Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

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David_Aiken
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Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 01 Jul 2005 23:03

In introduction, since 7 Dec 1966, my goal is to locate, identify, and, hopefully, recover the MIA American and Japanese airmen from the Pearl Harbor Attack. Your help to locate witnesses who viewed an aircraft in distress, crashing, or visited any such plane from that day's action is greatfully appreciated. While I have interviewed over a thousand US and Japanese witnesses, the job is still on going and still has needs.

The research includes:
A list of every aircraft airborne within 300 miles of Oahu on 7 Dec 1941--THE WHOLE DAY! BOTH SIDES!

A crew roster for the above aircraft? Both Sides! Japanese side nearly complete. US side in progress. My incomplete roster of PILOTS for those 70-plus American aircraft airborne DURING the attack is given in EAST WIND RAIN by Stan Cohen (Missoula, MT: Pictorial Histories Pub; 1991) page 97-8. March 1994 edition has most current list.

Experiences of those airborne crews and the ground crews which aided these planes into the air. Both sides!

A history of each airbase (and the radar history) for 7 Dec 1941 is in work.

A roster of all aircraft on Oahu. See my incomplete list in 7 DEC 1941: THE AIR FORCE STORY by Leatrice Arakaki and John Kuborn (Washington DC: GPO; 1992).

Acquire marking data to properly paint replica or museum aircraft correctly as "Pearl Harbor" aircraft.

Acquire data to assist museums with exhibits of Pearl Harbor related accessions which are still relegated to storage.

Locate and recover the Missing Aircraft of 7 Dec 1941. Crew identification at recovered crash sites helps eliminate potential problems.

Assure the historic aircraft get properly restored and exhibited.

*For JPAC http://www.jpac.pacom.mil/

Provide enough data to isolate the crash sites of missing American airmen. See a sample of one project at: http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/l ... rling1.asp

Have the US military's JPAC do the crew recovery. I have been working with JPAC and its predecessor since 1975.

Prove that certain UNKNOWN graves at Punchbowl contain the bodies of Pearl Harbor MIA airmen.

*For the Japanese Bereaved Family Association and the Yasukuni Shrine:

Recover MIA airmen for return to Japanese relatives.

Identify those recovered Japanese returned to Japan in 1948.

Assure that all 1941 burials were disinterred.

Unique and esoteric stories or sources regarding Pearl Harbor are sought. These may be witnesses to crashed planes, a list of wartime/prewar publications, photos or documents of those days.

Here is to history, the ultimate puzzle, with a lot of pieces missing!
May the pieces be found before the witnesses are gone.
Cheers,
Sincerely,
David Aiken, a Director: Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc.
http://www.pearlharbor-history.org/
PearlHarborHistory (at) Hotmail (dot) com

David_Aiken
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Post by David_Aiken » 06 Jul 2005 18:35

Aloha All,
In general reply to the many e-mails...

Of interest to the USS Enterprise sorties made that day, I have kept the BIG E reunion association apprised of the progress and have had some of the research printed in their pub.

Mitchell Cohn, a USS Enterprise SBD gunner, either died in the air or when the plane crashed on land west of "Ewa Mooring Mast Field" (1941 term). His body was taken by ambulance to the US Army morgue, buried at Schofield as "possibly a pilot" and transferred to Punchbowl after the war. He is one of the MIAs...oops, BNRs...which I seek to resolve.

The head of the US Army's Casualty and Memorial Affairs Branch, Alexandria, VA phoned me in 1982 to complain that I was using "MIA" when the term is BNR (Body Not Recoverable). MIA is a pay scale, he stated, for the next of kin. Once a body is declared BNR, the pay stops. That is why so many families from 'nam wanted their loved ones kept as MIA or found, not so much for the closure...but to keep the money coming in...or so he suggested off the record.

One of the BIG E SBDs crashed in the area of the reef runway...probably covered up by the runway! Sigh. A B5N KATE which crashed aft of the USS Nevada in the first wave...in the area of the new bridge to Ford Island, is probably covered up too...by silt raised from that project.

