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Get Yamamoto

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by FramerT, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Interesting documentary on TV the other night about the US plan to shoot down[assasinate] Yamamoto.This was the first time the US put a "hit"on someone.15 P-38s took off to kill Yamamoto.The show kept making a big deal about this "assasination",interviewing the pilots present day."How do you feel killing someone?etc..". And yet the plan was so top secret,no-one could account for the "missing" P38 upon returning home.Not wanting to let the Japs know we had their codes, these pilots were sent State side for the remainder of the war. Wonder if Yamamoto had parachuted out, would they have shot him while floating down?? :eek:
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Did the pilots know who they were shooting down? If so, I would think that they would have do so.
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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  4. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Yup, I agree. Then I would say had Yamamoto bailed out, he would have landed as swiss cheese.
     
  5. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    "Assassinate"???

    He was a serving officer, wasn't he?
    Riding in an armed warplane, wasn't he?
    He was armed, himself, wasn't he?

    A legitimate target. Absolutely no difference between the the mission to take him out and a sniper picking off the highest ranking officer he sees.

    You pays your money and takes your chances.

    IMO "assassinate" is a word bandied about far to freely, especially by squeamish televison documentary writers.
     
  6. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    suggest you check your inter-library and find a copy of Carroll V. Glines work 'Attack on Yamamoto' which is the story of friend Rex Barber and his squadron that shot down the Japanese commander. Rex shot him down, although for years it was accredited to Rex's commander on the date. Enlightening book and Rex was a charming man. He lived in eastern Oregon and was full of vim and vigour. Sadly he passed from us on July 26, 2001.

    Erich
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    At war or not.

    Assassinate: 1. to kill suddenly or secretively, esp. a politically prominent person; murder premeditatedly and treacherously.

    From "Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language". :rolleyes:
     
  8. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    The US broke the codes and has been stated it was war and war sucks !
     
  9. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    Suggest you look at your definition again and think it through in terms of warfare. Might I suggest:

    Kill - Yes, people get killed in war, especially serving military or naval personnel.

    Suddenly - Yes, and I'd guess that a goodly number of them die suddenly.

    Secretively - What does that mean in war. Do you support the concept that every killing shot by a sniper is an assassination? That every unwary pilot who neglects to check-six and gets killed by an adversary coming up behind him has been assassinated? That anyone killed in the sudden torpedoing of a ship by a submarine was assassinated? That USN and USA personnel killed at Pearl Harbor were assassinated, including, as I recall, at least one admiral? That every soldier killed in ambush is assassinated? That while a general commanding an army and his staff are overlooking a battlefield and catch the eye of an alert enemy artillery officer who lobs some rounds at them and manages the kill the general, he's been assassinated?

    Politically prominent person - well, maybe, but the Army mostly ran the show in Japan. A prominent personage, sure, but there he is, a serving officer, in a war zone, in a warplane, surrounded by armed escorting warplanes, all who should have been expecting trouble, and if they weren't, well shame on them.

    Murder premeditatedly - I'd suggest that just about anyone killed by aimed fire is killed premeditatedly. Does that make all the victims of aimed fire, bullets, artillery, bombs, torpedoes victims of assassination? Someone had to think about pulling a trigger or pickling off a bomb or launching a torpedo ... that's premeditation. Is it premeditation when the alert artillery officer fires on what he perceives to be a group of staff officers? Does that premeditation rise to the label of assassination? So in any operations plan, be it for an air raid or major invasion or offensive ... heck, even a piddly patrol order ... all establish premeditation in the event an enemy combatant is killed. Is that assassination?

    Treacherously - doesn't apply in this case. Armed enemy combatant, in armed enemy warplane, escorted by armed enemy warplanes, in a combat zone. Hardly any treachery involved. Suggest you look up "treachery".

    Assassination by definition has to have all those elements present. In war, in military situations, the elements are mitigated by circumstance. I'd suggest that the powers that be thought all that through before a final call was made. As has been said, war sucks. The rules are a little different though, and civilian related terminology such as assassination do not generally apply in military situations.

    Regards,

    Rich

    [​IMG]
     
  10. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    The Allies had to get permision from the Pres.[Rosevelt] for the mission. "Asassinate" can be interpreted different ways.The attempt on Hitler's life would qualify,IMO. The reasoning behind the mission was twofold.Yamamoto planed the Pearl Harbor attack[revenge] and killing him might shorten the war.Although that did,nt happen. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    It's not my term. It is a linguistical term which you can't argue about and which makes no distinction between peace and war.

    War's all about that, ain't it? :rolleyes:

    Agreed.

    Yes, all that is assassination. War consists in assassinating people. But at war it's the common and accepted rule. To kill men in those ways is not a crime. Killing an unarmed POW, even at war is a crime.

    Ambushes and surprise attacks are assassinations. Valid ones. In all History this attacks by the back and such things had been the key-elements of victories over the centuries. It is a completely accepted tactic in warfare. But it is still an assassination.

