Parachutes Japanese airmen.

Discussion in 'Basic' started by Eric60, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Eric60

    Eric60 New Member

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    Does anyone know , whether Japanese airmen in WWII had parachutes? I am watching "Dog Fights, Guadalcanal" and cannot determine this.
    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  2. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Most Japanese pilots did not believe in parachutes. To die for the emperor was the highest honor, and it almost meant more than coming back alive to fight another day. To die in combat was the ultimate form of bushido.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The Japanese put great emphasis on quality rather than quantity. The pilots attacking Pearl Harbour were highly trained ,experienced airmen. I read somewhere that none of them had less than 600 hours in their log books. They were a valuable resource and routinely used parachutes. There are many reasons that an airman might need one which are not combat related.
    Once this lot were gone I have no idea what they did.
    Japanese ace Saburo Sakai was wounded on 7/8/42 and managed a long flight to safety. This is his account of what happened when he landed.

    "They scream : " Saburo ! Saburo Sakaï ! He can't die ! Men climb on the wings of the Zero : commander Kozono, chief of staff, lieutenant commander Nakajima, group's chief and the lieutenant Sasaï, my squadron commander. They unfasten my parachute and my seat belt, lift me and carefully lay me on the ground. I was told later that my face was so gory and terribly swollen, that I appeared like coming from another world to my frightened pilots who preferred not to look."

    He had one on.

    Steve
     
  4. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Parachutes were definitely available, but not always used...
     
  5. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they flew with the parachute.
    They could not sit on the seat without it because the parachute was also used as a seat cushion.
     
  6. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. I had read in several books that many pilots did not use them. I should not have said most pilots in my #2 post.
     
  7. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    This Kamikaze pilot could not die from the engine trouble.
    He returned to the base for the next chance but was said "Why didn't you die!!!" with his senior officer's fist.
    :(
     

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  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Nice guy. Don't see the Senior officer in any hurry to go fly the mission himself.
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    No different than the Islamic Extremists that recruit people to be suicide bombers. You don't see them wanting to blow themselves up. ;)
     
  10. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    No, no trust me. Being a suicide bomber is soo cool. Anyone who is anyone is doing it! "
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #11 stona, Aug 28, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010
    But many did. More wanted to but were forbidden. A certain Masafumi Arima went and he was a Rear Admiral! Unfortunately he failed to hit a ship and ,like many others,died a pointless death.

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  12. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    This prompts a tale that I was told when I was about 12 years old. My brother in law was a marine on Iwo Jima.
    According to him, him a his men were being strafed by a Japanese plane. The men opened up with everything they had,
    Thompsons, M1's, BAR's, and probably model 1911's on the plane. The plane or pilot was hit and crashed. My brother in
    law managed to get the pilots parachute, managed to get it back to the states, and my sister was married in a gown
    that was made from that parachute. I remember she had a beautiful gown, with a large train, and I'll have to try to
    find a pic of her in the gown. Anyhow..... that's what I was told.

    I was under the impression that the US were the only ones with white silk parachutes. Perhaps Shinpachi-san can tell
    us what color the Japanese parachutes were.

    Charles
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the nomination ccheese:)

    They were made of the high-quality white silk.
    A good recycle for the wedding dress:thumbright:
     

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  14. muscogeemike

    muscogeemike Member

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    With the utmost respect to your uncle this is probably a “war story”- the US Navy had absolute air superiority from the time of the actual invasion and I can find no record of any interference (other than possible night harassment missions) by Japanese Aircraft. Always take much of what the “old timers” say (and I am one of them) with a grain of salt.

    "The ultimate air superiorty is a tank on the runway"
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I think I recall from Sakia's book Samurai that he wore his parachute, but kept the shoulder straps loose so they didn't interfere with free movement in the cockpit to clear his tail. That was how he explained it in his book, but I think something was lost in translation. I think sometimes he did fly without his parachute, and just sat on a lightweight pad, because he resented every pound added to his aircraft, in a lot of times he and others left their radios out also.
    In a lot of cases the Japanese were flying over geography that if they had bailed out they had little chanch of survival, or even worse they would run the risk of being captured. I think many of them just sat on their parachutes and had no intention of using it.
     
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