Japanese Stunt Over Port Moreseby
In reading about a famous Japanese Fighter Ace I found this! LOL!
In the night of 16 May, Nishizawa, Sakai and ÅŒta were listening at the lounge room to a broadcast of an Australian radio program, when Nishizawa recognized the eerie Danse Macabre of the French composer, pianist and organist Camille Saint-SaÃ«ns. Nishizawa, thinking about this mysterious skeleton dance, now suddenly had a crazy idea: “you know the mission tomorrow at Port Moresby? Why don’t we perform a little show, a dance of death of our own? We do a few demonstration loops right over the enemy airfield, this should drive them crazy on the ground.”
On May 17, Lieutenant Commander Tadashi “Shosa” Nakajima led the Tainan Ku on a mission to Port Moresby, with Sakai and Nishizawa as his wingmen. As the Japanese formation re-formed for the return flight, Sakai signaled Nakajima, that he was going after an enemy aircraft and peeled off. Minutes later, Sakai was over Port Moresby again, to keep his rendezvous with Nishizawa and ÅŒta. The trio now performed aerobatics, three tight loops in close formation. After that, a jubilant Nishizawa indicated that he wanted to repeat the performance. Diving to 6,000 ft (1,800 m), the three Zeros did three more loops, still without any AA fire from the ground. They headed then back to Lae, arriving 20 minutes after the rest of the kokutai.
At about 21:00, Lieutenant Junichi Sasai wanted them in his office, immediately. When they arrived, Sasai held up a letter. “Do you know where I got this thing?” he shouted. “No? I’ll tell you, you fools; it was dropped on this base a few minutes ago, by an enemy intruder!” The letter, written in English, said:
To the Lae Commander: “We were much impressed with those three pilots who visited us today, and we all liked the loops they flew over our field. It was quite an exhibition. We would appreciate it if the same pilots returned here once again, each wearing a green muffler around his neck. We’re sorry we could not give them better attention on their last trip, but we will see to it that the next time they will receive an all-out welcome from us.”
Nishizawa, Sakai and ÅŒta stood at stiff attention and tried to suppress laughing out loud, while Lieutenant Sasai dressed them down over their “idiotic behavior” and prohibited them from staging any more aerobatic shows over enemy airfields. The Tainan Kokutai’s three leading aces secretly agreed, that the aerial choreography had been worth it.
One question though… is a green muffler a scarf? And if so - what is the significance?
Yes. It is a sort of kerchief worn by women in the 16 and 17th centuries to cover part of the face and neck. Or: a wrap or scarf worn around the neck to keep warm(all OED definitions).
The Australian base’s pilots wanted to easily recognise them and duel them. They thought they were superior pilots and wanted to shoot them down to prove their own prowess.
Good story again, thanks.
ABWorsham4 last edited by
I’ve read Sasai book at least five times, its a great read. That story is a funny story. If any of you have not read his return flight from the opening day of Guadalcanal, it’s one of the most amazing figher pilot stories.
----This somewhat reminds me of the Japanese pilot that was shot down over Midway Island while flying down the middle of the airstrip, at 20 ft. altitude, INVERTED! It was a spectacular feat,…until he was blasted out of the sky. I’d imagine many of you have read about this.
----There were many “interesting” stunts of this nature. With the witnesses usually being too stunned to react appropriately, especially as they only lasted split-seconds, or very briefly at the most. Human nature affects us all sometimes, irregardless of nationality.