Author Archives: Henry Sakaida

HUMAN TORPEDO ATTACK! THE JAPANESE NAVY’S KAITEN SUICIDE TORPEDO PROGRAM By Henry Sakaida In the desperate final year of WWII in the Pacific, very few people on both sides knew of the existence of the Japanese […]

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ZERO ACE SADAMU KOMACHI NEEDED CLOSURE

Posted on March 23rd, 2018 by:

ZERO ACE SADAMU KOMACHI NEEDED CLOSURE By Henry Sakaida I received the strangest request over a cup of coffee in a Tokyo café back in 1975 when I was a starving college student. I was visiting […]

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UNKNOWN AMERICAN PILOT NOW IDENTIFIED

Posted on February 7th, 2018 by:

UNKNOWN AMERICAN PILOT NOW IDENTIFIED By Henry Sakaida On 1 August 1945, the war with Japan was in its final days. Riyogi Honda was walking along the beach of Saeki Bay on the east coast of […]

YEKATERINA ZELENKO – ONLY WOMAN TO RAM AN ENEMY AIRCRAFT – FACT OR FICTION? By Henry Sakaida The Soviet Union created posthumous heroes to inspire the nation during and after the Great Patriotic War. These individuals […]

THE TRAGIC STORY OF MERLIN PADDOCK AS REMEMBERED BY AN ENEMY PILOT AND HIS WIDOW By Henry Sakaida “I think it was around May 1945 when I met that American,” remembered Takeo Tanimizu, a former Zero […]

WHATEVER BECAME OF TAKEO TANIMIZU’S ZERO FIGHTER 03-09? By Henry Sakaida “I flew the most famous Zero fighter during the war, but no one knows me!” chuckled former Zero pilot Takeo Tanimizu. Photographs of Tanimizu’s A6M5 […]

YOSHIYUKI SUMIDA AND WALTER L. ROSE: TWO FORGOTTEN OPPONENTS By Henry Sakaida Growing up as a kid, I would often look through our old family photo album and focus my attention on a young Japanese sailor. […]

A POSTCARD WRITTEN LONG AGO By Henry Sakaida From time to time, little mysteries would land in my lap. Like a small sliver under my skin, it is discomforting and the only way to find peace […]

FORMER FBI AGENT GARY NILA RETURNS WWII JAPANESE ARTIFACT TO FAMILY BY HENRY SAKAIDA I have this knack for making old WWII artifacts “talk.” One day in 1995, my collector friend Gary Nila told me that […]

SOVIET ACE VIKTOR LOZOVSKI RAMMED A GERMAN ME-109 By Henry Sakaida Intentionally ramming an enemy aircraft in a dogfight took nerves of steel, skill, and a lot of luck. Soviet pilots exhibited extreme hatred toward their […]

MARINE CORPS FIGHTER ACE KEN WALSH – AN HONORABLE GENTLEMAN by Henry Sakaida As a young aviation historian, I was lucky to have become acquainted with a number of American WWII aces when they were alive […]

VISITING DUCKY LOUIE, “CHINA’S LITTLE DEVIL” By Henry Sakaida In September 2016, I made a road trip up to the San Francisco Bay Area with friends to meet and interview Dr. Lawrence Louie, a retired dentist. […]

P-38 ACE MAJOR RALPH WANDREY PERFORMED A MIRACLE! by Henry Sakaida Many veterans returned from the war with souvenirs to remember their life and death adventures. As the years passed, the items began to lose their […]

THE ROUT AT THE ALAMO BY HENRY SAKAIDA The story of the Battle of the Alamo as you know it today, is a patriotic concoction of myth and truth. I’ve always loved the story ever since […]

THE TRAGIC STORY OF COL HARRY R. MELTON JR. by Henry Sakaida PART I You know the old saying: “One thing leads to another…” Back in 1980, I met a very nice gentleman in Tokyo named […]

GIVING CLOSURE TO USMC FIGHTER ACE KEN WALSH by Henry Sakaida Back around 1981, I was asked a favor by USMC fighter ace Ken Walsh, the Medal of Honor recipient. He was credited with 21 victories […]

SOVIET “MEDALS OF HONOR” FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO THEIR FAMILIES BY HENRY SAKAIDA I’m sure that many of you have lost something very dear to you…perhaps a family ring, a special souvenir or keepsake, a […]

LYDIA LITVYAK SOVIET FEMALE ACE DIDN’T DIE IN COMBAT By Henry Sakaida Blonde, bold, and brave. Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak was one of only two female fighter aces in history. She disappeared during aerial combat in August […]

Sadaaki Akamatsu, Japan’s “Pappy Boyington” by Henry Sakaida “Akamatsu stunned his superior officers by his conduct. Instead of attending pilot briefings and waiting on the flight line like the other men, he had his own warning […]

LUCKY KAMIKAZE PILOTS – THE STORY BEHIND THE FAMOUS PHOTO by Henry Sakaida When I was a high school sophomore in 1968, a military collector gave me a  picture of a group of Army Kamikaze pilots […]


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