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lookatsix
08-04-2004, 03:08 PM
On 28th February, whilst on solo patrol east of Surabaya in Java, he intercepted a DC-3 transport plane. Though Imperial Japanese Navy pilots had strict instructions to destroy all enemy aircraft regardless of whether they were armed or not and without any special consideration for the presence of civilians or medical personnel, Sakai did not simply open fire upon it; he paced the plane and pulled alongside it.

The personal account of a nurse on board the Dutch military DC-3 (C-47) air ambulance which was flying at low altitude over dense jungle reveals the terror caused by Sakai's arrival. She recalled that on board with her were wounded soldiers and several children who were being evacuated from a combat zone. Suddenly, a Zero fighter appeared level with their plane.

The nurse could see the Japanese pilot's facial features clearly. She and some of the children stood by the tiny cabin and cockpit windows of the DC-3 and began frantically trying to wave him off - they were, of course, unaware of the IJN's standing orders and didn't realise that Japanese pilots had been told that even medical transports were legitimate targets. It is not hard to imagination the panic they must have experienced while literally pleading for their lives.

After endless moments of what must have been sheer terror for the desperately pantomiming passengers, the Zero gave a quick, acknowledging wing wobble before peeling off and disappearing from sight. The DC-3 was filled with cheers and sobs of relief.

For over fifty years, the Dutch nurse wished to meet with the Japanese pilot who spared her life, as well as the lives of the wounded soldiers and children that day. The Japanese Red Cross was able to locate the pilot of the Zero, and discover that it was none other than the famous ace Saburo Sakai. When asked if he remembered the incident, Sakai replied that he did. He said that for a brief moment he had thought about downing the plane. But he saw a young blonde-haired woman and a small child staring at him from the DC-3, then discerned other waving hands and horror-stricken faces in the windows of the DC-3 and was moved to mercy; thinking that anyone who wanted to live that badly deserved to survive.


Saburo Sakai 64 viktory's


treu knight of the sky

S

lookatsix
08-04-2004, 03:08 PM
On 28th February, whilst on solo patrol east of Surabaya in Java, he intercepted a DC-3 transport plane. Though Imperial Japanese Navy pilots had strict instructions to destroy all enemy aircraft regardless of whether they were armed or not and without any special consideration for the presence of civilians or medical personnel, Sakai did not simply open fire upon it; he paced the plane and pulled alongside it.

The personal account of a nurse on board the Dutch military DC-3 (C-47) air ambulance which was flying at low altitude over dense jungle reveals the terror caused by Sakai's arrival. She recalled that on board with her were wounded soldiers and several children who were being evacuated from a combat zone. Suddenly, a Zero fighter appeared level with their plane.

The nurse could see the Japanese pilot's facial features clearly. She and some of the children stood by the tiny cabin and cockpit windows of the DC-3 and began frantically trying to wave him off - they were, of course, unaware of the IJN's standing orders and didn't realise that Japanese pilots had been told that even medical transports were legitimate targets. It is not hard to imagination the panic they must have experienced while literally pleading for their lives.

After endless moments of what must have been sheer terror for the desperately pantomiming passengers, the Zero gave a quick, acknowledging wing wobble before peeling off and disappearing from sight. The DC-3 was filled with cheers and sobs of relief.

For over fifty years, the Dutch nurse wished to meet with the Japanese pilot who spared her life, as well as the lives of the wounded soldiers and children that day. The Japanese Red Cross was able to locate the pilot of the Zero, and discover that it was none other than the famous ace Saburo Sakai. When asked if he remembered the incident, Sakai replied that he did. He said that for a brief moment he had thought about downing the plane. But he saw a young blonde-haired woman and a small child staring at him from the DC-3, then discerned other waving hands and horror-stricken faces in the windows of the DC-3 and was moved to mercy; thinking that anyone who wanted to live that badly deserved to survive.


Saburo Sakai 64 viktory's


treu knight of the sky

S

Cmte. Carvalho
08-04-2004, 04:08 PM
Wonderful story!

