JNAF Lieutenant J/G - Ceremonial Sword "For Conspicuous Military Valor" _________________________________________________ Born on 27 january 1920, Nagano Prefecture Home there Joined IJN in June 1936 Completed flight training in March '39 With Oita, Omura & Suzuka AG's prior to outbreak of War With the Chitose AG (Air Group or "Kokutai") in 1941 Joined 4th AG in Feb. '42 First kill - 3 February '42 over Rabaul - while flying a 'Claude' Transferred to the 2nd Sq. / Tainan AG in April '42 There he met Saburo Sakai and Toshio Ota - they would become known as the "Cleanup Trio" 7 August '42 - best day - claimed 6 Hellcats of VF-5 Transferred to the 251st AG in November Summer '43 - Awarded "Sword" by Admiral Jinichi Kusaka Transferred to the 253rd AG in September Sent to Japan in October '43 to become an instructor - he hated his new job "baby sitting" & after many requests, - he was reassigned to the 203rd AG in November '43 Subsequently promoted to W/O (Warrant Officer) 25 October 1944 - flew cover for the 1st Kamikaze mission Zeros about to make the very 1st Kamikaze suicide attack October 25th 1944 - Mabalacat Airfield, Luzon During this attack he "saw" his own death & upon returning - to base requested a Kamikaze mission. He was flatly refused. Men of his calibre were not expendable The next day, October 26th, Nishizawa boarded a transport plane - to pick up some replacement Zeros. The transport was attacked - by two F6F's and was shot down. At 25 years of age, the Devil of Rabaul was dead. Posthumously promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade _________________________________________________ During the war, both sides regarded Nishizawa as Japan's best fighter pilot _________________________________________________ Kills 150 claimed by newspapers after his death 147 he told his family 102 claimed by some other sources 86 he told Group Leader Okamoto shortly before his death He shot down one more plane after that and consequently 87 is the figure that is most accepted today ________________________________________

johnbr, Jul 19, 2011
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