|Born||16 Aug 1904|
|Died||15 Aug 1989|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseMinoru Genda was born in Hiroshima, Japan. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1924 and became a fighter pilot. After organizing the acrobatic "Genda Circus" that toured Japan, he served as a staff officer in China, saw time as a flight instructor, and also had experience as an assistant naval attachÃ©. When Isoroku Yamamoto looked for an architect to create the aviation forces for the Japanese Navy, Genda was personally selected by the admiral to take on such a task; as such, he served as a staff officer of the 1st Air Fleet from the start of the Pacific War until Jun 1942. In this role, Genda and Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa became strong supporters of an independent naval aviation force that was separated from the normal naval chain-of-command. He was one of the first proponents of massing aircraft carriers in single task forces in order to project air power in force. To the west, Genda was known as the chief tactical architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, though one must realize that he was actually a member of nearly every major Japanese naval aviation campaign during the Pacific War.
ww2dbaseBetween Jul and Sep 1942, Genda served as an air officer aboard carrier Zuikaku. After a two-month period as a staff officer of the 11th Air Fleet, he was attached to the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo until Jan 1945. Between Jan 1945 and the end of the war, the veteran pilot with 3,000 hours of flight time was assigned the commanding officer of the elite 343rd Air Group. The 343rd Air Group operated out of Matsuyama Airfield, Kanoya, Kokubu, and Omura, successively, and preferred to fly in N1K2-J Shiden-Kai aircraft manufactured by Kawanishi. Genda was in charge of using the 343 Kokutai to gain air superiority, clearing the way for kamikaze pilots toward Allied ships, particularly during the Kikusui operation during the Okinawa campaign between Apr and Jun 1945. Genda's pilots fought several fierce air battles over Kyushu toward the end of the war.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Genda remained in the Japanese military. Between 1959 and 1962, he served as the chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force. In 1962, his attention turned to politics, serving four terms in the Upper House of Councilors. He passed away in 1989.
ww2dbaseSources: Interrogation of Japanese Officials, Shattered Sword, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: Feb 2007
Minoru Genda Interactive Map
Minoru Genda Timeline
|16 Aug 1904Â||Minoru Genda was born.|
|15 Aug 1989Â||Minoru Genda passed away.|
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