KITS 12/2021

PO1c Tetsuzō Iwamoto, Zuikaku Fighter Squadron, patrol during the first attack wave

During the first wave of the attack on Pearl Harbor Zuikaku launched six Zeros to patrol the vicinity of the carriers. PO1c Iwamoto led the 2nd Shōtai during this mission. At the time, he was the most successful naval fighter ace with 14 victories from combats over China with 12th Kōkūtai. In 1942, he took part in battles in the Indian Ocean and Coral Sea with his plane No. 102. From

the summer of 1942 he served as an instructor in Japan. From March 1943, he participated in patrolling in the Kuril Islands with

Kōkūtai 281. In November he was transferred to Rabaul to Kōkūtai 204 and later to Kōkūtai 253. In February 1944 he participated

from Truk Atoll in the interceptions of B-24 bombers. In June 1944 he was transferred to Japan and from the autumn of that year

as member of Kōkūtai 252 he he took part in battles from bases in Taiwan and the Philippines. By the end of the war, he was

serving with Kōkūtai 203 and participated in the battle for Okinawa. He achieved rank Lieutenant (junior grade) and passed away

in 1955. Iwamoto is credited with 80 victories, but in his war diary, there were 202 successful attacks on enemy aircraft recorded

by him.

Lt. Saburō Shindō, Akagi Fighter Squadron, second attack wave

During the second wave, fighter escort of thirty-six Zeros was led by Lt. Shindō. Nine Akagi Zeros met no resistance in the air

and destroyed two aircraft at Hickam. Shindō was born in 1911 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1929. He was assigned

to the Omura Kōkūtai in 1935 and a year later went to the aircraft carrier Kaga. In 1940, he served in China with the 12th Kōkūtai

during combat trials of the A6M2 fighter. Under his command, the first combat engagement occurred on September 13, resulting

in 27 victories without loss. In November 1940, Shindō was transferred to the 14th Kōkūtai in Hanoi. From April to December 1941

he was the Buntaichō of the Akagi fighters, but had to be hospitalized after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After recovering, he was

appointed commander of Tokushima Kōkūtai in April 1942. From November 1942, as Hikōtaichō at Kōkūtai 582, he was involved

in the fighting over Guadalcanal. From July 1943, he was Hikōtaichō with the Kōkūtai 204 in the same area. In late 1943 and early

1944, he led fighters of the aircraft carrier Ryūhō and later served with Kōkūtai 653 and 203 in the defense of Taiwan, the Philippines, and Japan. At the end of the war, he was Hikōtaichō at Tsukuba Kōkūtai. Shindó passed away in 2000.



INFO Eduard - December 2021