Japanese Ace Info Needed...

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Im trying to get the right info on the Japanese Top Aces... Ive been researchin some to try and put together some reliable info on these guys... I have several lists, couple books adn some reliable web based info so far...

I need some info on the scores of the top aces, Army and Navy...
I know that the lists are kinda guesstimates..

Ill post some stats as I get them sorted..
Japanese Army Top Aces:

Satoshi Anabuki 39
Isamu Sasaki 38
Yasuhiko Kuroe 28 + 2 in Mongolia
Goichi Sumino 27 (died 06.06.44)
Moritsugu Kanai 19 + 7 in Mongolia
Nakakazu Ozaki 19 (died 27.12.43)
Shogo Takeuchi 19 (died 21.12.43)
Bunichi Yamaguchi 19
Yojiro Obusa 19
Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu 18 (died 18.12.44)
Kazuo Shimizu 18
Keiji Takamiya 17 (died 01.02.44)
Kiyoshi Namai 16
Yukio Shimokawa 16
Mitsuo Ogura 16
Tomesaku Igarashi 16 (died 17.06.44)

Info took from "Aces of the sky" by Przemyslaw Skulski
A small quote from Saburo SAkai...

"The decision to adopt the 20mm cannon on the Zero is generally believed to be an epoch making advance in fighter design. However, having used the cannon in combat, I had always held this weapon in doubt, despite its great destructive power. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I regarded the cannons in disfavor. "

"70% of my kills in fighter vs fighter combat was made with 7.7mm machine guns"

Saburo Sakai disliked the 20mm wing cannons because of the small ammunition load and the low initial velocity.

from the book Zero-sen no Shinjitsu , by Saburo Sakai
There are basically 2 versions of the Top Japanese Aces.... Confirmed and Claimed....


Hiroyoshi Nishizawa 87
Tetsuzo Iwamoto 80
Shoychi Sugita 70
Saburo Sakai 64
Hiromishi Shinohara 58
Satoshi Anabuki 51
Takeo Okumura 50
Isamu Sasaki 38
Micuyoshi Tarui 38
Toshiyo Ota 34
Kazuo Sugino 32
Yashiki Kuroe 30
Shizuko Ishi 29
Kaneyoshi Muto 28
Chiyoshi Saito 28
Kenji Shimada 28
Sadaaki Akamatsu 27
Isamu Hosono 27
Yunishi Sasai 27
Rikia Shibata 27
Goychi Sumino 27
Moricugu Kanai 26
Hidenori Macunaga 26
Shogo Saito 26
Goro Furugori 25


Tetsuzo Iwamoto 202 Mitsubishi Zero
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa 174 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)
Shoichi Sugita 120 Mitsubishi Zero
Takeo Okumura 98 Zero
Satoshi Anabuki 96 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)
Mitsuyoshi Tarui 76 Mitsubishi Zero
Isamu Sasaki 75 Mitsubishi A6M2
Shigeo Fukumoto 72 Mitsubishi Zero
Inyo Endo 69 Mitsubishi A6M2
Toshio Ota 68 Mitsubishi Zero
Saburo Sakai 64 Mitsubishi Zero
Kazuo Sugino 64 Mitsubishi A6M2
Yasuhiko Kuroe 60 Mitsubishi Zero
Junichi Sasai 60 Mitsubishi A6M2
Hiromishi Shinohara 58 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)
Sadaaki Akamatsu 54 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)
Goro Furugori 50 Mitsubishi A6M2
Kenji Okabe 50 Mitsubishi Zero
Naoshi Kanno 48 "Tony"
Ryoji Ohara 48 Mitsubishi Zero
Yoshihiko Nakada 45 Mitsubishi Zero
Yohei (johei) Hinoki 45 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)
Iyozo Fujita 42 "Tony"
Sumi Kamito 40 Mitsubishi Zero
Sadamu Komachi 40 Mitsubishi Zero (carrier)

These numbers are all basically speculative, as no real records exist... The confirmed victories are also slightly speculative, but it gives a semi-historic accounting of the Japanese aces....
I'm looking into it....[you seem to have it covered though...]


