Genda file photo [2217]

Minoru Genda

Given NameMinoru
Born16 Aug 1904
Died15 Aug 1989


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 attaché. 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


Japanese 343rd Naval Air Group officers Ryouichi Yamada (701st Fighter Squadron), Minoru Genda (343rd Naval Air Group), Yoshio Shiga at Omura airfield, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, 1945Minoru Genda and Yoshio Shiga of Japanese 343rd Naval Air Group, Matsuyama Airfield, Japan, spring 1945

Minoru Genda Timeline

16 Aug 1904 Minoru Genda was born.
15 Aug 1989 Minoru Genda passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
15 Jun 2005 07:37:07 PM

help me
2. Anonymous says:
9 Jul 2005 01:11:57 PM

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3. Tom Capshaw says:
24 Sep 2006 10:20:56 PM

In 1959 I was an Engineer assigned to Yokota AFB in Japan as Technical Representative on Flight Simulators. (RB 66 and F86D). General Genda visited our Simulator facilator along with several other Japanese officers and civilians. I was asked to make a technical presentation on Flight Simulators which I did. He was introduced to me as General Genda in the Japanese Self Defense Forces. In the early 70s I was in Washington, D.C. and happened to see him on TV. He was in D.C. for the premier of Tora Tora Tora. It was only then that I learned of his role under Yamamota for the planning of the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Never would I believe that someday I would shake his hand. What I remember most about him was how short he was. During the Korean War I served on the USS Floyd B. Parks DD 884 a Destroyer. Floyd B. Parks was a Marine Major shot down during the Battle of Midway. His name is mentioned in the movie Midway as Red Parks. Gendas role in the same movie is well defined.
4. RB says:
22 Oct 2012 09:21:48 PM

They should make a movie about Genda and the 343rd Air Group in the end of WW 2.
I wish the respect that the Shiden-Kai aces commanded from US and Allied pilots, could be expanded on here.
I'm aware that the N1K1 Shiden had the worst loss ratio of 30 vs no victories according to the USN before the last 6 months of the war. Maybe its vice of autorotation after a stall when pushed too hard in a turn was a factor. I never read of this problem in the new N1K2. Genda's Shiden-Kai unit certainly reversed that loss record to the point of having the best win-loss-record of any Japanese fighter in 1945. Makes me think the redesign cured that vice. I'm uncertain of the kill ratio for the Ki 100 since it was often called a Tony like its forebear Ki 61.
The Akeno test pilots felt that one Ki 100 could hold off 3 Ki 84s if it engaged them from an altitude advantage in mock combat!

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More on Minoru Genda
Event(s) Participated:
» Attack on Pearl Harbor
» Okinawa Campaign

Ship(s) Served:
» Zuikaku

Related Books:
» Pearl; December 7, 1941

Minoru Genda Photo Gallery
Japanese 343rd Naval Air Group officers Ryouichi Yamada (701st Fighter Squadron), Minoru Genda (343rd Naval Air Group), Yoshio Shiga at Omura airfield, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, 1945
See all 2 photographs of Minoru Genda

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General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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