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Joichi Tomonaga file photo [1026]

Joichi Tomonaga

Given NameJoichi
Died5 Jun 1942


ww2dbaseJoichi Tomonaga was air unit commander of the carrier Hiryu during the Battle of Midway. On 4 June 1942, he led the morning attack on the American base at Midway, causing serious damage through the heavy American anti-aircraft action, but failed to wipe out the base's utility. He was among the officers who advised Chuichi Nagumo that a second strike on Midway must be launched in order to achieve the mission's objectives. After returning to Hiryu, he led the afternoon torpedo attack on USS Yorktown (CV-5). In a demonstration of sacrificial heroism, he commanded a damaged torpedo bomber that was unable to carry enough fuel to return to Hiryu, if it was able to make it to the American fleet at all. Reaching the Yorktown, he attacked the carrier from her aft port quarter, maintaining his path despite a receiving damage from American pilot Jimmy Thach. Tomonaga held his plane long enough to release the torpedo, but immediately afterwards his left wing gave way, sending the plane tumbling into the waves. The torpedo missed.

ww2dbaseSources: Naval Historical Center, Shattered Sword.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2005

Joichi Tomonaga Timeline

5 Jun 1942 Joichi Tomonaga passed away.


Portrait of Tomonaga, circa early 1940s

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
17 Dec 2016 04:03:53 PM

The movie "MidWay" shown Tomonaga crashing his plane into the Yorktown
2. Dennis Weidner says:
29 Mar 2021 07:52:54 AM

Why were the Midway runways not bombed.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands

Joichi Tomonaga Photo Gallery
Portrait of Tomonaga, circa early 1940s

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

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