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Topic: Isoroku yamamoto's death, 18 april 1943< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2003,9:18  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha All,
Much ado has been given to the controversy between Tom Lanphier and Rex Barber over the victory claim above Bougainville Island that 18 April 1943 over the "Yamamoto BETTY". The fact is the Admiral was dead before Lanphier fired a shot:

Tom Lanphier led the four P-38s...his wingman was Rex Barber. The second element was led by Frank Holmes with his wingman Ray Hine.

Hine had difficulty in dropping his tanks which Holmes recognized a need to keep with him. That delayed their element's participation.

Lanphier broke left head-on into the oncoming six Zero escorts while Barber banked right to follow the two BETTY bombers. When he righted the P-38 he lost sight of the trailing BETTY, however, that trailing BETTY pilot was highly aware of Barber directly ABOVE his cockpit...which gave him opportunity to bank right to leave Barber and Yamamoto and head toward the ocean.

Barber focused on the task ahead and raked the BETTY from one engine to the other. Yamamoto's autopsy confirms that he had to turn left in his seat [perhaps looking at Barber at his 6 o'clock position...out the back of the BETTY] and the two bullets struck his left side of his torso...one was a sure cause of death.

Lanphier made his circle after passing thru the Zeros and attacked the BETTY from its starboard [right] side. Whether his bullets hit the BETTY or not in the short burst he fired, he was surprised that the BETTY went down in front of him.

Whatever happened to the BETTY and the claims awarded by the USAF, the Admiral was dead before Lanphier got there.

Frank Holmes with his wingman, now free of the drop tanks, located that second BETTY as it left the land mass and dropped low to skim the ocean. Holmes and Hine made one pass onto the BETTY and unknown to them, Barber had banked right after his attack on Yamamoto's BETTY and caught up with that second BETTY. He, too, made a strafing attack and the BETTY crashed.

The three Zeros in the second unit of six Zeros, found Holmes and Hine. Sugita took out Hine, and Yanagiya claimed Holmes.

This was the material I assembled, with great appreciation to Osamu Tagaya, Tom Lanphier and Rex Barber, in the Japanese Info Clearinghouse, April 1983 issue.

That issue was utilized by the USAF in their later analysis...which culminated in the book:

Hall, R. Cargill, ed. Lightning over Bougainville: The Yamamoto Mission Reconsidered. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991.

Cargill Hall was head of the USAF Office of History and that analysis.

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David Aiken, a Director
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2004,3:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my opinion, April 18th, 1943, was the day Japan lost the Pacific war.  The crowning blow to the grevious and decisive defeats at Midway and Guadalcanal.
Why?
Because Yamamoto was a very brilliant admiral.  He was a combination of Horatio Nelson and Stonewall Jackson: a determined, skilled, and dedicated leader who also took great risks and made bold offensive thrusts in the face of a superior foe.
True, his plan for Midway was not that good, nor was his handling of much of the Guadalcanal campaign.  But great captains have their off days, do they not?
If we had let Yamamoto live, who knows what miracles he could have pulled from his cap once the shock of Midway had finally worn off.  The Imperial Japanese Navy would not have been as timidly handled after April 18th, 1943 if Yamamoto had lived.  At the very most, he could have utilized the remaining forces to do who knows what to the Allied fleet, or at the very least, better stiffened the Imperial Navy's resistance, thus helping drag out the war.
Yamamoto's death was as decisive to Japan's hopes of victory as the death of Stonewall Jackson was to the hopes of the Confederacy: when they died, the cause was lost.
It was too bad we had to kill Yamamoto, though, but such is war, and in the light of what I mention above, I think it was correct that Nimitz wanted to take him out, thus shortening the war and rendering the Imperial Navy leadership at best average, and at worst moribund, for the rest of the war.

Richard
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 12 2004,7:00 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yamamoto's death did accelerate the pace at which Japan lost, but the day Japan lost the war was the day they started it. If not then, at Midway.

There's an interesting perspective on Midway you might want to read.

Japan was doomed from the start the day they started a war with a nation that could out-produce them.

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Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 13 2004,12:14 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yah, Tracy.  Our industrial might meant Japan lost before even a shot was fired.  It's just that, well, as Stonewall Jackson said: "War means fighting, and fighting means killing."
We had to do alot of fighting and killing to bring our industrial might to bear, and in the end, it was not only our industrial might, but the countless ordinary people such as my good friend Guy Flanagan and the other Pearl vets I've met who  were there doing what they had to do that made the decisive difference in the Pacific war.
Thanks for the article re: Midway.  The gentleman who made that speeech will love book two of my trilogy, then: "Day Of The Eagle". Midway will get the EPIC treatment in it's pages!  We even will see a few characters from my Pearl Harbor novel make another appearance, most notably dive bomber pilot Earl Gallaher, of USS Enterprise, who survived the flight into Hawaii on Dec. 7th, '41, and was deeply moved by the sight of USS Arizona.  After blasting HIMS Kaga with his bomb at Midway, he thought "Arizona I remember you!" as he glanced over his shoulder at the carnage on Kaga's decks.  A dramatic moment which will be dramatized exactly as it happened in "Day Of The Eagle".
Thanks again! :-)

Richard

P.S.  I know this is OT, but did "Gods And Generals" hit any theaters in the islands?  If you see the Chancellorsville part of that film, it gives a good idea of the shock of a sudden surprise assault.  It always makes me think of Pearl Harbor, that part of "G&G". R.
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2004,12:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not really into the Civil War so I never paind attention to Gods & Generals. =/

That reminds me though, I may have done some initial legwork for you on Captain Outerbridge (look on the right side of the page).

Edited by Tracy White on --

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Tracy White
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2004,8:42 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks a bunch, Tracy! :-) áThis is of good help to me re: Outerbridge, thanks! :-)

Richard
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