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By Edward M. Young, Mark Styling

The japanese excessive Command learned that the lack of Okinawa might 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 complete strength of the specified assault devices, identified within the west because the Kamikaze ('Divine Wind'), within the wish 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 opponents and bombers followed the designated assault devices as escorts, and so as to add their very own weight to the assaults at the US fleet. within the air battles major 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 distinct assault Units), the japanese misplaced greater than 7000 airplane either within the air and at the floor. throughout the struggling with, sixty seven army, 21 Marine, and 3 USAAF pilots turned aces, destroying not less than 5 airplane among March and June 1945. in lots of methods it was once an asymmetric strive against. whereas many ordinary jap military and army aviators volunteered for the unique assault devices, quite a few the pilots within the detailed assault devices have been green and only in the near past out of flying education. in addition they usually flew out of date plane. those much less skilled pilots have been no fit for the Hellcat, Corsair and Thunderbolt pilots who have been on the top in their online game. certainly, the various latter have been flying warring parties for 2 or extra years, and had past wrestle event. On a variety of 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, through the crusade thirteen military, 5 Marine Corps and USAAF pilots turned 'aces in a day'.

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More Marine Corps and USAAF fighter squadrons would arrive over the next two months to take over responsibility for the air defence of Okinawa from TF 58. The faster Marine Corps Corsairs were desperately needed to help defend against the kamikaze attacks, leaving the more numerous, and slower US Navy F6Fs to provide close air support to the divisions fighting on the ground. The arrival of the Corsairs was timely, as the Japanese launched Kikusui Operation No 2 on 12 April. com 51 CHAPTER THREE 52 aeroplanes taking part.

He then attacked a second Ki-84 from a position above and to the rear of the enemy fighter. The JAAF pilot took no evasive action, choosing instead to bail out when Snider set his fighter on fire. Snider’s third kill was a ‘Zeke’ attacking another Corsair. Approaching from the ‘four o’clock’ position, Snider opened fire and the ‘Zeke’ burst into flames. The leader of VMF-221’s third division, Capt John Delancey, after making a run on a Zero-sen, pulled up to find himself in the midst of a formation of ‘Zekes’ and ‘Franks’, with another ‘Zeke’ directly in front of him, two on his tail and his radio inoperative.

The day began with reconnaissance flights by two ‘Myrts’ and a JAAF ‘Dinah’, which located two groups of American carriers south of the island of Oshima. Later that morning 23 conventional ‘Judys’ took off to attack these carrier groups. com CHAPTER THREE 46 them. 3. Lt Thaddeus Coleman, who was flying with VF-83’s second division, was vectored toward the island of Tokuna Shima. At around 1230 hrs he saw two bogeys ahead of him flying at 3000 ft coming out of the overcast. Dropping their belly tanks, Coleman and his wingman went to full power and chased the aircraft, which were identified as two ‘Judys’.

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

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