Download American Aces against the Kamikaze by Edward M. Young, Mark Styling PDF

By Edward M. Young, Mark Styling

The japanese excessive Command discovered that the lack of Okinawa may supply the american citizens a base for the invasion of Japan. Its determined reaction to the invasion of Okinawa used to be to unharness the whole strength of the unique assault devices, identified within the west because the Kamikaze ('Divine Wind'), within the desire of causing punishing casualties at the US Pacific fleet that during flip disrupted the invasion. In a sequence of mass assaults in among April and June 1945, greater than 900 Kamikaze aeroplanes have been shot down. traditional warring parties and bombers followed the distinctive assault devices as escorts, and so as to add their very own weight to the assaults at the US fleet. within the air battles prime as much as the invasion of Okinawa, in addition to those who raged over the island within the 3 months, that undefined, and in moves on eastern airfields in Kyushu (the base of the unique assault Units), the japanese misplaced greater than 7000 airplane either within the air and at the flooring. through the struggling with, sixty seven army, 21 Marine, and 3 USAAF pilots grew to become aces, destroying no less than 5 plane among March and June 1945. in lots of methods it used to be an asymmetric strive against. whereas many average jap military and army aviators volunteered for the unique assault devices, numerous the pilots within the distinctive assault devices have been green and just recently out of flying education. additionally they usually flew out of date airplane. those much less skilled pilots have been no fit for the Hellcat, Corsair and Thunderbolt pilots who have been on the top in their video game. certainly, some of the latter were flying combatants for 2 or extra years, and had prior wrestle event. On quite a few events following those asymmetric contests, American fighter pilots might go back from strive against having shot down as much as six jap aeroplanes in the course of a unmarried venture. certainly, throughout the crusade thirteen army, 5 Marine Corps and USAAF pilots turned 'aces in a day'.

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Lt(jg) Robert Hamilton was part of a division on a CAP flying at 20,000 ft over Okinawa when a “swarm” of Japanese aeroplanes appeared at the same altitude – a formation of single-engined bombers (which may have been the group of ‘Kate’ kamikaze aircraft) with an escort of Zero-sen fighters. Lt David Robinson, the division leader, ordered his pilots to circle around the large formation and attack the fighter escort from the rear. Hamilton and his wingman, Ens William Kingston, each flamed a ‘Zeke’ in their first pass.

5 aircraft, namely three ‘Vals’, two ‘Zekes’ and a half-share in an ‘Oscar’, while Ens Johnnie Miller also claimed three ‘Vals’, a ‘Tojo’ and a ‘Zeke’. Four other ensigns, Michele Mazzocco, Austin Olsen, David Philips and James Reber, were credited with four victories each. These kills were Reber’s last, taking his total to 11. Lt(jg) Harvey Sturdevant got a ‘Zeke’ and two ‘Vals’ to make ace. The presence of ‘Tojos’ and ‘Oscars’ in VF-30’s claims raises the possibility that the Hellcat pilots had not always encountered ‘Vals’ during the afternoon combats, but JAAF ‘Sonias’ or ‘Nates’.

Dropping their belly tanks, Coleman and his wingman went to full power and chased the aircraft, which were identified as two ‘Judys’. Coleman went below one of them, pulled his nose up and fired a burst into the ‘Judy’s’ starboard wing, causing it to fall off to the left. He then fired another burst into the port wing of the second ‘Judy’, which exploded. Chasing after the first Judy, Coleman caught up with it weaving just above the sea. A short burst to the engine sent the aircraft crashing into the water.

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