Thunder Gods: The Kamikaze Pilots Tell Their Story

Hatsuho Naito, Author, Mayumi Ichikawa, Translator, Mayaumi Ichikawa, Translator Kodansha America $18.95 (215p) ISBN 978-0-87011-909-5
The Thunder Gods were a Japanese naval-aviation unit trained for one-way missions in flying bombs called the Okha , which were launched from a mother-plane. Employed mostly in the 1945 Okinawa campaign, they sank one U.S. destroyer at a cost of 438 pilots and crew members. The author, who took part in the wind-tunnel testing of the Okha , describes the flying bomb's conception, development and the training of the pilots. Volunteers were categorized as Compliant, Eager, Very Eager and--if they signed their application in blood--Earnest. Missions are described from the mother-plane crew's point of view or by Okha pilots who were not launched at the target for one reason or another. More fully than in other recent books on kamikazes , Naito explains the spiritual dimension of the kamikaze phenomenon and its complicated effect on individual pilots. Photos. BOMC selection; paperback rights to Dell. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7861-0214-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20498-5
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