Kanbaku War Notes
A Narrative by IIZUKA, Tokuji
Translated by Dr. KAWAMOTO, Minoru
Translator’s Foreword

Some nine years ago, a friend of mine sent me some pages torn out of a magazine. It contained a narrative by a former Imperial Japanese Navy dive bomber pilot covering his pilot training, attack on Pearl Harbor, defeat at Midway, guiding Kamikaze squads to their targets, being shot down over Leyte, and his final flight in a brand new dive bomber, the Ryusei, on the last days of the War. The article also contained a gold mine of information on the art of dive-bombing.

Strangely, it seemed to have gone unnoticed by airplane buffs and war historians, perhaps, because the article was tucked away in the last pages of a magazine for motorbike enthusiasts. I, too, had forgotten about the article until very recently when it turned up in my old files. Upon rereading the articles after eight years or so, I thought it was too good to be left unnoticed. So I took it upon myself to translate it into English with hopes of putting the article on the internet in order to reach a wide source of readers and to give just credit to the narrator of his war -time experiences, Mr. IIZUKA Tokuji.

These articles, subtitled “Kanbaku War Notes,” were carried in four issues of the monthly magazine, Bikers Station, August through November of 1997. They had some pictures of Pilot IIZUKA in flight uniform, the kanbaku team of the carrier, Akagi, IIZUKA’s plane in flight, as well as other illustrations. The publisher & editor of the Bikers Station magazine, Mr. SATO Yasuo, has given me his blessings on translating the articles into English for the internet audience for which I am very grateful.
I am thankful to Mr. James Lansdale for reviewing my English translation and for permitting these articles to be disseminated through his website at www.j-aircraft.com.
My thanks also are extended to Mr. MISHIGE Munehisa, automotive journalist and historian, for sending me these articles in the first place and for gathering pertinent facts which have enabled my translation of the fuzzy Japanese words and passages to become much more lucid.

To Mr. IIZUKA Tokuji, I wish to extend my deepest gratitude for enabling us to partake in his rich experience as a kanbaku pilot during WWII.

 November 12, 2006

[Foreword] [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4]