mercial Pacific Cable Company arrived. In 1935 Pan American set up  an air base for their Trans-Pacific Seaplane service between the mainland and the Far East. This included the hotel familiar to us on Sand Island. The US Naval Air Station, Midway was commissioned in early 1941. On the night of December 7, 1941 the Islands were shelled by a destroyer returning from the Pearl Harbor operation. The most decisive battle of W.W.II began here on the morning of June 4, 1942 when the Japanese showed up intent on taking over. As we all know they didn't succeed but did manage to wipe out the Marine fighter squadron (VMF-222). They were replaced by the 7th Fighter Command's 73rd Squadron which was in-turn replaced by the 78th. 
  Midway sounds like a nice place for a reunion. All we need is a rich benefactor. Bill, Paul, Ross, Ted are you there?
next time he went out was on 18 April 1942 as a consequence of the Doolittle raid. 
  Later in April he was sent to the flight school at the Kasumigawura Training Air Base. Ground school was pretty straight forward for the academy graduates. The initial flight training was in a 160 horsepower bi-plane. They concentrated on take off and landings, formation and aerobatics. The number in parentheses below are the ones who "made it" to the end of the war as we would say. Of the 138(21) who graduated, 40(2) went to fighters, 24(3) to dive bombers ("hell divers"), 24(4) to torpedo bombers, 18(4) to hydroplanes and 27(8) were sent to navigation training. Four of his class were killed in training and one got consumption..  
  He next went to Usa Kokutai, Kyushu for six months of combat training in hell divers. He was kept on for one year as an instructor at the Usa Air Base, while his classmates went on to Taiwan, Saipan, Rabaul etc. He wanted to get into combat so took advantage of a request for volunteers for fighter training. He was sent to the 302 Kokutai at Atsugi. It turned out that most of those he left behind at Usa were killed later as Kamikaze pilots. At Atsugi he was well coached in combat survival by Lt. Akamatsu who was a Navy ace  of the same background as Lt. Babro (Suburo) Sakai (64 kills). The 302nd had Zeke and Jack fighters. While attacking a B-29 with his Zeke he had his left hand shot off by the tail gunner. After his wound healed, they fitted him with a prostheses that allowed him to fly again. 
  During the time that the 78th and those other 7th folks were flying in the area he said that due to heavy damage caused by the P-51s, the Judys and other "weak" planes from Atsugi were flown to distant air bases while the Zekes and Jacks were dispersed in the forest adjacent to Atsugi. One Jack and four Zekes were kept in an underground shelter for emergency use. 
  He describes the P-51s strafing Atsugi on 3 August. "A raider caught
many U.S. small-type planes rushing to the Tokyo area from the South Sea, we hidden our Zekes as usual. We were only watching P-51s strafing our field from slits of shelters, we could see faces of P-51's pilots flying at roof level of hangers. After strafing, P-51s flew back to south, then telephone from Yokosuka Air Defence Headquarters cried, 'One P-51 shot down by ground fire and the pilot bailed out and descended into Sagami-Wan (Bay south of Atsugi), B-17 approached and dropped lifeboat, there came submarine to save pilot, and four P-51s guarding. Atsugi Zekes attack P-51s!' We four Zekes flew up, at first I lead to the west not to be found by the P-51s, I found there on blue Sagami-Wan, rushing submarine with white wake, and at head a small lifeboat, and two B-24s (PB4Ys) and above all, four P-51s circulating in compact formation, reflecting sunshine. It was a fine summer noon so that it was just like technicolour cinema. I can't forget the screen in all my life. You may know of our story of fighting with P-51s and strafing lifeboat." 
Henry Sakida was writing a book on the incident. He says that Lt. Mikes from the 506th Group had gone down in the water and four P-51s, two PB4Ys, a B-17, a B-29 and the submarine Aspro were involved in the action. The Zekes and the P-51s tangled and the Zekes strafed the lifeboat. Mikes was rescued by the sub and attended the reunion in Hawaii. He and Yutaka seemed to get along just fine. We'll have to wait for the book to get all the details .
  One of the guests at the last reunion in Hawaii was Yutaka Morioka. I was corresponding with him, as was Warren Carpenter, until he was killed by a train in Japan in 1993. I have tried to use his words as much as possible. He did review this article. 
  Yutaka was one of 432 Cadets graduated from the Japanese Naval Academy on November 15, 1941. He says that about 70% of the class did not survive the war. 
  Upon graduation he was assigned to the battleship Yamashiro as "chief of the right side AA guns". On December 7th, the ship was part of a fleet of 6 battleships that were to engage the U.S. Navy in case the carrier operations were unsuccessful. The ships didn't fire a round, of course, and returned to Japan. The
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