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View Full Version : WO Muto's deadly coup



KIMURA
04-15-2004, 08:23 AM

KIMURA
04-15-2004, 08:23 AM

F19_Olli72
04-15-2004, 08:46 AM
Regardless if he shot down those 4 Hellcats or not, thats not an unbelievable story. I mean.. Ryuji Nagatsuka attacked & shot down a B-29 (propable, he let it go and later there was a report of a crashed B-29 close by) in a Ki-27. Saburo Sakai fought a dozen of Wildcats (or was it Hellcats? cant remember) and survived. Also read an accound of 4 P-38s who bounced a lone Ki-43 and fought for over 40 minutes before they ran out of ammo and had to let him go.

So did Muto do it? I dunno, but its not impossible.

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jeanba2
04-15-2004, 09:16 AM
Actually, the Hellcats were involved in a furball with zeroes when Muto attacked. They had accounted for 6 of them (as far as I remember) so :
- Muto certainly had the advantage of surprise and position
- The Hellcats were more or less dispersed.

And after all, when taking into account the whole fight, the Japanese lost more aircraft than the US ...

Aztek_Eagle
04-15-2004, 09:24 AM
many of this unbelible storys are confirmet by the allies, hellcat aces of ww2 say that there was a time where they found them self wiht a group of zeros been flown by highly skilled and agresive pilots, that day the hellcats group came back wiht minus 8 planes, another one is the solo zero pilot who took by him self on more than 20 p51s, managed to shoot down at least one, and he left wiht out a scract, so it is unbelible but when confirmet by boht sources, do u need more????

http://www.angelfire.com/art2/robertosgallery/CORSAIR8.JPG

Gunner_361st
04-15-2004, 10:07 AM
To clarify, Saburo Sakai was actively engaged by 15 Hellcats and spent the entire time just evading, trying not to get shot. He managed to make it over his home base and the anti-aircraft fire opened up on the hellcats, causing them to disperse and head for home.

Amazingly, after he landed, they couldn't find a single hole in his airplane. He said the hellcat pilots seemed to be relatively inexperienced, opening fire from far away and spraying wildly, never leading him enough as he broke into an evasive turn.

This particular incident about a pilot shooting down 4 and escaping the other 8 I have heard of but am hesitant to believe. I'd be convinced if I saw some reports documenting the losses of those hellcats and verification from both sides of the event.

We have to remember WWII was not only fought literally but psychologically as well. Outrageous propaganda was used by both the Japanese and Americans. Accounts of terrific feats should not be out-and-out rejected, but taken with a grain of salt.

Major Gunner of the 361st vFG

http://home.comcast.net/~smconlon/wsb/media/245357/site1080.jpg

Ruy Horta
04-15-2004, 10:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KIMURA:
Kaniyoshi 'Kinsuke' Muto vs.12 Cats, shooting four of them down and
escaping untouched by the remaining 8? Several books and
sources do 'prove' that dogfight occured on 15th Feb 1945 at
Yokosuka AF vs. VF-15 Hellcats - other newer sources and
books do state that dogfight was taken by the Japanese as a
hold-strong/hold-together propaganda...

What do you think?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The point isn't what to think about it.
The point is to look for real answers.

The Japanese side will be hard, but the US-side will be relatively easy.

You need exact day of combat, perhaps time and the USN loss record for the day.

If you can find that at day X the USN lost 3-4 F6F on a single mission, you've got a starting point.

Now its gets interesting if you cannot find matching losses. Lets say only two Hellcats were lost...still a nice score, but the story gets less spectacular. Damaged a/c?

Unfortunately the PTO isn't my main interest, but you could post this question on the board I host. Good chance you'll get a nice answer.

http://disc.server.com/Indices/37919.html

Ruy Horta

BarkhornXX
04-15-2004, 10:58 AM
Here is some additional information - just select the 3rd link;

http://www.j-aircraft.com/faq/navy_aces.htm

From what we read here - it's one of those issues that "could" have happened - but was not likely - at least not in that way. It reminds me of the Billy Bishop and Raymond Barker episodes in WWI.

Barkhorn.

BTW, Henry Sakaida strikes me as a very careful researcher. I have 3 of his books and have cooresponded with him on the past.

sugaki
04-15-2004, 11:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KIMURA:
Kaniyoshi 'Kinsuke' Muto vs.12 Cats, shooting four of them down and escaping untouched by the remaining 8? Several books and sources do 'prove' that dogfight occured on 15th Feb 1945 at Yokosuka AF vs. VF-82 Hellcats...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your post is essentially saying that you don't believe it happened because you don't believe somebody can pull it off. As Rhorta said, that's insufficient to discredit the story. Just because you claim something doesn't mean it's true.

And just because it sounds like propaganda doesn't mean it is. Sure, that's great material for propaganda. But just because it's great propaganda material that means it's not true? That's flawed argumentation.

