Retired Japanese Fighter Pilot Sees an Old Danger on the Horizon

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by syscom3, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  2. CommanderBounds

    CommanderBounds Active Member

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    Thank you for sharing this. This article really got me thinking. Also did anyone notice that he had a J8M model in his box of models? Makes me wonder if he may have been a J8M pilot...
     
  3. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    I was brain washed at primary school like Harada told his audience.
    Thanks for sharing, sys.

    Harada was commissioned as a J8M instructor but the war was over soon.
     
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  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting read! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #5 oldcrowcv63, Apr 4, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
    Nothing is as terrifying as fighting a war except perhaps experiencing the consequences of not fighting the one you are forced by events to fight….

    Humans are fallible creatures so war inevitably becomes the foulest of businesses in which humans can become engaged no matter how noble the cause. Only the alternative can justify it.

    Written after too many glasses of wine. :(
     
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  6. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
    John Stuart Mill
    English economist philosopher (1806 - 1873)
     
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  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Unless mankind can break the vicious cycle of violence that has perpetuated for millennia, these stories such as the one told by Lt. Harada, will always be told :(
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing Syscom.
     
  9. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    #9 syscom3, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
    Its like we are collectively sleepwalking through history. 1914 repeated all over again.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I can go one better than that, Sys...

    If you condense Imperial Rome's timeline from it's Zenith to the final years of the Western Empire, it virtually matches the U.S.'s situation from about the 1900's onward.

    Nothing new under the sun, I'm afraid.
     
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  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Interesting article; Harada doesn't look 98, he's aged remarkably well. I noticed the Kaiten and Ohka illustrations on the wall behind him in the shot of him speaking.

    An excerpt from Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units of World War Two by Ihukio Hata and Yasuo Izawa:

    "Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1916, Harada graduated from the 35th Pilot Training Class in February 1937. After being posted to the Saeki Air Group, he was next attached to the 12th Air Group in October and advanced to the central China battlefront. There was no opportunity for air combat however, and he was returned to the homeland in January 1938. Harada then served as an instructor in the Saeki, Tsukuba, Hyakurighara and Oita air groups; in September 1941 he was transferred to serve on board the Soryu. During the attack on Pearl Harbour, Harada was assigned patrol duties over the carriers. During the attack on Colombo on 5 April 1942, Harada engaged in air combat with British fighters and, to his credit, shot down five, (two probables) single-handedly. During an intercept of Hudson [Blenheim] bombers that attacked the striking force on the 9th, Harada and others jointly shot down two aircraft. Next Harada participated in the Battle of Midway and served on combat air patrol. During the course of three intercept operations, he shot down five enemy torpedo bombers, three jointly. Since the Soryu had been sunk however, Harada had to ditch and was picked up by a destroyer. In July, Harada was transferred to serve on board the Hiyo. In early October he left the homeland to participate in the Guadalcanal operation. During the attack on Guadalcanal on 17 October, while Harada escorted the carrier attack plane squadron, he engaged in combat with a force of of enemy fighters that had made a surprise attack on him by taking advantage of their superior altitude. After Harada had shot down one aircraft (a probable), he was hit and suffered severe injuries. He was forced to make an emergency landing close to the Rekata base. Harada was taken back to the homeland in a hospital ship and treated for wounds to his left shoulder and arms. Harada greeted the end of the war without having been able to regain his health. Number of aircraft shot down, nine (officially recognised)."
     
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  12. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    nuuumannn beat me to it. He is listed in Shattered Sword as a Soryu pilot (PO1C) and it lists his aircraft and sorties flown as well as engagements.
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Our old generation like Harada or my father once shouted "Fight and die for the country at all costs!" during the war.
    However, same people also said "Don't make war again at all costs!" after the war was over like a needle swung from an extreme to the other extreme.
    Frankly, I was unable to respect them when I was young because I knew they could have continued to say "Fight and die for the country" if they had won the war.

    Fortunately, my generation have had no chances to make war so far but it is also true that no one wants to be regarded as a coward as well as no one wants to kill or die.
    Mr Abe belongs to my generation and looks to me that he is trying to get the neutral position of the needle between militarist and pacifist as an ordinary country.
    He might look an idealist but is always a realist.
     
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  14. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Interesting read alright...
     
  15. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    Strange coincident. Today I was looking for films of John Ford, and found this.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajlKvA48IXU
     
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  16. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    #16 Von Frag, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
    Shattered Sword has him listed as engageing Midway VT, VT-3 and VSB-6. He then ditched at 1900 when there were no more flight decks and was picked up by a destroyer. Not certain if he landed on Hiryu at any time before that, but logic dictates this was so as the carriers were dive bombed and put out of comission at 10:20 or so. 9 Hours is a longtime to loiter even for a Zero, especially one that had been in combat.
     
  17. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Hard to watch. It did show Ens Gay, who did survive.
     
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