe (A6M pilot) about the tail marking of his plane when he flew on Aug. 15, 1945. But he said, "I don't remember because I didn't fly my own plane on the day. My own plane became malfunction and I told my subordinate, 'Hey, get out of your plane!' Thus, I flew the different plane on the day."
I saw one photo of him taken with his original plane's tail code, but he does not remember the tail code of the plane on his final combat.
Best regards,
Iwamoto's 3-104
Posted By: John Tooley <>
Date: Wednesday, 18 September 2002, at 12:09 a.m.
Ok. I've seen it as an A6M2, an A6M3 mod. 22, and an A6M5. Which one is it? John
Posted By: Ryan Toews <>
Date: Thursday, 19 September 2002, at 8:38 p.m.
Hello Mario,
Your inquiry set me looking through what info I have on the planes flown by Iwamoto. Sam Tagaya wrote a short insert on Iwamoto included in one of the four published issues of Japan Information Clearinghouse. Citing Iwamoto's autobiography, Tagaya says that during his tenure in Rabaul Iwamoto flew a number of different Zeros. The first one for which any information as to its markings is known was assigned to Iwamoto on 11 December '43.In his autobiography he gave the tail code as 253-102, but did not state what model of Zero it was. In late January '44 Iwamoto switched to a new plane with the given tail code of 253-104. Again, however, he did not write anything that stated what model of Zero this was. Furthermore, although Iwamoto used the tail code prefix of 253-, it is possible that this was merely a reference to the unit he was serving with at the time (the 253 Kokutai).
Because of this possibility several other sources have instead used the prefix 3- on Iwamoto's Rabaul Zeros. I cannot find anything that would either confirm or refute this supposition, but at least two photos of Zeros at Rabaul display the tail code prefix of 53-. My own feeling therefore is that 53- may be the more likely tail code prefix. But, just to add to the confusion, it has also been suggested that the tail code actually may have been 7-104.
There are also conflicting sources on what model of Zero Iwamoto was flying at the time. As already mentioned, he did not give this information in his autobiography. Thus different drawings have shown the aforementioned tail codes on an A6M2, A6M3 22 and A6M5. All could be correct. However, if either of the planes were an A6M5 it is highly unlikely that it would have been manufactured by Nakajima (and subsequently painted with the camouflage demarcation line sloping upwards to the horizontal stabilizer). Iwamoto began to fly "253-104" in late January of 1944, by the end of this month Nakajima had built only 10 A6M5s. If it were an A6M5 that Iwamoto was using it would almost certainly have been a Mitsubishi version with a straight-line camouflage demarcation. The underside would then have been painted a grey-green color.
I'm sorry for muddying the waters for you by this posting. Hopefully someone else will be able to contribute some additional info that will serve to clarify things.
Posted By: Ryan Toews <>
Date: Sunday, 22 September 2002, at 3:50 p.m.
Hello John,
Just when one problem is laid to rest another one pops up. The A6M5a only went into production in late Feb '44, so it is not possible that this version ever showed up in Rabaul. The difference is not that big, but it does involve some noticeable panel line changes dealing with the installation of later model wing cannons.
As far as being questioned about inaccuracy, I wouldn't worry about it. Details about Japanese planes are far less well known to most modelers. If you don't tell I'll keep quiet too :)
Posted By: Ryan Toews <>
Date: Monday, 23 September 2002, at 7:29 a.m.
Hello John,
The A6M5 was the first produced. It had the same wing cannon arrangement as found on the A6M3 22a. The A6M5a switched to a newer model wing gun that utilized a belt feed instead of a drum. This meant some changes in the ammunition bays and the shell ejection chutes.
Re: T. Iwamoto's Type 52
Posted By: Grant Goodale <>
Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2002, at 7:06 p.m.
Mario -
With the colour demarcation line going over the elevators, that would be a Nakajima built aircraft.
As far as the lower surface, I would suggest that a gray green would be more appropriate - such as Tamiya IJN Gray XF-12.
Sorry that I can't provide more information about the tail code.
- Grant
Lt. Cdr. MATSUMURA, Hirata *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro < Cdr. MATSUMURA, Hirata *PIC*>
Date: Sunday, 4 August 2002, at 12:43 p.m.
