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kamikaze attacks during wwii

02 12 2020

Axell and Kase pointed out: "The fact is that innumerable soldiers, sailors and pilots were determined to die, to become eirei, that is 'guardian spirits' of the country. We read and read, trying to understand why we had to die in our early twenties. One Corsair and 10 Grumman Avengers were destroyed. The peak period of kamikaze attack frequency came during April–June 1945 at the Battle of Okinawa. USS Laffey DD724 in World War II . Read about WWII fighting tactics like Blitzkrieg and kamikaze attacks, and the eventual end of the war with V-E Day and V-J Day. "[53] Publishers also played up the idea that the kamikaze were enshrined at Yasukuni and ran exaggerated stories of kamikaze bravery – there were even fairy tales for little children that promoted the kamikaze. The kamikaze shared ceremonial cups of sake or water known as "mizu no sakazuki". The kamikaze, along with all Japanese aviators flying over unfriendly territory, were issued (or purchased, if they were officers) a Nambu pistol with which to end their lives if they risked being captured. On April 6, 1945, the first wave of ten coordinated kamikaze attacks began to hit the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet off the coast of Okinawa. [20] First Lieutenant Takeshi Kosai and a sergeant were selected. Eight kamikaze hits on five British carriers resulted in only 20 deaths while a combined total of 15 bomb hits, most of 500 kg (1,100 lb) weight or greater, and one torpedo hit on four carriers caused 193 fatal casualties earlier in the war – striking proof of the protective value of the armoured flight deck. It's all a lie that they left filled with braveness and joy, crying, "Long live the emperor!" By 1945, large numbers of anti-aircraft shells with radio frequency proximity fuzes, on average seven times more effective than regular shells, became available, and the U.S. Navy recommended their use against kamikaze attacks. I was thrown about two yards against a bulkhead and landed with my entire spine against the bulkhead and cracked my head hard. Photo by the US Naval History and Heritage Command Haruo was one of more than 2,000 Japanese servicemen who perished in kamikaze attacks during the three month long battle for the island of Okinawa, located just 400 miles south of mainland Japan, that raged from April 1 to June 22, 1945. This article is from the May 2009 issue of WWII History Magazine . "After the war, some commanders would express regret for allowing superfluous crews to accompany sorties, sometimes squeezing themselves aboard bombers and fighters so as to encourage the suicide pilots and, it seems, join in the exultation of sinking a large enemy vessel." Comfort, the nurses were teaching themselves to play bridge. Neighbors and the destroyer USS Leutze were part of several battles before a kamikaze attack … It is said that young pilots on kamikaze missions often flew southwest from Japan over the 922 m (3,025 ft) Mount Kaimon. Arima personally led an attack by about 100 Yokosuka D4Y Suisei ("Judy") dive bombers against a large Essex-class aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, near Leyte Gulf, on or about 15 October 1944. They were sheep at a slaughterhouse. Allied pilots were more experienced, better trained and in command of superior aircraft, making the poorly trained kamikaze pilots easy targets. [52][50], The manual was very detailed in how a pilot should attack. A final element included intensive fighter sweeps over Japanese airfields, and bombing of Japanese runways, using delayed-action bombs to make repairs more difficult.[31]. They viewed themselves as the last defense.[56]. Decommissioned in 1946, the USS Comfort received two battle stars for its participation in the Leyte and Okinawa campaigns. "[44] Okamura is credited with being the first to propose the kamikaze attacks. There will be more than enough volunteers for this chance to save our country, and I would like to command such an operation. By the Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 1944), the Japanese had to make do with obsolete aircraft and inexperienced aviators in the fight against better-trained and more experienced US Navy airmen who flew radar-directed combat air patrols. There is no other way. There are a total of 22 ] WW2 Japanese Kamikaze Aircraft entries in the Military Factory. [42], Approximately 2,800 Kamikaze attackers sank 34 Navy ships, damaged 368 others, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded over 4,800. Attack on HMAS Australia—21 October 1944" (j-aircraft.com), "Divine Wind The Japanese secret weapon – kamikaze suicide attacks", "HyperWar: Antiaircraft Action Summary--Suicide Attacks [Chapter 2]", "United States of America 20 mm/70 (0.79") Marks 2, 3 & 4", American Merchant Marine at War (website), 