World War Two - Kamikaze Attacks
"In a land where white is the color of mourning and black is the color of ceremony, where newspapers are read from right to left, this may have been a logical strategy. It was annunciated last week by the head of the Japanese government, Premiere Kantaro Suzuki... The upside-down Japanese mind could make the cost of conquest terribly expensive in American lives."
A two page magazine article about the U.S. Navy destroyer NEWCOMBE (DD-586), a hard-charging ship that suffered heavy damage from repeated Kamikaze attacks off of Okinawa on April 6, 1945 (the Ryukyu Islands):
"Then the plane shot past them, ripped through the gun mount and shattered itself against the after-stack. There was a blinding flash. The NEWCOMBE shuddered and rolled heavily to starboard."
[For some unknown reason, the YANK writer erroneously credited NEWCOMBE as the first ship to be hit by Kamikaze pilots. More than likely, the first American vessels to earn this dubious distinction were those ships that fought at the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October of 1944.]
With the fall of imperial Japan, YANK correspondent Robert MacMillan was
one of the very first journalists to interview the Japanese Kamikaze pilot Norio Okamoto, which allowed his readers to gain some understanding as
to how the Kamikaze Corps operated:
"Okomoto's story took all the wind -the Divine Wind - out of the Kamikaze sails. Even the interpreter, a Japanese civilian, was surprised. He had worked for radio Tokyo and while he knew a lot of the propaganda stories were ridiculous, he had believed the Kamikaze legend."
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