Lt. Cdr. MATSUMURA, Hirata
'13/6/9 Born in Saga Pref., Kyushu
'36/3 Graduated from Naval Academy (63rd class)
'36/11 Assigned to HARUNA
'37/4 Promoted to Ens.
'37/9 Assigned to YUBARI
'37/12 Assigned to Kasumigaura Kokutai as a student (30th class)
'38/7 Assigned to Tateyama Kokutai as a Kanko pilot
'38/11 Promoted to Lt. (jg)
'38/12 Assigned to Oita Kokutai
'39/11 Assigned to HIRYU
'40/11 Buntaicho of HIRYU and promoted to Lt.
'42/1 Buntaicho and instructor of Kasumigaura Kokutai
'43/4 Hiko-taicho, Buntaicho and instructor of Kasumigaura Kokutai
'43/11 Hiko-taicho of ZUIKAKU
'44/2 Attached to CarDiv3 HQ (later assigned as the Hiko-taicho of 653rd Kokutai)
'44/4 Hikocho and instructor of 2nd Koriyama Kokutai (soon sent back to his house because of infiltration of the lungs)
'44/4 Attached to Sasebo Naval District (stayed at his house to recuperate for his health until the end of the war)
'44/5 Promoted to Lt. Cdr.
Re: Matsumura's plane and crew
Posted By: David Aiken < Matsumura's plane and crew>
Date: Sunday, 4 August 2002, at 1:46 p.m.
In Response To: Illustration (Matsumura's plane) *PIC* (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Aloha K. Uchida Sama,
Hope this helps!
Hirata Matsumura and I have kept a long correspondence and eyes on, in person, interviews. Knowing that Japanese names are extremely difficult to get "into" Romaji, and his own name has often been misspelled as "Hieta" Matsumura, I asked him to resolve the Hiryu Raigekiki Buntai. He wrote out all the names. His own crew is given as:
PO1c Takeo Shiro [observer] and PO1c Sadamu Murai [radioman]
We also solved that the yellow command stripes came into effect when Tomonaga came on board Hiryu to pilot Lt Toshio Hashimoto's plane. Prior they had been blue.
David Aiken
BII-320 @ Pearl Harbor
Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji *PIC*
Posted By: UCHIDA, Katsuhiro < Cdr. TADA, Atsuji *PIC*>
Date: Saturday, 27 July 2002, at 1:20 p.m.
Lt. Cdr. TADA,
Re: Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji
Posted By: Jean-Francois Masson < Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji>
Date: Monday, 29 July 2002, at 4:17 p.m.
In Response To: Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji *PIC* (UCHIDA, Katsuhiro)
Hello Katsuhiro,
As usual, an excellent set of pictures...Thank you, Uchida san. As usual, you started my curiosity and I looked for info on this officer. Here, it is what I found. (Source: (mainly) Geneki Kaigun shikan Meibo, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1944
He was born on April 30, 1911 in Tokyo. He graduated 40th out of the 60th Etajima class (127 graduates). He specialized in aviation, graduating with the 26th Aviation student course on July 31, 1935 as a seaplane pilot. As of Jan 1, 1937, he was a seaplane pilot attached to the cruiser ASHIGARA. As of Jan 1, 1940, he was air officer and division officer of the heavy cruiser FURUTAKA. At the beginning of the Pacific war, he was a lieutenant (since June 1, 1938), instructor and Division officer of the Yokosuka Naval Air Group. On October 7, 1942, he was posted as Air Officer, 11th Air Squadron [11th Seaplane Division].On November 1, 1942, he was promoted Lt-Cdr. On March 20, 1943, he was attached to the Kure Naval District and the following month, on the 15th he was posted as Air Group leader [Hikotaicho] of the Kure Naval Air Group. On Sept 21, 1943, he was again posted as instructor, Yokosuka Naval Air Group. On April 30, 1944, he was posted as assistant air officer, Combined Fleet. I was unable to read clearly when this assignment ended but it looks like December 15, 1944. On Dec 18, 1944, he was posted as Air officer, Naval Air Group 801, then after being attached for a short time to the Yokosuka Naval Air Group (From June 27, 1945 to July 1, 1945) , he was posted as Air Officer, Air Group 724. On Sept 5, 1945, he was promoted Commander and on November 1945, he was demobilized. TADA Atsuji was still alive in 1978, his phone number at that time was 075(371)6171.