2006, "Chronological List of U.S. These instructions, among others, were meant to make pilots mentally ready to die. In a meeting on 19 October at Mabalacat Airfield (known to the U.S. military as Clark Air Base) near Manila, Onishi told officers of the 201st Flying Group headquarters: "I don't think there would be any other certain way to carry out the operation [to hold the Philippines] than to put a 250 kg bomb on a Zero and let it crash into a U.S. carrier, in order to disable her for a week. During Pearl Harbor, a pilot named Lt. Fusata Iida had deliberately crash… Although causing some of the heaviest casualties on U.S. carriers in 1945, the IJN had sacrificed 2,525 kamikaze pilots and the IJAAF 1,387—far more than it had lost in 1942 when it sank or crippled three carriers (albeit without inflicting significant casualties). Despite radar detection and cuing, airborne interception, attrition, and massive anti-aircraft barrages, 14 percent of Kamikazes survived to score a hit on a ship; nearly 8.5 percent of all ships hit by Kamikazes sank.[43]. were stigmatized in the years following the war. Captain Motoharu Okamura, in charge of the Tateyama Base in Tokyo, as well as the 341st Air Group Home, was, according to some sources, the first officer to officially propose kamikaze attack tactics. She had become used to hearing enemy planes roar overhead and feeling the vessel quake so violently it felt like it might overturn when nearby ships sank beneath the roiling waters. The tradition of death instead of defeat, capture and shame was deeply entrenched in Japanese military culture; one of the primary values in the samurai life and the Bushido code was loyalty and honor until death. We must be superhuman in order to win the war.” Pearl Harbor! All Rights Reserved. Now wounded itself, the crippled hospital ship sailed to Guam and received temporary repairs before continuing on to California. “And over the loudspeaker came the call, ‘Abandon ship! After being hit by a Japanese suicide plane, the crew of the USS Comfort were forced to tend to their own. The exact number of ships sunk is a matter of debate. The battle marked the first significant use of kamikaze aircraft in combat. Everybody was looking down and tottering. About 19% of kamikaze attacks were successful. Taking a break onboard the U.S.S. Tropical diseases, as well as shortages of spare parts and fuel, made operations more and more difficult for the IJNAS. Numbers quoted vary, but at least 47 Allied vessels, from PT boats to escort carriers, were sunk by kamikaze attacks, and about 300 damaged. Some 77 destroyers were lost in the war and 17 of those were from kamikaze attacks. The first official kamikazeplane had hit its target on Oct. 25, 1944, in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, but the idea had been building in Japan for even longer. [21], Rear Admiral Masafumi Arima, the commander of the 26th Air Flotilla (part of the 11th Air Fleet), is sometimes credited with inventing the kamikaze tactic. [58], Some Japanese military personnel were critical of the policy. All of the pilots raised both of their hands, volunteering to join the operation. Tokkōtai pilot training, as described by Takeo Kasuga,[51] generally "consisted of incredibly strenuous training, coupled with cruel and torturous corporal punishment as a daily routine". Purpose-built kamikaze planes, as opposed to converted fighters and dive-bombers, were also being constructed. “We knew we didn’t have enough lifeboats,” Howard says. By 17:00, Corsairs were able to land. He had expressed his desire to lead a volunteer group of suicide attacks some four months before Admiral Takijiro Ohnishi, commander of the Japanese naval air forces in the Philippines, presented the idea to his staff. The last two ran at USS White Plains. Many warships of all classes were damaged, some severely, but no aircraft carriers, battleships or cruisers were sunk by kamikaze at Okinawa. List of Imperial Japanese Army air-to-surface special attack units, List of Imperial Japanese Navy air-to-surface special attack units, "Father of the Kamikaze Liner Notes – AnimEigo", ww2pacific.com, 2004, "World War II in the Pacific: Japanese Suicide Attacks at Sea", "Motoori Norinaga: A scholar-physician who loved cherry blossoms", Richard L. Dunn, 2002–2005, "First Kamikaze? As time went on, Americans claimed, Shinto was used increasingly in the promotion of nationalist sentiment. The U.S. Fast Carrier Task Force alone could bring over 1,000 fighter aircraft into play. [30], In early 1945, U.S. Navy aviator Commander John Thach, already famous for developing effective aerial tactics against the Japanese such as the Thach Weave, developed a defensive strategy against kamikazes called the "big blue blanket" to establish Allied air supremacy well away from the carrier force. This plan also called for around-the-clock