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  #91  
Old 26th October 2017, 19:15
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Re: Saburo Sakai

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Originally Posted by knusel View Post
Hello Leonard,
  • That makes a kill-loss-ratio of the Americans against the Japanese of ~5:1.
  • Thus, if we ignore the shot-down Commonwealth planes we might expect that the scores of the American top aces were five times higher than the scores of the Japanese top aces.
Michael
There is no reason to expect that. It is quite possible that in hypothetical "Airforce A", a few pilots will achieve very high scores while the rest achieve little or nothing. In "Airforce B" (which, incidentally, is much larger and far better trained and equipped), very many pilots achieve a victory or two but no individual achieves a huge number. "B" nevertheless achieves the highest overall total.
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  #92  
Old 27th October 2017, 00:41
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Re: Saburo Sakai

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Originally Posted by betthethao View Post
focusfocus, it is obviously that kill was officially assigned to all Japanese pilots who participated in this combat regardless, French airforce in WWII had a similar policy, a shot down would be assigned to all pilots participated in the mission, sometimes assigned to entire squadron, regardless whether individual pilots fired a shot at that down enemy aircraft, a "kill" would be an achievement for a unit, not individual, hence the difference between unit record and the pilot log book
The Italians in WW2 had that policy, too.
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  #93  
Old 27th October 2017, 04:36
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

The Japanese Navy, alone, reported 10,399 aircraft, all types, lost in combat and 16,285 operationally from December 1941 through August 1945. There was no differentiation in the tables I’ve reviewed between lost to Allied aircraft and lost to Allied AAA fire in the combat losses.

The USN’s Naval Aviation Combat Statistics volume (1946) shows USN and USMC combined reported 9,291 fighter and bomber/torpedo bomber types shot down by their aircraft (7,053 USN, 2,238 USMC) for the entire war. These do not include transports, trainers, and, perhaps, a number of reconnaissance types. It should, though, be pointed out that Frank Olynyk, in his much more thorough and rigorous review of the data than that in the 1946 review, shows a total of 7,162 USN only credits for shoot downs of all Japanese types, 765 for probables and 828.5 for damaged. I don’t have his USMC volume, so I cannot comment on its totals.

The USAAF reported total of 10,399 Japanese aircraft destroyed in all Pacific theaters, including the CBI, from February 1942 through August 1945. Looking at USAAF produced statistical charts, but without the advantage of the actual data from which they were drawn, this number certainly includes those destroyed on the ground. Total USAAF fighter credits posted in the Pacific theaters, found in USAF Historical Study No. 85, checking by pilot name and credit(s), were about 4,850. Olynyk, again, with a more refined and enlightening rendition, is slightly different, with a total of fighter based shoot down credits of 4,863 shot down plus 954 probables and 1,116 damaged, these not including any results reported by the AVG, even though Olynyk provides same, for my purposes the AVG was not a USAAF unit.

USN and US merchant ship based AAA fire assessed shootdowns for war were reported as 2,256, these specifically noted as falling within sight of the ships being attacked. True, some of these were in European waters, but easily the majority, about 98%, were in the Pacific. The USA reported AAA credits in the Pacific, excluding CBI, 763 destroyed, 232 probables, and 336 damaged, including 28 of the destroyed to USMC ground AAA units. So, the number of Japanese planes reportedly shot down, not counting probables or damaged, by AAA fire probably comes to, at the least since we’re not including the CBI, about 3,019, or thereabouts.

All this means, from action by US forces only, we’re looking at credits for Japanese planes shot down, no probables, no damaged, totaling in the neighborhood of at least 17,282.

Total Japanese aircraft production, all types, from January 1941 to the end of the war in 1945 has been reported as 69,976 (33,504 Navy types and 36,472 Army types). The USSBS reported total production in the period as 69,888 with 52,242 combat types, 15,201 trainer types, and 2,445 other types; this total, however, does not appear to include experimental and prototype aircraft. At the end of the war there were, at a maximum, depending how and what you count, 16,367 undamaged aircraft, Army and Navy, in inventory in the home islands and areas still under the control of the Japanese. So, some 53,609 Japanese aircraft went somewhere. Take out the losses reported by the Japanese Navy and we have still 26,925 unaccounted for. Were they all shot down by Allied aircraft? For certes, we know that is not true just from the AAA summaries. Were a lot of them destroyed on the ground? Undoubtedly a fair percentage. Then there are those lost in transport, aboard lost aircraft carriers and sea/float plane tenders, but equally certain not in numbers even close to, say, 10% of the total. And if the Japanese Army Air Force aerial losses, which admittedly I do not have at hand (and if anyone who has same would like to contribute to my data hoard, offerings are greatly appreciated), came anywhere near those reported by the Japanese Navy, then, perhaps, the US claims are not all that far off.

Of course, there were another about 13,800 Japanese planes of all types produced between January 1937 and December 1940 of which we may wish to consider accounting, but why complicate things?

Did US pilots overclaim? Certainly, everyone’s, everyone’s, even in the much-ballyhooed accuracy of the Luftwaffe, air arms’ results included overclaims. I can think of a couple of US operators right off the top of my head, and no, I won’t mention names, whose credits or claims (and credits and claims are not necessarily the same thing) are in my mind somewhat questionable. But, then again, I’m not particularly in the business of knocking people’s credits and I lose no sleep.

On the other hand, one can reasonably ask just where did that balance of 55,509 Japanese planes produced during the war years go? Or the just the 28,825 left after taking out the total Japanese Navy loses? And if the Japanese Navy had a reported 10,399 in-combat aircraft losses, is it unreasonable to suppose that the Japanese Army Air Force suffered, at the least, some 6,883 combat losses at the hands of the USN or USAAF piloted aircraft, or by AAA fire? 6,883 is not a very big number over 45 months of war . . . consider that the US services lost something like 14,000 aircraft in the continental US in those same 45 months, non-combat. I would be willing to bet that the Japanese Army Air Force lost certainly more than 6,883 aircraft in direct combat action.

While airplanes have been known to disappear, especially in places over or near the ocean, the question is what made them disappear or, at least fall off the operational inventory . . . perhaps merely shot up somewhere on an airfield? Or did not just a few of them auger in someplace, lost, fuel exhaustion, mechanical failure, pilot error, pilot casualty, battle damage, any combination thereof, and the not so unlikely possibility of destruction in combat, all with no one Japanese side surviving to tell the tale?

I believe that your posited 5:1 US aces out scoring Japanese aces, has a logical disconnect. An “ace” scores at least 5 credits in air-to-air combat to be so named. If you look at USN credits for air-to-air action, you would find some 2,927 individuals being credited from with at least a share of shoot-down, up to McCampbell’s 34 credits, these occurring in some 6,789 plus or minus encounters resulting in such credit. How many of these individuals were aces? Oh, about 378 (about 13%) or so, with an average of seven credits. The non-aces averaged about 1.57 credits each, from a high of 4.883 down to 0.125; 1162 (39.7%) scored but one credit, 449 (15.3%) received only partial, shared credits. To conclude than, that, say for example, David McCampbell, the highest scoring USN ace “should have” scored 5 times more than the highest scoring Japanese ace is voodoo math. If we’re going to do voodoo math, more likely, in my opinion, it is the exact opposite, Japanese ace “scores,” such as they are, should be reduced to 20% of each total, so, for example some mythical gent credited in the popular mythology with 80 credits, could probably really be down at about 16.

Not trying to convince anyone, just my thoughts on the matter.

Regards

USSBS No 202, Interrogation Nav No. 50, Interrogation of CDR J. Fukamizu, Chief, 1st Section, 1st Department, Naval Air Headquarters, TOKYO, January 1943-August 1945
GHQ SCAP, MIS, Final Report - Progress of Demobilization of the Japanese Armed Forces, 31 December 1946
Air Branch, ONI, OCNO, US Naval Aviation Combat Statistics – World War 2 (1946)
Albert F Simson Historical Research Center, Air University, Office of Air Force History HQ USAF, USAF Historical Study No. 85 – USAF Credit for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft, World War II (1978)
Olynyk, Frank, USN Credits for the Destruction of Enemy aircraft in Air-to-Air Combat, World War 2 (1982)
Olynyk, Frank, USAAF (Pacific Theater) Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Air-to-Air Combat, World War 2 (1985)
Olynyk, Frank, AVG & USAAF (China-Burma-India Theater) Credits for the Destruction of Enemy Aircraft in Air-to-Air Combat, World War 2 (1986)
HQ CominCh US Fleet, Antiaircraft Action Summary – World War II (1945)
GHQ US Army Forces, Pacific, Antiaircraft Artillery Activities in the Pacific War (1946)
USSBS, Aircraft Division, The Japanese Aircraft Industry (1947)

Last edited by R Leonard; 27th October 2017 at 18:25.
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  #94  
Old 27th October 2017, 10:53
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Re: Saburo Sakai

On the other hand, one can reasonably ask just where did that balance of 55,509 Japanese planes produced during the war years go?
Presumably the Japanese, like everyone else, were scrapping and recycling obsolete types and writing off a lot of machines in training. Obviously that's only a fraction of the total but quite likely to have been a substantial number.
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  #95  
Old 28th October 2017, 01:20
R Leonard R Leonard is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Doubt those could come close to 75% write offs for training or "recycling".
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  #96  
Old 28th October 2017, 11:15
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Not my area at all, but what about losses from operational causes in Japan's war against China, which ran from 1937 until 1945? An enormous area of operations and years and years of combat.

AFAIK opposition in the air and from ground defences was slight (other than 14th Air Force?), but surely attrition from all the usual operational causes?

Perhaps some of the 'missing' aircraft can be accounted for via Chinese theatre?
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  #97  
Old 28th October 2017, 11:57
Stig1207 Stig1207 is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Without a breakdown of the losses by cause, something which is probably unlikely to happen, it's only going to be speculation. There were many ways to lose aircraft, even without interference from the enemy.
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  #98  
Old 28th October 2017, 19:49
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Japanese suffered great losses during the long transfer flights. According to the interrogations of Admiral Kusaka, Admiral Irifune, Commander Hori and Lt Commander Watabe, appr. 40 % of the planes meant to Rabaul were lost during transfer, mostly because bad weather and poor pilot training. If long over-sea flights were so difficult to JNAF pilots sure they were a great challenge to JAAF pilots flying to e.g. New Guinea.

Juha
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  #99  
Old 28th October 2017, 20:12
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Saburo Sakai

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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
Japanese suffered great losses during the long transfer flights. According to the interrogations of Admiral Kusaka, Admiral Irifune, Commander Hori and Lt Commander Watabe, appr. 40 % of the planes meant to Rabaul were lost during transfer, mostly because bad weather and poor pilot training. If long over-sea flights were so difficult to JNAF pilots sure they were a great challenge to JAAF pilots flying to e.g. New Guinea.

Juha
You are absolutely correct! Also, pilots were lost on ill-planned missions. There were also losses due to tropical illnesses, mostly malaria. You have to be in tip top shape to fly and fight.
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  #100  
Old 28th October 2017, 21:41
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Re: Saburo Sakai

Good evening,

can anybody tell me where I can acquire that article about Nishizawa?:
  • Bobek, Jan - Vějíř a meč, in Revi, No. 08, 1995.
It is cited on this website:
http://www.aces.safarikovi.org/victories/japan-ww2.html

Cheers,

Michael
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