There would need to be definitive evidence that the Japanese were lying, with accounts from the squadrons involved and such. I'm not sure what Henry Sakaida's book says, but to discredit the story just because you're cynical isn't enough.

KIMURA
04-15-2004, 12:56 PM
Hi Sugaki

It has shown that even IJN/JAAF top aces weren't able to shoot down at least 1 or 2 USN a/c during one mission at this stage of war, even if the numbers of contrahents were equal or nearly equal. Muto had all shortcommings at his side, he was alone, he was minor, he had lesser E caused by his climb. But to keep the upper had in a DF - as Muto claimed - you have to own superior E or you will fail to return even your a/c turns tighter. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/blink.gif It has shown that either JAAF or IJN had the tendency to embroid. Take look at JAAF/IJN tallies after WWII and now after the tallies became a correct down.

BarkhornXX
04-15-2004, 01:51 PM
Sugaki


Actually, youâ've got that exactly backwards from a logical standpoint.

The onus of proof is ALWAYS on the one making the claim. The incident as described is an extraordinary one – yes? Extraordinary events require extraordinary proof (you donâ't really believe that some guy died and then got up after 3 days because you read it in some book now do you? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif)

Soâ...what we have here – in the absence of AARâ's/Loss reports from each side - is pretty much hearsay. Now I canâ't prove – based on the available evidence - that the action did not occur, as you cannot prove a negative.

However, in light of the absence of positive evidence, I would turn your last statement around and point out that to credit the story just because you're credulous isn't enough either.

Giganoni
04-15-2004, 07:45 PM
Not to discredit Henry, he has a good repore with Japanese pilots and is probably careful in his research, this is a hobby for him. He is an amatuer historian. I'm simply saying his work should not be seen as definitive, but neither should a professional historian's work.

As for the story about Muto? How did this story come about? Some say it was Japanese propoganda? Then where is the article? I've only seen english sources cite it..and maybe the story originated from an english source to begin with? I believe the story is probable though..maybe even more probable then some stories of American recon planes taking down Zeros and bombers by themselves.

VF-3Thunderboy
04-15-2004, 11:44 PM
If he took out 4 cats, and the rest then ran, it is certainly possible, given Saburo Sakis encounter, they could have been green hellcat pilots also. Remember that 12 = 6 pair, roughly, if the Americans held wingman formations. Then again, if they broke up, and ran after 4 kills, it could have happened. But why was he alone? Was he coming back from a mission? Its a good story anyway, but in MS it states that he may have had cover, or not...

jeanba2
04-16-2004, 01:10 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sugaki:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KIMURA:
Kaniyoshi 'Kinsuke' Muto vs.12 Cats, shooting four of them down and escaping untouched by the remaining 8? Several books and sources do 'prove' that dogfight occured on 15th Feb 1945 at Yokosuka AF vs. VF-82 Hellcats...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your post is essentially saying that you don't believe it happened because you don't believe somebody can pull it off. As Rhorta said, that's insufficient to discredit the story. Just because you claim something doesn't mean it's true.

And just because it sounds like propaganda doesn't mean it is. Sure, that's great material for propaganda. But just because it's great propaganda material that means it's not true? That's flawed argumentation.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Muto was NOT alone : the japanese propaganda part consisted in saying that he was, and it is true that he operated independantly, but actually, this was a sort of impro : The improvized ambush : the Hellcat were involved in a furball when they were bounced by Muto.
Brown in his book "Dual in the sky" wrote that the losses were confirmed by the US sources.

BarkhornXX
04-16-2004, 06:31 AM
I read the Henry Sakaida book last night and here is what he stated;
1. Muto took of in a "George", as he was part of a Development Detachment - he does not mention any companions (but that doesn't mean there weren't any)
2. He downed 4 Hellcats
3. The Japanese propaganda machine came up w/ the 12 to 1 odds angle.
4. It's the 12 to 1 thing that is the myth.

Sounds reasonable to me - given all else that's been reported.

Giganoni
04-16-2004, 06:52 PM
I still say there are too many inconsistancies and no one here has been able to prove or disprove this story adequately. If Muto bounced the Hellcats already engaged with Zeros..my questions are: Did he down a hellcat first pass? Did the Hellcats respond by disengaging the Zeros and concentrating on this new, obviously more dangerous threat? Did the Zeros try to stay engaged or tried to disengage (no ammo, low fuel, damage)? Did he run from the Hellcats after downing four? Or did they run from him? Was he flying over territory that had AA coverage? Did the Hellcats disengage because of AA fire? Maybe they had no ammo, low fuel, or too much damage.

I think a lot of questions would need to be answered before it can be proven otherwise.

My one written source that has the story (Bishops Encyclopedia of Weapons of WWII) Says this: " an instance occured when a single Japanese pilot,Warrant Officer Kinsuke Muto, fought off 12 Hellcats, downing four."

Doesn't that seem vague? All that it is implying is that He was targted by 12 Hellcats and downed four of those. Even if the Hellcats previously were engaged with Zeros this could be the case.