Have you read "Torpedoing Pearl Harbor", Military History mag, Dec 2001? That details all forty B5Ns in that phase of the attack...every plane, every pilot name, every target hit IN order of hits, and every B5N crash location. Nine Japanese torpedo attack veterans, and two Japanese men involved with the technical aspects of the torpedo helped. That issue is now out of print. See it and other articles at: http://groups.msn.com/japanesemodelairc ... arbor.msnw

Be aware, I share unrecovered crash site locations and crew IDs only with US Government JPAC/CILHI personnel and their Japanese counterparts.
Hope this helps,
Cheers,
David

florida
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by florida » 01 Sep 2008 04:32

"Have you read "Torpedoing Pearl Harbor", Military History mag, Dec 2001? That details all forty B5Ns in that phase of the attack...every plane, every pilot name, every target hit IN order of hits, and every B5N crash location. Nine Japanese torpedo attack veterans, and two Japanese men involved with the technical aspects of the torpedo helped. That issue is now out of print."


yes, many times over, very good job on that.

can you, or anyone, elaborate on circumstances of the death of PC2C Isamu Matsuda?

thanks in advance.

PF
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by PF » 01 Sep 2008 12:34

How many Vals were credited to Daines; Welch and Taylor?
Could 2 missing IJN fighters have been damaged and then crashed at sea?
SOme Pearl harbor news clips have a brief showing of a IJN airman body floating beside a {dock{?}-Could this have been one of 3 crewmen from AII-356 which crashed near Submarine dock? Pilot or Gunner{?}{The Navigator having been lifted out of the plane by Navy salvors}

David_Aiken
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 01 Sep 2008 15:19

florida wrote: can you, or anyone, elaborate on circumstances of the death of PC2C Isamu Matsuda?

thanks in advance.
Hi "Florida",
"Torpedoing Pearl Harbor", Military History mag, Dec 1991, is from the
Japanese View". The Matsuda death as given within that text is what was left after the publisher's edit. I leave the rest for my deeper study which includes the US side.
Mahalo,
David Aiken

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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 01 Sep 2008 15:33

Hi PF,
Glad that I am still the researcher for your work, albeit unpaid.
PF wrote:How many Vals were credited to Daines; Welch and Taylor?
FLIGHT JOURNAL, June 2007, details the combat of John Dains, George Welch, and Ken Taylor. "Official credit" for their aerial victories is based on data from solely the US combat reports. There are no such official reports for John Dains. There are no US witness reports for some of the reports cited by George Welch and Ken Taylor. This is why the Japanese reports must be understood, then woven with the US witnesses.
PF wrote:Could 2 missing IJN fighters have been damaged and then crashed at sea?
There are four missing IJN fighters.
PF wrote:SOme Pearl harbor news clips have a brief showing of a IJN airman body floating beside a {dock{?}-Could this have been one of 3 crewmen from AII-356 which crashed near Submarine dock? Pilot or Gunner{?}{The Navigator having been lifted out of the plane by Navy salvors}
The Kanji on the kapok life vest may reveal the crewman's name. I have not been able to read it.
Cheers,
David Aiken

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Peter H
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by Peter H » 30 Jan 2011 01:42

Some Pearl harbor news clips have a brief showing of a IJN airman body floating beside a {dock{?}-
See here,from the documentary Apocalypse The Second World War ,Episode 4.

Please note if these photos offend anyone I can remove them.
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Peter H
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by Peter H » 30 Jan 2011 01:44

From Corbis.

I think this is the same body(?),but flying cap on, darker headcover.

From Corbis,face shaded,a bit grotesque otherwise.
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David_Aiken
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 30 Jan 2011 02:51

Alas, the two bodies are different...
Different camera...
Different location...
Different time and day...

Good try...
Cheers,
David Aiken

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Peter H
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by Peter H » 31 Jan 2011 02:37

Thanks David,at least we now know IJN aviators wore white socks. :roll:

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Skull found in Pearl Harbor,could belong to Japanese pilot

Post by Peter H » 22 Jul 2011 09:15

Skull found in Pearl Harbor,could belong to Japanese pilot
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati ... 6821.story
Forensic scientists are conducting tests on a skull unearthed at the bottom of Pearl Harbor to determine if it is a Japanese pilot who died in the historic attack on Dec. 7, 1941.

An excavation crew dredging the harbor recently made the startling discovery of the skull, which archeologists believe is from one of the Japanese aviators in the surprise attack. Archaeologist Jeff Fong of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific described the finding to The Associated Press and the efforts under way to identify the skull. He said the early analysis has made him "75 percent sure" that the skull belongs to a Japanese pilot.

