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XyZspineZyX
11-05-2003, 09:30 PM
Interview with Zero pilot Komachi Sadamu,....

/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif ---> http://www.danford.net/komachi.htm

This little part pasted here is only small part of larger Awsum read....beware when commentator switch between comments and Komachi' quotes.

-------------------------------------------------

The work of the carrier-based Reisen pilots was broadly divided into two categories, attack and garrison. Garrison was air cover for the fleet like what Mr. Komaki took part in that day. Attack consisted of close escort of the carrier-launched strike force to protect them from enemy fighters, and attainment of air superiority over the enemy fleet.

"Taking part in one or the other was decided on a rotation basis. I was of the opinion that air cover for the fleet was the more difficult of the two. In attack, simply put, once the bombing mission is fulfilled you can immediately withdraw. During withdrawal it is true that a a very dangerous part of the job is to eliminate enemy fighters chasing the retiring attack force. But during the latter half of the war, the dangers of fleet air cover became much greater than this.

In the general case, 6 or 9 planes were delegated for this duty (a unit of fighters was 9 planes, ikko chutai), whereas the enemy attack could easily be 100 planes, so we had our hands full trying to keep ourselves in one piece. On top of that, because it was our duty to protect the carriers, we could not even think of disengaging and escaping.

For us on the spot, we always wanted to increase the fleet air cover even at the expense of the attack force, but the top level folks who decided on the make-up of strikes always seemed eager to devote as much as possible of the fighter force to the attack. The reason was, these people had never done the work that we did, fighting way above them, you know. We were always conscious of this dilemma."

Fleet air cover included not only the threat of enemy planes but also the risk of being shot down by the fleet anti-aircraft fire. "There were many times when I knew that some of the gunners down there were shooting directly at me. Those guys were also very scared, and anything that flew near they took to be an enemy and shot at it. (laughter) But you know, when you are in earnest, these things happen, and we never complained about it even once. So therefore, when carrying out fleet air cover, to concentrate only on the enemy planes is very dangerous." That was a side issue. Actually, what Mr. Komachi considered the greatest problem in the field was the Reisen's abysmal radio gear.

"You know, can you believe that while we were carrying out fleet air cover we could not even communicate properly with the carriers directly below us! For example, in the morning a squadron of scout planes would be launched in a fan formation to ascertain whether or not there was an enemy air strike coming our way. So let's suppose one of the planed sent news of a contact from some direction. These messages were tapped out in Morse and could be received a long distance away. If this message was received, it was immediately known on which bearing the enemy was.

If this information could have been passed on directly to the fleet air cover Reisens, the friendly fighters woudl have the time and opportunity to position themselves between the enemy and the fleet, perhaps some 30 or 40 miles distant, and intercept the enemy there, giving time for three or four attacks at least, scattering the attacking force and dissipating their attacking power. But, our radio gear was completely unusable, so the information stopped at the commander on board the flagship and never reached us.

As air cover we flew in huge circles over the fleet. At times enemy attack force arrived while we were on the diametrically opposite side of the fleet! At times like that we dearly wished for a radio by which we could have been told that the enemy was not here but there.

So now, you know, when I get into a taxi, I have some mixed emotions when I hear the news from the taxi head office arriving, giving route, next destination and other useful information so clearly. In that war, if the lives of the Reisen pilots had been worth just a little more to the Navy general staff, they could easily have devoted some resources to improving our radio equipment I think. Even now, when I think about it I want to stamp my feet in frustration!"


---------------------------------
Also lifted.....

Dusk began to fall. Fuel too was getting low. My time is up I thought, and unconsciously turned my gaze to the sinking sun. At that moment, silhouetted in the sinking orb of the sun I could see two or three tiny bean-like objects. Those were ships!
------------------------------------

This is why we need a much larger ocean map--500km x 500km with just alot of (barren and easy to make) islands but also vast areas with nothing but ocean.

XyZspineZyX
11-05-2003, 09:30 PM
Interview with Zero pilot Komachi Sadamu,....

/i/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif ---> http://www.danford.net/komachi.htm

This little part pasted here is only small part of larger Awsum read....beware when commentator switch between comments and Komachi' quotes.

