Kamikaze couple's last flight

Discussion in 'Stories' started by v2, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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    150605-0003-10.jpg August 19, 1945, the Soviet Army started its occupation and was moving southward. In southern Manchuria, the Army's 1st Kyoiku Unit of the 5th Renshu (Training) Hikotai, whose commander was First Lieutenant Saburo Minowa, was stationed at Dahushan Airfield. The members primarily had been carrying out training as a tokko (special attack) unit. The Emperor's announcement of the war's end was received. When the Japanese people residing there were proceeding with preparations for repatriation back to Japan and with their final tasks, 11 Type 97 Fighters (Allied code name of Nate) took off from the airfield. The civilian Japanese people probably thought it was an Army transfer for repatriation.

    Contrary to expectations, this squadron disappeared toward the north. According to records, Second Lieutenants Tatsuo Imada, Iyoji Baba, Teruo Iwasa, Iwao Okura, Tetsuo Tanifuji, Koji Kitajima, Shinji Miyakawa, Toshikazu Hino, Itsuo Hatano, and Warrant Officer Kiyoshi Ninomiya were young men from 22 to 27 years old. It is thought that they all as training officers, who had trained and sent off many Special Attack Corps members, followed after the Special Attack Corps members who they had sent out on their own from this place.

    The target was a group of Soviet tanks that was gathered near Chifeng.

    This special attack squadron, in which Second Lieutenant Tanifuji's new wife Asako rode in a plane with her husband, launched a special (suicide) attack. In addition, a woman named Sumiko, whose relative owned Iyoya Ryokan (Inn), went in Second Lieutenant Okura's plane. In the panic state at war's end, it was an act in which they were compelled by strong feelings of people in this overseas territory. It provides a glimpse of one wartime tragedy.

    The people who they had known near the airfield were sent afterward to Siberia and did not return to Japan until the end of 1948.

    Now there is a monument erected on the grounds of Setagaya Kannon Temple, which is well-known for two tokko (special attack) cannon. The monument consoles the spirits of the squadron members who purely chose death.
     
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  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting!
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Or to a group of young people who wasted their lives in an utterly futile and pointless gesture, four days after the Japan's surrender.

    It depends on your point of view.

    Steve
     
  5. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Sad either way....
     
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  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing v2.
    Doesn't the report say that IJA Commanders had run to home prior to Soviet invasion ?
    They enjoyed happy pension lives in the postwar.
     
  7. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea they were used there, excellent find!
     
  8. Old Wizard

    Old Wizard Well-Known Member

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  9. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting but sad story.
     
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