Kamikaze Pilot Took His Wife On Fatal Flight

Tetsuo Tanifuji and wife, Asako

Even though World War Two had come to an end, the story of a Japanese couple who met their death in a deliberate kamikaze suicide flight against Soviet troops has come to light and has been turned into a television program.

Tetsuo Tanifuji was a trained kamikaze pilot for the Japanese Imperial Navy, however, for his very last flight, he decided to take his wife, Asako with him.

Even though the bombs had been dropped and Japan was on the verge of surrender, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and was trying to take large areas of Japanese-controlled land in North China and the Northern Territory islands off Japan. Thousands of Japanese troops and civilians were making their way back to the Japanese mainland in defeat, so the invasion by Soviet troops was causing more chaos, attacking any military or civilians they came across.

Japanese Emperor Hirohito surrendered to Allied forces and four days later ten pilots from the Japanese Imperial Navy’s First Kyoiku Unit decided to launch an aerial attack on the incoming Soviet troops, to help other Japanese military and civilians in their retreat to the mainland.

Tetsuo was a Second Lieutenant and just 22 years old. He collected his wife, and together they climbed inside the Type 97 fighter plane. It is reported that another woman also joined another of the unit’s pilots in another aircraft.

Kamikaze memorial

They took off from their airbase and were never to be seen again. None of the aircraft that took part in the attack returned, and no records of the mission existed or survived. It wasn’t until 1957 that the Japanese military declared Tetsuo was killed in action and not until 1970 that Asako’s family received her death certificate.

The story has been turned into a television drama in Japan. However, the families of the couple are concerned about the story being dramatized. One family member said that no war stories are ‘heart-warming’ since they are shrouded in the misery of war. Another family member said that she would have done the same thing as Asako if she had made the decision to die with her husband.

Overall the family hopes that it will educate the younger generation about the devastation of war, and to oppose any attempts by politicians to get involved in armed conflict.

This author agrees.

From War History on line.

For a more personal look at this situation click HERE…..

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Military Humor –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Gordon Banks – Elgin IL; USMC, WWII & Korea, Captain

Alexander Disanto – Mantua, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 507/11th Airborne Division

Phillip Goddard – Des Moines, IA; US Army, WWII, PTO, Corps of Engineers

John Horrall – Spokane, WA; US Army, WWII, ETO, 10th Mountain Division

Henning Knudson – Havre, MT; US Navy, WWII

Richard Luchsinger (102) – Moline, IL; US Army, WWII

Hugo Meyer – ID; US Army, WWII, PTO

Howard Nelson – Kathryn, ND; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

Stanley Raynham – Eltham, ENG; Royal Navy, WWII

John Widelski – New Bedford, MA; US Navy, gunner’s mate, USS Wingfield & Bronstein

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 21, 2019, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 204 Comments.

  1. Thank you for posting these stories, GP! I am playing catch up here, and haven’t posted since the end of January myself. I will be catching up with you slowly over the next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. Just wow. I am speechless! This is a heartbreaking story. The story didn’t say whether or not they had children – I hope they didn’t!

    Thanks for sharing, GP. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a moving story, GP. 😢

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ll never understand the training that makes young men and women decide to sacrifice their lives in this manner for any cause. I’m so thankful my family has never had to make these kinds of decisions. The horrors of war!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow… just, wow.

    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have read a bit of this story once before gp, but it never mentioned the wives being involved, being at the time of surrender it must have been a huge decision for both the Kamikaze pilot and his wife to carry out this flight, must have had a lot to do with dedication and Honor.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a tragic story. I understand the family’s hesitance toward the dramatization of this event, but hopefully something good comes out of it in the form of learning for the younger generations.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wonderful article!! ❤️️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m glad you found it interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My son served 9 yrs in the AF until he was critically wounded. I love reading all your stories…so interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I thank you very much. Please let your son know that the people at Pacific Paratrooper thank him for his service. It is because of people like him that allow old codgers like me to sleep peacefully at night. I am terribly sorry he was wounded.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you so much. To be truthful, at first I was so upset, I don’t know why he went on that last mission when he had just came back from another. Once he was in country, they brought him to David Grant Memorial. They specialize in brain injuries. I was blessed. I made that 9 hr drive with 2 small kids, every weekend for almost a year. Very tough times. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I sincerely hope he has recovered. The men feel it’s their duty, if not them, then someone else has to go in their stead. My own son was killed while in the USMC back in 1992.

