[Source: Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press, June 17, 2015 +++], “Masao Kanai died on a kamikaze mission near Okinawa in 1945. Kamikaze pilots participate in a ceremony before their final mission. More than 5,000 kamikaze pilots died in the gulf battle-taking down 34 ships. Admiral Onishi, the ‘father of the kamikaze’, after Japan’s surrender that marked the end for the war, committed suicide in the traditional way of the samurai (seppuku). Sen Genshitsu, the 15th grand master of a tea ceremony school known as Urasenke, which has roots dating back to the 16th century, was elected to be a kamikaze pilot while he was a university student. Kennedy stressed that kamikaze have little in common with suicide bombers today. I wanted to prove myself to him, and that’s why I volunteered to join the special attack unit. A total of 708 noncommissioned Army officers died as kamikaze pilots, while the total death toll of Army Air Force officer class kamikaze pilots was 621. "” +++, Kamikaze Pilots Who Escaped Death Because the War Ended, Chiran high school girls wave goodbye to kamikaze pilot, Not all kamikaze pilots died. Most were 22 or younger and many died in the closing weeks of the war. Some chickened out and tried divert their planes or return home. Kamikaze were Japanese suicide pilots who attacked Allied warships in the Pacific Ocean during the Second World War.The name means "divine wind" and refers to a typhoon that destroyed an enemy fleet in the 13 th century.After the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 they were defeated in many important battles in which they lost ships and airplanes. Dozens followed. *Special Attacks means Kamakazi, Effectiveness of Japanese Conventional and Special Attacks Against Allied Aircraft Carriers, And if you're interested: Such material is made available in an effort to advance understanding of country or topic discussed in the article. OKINAWA, KAMIKAZES, HIROSHIMA AND THE END OF WORLD WAR II factsanddetails.com; IWO JIMA AND THE DRIVE TOWARD JAPAN factsanddetails.com; BATTLE OF OKINAWA factsanddetails.com; SUFFERING BY CIVILIANS DURING THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA factsanddetails.com; KAMIKAZES AND HUMAN TORPEDOES factsanddetails.com; FIRE BOMBING ATTACKS ON JAPAN IN WORLD WAR II factsanddetails.com; DEVELOPMENT OF ATOMIC BOMBS USED ON JAPAN factsanddetails.com; DECISION TO USE TO ATOMIC BOMB ON JAPAN factsanddetails.com; ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI factsanddetails.com; SURVIVORS AND EYEWITNESS REPORTS FROM HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI factsanddetails.com; HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI AND SURVIVORS AFTER THE ATOMIC BOMBING factsanddetails.com; JAPAN SURRENDERS, THE USSR GRABS LAND AND JAPANESE SOLDIERS WHO DIDN'T GIVE UP factsanddetails.com; Over the course of the war, thousands of men would sacrifice their own lives trying to hurtle themselves at their enemies (Japan pegged the number at 4,000, while the U.S. estimated 2,800 kamikazepilots died). Most of the Kamikaze pilots were young, and 90 percent of the naval Kamikazes who died were between 18 and 24 years of age. "Mutsue, goodbye. I would in principle tend to believe the USAF, for I suppose that keeping a count of your own ships isn't that much difficult. If the choices for these types of questions differ between estimates then the estimates themselves will vary. But he and most of the others stayed for what felt like hours, unable to decide. Negishi wore the pendants just once. I received training earlier on to be a naval officer in the navy’s air unit in Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture, as a trainee of the navy’s 14th preparatory pilot training course. If it hadn't been for this rain, I'd be long gone by now." You’ll be handed a sheet of paper. I didn't wish it," he told The Associated Press at his apartment in a Tokyo suburb. The first kamikaze attack took place on October 21, 1944, against the flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Australia. He was one of the first two volunteers for Ohka. He learned later that the few who did were simply told to pick the right answer. All had been instructed to return to base if their planes developed a fault on the way to their targets. The term also denotes the aircraft used in such attacks. Kamikaze (‘divine wind’), any of the Japanese pilots who in World War II made deliberate suicidal crashes into enemy targets, usually ships. Nishimura and I were the only ones of our group that survived. More … In some cases they were executed as cowards and traitors. +++, “Over the decades, Hayashi was tormented by guilt for having sent dozens of young men to their deaths "with my pencil," as he put it, referring to how he had written the names for Ohka assignments each day. And the losses would It’s a peaceful evening. Some even died … ... Over 90% of the 3800 kamikaze who died (one of them a member of my family) flew standard aircraft, with standard landing gear. "I did not want to say I wished it. “I felt bad that I hadn’t been able to sacrifice myself for my country. +++, “The job of overseeing and training Ohka pilots, and ultimately sending them to certain death, fell to Fujio Hayashi, then 22. I was overcome with desperation so I stood up, turned to the direction of my home in Kyoto and cried out “Mom! (max 2 MiB). He plastered the pages with photos of him laughing with colleagues and other happy moments. The Kamikaze attackers sank 34 naval ships of the Allied forces, damaged 368 other ships, and killed 4,900 sailors and leaving 4,800 wounded. Unless there is some political motivation to deflate the casualties (but this is not what I gather from the tone of the text, which seems to be quite superlative on the issue). More than 70 … But I couldn’t be like Rikyu. Thousands of Japanese