fighter patrols over Allied fleets, though the U.S. Navy had cut back training of fighter pilots so there were not enough Navy pilots available to counter the kamikaze threat. On 6 April 1945, waves of aircraft made hundreds of attacks in Operation Kikusui ("floating chrysanthemums"). Arima was killed and part of a plane hit Franklin. “I was blown right off my feet. Officers such as Minoru Genda, Tadashi Minobe and Yoshio Shiga, refused to obey the policy. According to a U.S. Navy report, a kamikaze had been shot down within 75 yards of the bow of the ship on April 6 and three bombs were dropped near the ship on April 9 but missed their mark. Normandy! U.S. personnel gave them the derisive nickname "Baka Bombs" (baka is Japanese for "idiot" or "stupid"). HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. [2] Kamikaze attacks were more accurate than conventional attacks, and often caused more damage. Through war and peace, American hospital ships have served the country since 1804 and the First Barbary War. According to some accounts, two made suicide attacks, one of which hit USS Indiana.[17]. In 1942, when U.S. Navy vessels were scarce, the temporary absence of key warships from the combat zone would tie up operational initiatives. Doris Gardner is pictured second from the left. More specifically, air suicide attack units from the Imperial Japanese Navy were officially called shinpū tokubetsu kōgeki tai (神風特別攻撃隊, "divine wind special attack units"). The mountain is also called "Satsuma Fuji" (meaning a mountain like Mount Fuji but located in the Satsuma Province region). On 20 March, the submarine USS Devilfish survived a hit from an aircraft just off Japan. [38][39], The resilience of well-armoured vessels was shown on 4 May, just after 11:30, when there was a wave of suicide attacks against the British Pacific Fleet. USS LAFFEY (DD 724) Launched November 21, 1943 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine Commissioned February 8, 1944 Throughout the conflict, at least 47 Allied ships were sunk by Kamikaze fighters, while a further 300 were seriously damaged. The Japanese high command and propagandists seized on Arima's example. We were automatons who obeyed without thinking. Many Japanese felt that to be enshrined at Yasukuni was a special honour because the Emperor visited the shrine to pay homage twice a year. Even encouraging capable pilots to bail out before impact was ineffective because vital personnel were often lost when they mistimed their exits and were killed as a result. In 1890, the Imperial Rescript on Education was passed, under which students were required to ritually recite its oath to offer themselves "courageously to the state" as well as protect the Imperial family. The pair had learned about Odachi’s time as a kamikaze pilot during World War II after practicing and socializing together for more than 20 years. [27] This aircraft was possibly either an Aichi D3A dive bomber, from an unidentified unit of the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service,[27] or a Mitsubishi Ki-51 of the 6th Flying Brigade, Imperial Japanese Army Air Force. During World War II, nearly 3,000 kamikaze pilots were sacrificed. [9][10], A Japanese monoplane that made a record-breaking flight from Tokyo to London in 1937 for the Asahi newspaper group was named Kamikaze. [57] Eleven of the 1,036 IJA kamikaze pilots who died in sorties from Chiran and other Japanese air bases during the Battle of Okinawa were Koreans. Residents on Kikaishima Island, east of Amami Ōshima, say that pilots from suicide-mission units dropped flowers from the air as they departed on their final missions. They had lost several important battles, many of their best pilots had been killed, their aircraft were becoming outdated, and they had lost command of the air. The USS Comfort had been hit by a Japanese suicide pilot who had directed his plane at the massive Red Cross emblem painted on the ship’s hull as if it were a bullseye. In a sense, there had even been a kamikaze attack in Japan's very first battle against American troops. From this manual, pilots were told to "attain a high level of spiritual training", and to "keep [their] health in the very best condition". As a result, the special attack units are sometimes known in Japan as kamikaze tokubetsu kōgeki tai. [50], The tokkōtai pilot's manual also explained how a pilot may turn back if he could not locate a target, and that a pilot "should not waste [his] life lightly". Abandon ship!’”