Alyssa1127
04-17-2004, 03:25 PM
I voted 'yes' for the following reasons:

1. To be the sole attacker of a 12-ship flight does have the advantage of zero-confusion on a/c id. Muto would've enjoyed knowing that anything that came across his path was a target while the Hellcat pilots would've had to pause to make sure they were not shooting one of their own.

2. In several accounts, Muto is regarded as one of Japan's best pilots, of the same caliber as Sakai, Nishisawa, and Ota. If his skills indeed were on par with these three, it is not inconceivable to think that he could've survived.

Just my 2/1000ths of a cent worth. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Ruy Horta
04-17-2004, 03:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BarkhornXX:
I read the Henry Sakaida book last night and here is what he stated;<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Charleton Heston voice:
Damn you, damn you all to Hell!

If I hadn't enough worries collecting all kinds of books, dropping by today at the local aviation hobby store I just HAD to pick up a copy of "Genda's Blade" myself.

GRUMBLE...

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/51.gif

Ruy Horta

FA_Maddog
04-17-2004, 08:13 PM
"In air-to-air combat, experienced Japanese pilots flying Shiden Kais could more than hold their own against most American pilots flying F6F Hellcats. In February 1945, a brave pilot, Warrant Officer Muto, single-handedly engaged 12 Hellcats and shot down four of them before the remainder disengaged."

Who wrote this? Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum!!

Link: http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/aero/aircraft/kawanish_n1k2.htm

If it's myth, they have the Smithsonian duped. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

SkyChimp
04-17-2004, 09:01 PM
Muto's claim is rather meek in the scheme of things. Fantastic claims by the Japanese were the norm For instance:

On 19 March 1945 at 0930 Air Group 343, flying N1K2-Js, intercepted a large formation of fighters and dive bombers and succeeded in shooting down 48 F6Fs and F4Us and 4 SB2Cs for the loss of 16. And only a portion of those 16 were shot down. Some were lost in ramming attacks.

That's quite an accomplishment.

I'd suggest you check out Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in WWII, Hata and Izawa if you can find it.

Regards,
http://members.cox.net/us.fighters/wildsig.jpg

[This message was edited by SkyChimp on Sat April 17 2004 at 08:11 PM.]

Ruy Horta
04-18-2004, 01:02 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SkyChimp:I'd suggest you check out __Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in WWII_, Hata and Izawa_ if you can find it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can second that fully.

This title has been published in the US by the Naval Institute and Britain by Airlife.

Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II
Ikuhiko Hata & Yasuho Izawa
Airlife, 1990
1-85310-138-9
Hard Cover
442p.

Also you might consider to get the following two titles to boot.

Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces 1931-1945
Ikuhiko Hata, Yasuho Izawa & Christopher Shores
Grub Street, 2002
1-902304-89-6
Hard Cover
340p.

completing with

Stars & Bars
A Tribute to the American Fighter Ace 1920 - 1973
Frank Olynyk
Grub Street, 1995
1-898697-17-5
Hard Cover
668p.

Now you are ready to compare aces and units in the Pacific, both Army and Navy.

Ruy Horta

SkyChimp
04-18-2004, 01:28 AM
I've got quite a few titles published by Grub Street. Anything they publish is bound to be first rate.

Buffaloes Over Singapore is one I just picked up and but haven'y really gotten into yet. It looks like a winner, though.

http://www.grubstreet.co.uk/images/Buffaloes%20Over%20Singapore.JPG

http://www.grubstreet.co.uk/military_history_-_aviation.htm

=====

Additionally, I chatted with Bill Wolf a few months ago. He has several titles published by Schiffer. His latestst book should be out in June, tenatively titled Fighters Of The Southern Cross, a history of the units and actions that took place in the southwest Pacific and Australia.

He has (at this time) a 2-volume set coming out on the B-29, as well. Last I had heard, he was haggling with Boeing about the costs of using their photos in his books.

Regards,
http://members.cox.net/us.fighters/wildsig.jpg

Ruy Horta
04-18-2004, 06:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SkyChimp:
I've got quite a few titles published by Grub Street. Anything they publish is bound to be first rate.

_Buffaloes Over Singapore_ is one I just picked up and but haven'y really gotten into yet. It looks like a winner, though.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I must admit that I share your enthusiasm about Grub Street's publications. Haven't got the Singapore title (yet), but have had my sight on it for some time. Its wise to wait for them to hit the "discount" price-level at the big online stores. Right now this one has, so its about time! In this case there is also the added special interest of Dutch ops with the Buffalo.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Additionally, I chatted with Bill Wolf a few months ago. He has several titles published by Schiffer. His latestst book should be out in June, tenatively titled _Fighters Of The Southern Cross_, a history of the units and actions that took place in the southwest Pacific and Australia.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Although this is the first time I hear about this work, it sounds like another must have to me. These general campaign books are always good to have. Any special interest can always be followed upon afterwards.

I'll put this one on my wishlist.

http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/59.gif

Ruy Horta