youth volunteered for tokko missions by simply placing a circle around their names. They killed around 4,900 sailors and injured 4,800. These attacks might be under represented on Japanese statistics but would likely appear on US statistics. have doubled or tripled if the invasion of the Japanese mainland had Every nightmare scenario was put across on the Japanese public, saying this is what’s going to happen if the Allies aren’t stopped now.”, A plaque commemorating kamikaze pilots at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo reads: "The suicide operators, incomparable in their tragic bravery, struck terror in their foes and engulfed the entire country in tears of gratitude for their outstanding loyalty and selfless service. You can also provide a link from the web. Even if we were to die, we knew it was for a worthy cause. A song is playing quietly on the radio. ... Wracked with guilt that he survived while so many of his friends died, he still lays flowers every year for the kamikazes who died. Wikipedia cites two different accounts that give different estimates: During World War II, about 3,860 kamikaze pilots died, and about 19% of kamikaze attacks managed to hit a ship. The second quote is at least internally consistent: 14% of 2,800 is about 400, and 34+368 is 402. Mutsue, Mutsue, Mutsue, Mutsue, the ever so gentle, my dearest Mutsue. His second mission ended in failure when engine trouble forced him to make an emergency landing at a Japanese army base, still carrying the bomb intended for the enemy. Stigma was often not directed by other kamikaze pilots, who sympathised with the pilot of the failed kamikaze attempt, but by self-reflection. I felt like I had let everyone down.”, Hisashi Tezuka is another kamikaze who survived because the war ended. There was one absolute about being a kamikaze, he says: "You go, and it’s over. Widely accepted depends upon your perspective. He consoled families and told everyone how gentle the men had been. The remaining 1,388 were army pilots, most of … and 20. In fading photographs, they pose in portraits, hugging shoulders, wearing big smiles, seemingly oblivious to what lay ahead. [Source: Justin McCurry, The Guardian, August 11, 2015 >>>], Like other pilots selected for suicide missions, Horiyama was asked to write a will and a letter that would be sent to parents when their mission was completed. Many kamikaze pilots launched but then returned home because of bad weather, mechanical problems, damage from enemy guns, or a failure to find targets. The world they lived in was like that multiple-choice form: It contained no real options. [Source: Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press, June 17, 2015 +++], Kamikaze Pilot Who Escaped Death for Mechanical Reasons, Justin McCurry wrote in The Guardian, “Not every would-be kamikaze was as fervent in their belief in death for the motherland. I have have never been able to do so...Please forgive your timid son. Hayashi believes Ohka might never have happened if there had been no volunteers when the concept was first suggested. I too will do up until my last moment. Tezuka, then a student at the prestigious University of Tokyo, had six brothers and one sister and wasn't the eldest. It would make for an interesting math word problem. I was later transferred to the navy’s air unit in Tokushima. Justin McCurry wrote in The Guardian, “Horiyama first learned how he was due to die from a simple slip of white paper. Many were university students who had been previously exempt from service, but now Japan was running out of troops. Suicide Tactics: The Kamikaze During WWII By Gerald W. Thomas, VT-4 "If he didn't get in the plane that morning, his roommate would have to go." @LuísHenrique - Presumably in the second they are just reporting the attackers that got through and did damage, not the ones shot down or who missed. At the outset of the Second World War, Japanese pilots could often receive up to 500 hours of training. (according to the most widely accepted estimate), Question: How many Japanese suicide bomber pilots died and how many of them successfully hit ships during WWII? Text Sources: National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, The Guardian, Yomiuri Shimbun, The New Yorker, Lonely Planet Guides, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wikipedia, BBC, Eyewitness to History , edited by John Carey ( Avon Books, 1987), Compton’s Encyclopedia, History of Warfare by John Keegan, Vintage Books, Eyewitness to History.com, The Good War An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, Hamish Hamilton, 1985, BBC’s People’s War website and various books and other publications. Approximately 2,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, according to US estimates. They had to reverse course right before hitting the ground and rise back into the sky, a tremendous G-force dragging on their bodies. A 22-year-old wrote, "I attack in four hours, I shall be shining among the clouds, drifting and tumbling forever. By January 1945 more than 500 kamikaze planes had taken part in suicide missions, and many more followed as fears rose of an impending US-led … Many kept a samurai sword and picture of the Emperor with them in the cockpit. [Source: Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press, June 17, 2015 +++], “Yanai still keeps what he had intended to be his last message to his parents. 3,913 Japanese kamikaze pilot's died altogether. A more accurate picture would also note that no capital America ship was sank by suicide attacks in WWII. All indications are that suicide tactics We knew that if we returned alive that our superiors would be angry.” >>>, Yuri Kageyama of Associated Press wrote: “Books and movies have depicted them as crazed suicide bombers who screamed "Banzai" as they met their end. Photos and letters from Japan's WWII kamikaze pilots could be immortalised by the UN, if some Japanese war veterans get their way. The Zero won accolades, even from the enemy. >>>, “On the surface, we were doing it for our country,” Ena said. