KITS 12/2021

c/n 2266, PO1c Shigenori Nishikaichi, Hiryū Fighter Squadron, second attack wave

Hiryū sent nine Zeros under the command of Lt. Sumio Nōno. His pilots attacked Kaneohe and Bellows bases, claiming two

destroyed aircraft and one car. Zero of PO1c Nishikaichi was running low on fuel and he was looking for a rescue submarine

off Niihau Island without success. After belly landing he was captured by a Hawaiian native who took his papers and weapon.

The pilot persuaded several residents of Japanese descent to cooperate and managed to get free. He dismantled machine gun

from the aircraft, set the machine on fire and threatened to kill the natives to force the return of the secret documents. During

the December 13, he and a helper captured Mr. Benjamin Kanahele and his wife. A scuffle ensued during which Kanahele was

shot three times by the pilot, but became so enraged that he killed him against a wall. The pilot's helper, Mr. Harada, committed

suicide. It is known as the Niihau Incident. Mr. Kanahele received the Purple Heart and the Medal of Merit from the President of

the United States. Nishikaichi, whose fate was unknown to the Japanese side, was posthumously promoted two grades. Parts of

Zero are on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor. On the engine cover there was a service plate with the name of

the mechanic PO3c Akimoto painted.

PO1c Yukuo Hanzawa, Shōkaku Fighter Squadron, patrol during the second attack wave

Fighters from Shōkaku did not participate in the second attack wave on Pearl Harbor. Instead, 12 aircraft from Shōkaku patrolled

successively over the carrier group under the command of Lt. Masao Iizuka. PO1c Hanzawa led the 1st Shōtai on patrol. At that

time, he had nearly three years of operational service under his belt, including a tour of duty with the 12th Kōkūtai in China. Hanzawa gained fame on May 8, 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea when he landed on the smoke-covered deck of a damaged

carrier without help of arresting wire. He was killed in action at the Battle of Santa Cruz on October 26, 1942 in a duel with Lt.

“Ken” Bliss, the Blue 29 section leader of VF-72, USS Hornet. Hanzawa attacked Bliss from behind, severely damaging his Wildcat. Apparently believing that Bliss was bailing out, he pulled up in front of him, but the American shot him down at that moment.

Bliss ditched and survived. Hanzawa held the rank of Warrant Officer at that time.



INFO Eduard - December 2021