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Aircraft prepared to launch from Shokaku to attack Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec 1941, photo 2 of 3

Caption   Aircraft prepared to launch from Shokaku to attack Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec 1941, photo 2 of 3 ww2dbase
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A6M Zero   Main article  Photos  
Attack on Pearl Harbor   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Shokaku   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Photos on Same Day 7 Dec 1941
Photos at Same Place Pacific Ocean
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 1 Dec 2009

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Apr 2010 01:21:42 PM

After study of this photograph, the aircraft
ready for launch, are aboard Shokaku, during
the Battle of Santa Cruz, Oct 1942.
Aircraft EI-111 at extreme right, is piloted
by Lt. Hideki Shingo, Flight Leader.
During the Battle of Santa Cruz, Enterprise
was hit and damaged, and had to withdraw the
Hornet had to be abandoned.
U.S.Aircraft damaged the Shokaku,the Japanese
lost (100) one hundred experienced crewmen
and pilots.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
2 May 2010 05:33:09 PM

Japanese Naval Pilots could not only work
with different squadrons,of different fleet carriers, the pilots were also trained to
coordinate and press the attack working with
two(2)or more carriers.
The Japanese, American and British all had
aircraft carriers and all three navies training, were a matter of trial and error
inventing and working with new techniques of flight operations, launch and the recover of
aircraft, refuel, service and rearm at sea.
Training of ships crew, pilots, aircrew and
command damage control and firefighting,
ammunition storge and handling had to be
Japan had to have carriers equal to the
Americans from the early 1920's throughout
the 1930's.
Japan looked at British design and knowledge
However, the British design did not meet the
Imperial Navy's needs. Japanese carriers had
a light flight deck w/ two closed hanger
decks beneath. Japanese designers also saved
weight were ever possible.
Japanese carriers stored fuel for its planes
into strengthen support girder's of the hull
this was decided to save weight, since extra
fuel tanks would need more space and create extra weight.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Oct 2010 07:45:36 PM


Each service the Imperial Japanese Army and
the Imperial Japanese Navy rarely worked
They didn't cooperate and if they did it was
at a lower level, in the chain of command,
and even then, it was limited. Each service saw themselves as the defender of the Empire


In 1910 Two Army officers were sent to France
to learn to fly.
When they returned the Army offered to teach
officers from the Navy how to fly.
The Navy refused and sent three officers to
France and three to the U.S.A. to learn how
to fly, with orders to buy and learn how to
maintain the machines.

In the 1930s each service gained power within
the Japanese aircraft industry, each created
its own designs and support tools.

Army tools and equipment could not be used on
Navy planes,and Navy equipment on Army planes
Each service established its own technical department and advisers to the aircraft
Each wanted more control over its aircraft
production and materals. The Army saw that it
was responsible to support the land-forces.
During the 1930s the Army trained to fight in
China and future conflict with the USSR.

The Navy focused on protection of its sea
lanes and trade routes, and needed both land based and aircraft carriers, for any future
war against Western powers and the U.S.A.

When the Pacific war started in 1941 Japan
failed to develope replacement aircraft fast
enough to combat improved Allied designs
those aircraft that did, had performance
equal to Allied aircraft, but they were few
in number and lacked experienced pilots to
fly them.
Japan faced the biggest industrial power in
the world, and was out produced and out

* Note

This is just a general overview, and does not
reflect the position of ww2db in anyway.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
11 Nov 2010 12:05:58 PM


Even before the Pacific War started both the
Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were very
suspicious of each, and at the same time,
keeping an eye on Foreign military attaches.

Each service did not share information, or
work together. Even aircraft factories were
divided in areas that made Army aircraft and
the Navy did the same.
Each service tried to out bid the other in
contracts and material. Kept developments,
design and improvements from each other.

The design of the Navy's Mitsubishi A6M Zero/Zeke was superior to the Army's Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa/Oscar, and didn't
share any technology about the fighter with
the Army.
Even factories building the two fighters had
no standardization as far as hardware, such
as screws, nuts and other support equipment.

