"The Last Zero Fighter" by Dan King

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by vikingBerserker, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    #1 vikingBerserker, Sep 14, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2012
    The Last Zero Fighter – Firsthand Accounts from WWII Japanese Naval Pilots
    By Dan King
    Pacific Press – 2012
    ISBN 978-1468178807

    Zero.jpg

    Fresh off of the printing press, this book gives firsthand accounts of 5 Japanese Naval aviators during WW2, a welcome addition to the few that are currently out there.

    The book is 292 pages long, divided into 5 Chapters (each one devoted to one man) and contains 79 pictures and drawings.

    The men featured are (summaries are from Historical Consulting | The Last Zero Figher):

    1 - Kaname Harada: Worked his way out of the fleet Navy to become a fighter pilot. He is the last surviving member of the air group that bombed the USS Panay outside of Nanking in December 1937. He flew from the Soryu at the Battle of Wake Island, then at Midway claiming few U.S. Navy torpedo bombers, and was later shot down at Guadalcanal. He ended the war training future Kamikaze pilots who were slated to fly rocket fighters into US warships.

    2 - Isamu Miyazaki: Served in the surface fleet where he traveled to Egypt and Paris before the war, later worked on a river boat in China before making it into the Naval Air Service in 1936. He was a wingman of Kanichi "One-Wing" Kashimura in the sky above Yokosuka on April 18, 1942 as the Doolittle Raiders attacked Japan. He fought US fighters in the 252nd Air Group under Lt Suganami and then Lt. Naoshi Kanno at Rabaul; then Guadalcanal; the reverse defense of Wake Island; then fought against B-24 bombers and then the US invasion of Tarawa from his base in the Marshall Islands; he fought as a member of the Hachiman Butai in the skies over Iwo Jima and then assigned to Minoru Genda's air group of Aces, the 343rd Air Group for the defense of the homelands. He witnessed the atomic bombing of Nagasaki

    3 - Haruo Yoshino: Joined the Navy as a teenager and was the commander of a torpedo plane from the Kaga that dropped a fish into the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. He was in the initial invasion of Rabaul and the attack on Port Darwin, Australia. He was later in one of the seven infamous search planes that failed to locate the Americans at the Battle of Midway and was aboard the Kaga when it was attacked and sunk. He went through Truk Lagoon, fought at Guadalcanal, Santa Cruz, in the air above Iwo Jima and Leyte Gulf in the Philippines.

    4 - Toshimitsu Imaizumi: Joined the Navy's pre-flight academy as a teenager and became a fighter pilot stationed on Hainan Island where he fought against B-24s and P-38s before being sent to Taiwan and with the 254th Air Group to Mabalacat Airfield the Philippines. He witnessed the first official Kamikaze flight taken by Lt. Yukio Seki. He himself flew Kamikaze escort duty, and then eventually was assigned as a Kamikaze pilot himself in the defense of Okinawa.

    5 - Tomokazu Kasai: The youngest Japanese Naval ace of the war joined the Navy's pre-flight academy as a teenager and found himself thrust into combat over Iwo Jima, Guam, Saipan, Peleliu, Yap the Philippines as a Kamikaze escort pilot and finally with the squadron of aces, the 301st Fighter Squadron under Minoru Genda, the planner of the Pearl Harbor attack.

    The only bad thing I can say about this book is I wished it had been much longer

    I give this book a solid 10 A6M Zeros!
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Few know that book in my country.
    Thanks for sharing, vB!
     
  3. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    That looks interesting...:D
     
  4. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed it looks interesting. It would be nice to read a Japanese pilots experience in the war fighting against the Allies.+-
     
  5. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a real nice book, will hae to look out for it myself.

    A similar book I read years back was by Ken (Kenishi/Kenichi?) Watanabe called 'I was a Kamikaze' by puffin books if my memory fails me - alothough it were only written from his start of training to his A/C failing to take off due to late war 'A-go' fuel petrol mixed with distilled alcohol to water down and spread the petrol/av-gas further between units - I can imagine they secretly joked it being Aho fuel , cos' to try and fly using it, you almost had to be an idiot - specially if there was more alcohol (or even with additional parafin/thinners or sugar ferment boosted sake) than petrol content, although to defend ones families, friends and etc, he they still tried to.
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Just checked, the book is available from amazon.com for $24.95 (usd) plus shipping.

    Charles
     
  7. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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  8. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Not in Japanese??????? WOW, that's really shocking and a shame.
     
  9. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Yes, this guy regrets though I do not know his name as he hides it:)

    conv0003-4cc4a.jpg conv0004-3f707.jpg
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    His name is Nobuhiro Nakamura.

    It does not make sense to me that is has not been published in Japanese. The author Dan King has a bachelor's degree in Japanese language. Hopefully it will be soon!
     
  11. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great book, wouldn't mind adding it to my bookshelf.
     
  12. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Dan King will be speaking at Planes of Fame this Saturday. 8)

    I bought the book and have read all but the last chapter. For me the book is good on the detail oriented side, where the pilots served and when, but not so much when it comes to getting to know the pilots and what motivated them. It's definitely worth a read but I would say to check it out at your local library before deciding if you are going to buy yourself a copy.


    Wheels
     
  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Wheels, will you be attending?

    If you are looking for the more "human" side, you might want to look at "Blossoms In The Wind - Human Legacies of the Kamikaze" by M. G. Sheftall.

    It deals mainly with the pilots, but also touches upon the Torpedomen and the Nadeshiko Unit, young girls that helped out around their bases. It really shows them as being far more human then fanatical soldiers.
     
  14. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I will be attending Saturdays event at Planes of Fame. Having read "The Last Zero Fighter" I am interested to hear any new stories he might relate about the pilots he interviewed.

    Thanks VB, I will check out Blossoms in the Wind. :thumbup:


    Wheels
     
  15. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool, have a blast my friend!
     
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