|Pilot Major Katsushige
Observer M/Sgt Motomiya (KIA)
Crashed May 27, 1944
Takada graduated the Army Military Academy's 46th Term and was the commanding
officer of the 5th Sentai. According to Japanese Military
Affairs section of the Army Ministry, Major Takada was the first 'planned'
[Kamikaze] suicide attack by a Japanese plane on an enemy ship. But,
further research by Richard Dunn indicates this attack was made by Major
Takada's own initiative, not a higher order.
Built by Kawasaki. Assigned to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) to the 5th Sentai. No known markings.
On May 27, 1944 a joint strike by Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) and Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) aircraft took off on a mission to attack the American amphibious force off Biak. Major
Takada's group of
four Ki-45 hastily planned to launch a mission from their base at Sorong.
Along with seven Ki-43's of the 24th Sentai. The Ki-45s approached the
fleet at 300' and using cloud cover, their target were destroyers. Takada's
was hit by anti-aircraft fire while attempting to drop his bomb and tried
to escape on one engine. Seeing his other men crashing into the sea,
he turned to make another attack, an account of the attack is written
Sacred Warriors. Takada's Ki-45 hit the water about
30' from the Sub Chaser No. 699. The wreckage tumbled into its midship,
burying its engine into the wooden hull. 16 of the crew were thrown
into the sea, and many suffered burns. One was found burned to death,
still at his AA position. Another crew member was missing. Takada's observer
was thrown clear of the plane as it crashed, floated unconscious and later
picked up by natives on western Biak and returned to Japanese lines at Manokwari on June 3, 1944.
Major Takada's Cigarette Case
A small cigarette case was recovered from the burned wreckage
impacted into the ship, and souvineered, It was silver plated
and embossed with an Imperial army star, and burned in the crash. A
faint inscription reading "Terada" and kanji inscription reading:
"Five Admonitions For Military Men:
1. To serve loyally
2. To be courteous
3. To set a high value on military success
4. To observe your faith
5. To aim at being simple"
On the reverse side it was inscribed: "This case taken
from Major Tarada Japanese Imperial Air Force May 26, 1944, after he
had joined his imperial ancestors on Biak."
In February 1998, the owner of the case a collector
Sakaida located the relatives of Takada and offered to return
the case, They were thankful, but declined the case, stating they
had many other mementos of him.
"Major Takada's Case" by Henry
Sakaida (Banzai # 194 Part 1 July
"Major Takada's Case Part 2" by Henry
Sakaida (Banzai # 198 Part 2 November 1988)
J-Aircraft "First Kamikaze" by Richard Dunn
The Sacred Warriors - Japan's Suicde Legions page 63
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December 14, 2015