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zlin
08-04-2004, 06:04 PM
WOW ! nice touch http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/heart.gif SALUTE

Udidtoo
08-04-2004, 06:52 PM
Were you to post that on a good many of todays sites that like to bill themselves as enlightened it would be met with derision.

To many people today just can't comprehend a heart that contains a warriors instincts and compassion at the same time. To them anyone who would "stoop" to wearing a uniform are at best witless pawns at worst louts and thugs.

People who frequent a place like our forum here know full well that words like nobility and honor were more than mere words for some of the men and women we remember.

Nice reads, cheers

..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

Vladimir_No2
08-04-2004, 09:13 PM
Wow, what a great story. Thanks for posting it. I guess all "honor in war" did not go away after WWI...

-Vlad
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Der Spaziergang uber Warshau

John_Stag
08-05-2004, 01:29 AM
Good post. Thanks.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>:Corporal! Where are you taking those vultures?

Corporal: Officers to the mess, NCO's to the Guardroom, Sir!

:Like hell you are, they're responsible for all this, get them to clean it up!

Corporal: But what about the officers, Sir?

:Give 'em a bloody shovel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

arcadeace
08-05-2004, 03:04 AM
Its not so easy for me to judge what is honorable when acts of mercy are involved in the midst of war, but this at least shows me he could still recognize the value of innocent human life. It was a good read, thanks for posting it.

ploughman
08-05-2004, 03:12 AM
Good tale of an honourable man. The last time this story was posted the DC-3 was over Irian Jaya.

pourshot
08-05-2004, 04:35 AM
Yes it takes a great man to not shoot a air ambulance http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/51.gif

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CAC CA-15 Kangaroo

Rab03
08-05-2004, 06:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pourshot:
Yes it takes a great man to not shoot a air ambulance http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/51.gif
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Was Sakai alone? Did his superiors found out about his act of mercy (and disobeying orders)?

I agree, in general, that sparing lives of innocents souldn't be considered act of heroism. But have in mind that he acted contrary to the standing order, and that there was a chance for him to be dishonored or executed for doing so. If these assumptions are correct, then they open new perspective on the event described above, and make it an act of personal honor.

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Udidtoo
08-05-2004, 06:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rab03:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pourshot:
Yes it takes a great man to not shoot a air ambulance http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/51.gif
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Was Sakai alone? Did his superiors found out about his act of mercy (and disobeying orders)?

I agree, in general, that sparing lives of innocents souldn't be considered act of heroism. But have in mind that he acted contrary to the standing order, and that there was a chance for him to be dishonored or executed for doing so. If these assumptions are correct, then they open new perspective on the event described above, and make it an act of personal honor.

See my skins at
http://www.il2skins.com/?action=list&authoridfilter=Rab&ts=1069857387&comefrom=credits
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rabo that was exactly my point. He not only diregaurded standing orders. He was the product of a culture who's idea of "innocent lives" stopped at their own borders.
It would have been so very easy for the man to have just stated later "Hey, I was just following orders" but he didn't and that IMO is a trait of nobility, what ever side some people still fight for in their imagination 60 odd years later regardless.

..............................
I always have just enough fuel to arrive at the scene of my crash.

Aero_Shodanjo
08-05-2004, 08:19 AM
This is somehow showed some contrast:

During Battle of Britain, RAF pilots were ordered to shoot down German float planes that searching the channel for their downed pilots.

The reason was those saved pilots will get back in the air and fight again.

Im not sure if those planes had redcross marks on them or not. But while the reason is (was?) understandable, not all of the downed pilots were healthy and suffered no wounds.

Sakai, on the other hand really showed mercy. Consciousness, if you will, or anything, that prevented him from pulling the trigger on that DC3.

The same with a German ace (read about it a while back in this forum too) who refused to down a heavily damaged B17. He even escorted the bomber halfway before turning back home.

These stories showed that - at least - in WWII that is known as the greatest war ever, honour and mercy still has their parts in it.

I just hope those things arent lost today.

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