Keep up the good work, Katsuhiro!
Could his first name (Atsuji) could be also translated as Tokuji?
Best regards,
Re: Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji
Posted By: Andrew Obluski < Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji>
Date: Tuesday, 30 July 2002, at 11:53 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji (Jean-Francois Masson)
Thanks Jean-Francois for interesting biographical supplement to Katsuhiro pictures.
It appears that Lt [jg] Atsuji Tada was aboard ASHIGARA when that cruiser visited England and Germany in May 1937. But he was not the cruiser's Hikocho at that time. Did ASHIGARA had more senior officer in charge of air operations in the spring of 1937?
Best regards
Re: ASHIGARA's hikotaicho in 1937
Posted By: Jean-Francois Masson < ASHIGARA's hikotaicho in 1937>
Date: Tuesday, 30 July 2002, at 12:56 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt. Cdr. TADA, Atsuji (Andrew Obluski)
Hello Andrew
How are you ?
Sublt TADA Atsuji was posted to the ASHIGARA as of January 1, 1937 but he could have been posted to another assignment before ASHIGARA left for Europe. I have no information about the end of his assignment. Usually,at that time, the assignments of IJN officers were done in November/december of each year and were good for a full year(at least for 75% of the IJN officers).
On January 1st, 1937, lieutenant KOIKE Ryusuke was Air officer and Division officer, ASHIGARA. He graduated from the 52nd Etajima class and from the 19th Aviation class (Dec 15, 1928-Nov 26, 1929). He must have been to Europe because he was killed in action on November 8, 1937 as Hikotaicho, ASHIGARA (Probably over China after the return of ASHIGARA from Europe).
(Source: Geneki Kaigun Shikan Meibo, January 1, 1937 and Kaigun Kuchu Kimmusha Shikan Meibo)
Best regards,
Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku
Posted By: GeertJan Verheij < HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku>
Date: Sunday, 23 June 2002, at 2:04 p.m.
Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo was a H6K4 Mavis pilot of Toko Ku around December 17 1941. Can anyone tell me more about him?
About Toko Kokutai
Posted By: Visje < Toko Kokutai>
Date: Saturday, 29 June 2002, at 1:11 p.m.
In Response To: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (GeertJan Verheij)
Does anyone have information regarding Toko Kokutai losses at Davao on December 23 1941? Dutch Dorniers attacked shipping, quays and moored aircraft at Davao and their successes are obscured. Thanks in advance :)
Royal Netherlands Navy Warships of World War II
Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku
Posted By: Mike Wenger < Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku>
Date: Tuesday, 25 June 2002, at 9:02 p.m.
In Response To: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (GeertJan Verheij)
Toko-ku is a very interesting group, and heavily involved in the NEI theatre.
Lieut. Hitsuji was very active during the period of Nagumo's Indian Ocean raids. A portion of the Toko-ku was sent up to Port Blair to patrol the Bay of Bengal in front of Nagumo and Ozawa. Hitsuji's flight schedules during 24 March-11 April included 7 flights, some of as much as 12 hours in duration. Apparently (and I will have to get out my dictionaries to probe a bit further), he was involved in shuttling aircraft/crews (or both) between Kupang, Batavia, Penang and the Andaman Islands.
The Toko records are not very clear regarding what exactly was going on, but in addition to those pilots flying patrols from Port Blair, there were a number doing the shuttle work. Toko's history during this period would very interesting to chronicle, but it will take someone who has more time than myself.
I ran across Hitsuji's name by accident, as I was really only interested in the Port Blair flights related directly to the Indian Ocean raids.
Mike Wenger
Raleigh, North Carolina
Re: Hikotaicho, Toko Ku
Posted By: Jean-Francois Masson < Hikotaicho, Toko Ku>
Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2002, at 12:54 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (Mike Wenger)
Hi Mr Wenger,
By any chance, do you know the circumstances of the death of Cdr OKANE Shigeru (57th Etajima class, 23rd Aviation class) who was Air Group Leader (Hikotaicho) of the Toko Naval Air Group. According to the Japanese primary source I am working with, he was "killed in action, Andaman Islands area" on June 1, 1942.