When Japan developed an (IFF) Identification
Friend or Foe capability, Army operators
couldn't identify Japanese aircraft! even the
Navy had its own system.
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Nov 2010 06:47:54 PM

File photo shows Zeros warming up waiting for
launch, from carrier Shokaku Dec. 7, 1941.
Zeros from this unit were part of the first
attack wave.They strafed Kaneohe and Bellows airfields.

The Japanese strike force was comprised of
twenty three warships including six aircraft carriers and over 350 planes.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Apr 2011 08:40:38 PM

Continued from comment #3


The Japanese Army invited French military instructors to Japan in 1919, to train its army pilots.
This training would develop new tactics the army would use in aerial combat, gunnery, aircraft maintenance, reconnaissance, ground school training and bombing.
About one year later, the French returned home the Japanese continued and improved its training, with the modernization of its equipment, this also led to the beginings of the Japanese Army's influence within the aircraft industry, to design, build, test and develop its own designs seperate from the Navy.


The Japanese Navy looked at how the Army trained its pilots with instructors from France, but the Navy felt the French were more land-based. And the navy wasn't going to ask the army for anything.


To one up on the Army, the Navy requested the
British Navy to provide instructors.
The Royal Navy arrived in 1921 and started a
training program and working with the Japanese and setup its first airbase for both landplanes and seaplanes.

Like the French, the British setup ground schools, maintenance schools, and spent more training on torpedo bombing and tactics, aerial tactics, combat flying,reconnaissance and photography the training was more intensive, and the navy continued this type of training after the British returned home.
Like the Army, the Navy also worked with the
Japanese aircraft industry to design, build
test and develop its own aircraft needed for over-water and carrier operations, designs would be seperate from the Army.

The Japanese later built and launched its first aircraft carrier, in the 1920s with experiences learned the navy developed its own designs in aircraft carriers, and its naval aviators became the best trained in the world.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
2 Jun 2011 03:07:59 PM


During the last six months of the Pacific war
aircraft production was effected by the B-29 raids over the Empire. Most of Japan's heavy industry was in ruins with shortage of materials and supplies, fuel and oil lack of trained mechanics, pilots and skilled labor.
Quality control suffered in airframes and engines production as well, along with the shortage of support equipment.


Aircraft manufacturers couldn't meet the demands for combat aircraft, with its industry in ruins, poor tooling for jigs and fixtures needed for aircraft production were in short supply this led to the interchangeability of parts almost impossible with the result of poor quality control.


Before the war flight testing lasted between
2 to 5 hours per aircraft, depending on what problems were found on production aircraft, this included five takeoffs and landings. During the last months of the war, aircraft received flight tests enroute to operational squadrons or flown to air depots any faults were corrected there.
The shortage of fuel meant that aircraft delivered had enough fuel only for such flights. Many training planes received no flight testing at all and any problems, were worked out at the air depots and operational squadrons.


At the end of the war, the Allies captured different models of the Zero fighter, during testing it was found out that some had been rebuilt and had mismatched production numbers, one fighter had been rebuilt from eight different aircraft!

Before the war, and during the early years
one engine out of ten, was pulled off the production line broken down for inspection for quality control, as the war progressed,
both engine and airframe production were rushed, short cuts were made and later effected quality control.
Before the war, engine tests lasted 7hrs.for Army aircraft the Navy received 9hrs.testing other aircraft engines required more testing such as bombers while training aircraft received less hours engine testing.
Japanese aircraft industry produced designs
that were either superior or on par with Allied designs.


In the hands of experienced japanese combat pilots the Zeros, Franks, Oscars, George, Tojo, Tony/Ki-100 and Jack fighters were still deadly.
8. Anonymous says:
24 Mar 2014 01:26:08 PM

9. Anonymous says:
16 Mar 2017 01:20:33 AM

No way. The caption is wrong. Look at the shadows under the wings and the clothing. This is a mid-day photo close to the equator, warm climate, calm seas. And the carrier is in a northerly heading.

This is not early AM north of Hawaii in December

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