. During 1945, the Japanese military began stockpiling hundreds of Tsurugi, Ohkas, other aircraft and suicide boats for use against Allied forces expected to invade Japan. The Imperial Japanese Navy's 1st Air Fleet, based at Manila, was assigned the task of assisting the Japanese ships that would attempt to destroy Allied forces in Leyte Gulf. Howard earned a Women’s Army Corps Service Medal and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal for her service, which left her with permanent pain in her spine and damage in her left ear. [29] By day's end on 26 October, 55 kamikazes from the Special Attack Force had also damaged the large escort carriers USS Sangamon, Suwannee (which had also been struck "[44] Young Japanese people were indoctrinated from an early age with these ideals. [15] Japanese planners had assumed a quick war and lacked comprehensive programmes to replace the losses of ships, pilots and sailors; and Midway; the Solomon Islands campaign (1942–1945) and the New Guinea campaign (1942–1945), notably the Battles of Eastern Solomons (August 1942); and Santa Cruz (October 1942), decimated the IJNAS veteran aircrews, and replacing their combat experience proved impossible.[16]. Inside the post-surgical ward of the USS Comfort, Howard began her 12-hour night shift treating some of the 517 patients aboard the ship. I am going because I was ordered to."[22]. Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, the commander of the IJN 5th Air Fleet based in Kyushu, participated in one of the final kamikaze attacks on American ships on 15 August 1945, hours after Japan's announced surrender.[41]. In the final moments before the crash, the pilot was to yell "hissatsu" (必殺) at the top of his lungs, which translates to "certain kill" or "sink without fail".[50]. Most of the ships lost were destroyers or smaller vessels, especially those on picket duty. Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23–26, 1944), decisive air and sea battle of World War II that crippled the Japanese Combined Fleet, permitted U.S. invasion of the Philippines, and reinforced the Allies’ control of the Pacific. Some kamikazes were able to hit their targets even after their aircraft were crippled. When you eliminate all thoughts about life and death, you will be able to totally disregard your earthly life. For example, Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryū ("Peggy") medium bombers, based on Formosa, undertook kamikaze attacks on Allied forces off Okinawa, while a pair of Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu ("Nick") heavy fighters caused enough damage for USS Dickerson (DD-157) to be scuttled. A Kamikaze plane during the attack on US warships. Masafumi Arima Invented The Kamikaze Strategy. Commissioned in 1944, the second USS Comfort ferried injured servicemen from the Pacific Theater battlefields to field hospitals in Australia, New Guinea and the United States. The task facing the Japanese air forces seemed impossible. "[63] Tetsuzo Iwamoto refused to engage in a kamikaze attack because he thought the task of fighter pilots was to shoot down aircraft. USS Laffey(DD-724) is a Allen B. Sumner Class Destroyer who survived a fierce kamikaze attack during World War II Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Daikichi Irokawa, who trained at Tsuchiura Naval Air Base, recalled that he "was struck on the face so hard and frequently that [his] face was no longer recognizable". The Japanese considered the goal of damaging or sinking large numbers of Allied ships to be a just reason for suicide attacks. Early on 21 October, a Japanese aircraft deliberately crashed into the foremast of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia. Up to 300 aircraft at a time dove at the Allied fleet. The "USS Nevada," despite an escort and efforts to fight off a Kamikaze attack, sustained such a hit in early 1945 off the coast of Japan. Kamikaze , officially Kamikaze/Shinpū Tokubetsu Kōgekitai (神風特別攻撃隊, "Divine Wind Special Attack Unit"), were a part of the Japanese Special Attack Units of military aviators who flew suicide attacks for the Empire of Japan against Allied naval vessels in the closing stages of the Pacific campaign of World War II, intending to destroy warships more effectively than with conventional air attacks. For example, during WWII the Ticonderoga-class of carriers added two 40mm guns that acted as a layer of defense against new threats posed by kamikaze attacks that turned planes into missiles. Many of those who were selected for a bodycrashing mission were described as being extraordinarily blissful immediately before their final sortie. [citation needed], According to some sources, on 14 October 1944, USS Reno was hit by a deliberately crashed Japanese plane. As the forward hospital ship at Okinawa, the USS Comfort was a natural target. It was not safe to be on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II, even by the standards of that war. During World War II, two dozen hospital ships were sunk by enemy fire, and a critical hospital ship sustained a damaging attack in the war’s waning weeks. Hollywood’s battle station was at the top of the director, moving guns on target. Kamikaze pilots who were unable to complete their missions (because of mechanical failure, interception, etc.) When a kamikaze hits a Limey carrier it's just a case of 'Sweepers, man your brooms'.". During the northern hemisphere winter of 1944–45, the IJAAF formed the 47th Air Regiment, also known as the Shinten Special Unit (Shinten Seiku Tai) at Narimasu Airfield, Nerima, Tokyo, to defend the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. According to a U.S. Navy report, the casualties among the ship’s 700 passengers included 30 deaths, 48 injuries and one service member missing in action. 