|Members of the 51st receiving training at Montford Point.|
"Were you scared, Dad?" I asked, knowing the of history of Japanese fighter pilots. It was said that German soldiers were told to kill, but Japanese soldiers were told to die.
"Hell nawl," my Dad quickly replied. "We ain't see nothing, you're looking into a scope, you just saw dots. We shot at Mitsubishi planes."
Dad was twenty years old at this time. He was the same age if not older than many of the Japanese pilots that were members of the Japanese Navy and Army.
But these Japanese pilots by World War II's end were trained to do one thing--fly Mitsubishi A6M2 planes nicknamed the "Zero" and the "Personal Flying Coffin" into targets. As the word coffin implies, these were Suicide Missions.
In previous posts I talked about what events and people caused my father to join a segregated branch of the armed forces, that initially did not want Negroes. Now it is time to discuss the reasoning behind a Japanese man for joining their Imperial military.
|A sign post in the Marshall Islands. Dad's two islands are on the bottom, left.|