Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 22 : Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-1945
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. Following a series of key carrier battles, navy pilots began to operate predominantly from shore bases in New Guinea, the Philippines and finally the Japanese home islands. New fighter types like the Raiden, Shiden/Shiden-kai, Gekko and later versions of the Zero only helped delay the inevitable defeat, and hundreds of naval pilots paid the ultimate price in the final months of war as kamikazes. Text by Henry Sakaida with illustrations by Tom Tullis.
- The China War
- Early Months of the Pacific War
- New Guinea, Rabaul and the Solomons
- Central Pacific to the Philippines
- Home Defence
Osprey Aircraft of the Aces