14 destroyers, including the last ship to be sunk, This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 19:19. [50], The tokkōtai pilot's manual told pilots to never close their eyes, as this would lower the chances of hitting their targets. She was a prototype for the Mitsubishi Ki-15 ("Babs"). According to a wartime Japanese propaganda announcement, the missions sank 81 ships and damaged 195, and according to a Japanese tally, kamikaze attacks accounted for up to 80% of the U.S. losses in the final phase of the war in the Pacific. That it is He was promoted posthumously to Vice Admiral and was given official credit for making the first kamikaze attack. The sinking of the ocean tug USS Sonoma on 24 October is listed in some sources as the first ship lost to a kamikaze strike, but the attack occurred before 25 October, and the aircraft used, a Mitsubishi G4M, was not flown by the original four Special Attack Squadrons. Ceremonies were carried out before kamikaze pilots departed on their final mission. But as she was standing near her medicine cabinet loading a syringe with penicillin, she felt a jolt unlike any before. About 3,800 kamikaze pilots died during the war, and more than 7,000 naval personnel were killed by kamikaze attacks. This stigma began to diminish some 50 years after the war as scholars and publishers began to distribute the survivors' stories. When the gasoline in the plane caught fire, it ignited a massive explosion that sent Howard flying, as she recalls. Newer U.S.-made planes, especially the Grumman F6F Hellcat and Vought F4U Corsair, outclassed and soon outnumbered Japan's fighter planes. This will also enable you to concentrate your attention on eradicating the enemy with unwavering determination, meanwhile reinforcing your excellence in flight skills. and locations (including the Second Front and that irresistible but deceptive Soft Underbelly). … Entering a smoke stack was also said to be "effective". Kamikaze attacks on US ships, 1945 Japanese pilots used the tactic of Kamikaze (suicidal) dive-bombing attacks on enemy warships in 1944 and 1945. A Japanese plane plunging downwards during a Kamikaze attack . On December 13, 1944, a kamikaze aircraft carrying a bomb under each wing crashed into the deck of light cruiser USS Nashville (CL43) with both bombs exploding. In spite of her injuries, Howard refused to abandon her post or the servicemen in her care, even with the orders to abandon ship. The Japanese word kamikaze is usually translated as "divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity", and kaze for "wind"). incident was considered so unusual in the history of kamikaze attacks during World War II. In the immediate aftermath of kamikaze strikes, British carriers with their armoured flight decks recovered more quickly compared to their US counterparts. The attacks expended 1,465 planes. The kamikaze were escorted by other pilots whose function was to protect them en route to their destination and report on the results. [11], In Japanese, the formal term used for units carrying out suicide attacks during 1944–1945 is tokubetsu kōgekitai (特別攻撃隊), which literally means "special attack unit". Glowing in the morning sun. We tried to live with 120 percent intensity, rather than waiting for death. She might not have been able to save them, but she wasn’t about to leave them to die alone either. Suicide attacks by planes or boats at Okinawa sank or put out of action at least 30 U.S. warships[35] and at least three U.S. merchant ships,[36] along with some from other Allied forces. Devilish. “I had to grab a stool because the ship was shaking,” recalls Howard, who turned 100 years of age in 2020. Britain's post-war economic situation played a role in the decision to not repair damaged carriers, while even seriously damaged American carriers such as USS Bunker Hill were repaired, although they were then mothballed or sold off as surplus after World War II without re-entering service. Howard’s hearing gradually returned, and she continued on her regular shifts. Photo from the collection of Doris Howard. During the invasion of Okinawa, the British Pacific Fleet’s job was the Sakishima Islands, which are located about midway between Taiwan and Okinawa. Seafires were heavily involved in countering the kamikaze attacks during the Iwo Jima landings and