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I admire your mettle to try and track down this info. I know getting info about Japanese Aces is tough! I am curious what they classified as a "confirmed" kill. I know initially, our fighter pilots got a credit for a claim. That was later changed to confirmed being one other person saw the kill. Later still, they went to 2 witnesses required for a confirmed kill. I am curious what the Japanese criteria was for confirmed.

Of course, the enemy aces of those days had way more kills due to the fact that our guys could go home at some point. If the battle had been over our skies, I am sure we would have had many more high scoring aces.
"Confirmed" is a very sketchy word in the Japanese way of things... Some kills were verified by wingmen, others by their logbooks and diaries...

Keeping score, in the second half or so of the war, was looked down upon and discouraged by the Japanese Higher Authorities... It was more about unit cohesiveness than individual accomplishments...
Interesting about the keeping score part. I would think that by having your easily viewable scorecard on the side of your aircraft, it could be a bit of psychological warfare. It could also make you a target if you are jumped by a whole swarm though. But I would think that if I were a green fighter pilot and I suddenly saw the kill markers in double or triple rows, it would be intimidating.
You are right on all accounts... And that did happen.... It is said that some Japanese Aces would land after a sortie, and tell the crew chief, in front of the new and green pilots, "Add 3 marks", as to instill confidence in them that the Americans were easy prey...

Erich Hartmann had the black tulip on the nose of his -109, and Russian pilots were warned not to get into combat with him, but to flee and fight another day....

Didnt make much of a difference....

Also, Lidiya Litvjaková, questionably the Highest scoring Female Soviet Ace, was subsequently fingered out and destroyed because of artwork... She is reported to have been fond of wildflowers and often carried them in the cockpit with her during missions... She is also said to have painted a White Lily, sometimes mistaken for a Rose, on each side of the cockpit of her Yak, and for this reason became known as the "White Rose of Stalingrad..." The white rose on the fuselage became famous among the Germans, who knew better than to try to dogfight the familiar YaK-1, and usually tried to make good their escape before Litvyak got too close...

The Germans were aware of this, and her, and the order was posted to destroy "The White Rose"...

On August 1, she wearily pulled herself into the cockpit for the fourth and final time of the day... She had already claimed two kills in previous flights. Somehow she became separated from her flight... During the ensuing melee, she encountered eight Bf109s and was shot down and killed... They say the white rose on her Yak had drawn her killers to her...

Because of her notoriety amongst the Germans, eight Messerschmitt Me-109's concentrated solely on Lilya's YaK-1, and it took all eight of them to finally shoot down the "White Rose of Stalingrad"...


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Wow! What an amazing story. I had heard about female aces in the Soviet AF, but had not heard any stories about them. The sad thing is that she probably could have beat those 8 pilots if one on one. Could you imagine having to fly 4 combat missions in one day?!
Hi, Im new to this forum, so please forgive if anything I offer is redundant.
I too am engaged in a neverending search for info/sites/pictures of Japanese aces.
Please take a minute and click on the "What is ARS" page of our site as it will explain a bit more why a patriot American would get so engrossed in this subject.
In case a link to the site doesnt accompany my post, I'll post it here as well.


Feel free to contact me by clicking on Nishizawa at the bottom of the homepage.

Thanks for your time. Phil
I have had a look at what I've got, and I have Ryuji Nagatsuka's book, 'I was a Kamikaze'...[first published 1973 in G.B. by Abelard-Schuman Ltd.] My copy is a New English Library 1974 paperback., and it's a good read.

There is also an interesting article in 'Aeroplane' magazine, January 2004, about Sadamu Komachi. He was instrumental in forming the 'Zero-sen Tojoin Kai' [Zero Fighter Pilots' Association] in 1974 with other IJNAF veterans. This was disbanded in 2002, and in it's place they formed the 'Zero No Kai' [Zero Association] with a membership spanning all generations with an interest in the contribution to aviation made by the timeless Zero.

I don't have anything further, but a search on the Net may assist to find them, perhaps a good source of information....


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