Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks   Donate Now  
Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
Pacific World War II Book Review  
Order Book
by Ikuhiko Hata, Yasuho Izawa, Christopher Shores
Grubb Street Press  2002
400 Pages
Units Lists
Aircraft Profiles
ISBN: 1902304896
Cover Price: $36.75
Language: English

In Association with
Order this book online

Return to
Book Reviews
Main Menu

Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units
And Their Aces 1931-1945

With little published in English on the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) side of the war in the Pacific, this book fills a great void. We applaud Grubb Street for publishing such an important book for english readers to enjoy.

The co-authors Hata and Izawa have also written a book on Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units, as well as a books on JAAF and IJN bombers, published in Japanese. The book is translated from Japanese by Christopher Shores, and is an in-depth review of the fighter units of Imperial Japan.

JAAF Historical Overview
The book begins with a history of Army aviation, from the first aircraft acquired in the early 1930's thru its rise in the early years of the war in the Pacific.   Learn about aircraft like the Ki-43 Oscar and Ki-61 Tony dominated the skies over Japanese occupied areas. 

As the tide of war changed with superior Allied aircraft and island hopping tactics, the Army's ridged command structure and lack of fore site saw JAAF fighter pilots decimated in areas like New Guinea.  Despite these losses, there were outstanding Army units that equaled their Allied counterparts, in Burma and flying home defense.  In the later stages of the war, outstanding aircraft like the Ki-84 equaled the best allied planes, but arrived too late to impact the war.

References & Resources
The history section of the book is followed by detailed descriptions of each JAAF Sentai (unit), including commanding officers, bases, aircraft and history.  Also, side views of Sentai aircraft, showing their camouflage patterns and markings. Of particular merit is an alphabetical listing of JAAF aces with biographies.  The best feature for researchers is an amazing appendix listing every major air combat and every JAAF pilot lost in from 1931-45.

This book is an indispensable volume for anyone interested in the history of JAAF in english, it is probably the only such book in currently in print. 

Review by  Justin Taylan

Return to Book Reviews | Add a review or submit for review

Last Updated
May 23, 2017

    All rights reserved.  
  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram
Forum Updates People Museums Reviews Submit Info How You Can Help