The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part X Epilogue

The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part X Epilogue

Admiral Yamamoto Part X – Epilogue

Masako and Spam Musubi

“In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.” – Admiral Yamamoto to Japanese prime minister Fumimaro Konoe.

One of the Doolittle bombers taking off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, April 18, 1942. US Navy.

The date of Admiral Yamamoto’s death was ironic.

Admiral Yamamoto was killed exactly one year after the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo on April 18, 1942.

It was like an omen.

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The Japanese military and government did not disclose his death for about a month.  When they did, they conducted a grand state funeral.

Here is a link to a Japanese video of his funeral.  At the beginning, it shows the last known movie footage of him on Rabaul, waving to…

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The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part IX

The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part IX

Part 9

Masako and Spam Musubi

End of a Samurai Son’s Life

Remains of Admiral Yamamoto’s plane. – USAF

After radio chatter in supposed secret Japanese naval code was intercepted by MAGIC on April 13, 1943, the US Navy jumped into action.  The US Navy brass now knew of Yamamoto’s projected flight schedule just five days later.

But to fully appreciate this, of course, it is critical to note this was 1943 and during a most vile world war.  There was no faxing, texting, internet or the like.  Also, Yamamoto’s plane may not start that day, weather may alter the flight or he may  just get sick (He did suffer from a form of beriberi.).

But some huge questions that had to be answered in only three days if the shoot-down were to occur successfully:

  1. Who was going to order/approve the killing?
  2. How was it going to get carried out? And,
  3. How can the Japanese be…

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The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part VIII

The Truly Reluctant Admiral Yamamoto – Part VIII

Part 8

Masako and Spam Musubi

Artist’s rendition of Admiral Yamamoto’s shootdown by Grinnell.

Admiral Yamamoto’s Death

Back during the day, there had been a great brouhaha over the killing of Admiral Yamamoto on April 18, 1943.  Two USAAF pilots bickered for decades after the war as to who shot Admiral Yamamoto out of the sky.  While most attribute the killing to a pilot named Lt. Rex Barber, others believe Capt. Thomas Lanphier Jr. fired the fatal burst from his Lockheed P-38G Lightning.

My photo of the crashsite depiction at Chino’s Planes of Fame Air Museum.

We will never truly know.

But some lost history first on what led to Admiral Yamamoto’s killing.

The Most Hated Man in America – Even More Than Hitler

By April 1943, Admiral Yamamoto was the most hated man in America by many accounts – more so than Hitler.  Think of it this way.  Yamamoto was WWII’s version of today’s Osama…

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The Truly Reluctant Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – Part V

The Truly Reluctant Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – Part V

Part 5

Masako and Spam Musubi

A still youthful looking Admiral Yamamoto. Source unknown.

Just as Patton, Ike and Nimitz led with their hearts and souls for America, Admiral Yamamoto did the same for his country… from even before WWII started.

He had tremendous foresight and used it to modernize the Japanese fleet – both on the water and most of all, in the air.

This is not said to glorify or sympathize with the Japanese military of World War II.  It is just a statement of fact.  Admiral Yamamoto – given his duty and orders by the Japanese government and as career military – was going to do his utmost to defeat America if it came to war…

…but he knew down to the tips of his ten toes and eight fingers the Japanese Empire would end if they were to take on the Americans and Brits.

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Up to the beginning of WWII as

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The Truly Reluctant Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto – Part IV

Part 4

Masako and Spam Musubi

Losing His Last Name

Yamamoto’s gift for leadership and his intelligence was noticed by his superiors.  In 1915, Yamamoto was rewarded by a jump in rank to Lieutenant Commander.

Trouble was… He possibly felt being called Lt. Commander Torano just didn’t cut it.  He may have felt there was a ball and chain in having the last name of Torano.  If you recall, that was still his last name.  His father – Sadayoshi Torano, one of the last true samurai – chose the wrong side and lost in a civil war.

In another way of looking at it, if you had an opportunity, would you stay with the last name of Clanton…  or change your name to Earp?

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It’s All in the Name

Now that he was on the rise, Lt. Commander Isoroku Torano caught the eye of the – you guessed it – the Yamamoto family.

“Yamamoto” was…

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