Kamikaze Pilots get a TAN at Ulithi

Today's History Lesson

When the Japanese military first implemented its kamikaze plan in October of 1944, the stated goal was “one man, one  ship“.  And while it was certainly possible for one pilot, flying a plane loaded with one (or more) bombs, to sink a ship, reality showed that such a ratio was pretty difficult to maintain.

In these latter stages of the Pacific War, aerial warfare was a pretty lopsided affair.  Carrier aircraft of the U.S. Navy enjoyed total control of the skies.  Japanese pilots were still flying the same aircraft they had at the beginning of the war, while their American counterparts were not.  Old Brewster Buffaloes and F4F Wildcats had given way to F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats, and the new marks swatted out-classed Japanese planes from the sky with an inevitable regularity.  For the kamikaze pilot, not only was flying an airplane into an enemy ship an act of…

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