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Mineo Yamaoka

CountryJapan
CategorySea

Contributor: C. Peter Chen

Mineo Yamaoka was a 27-year veteran of the Japanese Navy. Possessing keen understanding of carrier doctrine, he was assigned to carrier Hiryu as her executive officer in Sep 1941, participating in the early battles of the Pacific War, including the attack on Pearl Harbor and Hiryu's detour to bombard the island of Wake. He served as the operations officer with the 5th Air Flotilla between Feb 1942 and Jun 1943, then served a similar role with the 2nd Air Flotilla between Jun 1943 and Jul 1944. From then on, he served various positions in Japan, retiring from his last posting as a staff officer with the Naval Ministry in Oct 1945. On 19 Oct 1945, he was interrogated by Captain C. Shands of the United States Navy in Tokyo. Shands commented that "[a]lthough a non-pilot [Yamaoka] displayed unusual knowledge of carrier aircraft operations. He answered all questions knowingly and without hesitation." Shands questioned Yamaoka regarding the Battle of Coral Sea, in which he participated as a staff officer with the 5th Air Flotilla aboard carrier Zuikaku. Yamaoka revealed to his interrogator that Japanese pilots were trained in night carrier operations as early in 1933 and his understanding of the Coral Sea battle turn of events. He also expressed his admiration for the American pilots who attempted to defend Wake against the overwhelming Japanese attack in Dec 1941.

Source: Interrogation of Japanese Officials.

Maps

Map of Battle of Coral Sea, part of Captain Mineo Yamaoka




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More on Mineo Yamaoka
Event(s) Participated:
» Attack on Pearl Harbor
» Battle of Wake Island
» Battle of Coral Sea

Ship(s) Served:
» Hiryu
» Zuikaku

Document(s):
» Interrogation Nav 10, Captain Mineo Yamaoka


Random Photograph

Japanese officer standing in front of a captured German-built Chinese Army Panzer I tank, date unknown




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