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Topic: To Stay Alive ...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 11
David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 22 2001,6:55  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha N. Nease,
Ahhh yes, Zenji Abe...a good friend...when he was coming to visit the USS Arizona Memorial prior to the 50th Anniversary, the Japanese press got wind of things. They asked what his target was...he simply responded, "The second ship from the northern end of Ford Island." That was really all he could say as that was his basic memory of his target.

The second ship from the northern end of Ford Island was USS Arizona...and both the Japanese press AND the US press went wild. They had THE pilot that bombed USS Arizona! On learning of the huge deaths involved Zenji Abe was stunned...and immensely remorseful of his personal responsibility for so many deaths.

He went to pay respects at USS Arizona and was filmed as THE pilot that did the dastardly deed.

He wrote me of his remorse, and I forwarded to him details of his reports given in 1941 and published in Japan....YES, he bombed the second ship from the northern end of Ford Island BUT on the NORTHWEST side not the SOUTHEAST side...

Zenji Abe, a dive bomber pilot, dropped on USS Raleigh, his 250kg bomb went THRU the ship to explode on the harbor bottom. AND none were killed from his bomb.

Abe then dug thru his old files to produce his essay he did for his Japanese Self-Defense Force War College giving his memory of that attack. It was then published in English for MILITARY HISTORY magazine, Dec 1991, special.

HTH,

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 Post Number: 12
N Nease Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2001,11:28 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello David,

I must say I am absolutely stunned with your response. Being a member of the USS Arizona Reunion Association as well as the person who put the story on our website, it comes as a complete surprise!

What puzzles me though, is why it would continue to air in 1992 if it was proven wrong Dec 1991? Can you tell me how to get a copy of the article?

Further though, I think that we both may be stuck on the facts and could possibly look past the facts and into the hearts of these two men. Whether or not Abe was the pilot who actually bombed the Arizona is really moot after 60 years. Even with the knowledge of Abe possibly not being THAT pilot, the documentary and Joe Langdell's statement still hold just as much meaning because they were symbolic of each side and the pain that both sides suffered then and still suffer today as we still try to mend fences. There is a lot to be learned from these stories other than just dissecting the facts.

N. Nease

(Edited by N Nease at 11:32 am on Mar. 23, 2001)

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 Post Number: 13
David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 23 2001,12:57 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha N. Nease,
Yes, Abe (pronounced AH-Bay, for our readers) symbolized every Japanese airman involved in the attack by accepting -in their unified "name"- the weight of that burden.

Zenji Abe's article "Just Like An Exercise" is in MILITARY HISTORY's "Pearl Harbor" 50th Anniversary Issue...Vol 8, #5, pages 18-24.

HTH,

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