Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Beyond Pearl Harbor: The Untold Stories of Japan's Naval Airmen

Academic journal article Naval War College Review

Beyond Pearl Harbor: The Untold Stories of Japan's Naval Airmen

Article excerpt

Werneth, Ron. Beyond Pearl Harbor: The Untold Stories of Japan's Naval Airmen. Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Books, 2008. 256pp. $59.95

Ron Werneth has gone above and beyond the call of duty to produce a detailed perspective of the Japanese airmen of World War II. Werneth spent nearly a decade living in Japan and immersing himself in its culture. He traveled extensively to obtain firsthand accounts of seventeen Japanese naval veterans.

The book is divided into three sections, providing discussions of veterans of Japanese carrier bombers (kanbaku), Japanese carrier attack planes (kanko), and Japanese fighter aircraft(kansen). However, not all accounts are from aviators; some are from maintenance personnel and navigators. The veterans' accounts provide details of these men's lives, an approach that humanizes them, especially for Americans who may still bear ill will toward the Japanese.

One Japanese veteran, Ensign Takeshi Maeda, was instrumental in attacking and sinking USS West Virginia. Takeshi Maeda tells the remarkable story of how in 1991 he was invited to the fiftieth anniversary of Pearl Harbor. At the event, which his family had not wanted him to attend, he met a West Virginia survivor, Mr. Richard Fiske. Maeda told Fiske that he was sorry for attacking Pearl Harbor, and Fiske responded by graciously telling Maeda that he had just been following orders and it was not his fault. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.