Any help would be appreciated,
Thanks in advance,
Re: Hikotaicho, Toko Ku
Posted By: Mike Wenger < Hikotaicho, Toko Ku>
Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2002, at 1:46 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Hikotaicho, Toko Ku (Jean-Francois Masson)
Unfortunately, no. As I indicated in my post I only pulled Toko-ku data for the period of late March/early April. However, with this specific date I will see if I can find the record concerning the flight where he lost his life.
Keep on me about this. I have a lot of projects going, history-wise, and am apt to forget.
Incidentally, the Hikotai-cho for Toko-ku in the March/April time frame was Cdr. ITOH Sukemasu (I think). At least he is the only individual with that rank during the time frame for which I have records.
Mike Wenger
Re: Hikotaicho, Toko Ku
Posted By: Jean-Francois Masson < Hikotaicho, Toko Ku>
Date: Wednesday, 26 June 2002, at 3:27 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Hikotaicho, Toko Ku (Mike Wenger)
Hi Mike,
According to the Japanese Navy register (dec 1941):
The following officers were attached to the Toko NAG:
Captain MIURA Kanzo (47th Etajima class) was the CO (since sept 25, 1941)
Commander AIZAWA Tatsuo (51st Etajima class) was the Air officer (hikocho) (as well as the XO) (since ?)
Lt-Cdr OKANE Shigeru (57th Etajima class) was the senior air group officer (hikotaicho) (since ?)
Lt-Cdr YONEHARA Tsunaaki (58th Etajima class) was the Junior Air Group officer.
Captain MIURA remained in command until Dec 22, 1942 when he was relieved by Captain WADA Saburo (46th)
Coommander AIZAWA was KIA at Davao (Philippines Islands) on January 6, 1942. To replace him, commander ITO Sukemichi (51st) was posted as air officer by the Japanese Navy Ministry on Jan 31, 1942. He kept this assignment until March 15, 1943 when he was relieved by Lt-Cdr IKEGANI Chikara.
Lt-Cdr OKANE was KIA (Andaman islands) on June 1, 1942. Lt WADA Shigemi became hikotaicho in June 1942 (KIA on Nov 14, 1942).
Lt-Cdr YONEHARA Tsunaaki (58th Etajima class) was detached from the Toko NAG on March 15, 1942.
Best Regards,
Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku
Posted By: Steve Horn < Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku>
Date: Monday, 24 June 2002, at 8:51 a.m.
In Response To: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (GeertJan Verheij)
Hello GeertJan,
Lt. Hitsuji Tsuneo was a highly qualified flying boat pilot who was born Sept. 29, 1914 in Ogata, Japan (near Kasumiqaura Naval Air Station.) He was enrolled at Eta Jima in April 1933, graduated March 1936. He was assigned to the Kamsuigaura Air Group as a seaplane flight student from July 1938 to March 1939, then assigned from August 1939 to April 1940 for more seaplane training. He was then assigned to the seaplane carrier "Kamikawa Maru" from May 1940 to November 1940, flying Type 94 "Alf" seaplanes. He flew 66 combat missions in the Sino-Japanese war along the South China coast. He was promoted to Lieutenant in May 1941 and assigned to Sasebo Air Group as a pilot in H6K "Mavis" flying boats. He then served in the Toko Air Group on Taiwan from December 1941 to May 1942, operating as Flight Division Officer (his terminology) in the area of Palau, Phillipines, Java, Indian Ocean in "search and destroy" combat missions (102 missions logged!) In June 1942, he was made Chief, Flight Division as the Toko Air Group was renamed 851 Ku. The 851 Ku operated in the Solomon, Rabaul, Indian Ocean areas and he logged 166 more combat missions until April 1944. He was assigned to the Yokosuka Naval Air Test Center from April 1944 to November 1944 to check out in the Type 2 "Emily" flying boat, engaging in performance improvement flight tests. From November 1944, he flew combat missions in the "Emily" in the Okinawa campaign and led a special attack mission on Ulithi atoll, logging 50 more combat missions by the end of the war. In November 1945, he made the last official flight of the Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force to deliver the last flyable "Emily" to the US Navy for evaluation. He was a Rear Admiral in the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Force after the war. When he retired, he became a consultant to the Shin Meiwa Aircraft company, helping them develop the Shin Meiwa turbo-prop flying boat. I corresponded with Admiral Hituji for several years until his death in December 1945. He was an amazing man.
