USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), an aircraft carrier, was hit by two kamikazes on 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded.
The Mongol fleet destroyed in a typhoon, by Kikuchi Yōsai, 1847
Mitsubishi A6M2 "Zero" Model 21 takes off from the aircraft carrier, to attack Pearl Harbor.
Lt. Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex (CV-9) on 25 November 1944. The attack left 15 killed and 44 wounded. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank trails fuel vapor and/or smoke.
The cockpit (starboard console) of an A6M2 which crashed into Building 52 at Fort Kamehameha during the attack on Pearl Harbor, killing the pilot.
Model 52c Zeros ready to take part in a kamikaze attack (early 1945)
Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero wreck abandoned at Munda Airfield, Central Solomons, 1943
A kamikaze aircraft explodes after crashing into Essex flight deck amidships 25 November 1944.
A6M2 Zero photo c. 2004
Rear Admiral Masafumi Arima
Carrier A6M2 and A6M3 Zeros from the aircraft carrier Zuikaku preparing for a mission at Rabaul
26 May 1945. Corporal Yukio Araki, holding a puppy, with four other pilots of the 72nd Shinbu Squadron at Bansei, Kagoshima. Araki died the following day, at the age of 17, in a suicide attack on ships near Okinawa.
A6M3 Model 22, flown by Japanese ace Hiroyoshi Nishizawa over the Solomon Islands, 1943
St Lo attacked by kamikazes, 25 October 1944
Wrecked A6M Zero in Peleliu jungle
Starboard horizontal stabilizer from the tail of a "Judy" on the deck of USS Kitkun Bay (CVE-71). The "Judy" made a run on the ship approaching from dead astern; it was met by effective fire and the aircraft passed over the island and exploded. Parts of the aircraft and the pilot were scattered over the flight deck and the forecastle.
The Akutan Zero is inspected by US military personnel on Akutan Island on 11 July 1942.
An A6M Zero (A6M2 Model 21) towards the end of its run at the escort carrier USS White Plains (CVE-66) on 25 October 1944. The aircraft exploded in mid-air moments after the picture was taken, scattering debris across the deck.
An A6M5 "Zero" diving towards American ships in the Philippines in early 1945
A Zero over China
USS Louisville (CA-28) is struck by a Mitsubishi Ki-51 kamikaze at the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945.
A6M2 "Zero" Model 21 of Shōkaku prior to attack on Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941.
USS Missouri (BB-63) shortly before being hit by a Mitsubishi A6M Zero (visible top left), 11 April 1945
A6M3 Model 32.
Aircraft carrier after being struck by a kamikaze off the Sakishima Islands. The kamikaze made a dent 3 m long and 0.6 m wide and deep in the armored flight deck. Eight crew members were killed, forty-seven were wounded, and 11 aircraft were destroyed.
Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52s among other aircraft types abandoned by the Japanese at the end of the war (Atsugi naval air base) and captured by US forces.
Ugaki, shortly before taking off in a Yokosuka D4Y3 to participate in one of the final kamikaze strikes, 15 August 1945
A6M5c Zeros preparing to take part in a kamikaze attack in early 1945
A crewman in an AA gun aboard the battleship USS New Jersey (BB-62) watches a kamikaze aircraft dive at USS Intrepid (CV-11) 25 November 1944. Over 75 men were killed or missing and 100 wounded.
A6M8 Type 64: one of two prototypes being tested by US Forces at Misawa Airbase
Japanese Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka ("cherry blossom"), a specially built rocket-powered kamikaze aircraft used towards the end of the war. The U.S. called them Baka Bombs ("idiot bombs").
A6M2 Model 21 on display at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States. This aircraft was made airworthy in the early 1980s before it was grounded in 2002.
First recruits for Japanese Kamikaze suicide pilots in 1944
A6M5 on display at the National Air and Space Museum, United States
Chiran high school girls wave farewell with cherry blossom branches to departing kamikaze pilot in a Nakajima Ki-43-IIIa Hayabusa.
A6M5 on display at Yūshūkan in Tokyo, Japan
A6M on display at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan
An A6M at the National Museum of the USAF, painted to represent a section leader's aircraft from the Japanese aircraft carrier Zuihō during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
2017 Red Bull Air Race of Chiba (N553TT)
A6M on display at Dirgantara Mandala Museum, Indonesia
Orthographically projected diagram of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero

During the final phases, it was also adapted for use in kamikaze operations.

- Mitsubishi A6M Zero

That unit had only 41 aircraft: 34 Mitsubishi A6M Zero ("Zeke") carrier-based fighters, three Nakajima B6N Tenzan ("Jill") torpedo bombers, one Mitsubishi G4M ("Betty") and two Yokosuka P1Y Ginga ("Frances") land-based bombers, and one additional reconnaissance aircraft.

- Kamikaze
USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), an aircraft carrier, was hit by two kamikazes on 11 May 1945, resulting in 389 personnel dead or missing and 264 wounded.

4 related topics


A restored F4U-4 Corsair in Korean War-era U.S. Marine Corps markings

Vought F4U Corsair

American fighter aircraft which saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War.

American fighter aircraft which saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War.

