The first land battle of World War II for the Americans.

Discussion in 'Stories' started by vikingBerserker, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I have never heard of this before and involves a Japanese Pilot that crashed landed in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Source: The Accidental WWII Land Battle In Hawaii - KnowledgeNuts

    After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, one Japanese pilot had plane trouble heading back to base. He had to make a crash landing on Niihau, an island in Hawaii inhabited mostly by natives. Enlisting help from a few other Japanese citizens on the island, a pitched battle took place on and off over a week before the pilot and his helpers were defeated, ending the first land battle of World War II for the Americans.

    Shortly after bombing Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Japanese planes turned back to the aircraft carriers in the Pacific. One pilot, Shigenori Nishikaichi, had engine trouble and was forced to make an emergency landing. Pilots were told by their commanders that should the situation arise, they should try to land on the Hawaiian island of Niihau (which they thought was abandoned) and later be rescued by a Japanese submarine. However, when he was landing, he saw a little mistake in his commander’s briefing: The island had people. They were unaware that the island was dedicated to preserving Hawaiian language and culture, and that almost all non-Hawaiians were not allowed to visit.

    Nishikaichi crash landed in a field, coming to a stop six meters (20 ft) away from Hawaiian Ben Kaleohano. Although he didn’t know about the attack, he and all other islanders were aware of the tensions between the US and Japan, so he decided to take the unconscious pilot’s pistol and papers. However, the islanders took him in, even throwing a party for him later that night, communicating with him through two Japanese who were married to Hawaiians on the island. After they found out about the attack however, the mood changed. He confessed what he knew about the attack, and the residents guarded him from then on. When the island’s caretaker couldn’t make it to the island on his weekly visit due to the attacks, they started to grow nervous. The Japanese-Hawaiians even offered them $200 to let the pilot go.

    After about five days, one of the Japanese men and his wife decided to get the pilot back. They beat and locked up the guard, freed the pilot, and took a shotgun and pistol to Kaleohano’s house for the papers. Kaleohano saw them coming and ran to alert the villagers. A huge bonfire was set to signal the military and the island’s caretaker, and a canoe was taken to nearby Kauai. The pilot went to his plane, but failed to make contact with anyone. Finally, the battle started when the pilot and the two conspirators burned down Kaleohano’s house and took a man and his wife hostage. When the pilot was distracted, the man and wife, Ben and Ella Kanehele, jumped on the pilot. The conspirator managed to shoot Ben Kanahele three times, including once in the family jewels (yes, really), but he simply shrugged it off, picked up the pilot and threw him down. His wife hit the pilot with a rock and good ol’ Ben slit his throat. The Japanese conspirator, not wanting to mess with the man who was apparently impervious to getting shot below the belt, committed suicide.

    Later that day, the Hawaiians in the Canoe were joined by the caretaker and the military, who promptly arrested the remaining conspirators. Ben Kanahele was sent to a hospital and later received numerous awards for taking out the pilot and serving in the first land battle of World War II.
     
  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Parts of this Zero still exist today, the Zero was BII-120 from the Hiryu, in fact some of the remains and a restored Zero which depicts BII-120 is located at the Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbour.
     
  3. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    a great story
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting story! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. bowfin

    bowfin Member

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    Many people overlook this story when castigating the U.S. for Japanese internment camps. Although I don't agree with that the actions of a few were good enough reason for the creation of the camps, one would have to admit that relations between those of Japanese ancestry and America got off to a poor start with this event.
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting story as there were Japanese Americans.
    Thanks for sharing, David.
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Theres a point to what you say, but the Americans did treat expatriot Germans and Italians differentlyto the Japanese, and post war compensation to these people, who never did anything wrong really, other than be of a different race, was attrocious.

    Chronology of the Japanese American Internment


    http://www.traces.org/timeline.aftermath.html
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Just for the record, German Americans and German immigrants were rounded up and interned in the US, along with Italian Americans/immigrants. Out of the three groups, the German Americans never recieved compensation or an apology.

    All of this was done under the "Alien Enemies Act of 1798"

    Something that's rarely ever heard about, but plenty of documentation.
     
  9. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Yet another little publicized fact...
     
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