beyond. Although these floating hospitals embark on missions of mercy, they have also become casualties of war. At least one of these pilots was a conscripted Korean with a Japanese name, adopted under the pre-war Soshi-kaimei ordinance that compelled Koreans to take Japanese personal names. Dive deep on key World War II battles (Operation Barbarossa! [55] Stories like these, which showed the kind of praise and honour death produced, encouraged young Japanese to volunteer for the Special Attack Corps and instilled a desire in the youth to die as a kamikaze. [52], Irokawa Daikichi, Kamikaze Diaries: Reflections of Japanese Student Soldiers, Pilots were given a manual that detailed how they were supposed to think, prepare and attack. It is not clear that this was a planned suicide attack, and official Japanese accounts of Arima's attack bore little resemblance to the actual events. A long steel splinter speared down through the hangar deck and the main boiler room (where it ruptured a steam line) before coming to rest in a fuel tank near the aircraft park, where it started a major fire. Its capture provided adequate forward bases that enabled U.S. air forces using the Boeing B-29 Superfortress to strike at the Japanese home islands. The B-29 also had formidable defensive weaponry, so suicide attacks against the plane demanded considerable piloting skill to be successful, which worked against the very purpose of using expendable pilots. In 1944–45, US military leaders invented the term "State Shinto" as part of the Shinto Directive to differentiate the Japanese state's ideology from traditional Shinto practices. Although international law forbade attacks on hospital ships, it appeared the USS Comfort was deliberately targeted, perhaps in retaliation for the torpedoing of the unarmed Japanese vessel Awa Maru, which had been declared a Red Cross relief ship. All pilots took a five point oath: a soldier must make loyalty his obligation, a soldier must make … While many German units fought desperately even after being surrounded and isolated, and even when it was fairly clear the war was lost, few engaged in tactically useless equivalents of “banzai charges”. A Foreign Office official named Toshikazu Kase said: "It was customary for GHQ [in Tokyo] to make false announcements of victory in utter disregard of facts, and for the elated and complacent public to believe them."[54]. On October 25, 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese deploy kamikaze (“divine wind”) bombers against American warships for the first time.It will prove costly–to both sides Late in 1944, the British Pacific Fleet (BPF) used the good high-altitude performance of its Supermarine Seafires (the naval version of the Spitfire) on combat air patrol duties. [37], U.S. carriers, with their wooden flight decks, appeared to suffer more damage from kamikaze hits than the armored-decked carriers from the British Pacific Fleet. [26], Several suicide attacks, carried out during the invasion of Leyte by Japanese pilots from units other than the Special Attack Force, have been described as the first kamikaze attacks. They never returned, but there is no record of an enemy plane hitting an Allied ship that day. One Japanese plane made a steep dive from "a great height" at the carrier HMS Formidable and was engaged by anti-aircraft guns. While Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome, commander of the second air fleet, was inspecting the 341st Air Group, Captain Okamura took the chance to express his ideas on crash-dive tactics. A group of pilots from the army's 31st Fighter Squadron on Negros Island decided to launch a suicide attack the following morning. A look at the organization and meth­ ods of the kamikaze units shows why the . This brutal "training" was justified by the idea that it would instill a "soldier's fighting spirit", but daily beatings and corporal punishment eliminated patriotism among many pilots. . Pilots would attempt to crash their aircraft into enemy ships in what was called a "body attack" (tai-atari) in planes loaded with bombs, torpedoes or other explosives. As rescue teams searched the wreckage and doused the fires, the abandon ship order was rescinded. [14] But in most cases, little evidence exists that such hits represented more than accidental collisions of the kind that sometimes happen in intense sea or air battles. While many stories were falsified, some were true, such as that of Kiyu Ishikawa, who saved a Japanese ship when he crashed his plane into a torpedo that an American submarine had launched. In 1945 it was crippled after a kamikaze attack. The 1st Air Fleet commandant, Vice Admiral Takijirō Ōnishi, decided to form a suicide offensive force, the Special Attack Unit. They said that the commander of a kamikaze attack should engage in the task first.

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