He did not provide specifics about what archaeologists have learned about the skull, but said it was not from one of Hawaii's ancient burial sites. They also contacted local police and ruled out the possibility that it's from an active missing person case, said Denise Emsley, public affairs officer for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii, which was being inundated with media calls Wednesday about the skull from international news organizations.

The skull was in water between 35 and 40 feet deep, Don Rochon, public affairs officer for NAVFAC Pacific said Thursday.

The items found with the skull, which was determined not to be from a Native Hawaiian, provided some clues: forks, scraps of metal and a Coca-Cola bottle Fong said researchers have determined was from the 1940s.

Fifty-five Japanese airmen were killed and 29 of their aircraft were shot down in the attack, compared with the 2,400 U.S. service members who died. No Japanese remains have been found at Pearl Harbor since World War II.

Pearl Harbor is home to the USS Arizona Memorial, which sits on top of the battleship that sank during the attack. It still holds the bodies of more than 900 men.

The skull remains intact despite being dug up with giant cranes and shovels.

It was April 1 when items plucked from the water during the overnight dredging were laid to dry. When it was determined a skull was among the dredged items, contractors were ordered to stop the work, Emsley said. "We definitely wanted it to be handled correctly," she said.

"That's why it's been kept quiet. We didn't want to excite people prematurely," she said.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command on Oahu, charged with identifying Americans who were killed in action but were never brought home, has been asked to determine who the skull belongs to. The cranium was turned over to the command's lab for tests that will include examining dental records and DNA, said John Byrd, the lab's director and a forensic anthropologist.

"We're working on the case but the case is just in the early stages of analysis," he said. "We're not going to know much more about it for a while yet."

The lab is the only accredited Skeletal Identification Laboratory in the United States. JPAC has identified more than 560 Americans since the command was activated in 2003. When more information is gleaned from the skull, other agencies could get involved including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Japanese Consulate.

JPAC spokesman U.S. Army Maj. Ramon Osorio said forensic archeologists and anthropologists assigned to identify human remains are "working in the blind," meaning they're not given any information about what is believed about the case.

"We want to them to essentially have no prejudice or predisposition about what they think it could be," he said Thursday. "It's human nature to want to solve the problem."

The shape of the skull's eye sockets can easily reveal ethnicity, said Lawrence Kobilinsky, professor of forensic science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

"That's the kind of thing anthropologists love to look at," he said Thursday. Dental records and DNA will only be helpful if there are relatives to compare, he said, or else the skull can remain unidentified.

It's rare to find remains in Hawaii, said Kohei Niitsu, an official at Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Tokyo. "The government usually sends a team to determine if the remains are indeed Japanese, and if this is confirmed, they are brought back to Japan," Niitsu said.

Daniel Martinez, the National Park Service's chief historian for Pearl Harbor, said experts on Pearl Harbor know enough about the specific location where Japanese planes went down in the attack that they might be able to match the skull with a crewmember.

"They landed in a variety places throughout Pearl Harbor and the island of Oahu," Martinez said. "In the area of Pearl Harbor, we know what plane was shot down and who was in the crew."

Martinez said that beyond the historical significance of the finding, it is a reminder of a life lost.

"I think that anytime you're able to reclaim a casualty and perhaps even identify it, regardless of what country, it may bring closure to a family," he said.

PF
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by PF » 22 Jul 2011 14:03

Was it found near Battleship Row?

David_Aiken
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 22 Jul 2011 14:30

PF wrote:Was it found near Battleship Row?
The above Press Release is ALL that has been "released".
There were only five Japanese aircraft to splash harbor water on themselves.
Once an area is given, details may then be confirmed.
Cheers,
David Aiken

wit61owl
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by wit61owl » 25 Jul 2011 07:16

This is a question of some detail for David Aiken. Hi
Supported by Your aricle "Torpedoeing Pearl Harbor" I was able to colllect almost all names of Japanese pilots flying raigeki that fateful morning but one, so my qestion is: who was flying No 3 plane in Kaga shotai led by K. Taii Kitajima Ichiro ?
All the best

David_Aiken
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Re: Pearl Harbor's Missing Aircraft - 7 Dec 1941

Post by David_Aiken » 25 Jul 2011 14:26

wit61owl wrote:: who was flying No 3 plane in Kaga shotai led by K. Taii Kitajima Ichiro ?
All the best
Dear Wit 61 owl,
Either the editor or I cut the name from the text...in error. Great attempts were made to shorten the text.
PO2c Yoshiyuki Hirata

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