    Yamamoto was a political prominent person, nothing less that the Japanese C-in-C in the Pacific. And even if he was in a war zone and in uniform. He was assassinated. Not a war crime if you want, a valid tactic in warfare, but still an assassination.

    Yes, in war you go to kill people. That's already pre-meditation and therfore, assassination. But again, it's war and it's the rule. As for Yamamoto, the main and only purpose of the mission was to specifically kill this individual. Assassination.

    Every surprise attack is treacherously. But again, we're no longer in musketeer times... and even then. Attacking a stronger enemy and stabbing him in the back is completely valid, and yet it doesn't cease to be a treacherous action.

    I just wonder if the Japanese had "killed" MacArthur when he landed in the Philippines if the Americans would consider it, just a killing, a legitimate target. And I think I know the answer, considering that they consider "Pearl Harbour" a "treacherously, sneak attack"... :rolleyes:
     
  12. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Hey Rich! What part of Virginia you located? Richmond? :D
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    At the risk of raking over old coals, the RAF had a go at a similar sort of operation; 'Operation Rundstedt', 16th October 1943.

    British Intelligence received word that a special train would arrive in Paris from the South at 17:59 hours, bearing Field Marshal von Rundstedt and staff.

    Wing-Commander 'Johnnie' Johnson nominated 609(WR) Squadron to do 'this von Rundstedt job'.

    Six Typhoons took off from Lympne ; on their return Johnson phoned 609's IO, who excitedly told him that all six aircraft had fired their cannon. Johnson asked to speak with 609's CO, Pat Thornton-Brown. The conversation went something like this ; -

    'How did it go, Pat ?' asked Johnson.

    'Absolutely first-rate, Sir. We had a great afternoon. I think we got two Ju88s definitely destroyed, one 110 in flames, two 109s over the Seine, plus a crane damaged and a gasometer strafed....'

    'That's fine, Pat - but what about old von R ?'

    'Oh, yes, I'd almost forgotten about that....We used up a lot of ammo against the Huns and the cloud was lifting south of Paris. So I called the show off....'

    ;)
     
  14. drache

    drache Member

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    How many other "assasination" missions were planned by the Allies? Quite a few. - the point being that the Yamamoto "hit" was not so unusual - a legitimate military target.
     
  15. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Wonder if they had orders....if you see chutes,shoot them? :eek:
     
  16. Deep Web Diver

    Deep Web Diver Member

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    A few images of Admiral Isoroko Yamamoto, of the air battle in which he was killed, and of some of the US pilots who flew the Yamamoto mission.

    Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Imperial Japanese Navy (1884-1943)

    Official portrait, by Shugaku Homma, 1943. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

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    Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetary, Arlington, Virginia

    The officer on the right end of the Japanese delegation is the Naval Attache to the United States, Captain Isoroku Yamamoto.

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    Captain Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese Navy, with U.S. Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur

    Photographed at the Navy Department, Washington, DC, circa 1925-28, while Capt. Yamamoto was serving as Japanese Naval Attache to the U.S.

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    Admiral Yamamoto, 1941

    Published cover for Time magazine, Dec. 22, 1941.

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    Death of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

    Painting by Sergeant Vaughn A. Bass, of the 4th Air Force Historical Section, based on information provided by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas G. Lanphier, Jr. It depicts then-Captain Lanphier's P-38 "Lightning" fighter shooting down a "Betty" bomber that was carrying Admiral Yamamoto. Another P-38 is attacking one of the "Zero" fighters that formed the Admiral's escort. This action took place near Kahili, Bougainville, on 18 April 1943. U.S. Air Force Photograph.

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    Victors Over Yamamoto

    The 3 pilots, Thomas G. Lanphier, Jr., Besby Frank Homes, and Rex T. Barber of the 339th FS/347th FG, were the men who finally bore in on Admiral Yamamoto's party.

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    Rex T. Barber

    Colonel Rex T. Barber is one of the principal P-38 pilots who participated in the famous (and then highly classified) "Yamamoto" mission.

    [ 20. July 2004, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Deep Web Diver ]
     
  17. Otto

    Otto Spambot Nemesis Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice thread, this just goes to show that WWII was total war indeed. In my book this 'hit' is no different than a sniper deciding to shoot an officer rather than a private, except this time the snipers were pilots armed with P-47's, (and secret info).

    Some avatar worthy images in there, thanks DWD.
     
  18. drache

    drache Member

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    A follow up - remember operation Foxley? Part of whcih included an SOE plan to kill hitler with anthrax? It was a great idea - but isn't that assasination?

    The victors write the history - they choose the words.
     
  19. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    but he wasn't political !! he was in the military
    also it wasn't treacherously done

    treacherous
    [ trech-er-uhs ]
    SEE SYNONYMS FOR treacherous ON THESAURUS.COM
    adjective
    characterized by faithlessness or readiness to betray trust; traitorous.
    deceptive, untrustworthy, or unreliable.
    unstable or insecure, as footing.
    dangerous; hazardous:
     

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