              Like

  9. War, what it does to people. The horrors of war indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This article pinched my heart. I can only imagine and speculate why Asako joined Tetsuo on thid mission. Perhaps, Asako thought that life would be equally devastating and chaotic if she lived, without Tetsuo?

    Thank you so much for sharing the facts of this event.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I would like to
    thank you for everything.☺️🌸💕🇯🇵

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thank you as well, Nasuko. I still return to many of the links you’ve sent me over time. You have been a very good friend. That’s one good thing that came out of the Pacific War – the US/Japan alliance.

      Liked by 1 person

    • My dear friend,
      I have been to your site but can not open up any of your posts, nor can I comment. This was the only way I could get to talk to you. I’m glad FB is cleaned up and your new site looks lovely – I wish you all the very best with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t realize your this comment!!

        Long time no see,when I searched your blog,I don’t know why but this page appeared.
        I was Very surprised but I’m Very happy!!

        How is you!! 😀

        Now,Japanese have 10 straight holidays.
        His Majesty the Emperor changed and new era 「令和(Reiwa)」come!!
        We Japanese are Very Happy!!:D

        POTUS TRUMP will come to Japan on May as a First state guest,
        Very Welcome!! 😀

        Facebook is a problem with safety,so I closed it.
        Now, I enjoy my new Site,Secretly alone!! XD
        I have taken many pics and posted them on my site.
        If you have time permitting , drop in please !! 😀

        Have a Good Day!! Dear my friend!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you so much for coming by and letting me know how you are doing. I agree with you closing the facebook account – I never did trust them and they proved me right.
          I saw in the mews that the Emperor was stepping down, but I did not know how everyone felt about that. It is good that you are happy and that our President will be a guest of your beautiful country.
          I will stop into your site very soon, if it is secret though, how will I find it?

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow. The things I’m learning here. And here all along, I thought I knew a lot about WWII.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Heartbreaking. War can bring out the best in people yet each countries definition of what is best differs,

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow, this is very heartbreaking. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. VeraMaureen Jenner

    No one can understand the mental and moral anguish suffered by our young when we demand the ultimate sacrifice in wars not of their making.

    I feel overwhelming anger and shame when I think of all wars, past and present. They are all an utter waste of life and resources.

    I dare to hope that one day, world leaders may gain enough courage and wisdom to forsake the primitive and pointless posturing that leads to proclamations of war against a perceived enemy.

    Time such leaders were put behind the bars of a playpen and made to face up to each other – naked and unadorned – with the possibility of diapers placed strategically to spare their blushes for any inadequacy – and then urged to settle their differences in whatever way they choose – but without any artificial weaponry or the involvement of others

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Amazing bit of history highlighting the culture of Japan.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. A different twist on love you to death. Or is that ’til death?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Niet te begrijpen dat hij zijn vrouw meeneemt in de dood

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ze hadden een oude cultuur die een dergelijke daad romantisch en eervol maakte. Ondanks het feit dat Japan zich had overgegeven, verklaarde de Sovjet-oorlog de oorlog en viel het gebied van de Japanse bezetting in Mantsjoerije binnen. Als kamakazipiloot deed hij een laatste kans om zijn land te helpen – zijn vrouw koos ervoor om met hem te sterven.

      Like

  19. Good to raise awareness about the “devastation of war”

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Didn’t know anything about this GP. Thanks for this.

    Regards

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Tragedy and Heroism intertwined?
    Hard to fathom.

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: FEATURED BLOGGER REPORT: Soviet Invasion – August 1945 By Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk report s | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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