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, 2020 Stack Exchange, Inc. user contributions under cc by-sa. About 6,000 Japanese, aged 17 to 30, participated in kamikaze suicide attacks. He was stunned to find they were very much like Americans or young people anywhere else in the world, "who were extraordinarily patriotic but at the same time extraordinarily idealistic." Unlikely as it may seem, a number of Japanese kamikaze pilots did survive the war. Of To this day I still feel shame. Altogether, 3,913 Japanese kamikaze pilots died in the "special "In my next life, and in my life after that, and in the one after that, please marry me," he wrote. These facts about kamikaze pilots are only part of … Never say you have no father. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. In total, kamikaze pilots were only able to sink 51 ships and just one of those was an aircraft carrier, which was the first major battleship to be sunk by a kamikaze attack, the USS St. My father meant that if I die, I should die as Rikyu did.” Rikyu, who committed harakiri at the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, his master and the ruler at the time, declined a petition by those around him that he should receive a lesser penalty than death. "I had been all set to die," he says. If pray hard enough, I will be there beside you, and share your happiness as my own. Some Japanese enlisted just to fly the Zero. Civilians were not targets. +++, “Before he flew on his last mission, he sent her two tiny pendants he had carved out of cockpit glass — one a heart, the other a tiny Zero. The kamikaze weren't used until much later in the war, as a weapon of desperation. The remaining 1,388 were army pilots, most of … He visits the Tsukuba facility often. “I told my father that I was sorry for being such a bad student, and for crashing three planes during training exercises. Over the next 48 hours, another 50 kamikazepilots were sent into the Leyte Gulf. Approximately 2,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, according to US estimates. You must have felt sad and rejected. Questions or comments, e-mail ajhays98@yahoo.com, World War II - Okinawa, Kamikazes, Hiroshima and the End of the War. Since our plane was loaded with two bombs weighing 250 kilograms each on both wings, it flew even slower. But most of us actually wanted to say ‘Mother’ before we died”. Since the eldest son of the grand master of a tea ceremony school had to answer a call to arms, I suppose my parents were crying in their hearts. Kamikaze pilots drinking a glass of sake before their attacks during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on December 10, 1944. Japan was engaged in conventional war, and, above all, kamikaze had no choice, he said. Shinichi Ishimaru, a famous baseball player. He actually took off for a suicide attack mission, but he had trouble with his plane and managed to come back. The four-age letter begins: “We have put an effort into joining forces, but in the end our efforts will not tie up with reality. Of these, 2,525 were navy men, most of whom were between the ages of 18 and 20. He got a pilot friend to add ink drawings of the Zero. I will always be with you, by you side...Your loving Daddy.". (Roughly 4.77% of the suicide attacks sank it's target). Rikyu had no fear of death.” [Source: Yomiuri Shimbun, August 20, 2014 ], Hisao Horiyama was a young soldier in an artillery unit of the Japanese imperial army when he was drafted into the air force. I will de with a smile on my face.” One the day of his mission he wrote, “Chiko, I want to see you; I want to talk to you.” The tragic story has been turned into a hardback book and manga. Japanese Special Attack Aircraft Sorties During the Okinawa Campaign, Source: Steven Zaloga, Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45, Click here to upload your image been required for surrender. Over 90% of the Navy's kamikaze pilots were between 18 and 24 years of age . Here is an excerpt from Lieutenant Junior Grade Takahiro Kumakura's diary, who died in a kamikaze attack on 14th April, 1945, describing his … So, we could only fly under the cover of night to reach Okinawa because formations of Grumman aircraft were lying in wait to attack us, at a point just be-yond the Amami Islands.”, Yuri Kageyama of Associated Press wrote: “In training, the pilots repeatedly zoomed perilously, heading practically straight down, to practice crashing. This was 1945. “We made ourselves believe that we had been chosen to make this sacrifice. In some cases they were executed as cowards and traitors. So I’m grateful to the emperor that he stopped the war.”, Japan was still flying suicide missions up to the moment, on 15 August 1945, when Hirohito announced to a shattered people traumatised by nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that Japan was surrendering. Under a program that encouraged students to support the imperialist military, he had been pen pals with a 17-year-old schoolgirl, Toshi Negishi. Young - Kamikaze pilots died at a very young age. The Kamikaze attackers sank 34 naval ships of the Allied forces, damaged 368 other ships, and killed 4,900 sailors and leaving 4,800 wounded. My comrades who had died would be remembered in infinite glory, but I had missed my chance to die in the same way. “One person started crying loudly. We'll wait for the weather to clear up and fly on our mission. Just before she died she told me that she would never have forgiven my father if I had died in a kamikaze attack. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service. Do not cry for me." 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