Portrait of a Japanese pilot shortly before he embarked on a special attack mission, circa 1944-1945

Caption   Portrait of a Japanese pilot shortly before he embarked on a special attack mission, circa 1944-1945 ww2dbase
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Tokko "Kamikaze" Special Attack Doctrine   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 12 Oct 2009

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. R.T. says:
26 May 2016 02:32:06 PM

This is Reserve Officer Hachiro Hosokawa in what might be a propaganda pose or a pictorial record of his service to send to his family . He was part of the Thunder Gods corps. He actually survived the war . The Thunder Gods were Ohka Pilots . There was a revolt between the Petty Officers and the Reserve Officers while they were waiting for operational orders and he was asked to smooth things over, it didn't go well . He felt he wasn't qualified to tell the petty officers what to do . Some Kamikaze were barely trained to fly , and contrary to a lot of propaganda they were not all happy about killing themselves for a dubious cause . The tension was very high as you can imagine . Waiting for the suicide mission was almost unbearable and pilots had different coping strategies , some calm , some gung ho , some introspective . It is a monumental thing to confront your own mortality in this way . Not all Kamikaze died many returned to civilian life after the war , probably indelibly changed by this traumatic experience .
2. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
8 Jun 2016 01:14:25 PM

Thanks R. T. Your note about his name reminded me that I never translated the text on the two ends of his headband.

On his left, it reads "Sub-Lieutenant Hachiro Hosokawa". R. T., I'm not sure if I see the text for Reserve Officer. Could you please shed some light on that?

On his right, it read "Divine Thunder Special Attack Force, Ohka Force".

The Divine Thunder Special Attack Force was officially known as the 721st Naval Air Group.

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