|Died||11 May 1945|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseKiyoshi Ogawa was born in 1922 in the Gunma Prefecture in Japan. He studied at the prestigious Waseda University and became a student-soldier, gakuto, after graduation. He was trained as a pilot and was assigned to the 306th Fighter Squadron of the 721st Kokutai with the rank of ensign in the Japanese Navy. Near the end of the war, he volunteered to be a Special Attack Force pilot. On 11 May 1945, American carrier Bunker Hill operated as a part of Task Group 58.3, 122km to the east of Okinawa, and was struck by the large-scale kamikaze attack dubbed Operation Kikusui Number 6, which Ogawa took part of. At 1004, Marine pilot Captain James E. Swett reported two Japanese fighters approaching; one of them was piloted by Ogawa. The unknown pilot struck first, releasing his 250 kg bomb which tore through the entire ship and exploded in the sea below, then the aircraft struck and destroyed most of the armed and fueled American aircraft on the flight deck. Ogawa dove next. His 250 kg bomb ignited aviation fuel, and then the aircraft dove into the flight deck near the control tower. Ogawa died at 1005 that morning. The two attacks killed 373 American servicemen and caused serious damage to the carrier that placed her out of commission for the remainder of the war.
ww2dbaseOgawa's aircraft was not destroyed. Bunker Hill's sailors found a letter Ogawa wrote on him. It said
ww2dbaseThe letter and other personal effects were returned to Ogawa's mother and other members of his family on 27 Mar 2001.
Last Major Revision: Oct 2006
Kiyoshi Ogawa Timeline
|11 May 1945||Kiyoshi Ogawa passed away.|
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Winston Churchill, 1935