CHAPTER 25
Yes, the Japanese Can Fly

WHEN, IN JANUARY OF 1941, I came back to the United States after spending fifteen years in the Far East, I was amused and at the same time filled with consternation to hear scores of Americans say: "Oh well, if it comes to a scrap, the Japanese are poor flyers, and we'll soon polish them off."

Having at that time watched the Japanese bombing Chinese cities with hideous accuracy for more than three years, I knew that the Japanese could fly. Their skill as marksmen with bombs had become dismayingly good--they had had more than three years' practice, after all. But since they had met with little competition in the air from the Chinese, their skill in pursuit and interceptor plane-handling was not then known.

The reasons back of the widespread American belief that the Japanese make poor pilots were childish and absurd. Some claimed their "eyes are set wrong--the slant makes their vision poor." Others looked owlishly wise and maintained that the Japanese have no sense of balance because when they are babies their mothers carry them on their backs and their heads wobble around all the time.

Honolulu, Pearl Harbor, and many places in the Philippine

-256-

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Ramparts of the Pacific
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Illustrations xvii
  • Chapter 1 Chasing the Sun 1
  • Chapter 3 Island Steppingstones 23
  • Chapter 4 on to Down Under 32
  • Chapter 5 Far Outpost of Courage 39
  • Chapter 6 50
  • Chapter 7 the Record 59
  • Chapter 8 the Man Behind the Record 71
  • Chapter 9 Australia, Our Base 84
  • Chapter 10 Straining Imperial Ties 94
  • Chapter 11 Australia's Future 110
  • Chapter 12 What Columbus Sought 117
  • Chapter 13 Soft Spoken, Hard Hitting 131
  • Chapter 14 Java's Human Air-Raid Siren 144
  • Chapter 15 What Recompense? 153
  • Chapter 16 "Those Indomitable Dutch" 163
  • Chapter 17 Manila in October 176
  • Chapter 18 We Taste Defeat 189
  • Chapter 19 the Great Prize 201
  • Chapter 20 China Looks Ahead 211
  • Chapter 21 Ordeal for Shanghai 220
  • Chapter 22 the Inevitable Clash 227
  • Chapter 23 That Eighth Point 245
  • Chapter 24 Vulnerable at Last? 251
  • Chapter 25 Yes, the Japanese Can Fly 256
  • Chapter 26 How Diplomats "Plant" News 267
  • Chapter 29 "Not for a Thousand Years--" 299
  • Chapter 30 the Men We Fight Today 309
  • Chapter 31 with a Month to Spare 316
  • Index 323
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