Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kamikaze Aircraft in Formosa

Pictured here, a Kawasaki 48 Type 99 "Lilly" used as a "Kamikaze" aircraft by the Japanese. Here is a link.

In a related subject recently discussed on one of our Hsinchu Posts we talked about a fuel factory just outside the MAAG Hsinchu Housing Compound. I wanted to find additional information on this factory, such as, what type of fuel was manufactured and what the fuel was used for. We believe the plant was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy, manufacturing aircraft fuel. We know that Hsinchu Air Base was quite close to this area.

I emailed my friend Jim in Japan and asked if he could search for information on the Hsinchu Fuel Factory using the Japanese Language Internet sites and possibly find more information for me.

His search was not fruitful, nothing could be found in Japanese. In his return mail to me, he recalled an incident in his youth that was quite interesting. I have taken the liberty to tell his story as I understand his writing in English.

" I met a Kamikaze pilot about 6 months before the war ended. (Japanese surrendered in August 1945.)

I was 12 years old living in Japan. I met this pilot at a barbershop. He asked me if I had any letter paper and an envelope. He was staying at a hotel not far from my home.

I purchased the stationary and went to his hotel. He took me upstairs and I saw 6 or 8 pilots. I still remember his name, Master Sergeant Nishiko. He gave me some candy. During this period, things were in short supply, especially sweets.

He told me that his family lived on the outskirts of Nagoya.
He said, "tomorrow we are heading to Okinawa, I'll be number 3 plane. The next morning about 0630 hours, 8 planes flew over our town. As I remember they were 99 Attacker aircraft, old type with fixed landing gear.(photo above)

After the war ended I tried many times to find his family but was never able to make contact."

My friend Jim who related this story to me spent many years in Taiwan after the war and is now retired in Japan at the age of 74.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Teikoku Sugar refinery and alcohol Plant. That is only plant near the air base. You may use this map in old Hsinchu map in 1945,which draw by US NAVY. My family lives near Hsinchu air base area more than 100 years. But we never heard that we have any fuel factory in Hsinchu.
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