Hope this is of help to you.
Steve Horn
Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku
Posted By: Jean-François Masson < Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku>
Date: Monday, 24 June 2002, at 9:30 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (Steve Horn)
Thank you Steve for the biography of HITSUJI Tsuneo. I added it up to my files. I just want to add that he did not graduated from Etajima in March 1936 but on March 23, 1937 with the 64th class (he ranked 156th out of 160 graduates) and he was promoted lieutenant on October 15, 1941.
Best regards,
Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku
Posted By: Steve Horn < Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku>
Date: Monday, 24 June 2002, at 7:01 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Lt. HITSUJI Tsuneo / Toko Ku (Steve Horn)
Sorry, the date of RADM Hitsuji's death should be 1995, not 1945.
Steve Horn
ho-ichi Sugita
Posted By: Kris Carelli < Sugita>
Date: Monday, 12 August 2002, at 1:44 p.m.
I am hoping to determine if anyone may know more about the IJN pilot Sho-ichi Sugita.
I believe that he may have served in the 204th Kokutai (originally the 6th Kokutai?) in the Pacific during 1942.
Any ideas as to the Air Squadron (Chutai) he flew for?
Thank you for any help!
Re: Sho-ichi Sugita
Posted By: Henry Sakaida
Date: Friday, 16 August 2002, at 10:08 a.m.
In Response To: Sho-ichi Sugita (Kris Carelli)
Sugita was killed on 15 April 1945 by LCdr Robert "Doc" Weatherup of VF-46. Capt Genda ordered a scramble when enemy aircrafts were approaching Kanoya. However, they arrived sooner than expected, and he gave orders for the standby pilots to abord takeoff. However, Sugita and his wingman, Toyomi Miyazawa either ignored the abort order or didn't get it. Both jumped into their aircraft as Hellcats became strafing and rocket bombing the airfield. Sugita managed to take off, reached about 400 feet, and Weatherup circled and got on his tail. The George was hit and Sugita nosed over and exploded. Then Weatherup took care of Miyazawa.
Incidentally in 1983, I engineered a reunion between retired Cdr Bob Weatherup, Saburo Sakai, and Harold Newell (he down the bomber in which Hiryoshi Nishizawa was a passenger), at my parent's home in San Gabriel, Ca. It was well attended by the local news media. Sakai told Weatherup that he watched him shoot down his buddy. There was absolutely no animosity. I found Newell a couple of weeks before this reunion! Sakai was amazed! And Newell never realized that he had downed such a famous JNAF ace!
All three former pilots are now deceased. You can read about Sugita and his career with the 343 Kokutai in our upcoming book GENDA'S BLADE. Hopefully, it will be out this year. I'll be sure to let all of you know.
Re: Sho-ichi Sugita
Posted By: Allan < Sho-ichi Sugita>
Date: Tuesday, 13 August 2002, at 4:56 p.m.
In Response To:  (Kris Carelli)
March 1942 - 6th Kokutai and later with the 204fg. He was at Midway Battle but did not participate, in the fall of 1942 with 204fg at Buin. Was one of the 6 escorts covering Yamamoto, April 18 1943.
March 1944 - Posted to 263fg which participated in the Caroline/Marianas, transferred to 201fg in July. In January 1945, was active in the Philippines with the fighter Hikotai 301, 343fg. In March 1945, with same outfit, flew defense missions around Okinawa andf Homeland defense. He was shot down as he was taking off from Kanoya Airfield on April 15 1945.
Re: Sho-ichi Sugita
Posted By: Emmanuel < Sho-ichi Sugita>
Date: Wednesday, 14 August 2002, at 2:40 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Sho-ichi Sugita (Kris Carelli)
I don't know nothing about the T2-190 that PO1c Sugita flew but I have a written document (I don't remember where I copy it) about Admiral Yamamoto's voyage to Bouganville -April, 1943- Six A6M3 of 204 Ku escorted, two G4M Betty of 705 Ku, Sugita participated on that mission.
According to the document PO1c Sugita flew T2-165 during this escort mission.
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