PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Tanaka, Kazuo
Date of birth: October 17th, 1927 (Ookuwa,Kanazawa/Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan)
Date of death:  April 6th, 1945
Mentioned on:  Yasukuni War Shrine
Nationality:  Japanese
BIOGRAPHY: 
Tanaka was as the eldest son of the Tanaka family with Yusaku as the father and Chiyoko as the mother. He was recognized by his parents and by all his neighbors for being smart and moreover having a cool and collected character. He entered Ishikawa Prefectural No. 2 Middle School, and there was great optimism about his future.

Promotions:
1944: Naval Petty Officer 2nd Class (Nitōheisō)
1945: Naval Chief Petty Officer (Jōtōheisō) - posthumously

Career:
1944: Hyakurigahara Air Base
1944: 256th Attack Flight Corps, 131st Air Group
1945: Kushira Air Base
1945: Tenzan Squadron, Kikusui Unit , Kamikaze Special Attack Forces
     
IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY PILOT BADGE
Rank: Nitōheisō (Petty officer second class)
Unit: Naval Flight Training School, Imperial Japanese Navy
Awarded on: March 1944
 
     
HACHIMAKI "KAMIKAZE"
Unit: Tenzan Squadron, Kikusui Unit, 908th Special Attack Corps
Awarded on: April 6th, 1945
Awarded for: Operation Kikusui > Operation Kikusui I
 
     
KINSHI KUNSHO 4TH CLASS
Rank: Jōtōheisō (Chief Petty Officer)
Unit: Tenzan Squadron, Kikusui Unit, 908th Special Attack Corps
Awarded on: 1945
Awarded for: Operation Kikusui > Operation Kikusui I
Action: "The deceased Naval Ensign Kazuo Tanaka, awarded the Order of the Golden Kite 4th Class and the Order of the Rising Sun 6th Class, applied at the young age of 18 for the Navy's Flight Reserve Enlisted Training Class. In the middle of his studies he threw away his pen to pick up a gun, and he entered the Kagoshima Naval Air Group. In March 1944, he graduated from basic training at Kagoshima Air Base. Next he graduated from the carrier attack bomber training course at Yatabe Air Base and Hyakurigahara Air Base in Ibaraki Prefecture. Then his skill reached the maximum level as he received intense training in the operational unit at Katori Air Base. At that time, the war situation around Okinawa turned unfavorable for our side. Therefore, no rest was allowed for this outstanding eagle. He received orders to advance to Kushira Air Base in southern Kyushu. A Kamikaze Special Attack Forces made up of Tenzan carrier attack bombers was formed there. On March 31, 1945, he was selected and assigned to the Kamikaze Special Attack Forces, Kikusui Unit, Tenzan Squad. Responding to the hopes of a hundred million citizens, he went to battle. On April 6, an order was received to carry out body-crashing attacks against enemy carriers, battleship group, and support unit that had advanced to a point about 57 nautical miles off Kikaijima in the southwest islands. At 3:30 p.m. on April 6, upon orders he sortied from Kushira Air Base. At 5:50 p.m., he spotted faraway an enemy ship that was burning. A brave wire was transmitted, "I will now carry out a body-crashing attack on the enemy ship." The wire transmission ended at 5:59 p.m. He successfully carried out his most important mission as a crew member. He sacrificed his body and devoted himself to his country. As a young Japanese man, there is no greater honor. This loyalty will shine for ten thousand years in the next world. This distinguished achievement was reported to the Emperor, who praised his loyalty. He was promoted from Naval Petty Officer 2nd Class to Naval Ensign. All his relatives honored this achievement. The people in his hometown also lifted their voices to praise him. His father Yusaku erected a stone monument with his son's record buried underneath in order that his deeds will not be forgotten and will be told to posterity. These achievements based on the report of the squad commander have been recorded while remembering your spirit."
Details: Posthumously awarded
 
     
KYUOKUJITSU SHO, 6TH CLASS
Rank: Jōtōheisō (Chief Petty Officer)
Unit: Tenzan Squadron, Kikusui Unit, 908th Special Attack Corps
Awarded on: 1945
Awarded for: Operation Kikusui > Operation Kikusui I
Action: See above.
Details: Posthumously awarded
 
     
GUNJIN IZOKU-KAI
Rank: Jōtōheisō (Chief Petty Officer)
Unit: Tenzan Squadron, Kikusui Unit, 908th Special Attack Corps
Awarded on: 1945
Awarded for: Operation Kikusui > Operation Kikusui I
 

Gerelateerde bezienswaardigheden

Kanoya (Kushira) Air BaseKanoya Naval Air Base MuseumKushira Naval Air Base Kamikaze Memorial
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Information source(s):   - Imperial Japanese Navy - Order of the Golden Kite
- Reunion of 37th Hyakurigahara Class
- Golden Knite recipients (in Japanese)
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