A restored F4U-4 Corsair in Korean War-era U.S. Marine Corps markings
The XF4U-1 prototype in 1940/41, showing its more forward cockpit location
2000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-8 in a Goodyear FG-1 Corsair
Landing gear on an F4U-4 Corsair.
An early F4U-1 showing the "birdcage" canopy with rearwards production cockpit location.
Vought F4U-1A Corsair, BuNo 17883, of Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, the commander of VMF-214, Vella Lavella end of 1943
Early F4U-1s of VF-17
A Corsair fires its rockets at a Japanese stronghold on Okinawa
FAA Corsair Is at NAS Quonset Point, 1943.
1831 NAS Corsair aboard, off Rabaul, 1945, with added "bars" based on their 28 June 1943 adoption by the U.S. Navy
RNZAF Corsairs with a Royal Australian Air Force CAC Boomerang on Bougainville, 1945.
A United States Navy F4U-5NL Corsair equipped with the air intercept radar (right wing) and a 154-gallon drop tank in the Geneseo Airshow, on 9 July 2006
Early F4U-7 Corsair in flight in black and white with the former flashes of the French Naval Aviation
Former Argentine F4U-5NL in Aeronavale 14.F flotilla colors in 2006
Lynn Garrison in F4U-7 133693 – N693M leads Corsair IIs of VA-147, over NAS Lemoore, California, 7 July 1967 prior to first deployment to Vietnam on USS Ranger. The A-7A "NE-300" is the aircraft of the Air Group Commander (CAG) of Attack Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2)
Corsair on display at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Underside of a Corsair
An early F4U-1 in flight.
A F3A-1 in a dive
A Goodyear-built FG-1D, with the later single-piece "blown" canopy used by the F4U-1D.
F4U-2s aboard USS Intrepid (CV-11). The radome on the right outer wing is just visible.
An XF4U-3 in 1946.
An F4U-4 of VF-1b on board USS Midway, 1947–1948.
A VMF(N)-513 F4U-5N at Wonsan during the Korean War, 1950.
A factory-fresh AU-1, 1952.
Argentine F9F Cougar and F4U Corsairs, 1960s
Corsair FG-1D (Goodyear built F4U-1D) in the Royal New Zealand Air Force markings
AU-1 Corsair Standard Aircraft Characteristics

The increasing need for fighter protection against kamikaze attacks resulted in more Corsair units being moved to carriers.

Against the best Japanese opponents, the aircraft claimed a 12:1 kill ratio against the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and 6:1 against the Nakajima Ki-84, Kawanishi N1K-J, and Mitsubishi J2M combined during the last year of the war.

B6N2 in flight

Nakajima B6N

The Imperial Japanese Navy's standard carrier-borne torpedo bomber during the final years of World War II and the successor to the B5N "Kate".

The Imperial Japanese Navy's standard carrier-borne torpedo bomber during the final years of World War II and the successor to the B5N "Kate".

B6N2 in flight
A B6N2 before starting the engine.
A B6N explodes after a hit by a 5-inch shell from USS Yorktown as it attempts an unsuccessful attack on the carrier off Kwajalein on 4 December 1943.
B6N torpedo bomber attacking TG38.3 during the Formosa Air Battle, October 1944
Nakajima B6N2 "Tenzan" as 752nd Kōkūtai flying in formation (note aircraft numbers on hinomaru).
Nakajima B6N2 "Tenzan" unit before take-off.
A B6N2 is tested by US Navy personnel of the TAIU-SWPA (Technical Air Intelligence Unit-South-West Pacific Area) over Clark Field, Luzon at the end of the war.

On 5 November fourteen B6N1s, escorted by four A6M Zero fighters, were sent to attack American shipping anchored off Bougainville.

The planes were extensively used in the Battle of Okinawa where they were also used for kamikaze missions for the first time.

Rising Sun Flag

Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service

The air arm of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).

The air arm of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN).

Rising Sun Flag
Seaplane carrier Wakamiya.
Yokosuka Ro-go Ko-gata, the first domestic designed and built seaplane.
Captain Sempill showing a Sparrowhawk to Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō, 1921.
The aircraft carrier Hōshō in 1922.
Mitsubishi B1M torpedo bomber.
A stern view of Akagi off Osaka on 15 October 1934. On deck are Mitsubishi B1M and B2M bombers.
Kaga conducts air operations in 1937. On deck are Nakajima A2N, Aichi D1A, and Mitsubishi B2M aircraft.
1st Air Fleet Aichi D3A dive bombers preparing to bomb American naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter aircraft and other aircraft preparing for takeoff on the aircraft carrier Shōkaku on 7 December 1941, for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Early production G4M1s of Kanoya Kōkūtai with the original shape tail cones.
A formation of Japanese bombers taking anti-aircraft fire, seen from the Australian cruiser,.

Japanese navy aviators, like their army counterparts, preferred maneuverable aircraft, leading to lightly built but extraordinarily agile types, most famously the A6M Zero, which achieved its feats by sacrificing armor and self-sealing fuel tanks.

The remnants of Japanese naval aviation were then limited to land-based operations, increasingly characterized by kamikaze attacks on American invasion fleets.

Official Navy portrait of Admiral John S. Thach

John Thach

World War II Naval Aviator, air combat tactician, and United States Navy admiral.

World War II Naval Aviator, air combat tactician, and United States Navy admiral.

Official Navy portrait of Admiral John S. Thach
LCDR John S. Thach wearing M-450 helmet, AN6530 goggles and inflatable life vest, 1942.
LCDR Thach with 6 kill markings on his F4F
Thach (right) teaches new pilots.
Captain John S. Thach (right) as commanding officer of the escort aircraft carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118) during the Korean War, discussing a mission with two United States Marine Corps pilots, Major Robert P. Keller (center) and First lieutenant Roland B. Heilman (left), from his ship while aboard Sicily off the Korean Peninsula.
LT John S. Thach tipped this F2A-1 onto its nose on {{USS|Saratoga|CV-3|3}} in March 1940.
LCDR John S. Thach, CO of VF-3

Thach developed the Thach Weave, a combat flight formation which could counter enemy fighters of superior performance, and later the big blue blanket, an aerial defense against kamikaze attacks.

This tactic enabled American fighter aircraft to hold their own against the more maneuverable Mitsubishi A6M Zero, the primary Imperial Japanese Navy fighter aircraft.