Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Author: Henry Sakaida
40 Meticulously accurate and beautiful
scale drawing profiles by Mark Styling
This beautifully illustrated book, full of photos, and authoritatively reported by the actual elite fighter pilots of the various sentais within the JAAF who fought on with near fanatical loyalty in defense of the Home Islands. This book list 150 JAAF pilots who achieved Ace status. Pilots of the calibre of Hiromichi Shinohara, Yasuhiro Kuroe, and Satoshi Anabuki, all of whom scored 50 kills apiece, previously unknown outside Japan, but their exploits detailed in full in this volume.

The illustration above is color plate # 17, of 40 accurately detailed drawings by Mark Styling. The aircraft is a Ki-43-111-Ko flown by the 64th Sentai Co., Maj. Hideo Miyabe, Kakor Airfield, Indochina, May 1945


There is full coverage of pilots and planes starting with the Japanese conflict with China, Manchuria, and the battle with the Soviet air offensive. The Japanese expansion into the China-Burma-India theatre area is fully documented once again with numerous photos of aircraft and pilots. A typical story is that of Maj. Yasuhiko Kuroe who was the top scoring Ace among the Army Academy graduates, ending the war with 51 kills. He was the first JAAF pilot to down an RAF Mosquito, also a F5A and a P-38. The New Guinea battles are covered, ending up with home defense. The last section covers the protection of Japan against the B-29 onslaught, with the report of the last major combat between the JAAF and the Americans. The 244th Sentai claimed 12 Hellcats destroyed for the loss of two pilots. It ended the conflict with claims of 102 B-29s shot down and 192 damaged.

This book is certainly one of the most fascinating you will ever read, I recommend it highly. It explores a previously unknown area of who our enemy really was, their weapons, their techniques, their pilots.

Report by Wayland Mayo, Website Historian

Index - Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9
Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Photos A - Photos B - Photos C

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