-------------------------------------------------

The work of the carrier-based Reisen pilots was broadly divided into two categories, attack and garrison. Garrison was air cover for the fleet like what Mr. Komaki took part in that day. Attack consisted of close escort of the carrier-launched strike force to protect them from enemy fighters, and attainment of air superiority over the enemy fleet.

"Taking part in one or the other was decided on a rotation basis. I was of the opinion that air cover for the fleet was the more difficult of the two. In attack, simply put, once the bombing mission is fulfilled you can immediately withdraw. During withdrawal it is true that a a very dangerous part of the job is to eliminate enemy fighters chasing the retiring attack force. But during the latter half of the war, the dangers of fleet air cover became much greater than this.

In the general case, 6 or 9 planes were delegated for this duty (a unit of fighters was 9 planes, ikko chutai), whereas the enemy attack could easily be 100 planes, so we had our hands full trying to keep ourselves in one piece. On top of that, because it was our duty to protect the carriers, we could not even think of disengaging and escaping.

For us on the spot, we always wanted to increase the fleet air cover even at the expense of the attack force, but the top level folks who decided on the make-up of strikes always seemed eager to devote as much as possible of the fighter force to the attack. The reason was, these people had never done the work that we did, fighting way above them, you know. We were always conscious of this dilemma."

Fleet air cover included not only the threat of enemy planes but also the risk of being shot down by the fleet anti-aircraft fire. "There were many times when I knew that some of the gunners down there were shooting directly at me. Those guys were also very scared, and anything that flew near they took to be an enemy and shot at it. (laughter) But you know, when you are in earnest, these things happen, and we never complained about it even once. So therefore, when carrying out fleet air cover, to concentrate only on the enemy planes is very dangerous." That was a side issue. Actually, what Mr. Komachi considered the greatest problem in the field was the Reisen's abysmal radio gear.

"You know, can you believe that while we were carrying out fleet air cover we could not even communicate properly with the carriers directly below us! For example, in the morning a squadron of scout planes would be launched in a fan formation to ascertain whether or not there was an enemy air strike coming our way. So let's suppose one of the planed sent news of a contact from some direction. These messages were tapped out in Morse and could be received a long distance away. If this message was received, it was immediately known on which bearing the enemy was.

If this information could have been passed on directly to the fleet air cover Reisens, the friendly fighters woudl have the time and opportunity to position themselves between the enemy and the fleet, perhaps some 30 or 40 miles distant, and intercept the enemy there, giving time for three or four attacks at least, scattering the attacking force and dissipating their attacking power. But, our radio gear was completely unusable, so the information stopped at the commander on board the flagship and never reached us.

As air cover we flew in huge circles over the fleet. At times enemy attack force arrived while we were on the diametrically opposite side of the fleet! At times like that we dearly wished for a radio by which we could have been told that the enemy was not here but there.

So now, you know, when I get into a taxi, I have some mixed emotions when I hear the news from the taxi head office arriving, giving route, next destination and other useful information so clearly. In that war, if the lives of the Reisen pilots had been worth just a little more to the Navy general staff, they could easily have devoted some resources to improving our radio equipment I think. Even now, when I think about it I want to stamp my feet in frustration!"


---------------------------------
Also lifted.....

Dusk began to fall. Fuel too was getting low. My time is up I thought, and unconsciously turned my gaze to the sinking sun. At that moment, silhouetted in the sinking orb of the sun I could see two or three tiny bean-like objects. Those were ships!
------------------------------------

This is why we need a much larger ocean map--500km x 500km with just alot of (barren and easy to make) islands but also vast areas with nothing but ocean.

XyZspineZyX
11-06-2003, 12:00 AM
Good read, thank you.

XyZspineZyX
11-06-2003, 03:59 AM
excellent read. thanks. Im sure you read Samurai by Saburo Sakai. Although not mentioned in your article, guess he never wore a parachute. The story about the cruiser not stopping to pick him up I believe. I read somewhere that the ships never stopped to pick up downed airmen. Pretty sad.

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Saluti!
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XyZspineZyX
11-06-2003, 10:56 PM
Ctrl+Bump if you can take time away from babysitting the beta.