Shortly before taking off from Ch˘shi airstrip, Japan, Japanese Special Attack pilots Tetsuya Ueno, Koshiro Hayashi, Naoki Okagami, Takao Oi, and Toshio Yoshitake posing in front of a Ki-51 attack aircraft, 8 Nov 1944

Caption   Shortly before taking off from Ch˘shi airstrip, Japan, Japanese Special Attack pilots Tetsuya Ueno, Koshiro Hayashi, Naoki Okagami, Takao Oi, and Toshio Yoshitake posing in front of a Ki-51 attack aircraft, 8 Nov 1944 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseToshio Yoshitake
More on...   
Ki-51   Main article  Photos  
Tokko "Kamikaze" Special Attack Doctrine   Main article  Photos  
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 17 Jun 2014

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
17 Jun 2015 03:45:06 PM

These five pilots, along with 17 others and their flight instructors, left Japan shortly after this photo was taken bound for the front lines in the Philippines. Of that group, only Yoshitake, far right, survived. He survived only because his airplane was shot down by US aircraft 12 Dec 1944 and he crash-landed. Yoshitake survived and was rescued by Japanese soldiers.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
23 Jun 2015 09:23:14 PM

SONS OF HEAVEN: Aircraft in file photo is a Mitsubishi Ki-51 code named Sonia by the allies. The Sonia was a single-engine, fixed landing gear, low wing monoplane crewed by two, used for ground attack and reconnaissance. Operated by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, about 2,385 aircraft were built like all other Japanese aircraft, the Sonia was later expended in "Special Attack" Kamikaze sorties. Did you know that Japan had over 5,000 aircraft hidden for use as kamikaze attacks against allied forces for the coming invasion of Japan. The Japanese surrendered their armed forces in August 1945 aircraft all over Japan were later scrapped. The destruction of the Japanese War Machine and demobilization of troops wasn't completed until 1947. At wars end over 1,000 aircraft were abandoned throughout Asia some of the countries that operated the Sonia were...Communist China retired its Sonia's in the early 1950s, Indonesia operated them against the Dutch, Republic of China (Nationalists) operated them against Communist forces, both South and North Korea operated small numbers of Sonia's
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
24 Jun 2015 08:24:37 PM

Bill is right again! The caption has been updated to correctly identify the aircraft. Thanks for the new info.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
24 Jun 2015 08:31:54 PM

IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY AIR FORCE: Aircraft in background is a Mitsubishi Ki-51 code named "Sonia" by the allies during WWII. Before wars end, the Sonia would be used in the special attack/Kamikaze role. UNIFORM OF THE DAY: Our pilots have been issued summer flight suits, type 2 flight helmet w/goggles, kapok filled life jacket, type 92 parachute w/harness, silk scarf, boots and gloves. TWO EDGE SWORD: Did you know that officers carried their own swords while enlisted NCO pilots carried Government issued swords. The IJAAF sacrificed 1,387 aircrew in the special attack role. NOTABLE VICTIM: Did you know that Charles A. Lindbergh shot down a IJAAF Ki-51 Sonia during a dogfight on July 28, 1944 while flying a P-38 Lightning and did so as a civilian and flew 50 missions, and shooting down one Japanese aircraft.
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
24 Jun 2015 09:23:04 PM

Hello David Glad to hear from you again. Thanks for your information regarding the fate of those pilots in file photo. I'm having a great time here at ww2db I'll work as long as I can providing historic information... Best wishes, Bill

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Choshi, Chiba, Japan
Lat/Long 35.7234, 140.8464


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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal