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  #1  
Old 31st October 2017, 06:47
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Tetauzo Iwamoto

Gentlemen,

What do you know about Tetauzo Iwamoto,known to be Japan's top air ace with at least 87 victories which includes 14 in China? His victory in my opinion is questionable.

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 31st October 2017, 13:41
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

That is a very big question, Edward.
Anything in particular you are looking for?
Hata and Izawa in their book Japanese Naval Fighter Aces credit him with 66 victories in WW2 and 14 in China. His own writings found after his death record 202 destroyed, 27 unconfirmed destroyed, 26 shared and 2 on the ground.
Because of the way the Japanese treated aerial victories (and also because of overclaiming) it is very difficult if not impossible to determine what may be the true number for any particular pilot.
Peter
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Old 31st October 2017, 21:48
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Tetsuzo Iwamoto kept a personal diary during the war. Unfortunately, some of the dates are way off. His diary was turned into a book, published under the title ZERO SEN GEIKTSUI O (ZERO FIGHTER SHOOT DOWN KING) in 1972 by Konnichi No Wadai Sha, Tokyo.

There is a handwritten list of his claims. Some of his claims were:
F4Fx7, P38 x 4, F4U x48, P40 x 1, F6F x 29, P47 x 1, P51 x 1, PBY5A x 1 (group)...202 individual, 26 shared, 22 uncertain, 2 damaged, and 2 on the ground.Grand total: 254.

I was interested in his PBY claim, so I checked US records, and sure enough, a group of Zeroes brought it down. He was right on. Strangely, his China War claims are not listed. According to Hata/Izawa, he was the top Navy pilot with 14 in China. Of course, none of these claims are verified.

In 1975, I wrote to Mrs. Iwamoto, asking if I could drop by and interview her. She politely declined and giving the polite and customary excuses, which translated into English meant: I don't want to see you, please do not bother me. She did say that she had no photos of her husband (hard to believe) and could offer nothing.

During his time at Rabaul, Japan News sent a team to take movies for the people back home. He was filmed and his wife, who was 14 at the time, remembered seeing his face in the movie house. They would marry later.

Iwamoto was greatly respected as a veteran, having fought in the China War and surviving the war (1937 to 1945). Because he fought for so long, it was assumed that he shot down many planes.

I met Mr. Takeo Tanimizu in Japan. He too fought at Rabaul. He knew Iwamoto when the pilot was transferred to the 203 KU in the home defense. They flew together and jointly claimed a B-29. That's what Mr. Tanimizu told me.

After the war, the Navy was kaput, and Iwamoto was forced to do menial jobs to survive. He had no job skills other than piloting a fighter plane.
Well, you know the rest.

Iwamoto's claims are simply claims and nothing more. If an American vet tells me that he mowed down 50+ German soldiers with his BAR and took out a pillbox with a grenade, who am I to argue with him? How is he going to prove it and who cares anyway? We didn't have US Infantry BAR aces. Maybe someday, we will! People are so obsessed with scores! Does notching 50 kills on the stock of his BAR PROVE his claims??? Besides, in hand-to-hand combat, whose keeping scores???!

I think Japanese "aces" should be categorized by length of combat service.
But that's just not appealing.

About 15 years ago, I met with Iyozoh Fujita in Los Angeles and showed him Izawa/Hata's bio on him. And I asked, "Did you shoot down ten American planes at Midway???" And he answered: "I think I hit that many but I don't know how many went down."
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Old 31st October 2017, 22:30
Edward L. Hsiao Edward L. Hsiao is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Gentlemen,

Thank you for your prompt answer. Iwamoto's score over USN F6F Hellcats and F4U Corsairs simply were overclaimed. 29 Hellcats and 48 Corsairs shot down? I don't think so.

Sincerely,

Edward L. Hsiao
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Old 1st November 2017, 05:46
PMoz99 PMoz99 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

In the end, what we think does not matter. Only what we know.
Peter
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Old 1st November 2017, 10:53
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luftwaffle8 View Post
There is a handwritten list of his claims. Some of his claims were:
F4Fx7, P38 x 4, F4U x48, P40 x 1, F6F x 29, P47 x 1, P51 x 1, PBY5A x 1 (group)...202 individual, 26 shared, 22 uncertain, 2 damaged, and 2 on the ground.Grand total: 254.
Dear Luftwaffle8,

can you tell me the decimals of the 26 shared kills in Iwamoto's Memory ?

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 1st November 2017, 23:05
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Quote:
Originally Posted by knusel View Post
Dear Luftwaffle8,

can you tell me the decimals of the 26 shared kills in Iwamoto's Memory ?

Cheers,

Michael
This is from Iwamoto's book.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Iwamoto victories.jpg (201.3 KB, 32 views)
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Old 1st November 2017, 23:13
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

The diary is from the beginning of the war (Pearl Harbor) until the end of the war, so his China claims are not listed. The column on the left, top to bottom reads: Victories (202); group (26); uncertain (22), damaged (2), and burned on the ground (2). Addd them up and he gets 254. In the list, he has English Spitifire x 4 downed with 2 more set on fire on the ground; SBDx48 with 7 uncertain; TBFx5 with 14 uncertain; SBDx30 with aerial burst bombs

These were his claims, none were verified except for the PBY which I investigated.
If he shot at a plane and thinks he hit it, then he claimed it.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 11:00
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knusel knusel is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Hello Luftwaffle8.

thanks for the document.
Wow, this guy destroyed a quarter of all the American Corsairs that were lost in WW2 ! ;-)
And he also records his uncertain, damaged and ground claims, which means he thinks he has a score of 202+26sh certainly, destroyed, in the air !!! ;-)
Do you know the algorithm by which Hata/Izawa reduced his 202+26sh down to 80 ?

Cheers,

Michael
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Old 2nd November 2017, 18:36
Luftwaffle8 Luftwaffle8 is offline
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Re: Tetauzo Iwamoto

Quote:
Originally Posted by knusel View Post
Hello Luftwaffle8.

thanks for the document.
Wow, this guy destroyed a quarter of all the American Corsairs that were lost in WW2 ! ;-)
And he also records his uncertain, damaged and ground claims, which means he thinks he has a score of 202+26sh certainly, destroyed, in the air !!! ;-)
Do you know the algorithm by which Hata/Izawa reduced his 202+26sh down to 80 ?

Cheers,

Michael
Relax and grab a beer, these are Iwamoto's CLAIMS! Not verified. Sadaaki Akamatsu claimed 350. Izawa/Hata arrived at their scores by taking the unverified scores attributed to the pilots from official and non-official sources.Just because a Japanese newspaper or a Navy citation says so-and-so shot down X planes, doesn't make it so...because the score was never verified. They had no system of verification, no gun cameras, and claims were taken on face value. If I tell you that I caught a dozen trout and 2 bass on my fishing trip, you will not question me on them because it really is not important.
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