Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45
Publication Date: August 1998
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The outcome of the Pacific War was heavily influenced by the results of naval battles between the Imperial Japanese fleet and the US Navy. One of the key elements was Japan's large fighter component, which had gained experience over Manchuria, China and Mongolia in the late 1930s. Flying A5Ms, at least 21 pilots achieved 'acedom' securing air superiority for the invaders. Manufacturer Mitsubishi derived much from these campaigns, producing one of the best fighters of the War, the A6M Zero-Sen. Navy pilots proved to be highly skilled when engaged by the Allied forces, Pacific. Pilots like Nishizawa, Sagita and Sakai scoring more than 60 kills apiece.
About the AuthorKOJI TAKAKI can remember seeing B-29s and other military aircraft in the skies over Saeki City in Oita Prefecture, East Kyushu, during his primary school years. Taught to speak English when still a student, he has been an avid collector of literature on wartime Japanese military aviation since the late 1950s. Now retired after a long career in the textiles industry, Takaki is working on several book projects with Henry Sakaida. This is his first volume for Osprey.
A third generation Japanese American (Sansei), Henry Sakaida has spent much of his life researching the shadowy history of the Japanese fighter pilot. His eye for detail and exhaustive research has led to him being given access to much archive material by former aces who have remained silent since the end of the war.