World War Two Aces of
The Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force


Disclaimer

(As printed in the source listed at the bottom.)

The Following list of IJNAF aces was compiled from numerous sources. These scores are simply unverified claims either made by the pilots, or attributed to them. The numerical scores represent a mixture of confirmed, unconfirmed, probable, damaged and imagined victories.
Rank      Name                            Score                  Fate(If known)     

Lt(jg)    Tetsuzo Iwamoto                   202                  Died 1955
CPO       Shoichi Sugita                    120+1                KIA April 15, 1945
WO        Hiroyoshi Nishizawa                862                 KIA Oct. 26, 1944
WO        Shigeo Fukumoto                    72                  Final fate unknown, did not survive war
Ens       Saburo Sakai                       60+3                Died Sept. 22, 2000
CPO       Takeo Okumura                      54
Lt(jg)    Junichi Sasai                      54                  KIA August 26, 1942
Ens       Kenji Okabe                        50
Lt        Naoshi Kanno                       48
WO        Ryoji Ohara                        48
Lt Cdr    Iyozoh Fujita                      42                  
WO        Sadamu Komachi                     40
Ens       Kaneyoshi Muto                     35
PO1/c     Toshio Ota                         34                  KIA October 21, 1942
WO        Kazuo Sugino                       32
WO        Takeo Tanimizu                     32
Ens       Susumu Ishihara                    30+
CPO       Shizuo Ishii                       28
Lt(jg)    Sadaaki Akamatsu                   274
WO        Nobuo Ogiya                        24
CPO       Yoshimi Hidaka                     20
Lt(jg)    Shigeo Sugio                       20
PO3/c     Kazushi Uto                        19
CPO       Kiichi Nagano                      19
WO        Hiroshi Okano                      19
PO1/c     Masayuki Nakase                    18
Lt(jg)    Akio Matsuba                       18
Ens       Saburo Saito                       18+
CPO       Yoshio Oki                         18
Ens       Minoru Honda                       17+
Ens       Kuniyoshi Tanaka                   17
CPO       Masao Masuyama                     17
Lt(jg)    Keishu Kamihara                    17
WO        Kiyoshi Ito                        17
WO        Kiyomi Katsuki                     16+
CPO       Eitoku Matsunaga                   16
CPO       Hidenori Matsunaga                 16
WO        Toraichi Takesuka                  16
Lt        Zenjiro Miyano                     16
CPO       Bunkichi Nakajima                  16
WO        Yoshiichi Nakaya                   16
CPO       Kunimichi Kato                     16
Ens       Masami Shiga                       16
WO        Hideo Watanabe                     16
Ens       Kunimori Nakakariya                16
Ens       Yoshimi Minami                     15
WO        Satoshi Yoshino                    15                  KIA June 9, 1942
WO        Wataru Nakamichi                   15
WO        Shigeru Shibukawa                  15
Lt. Cdr.  Motonari Suho                      15
WO        Minpo Tanaka                       15
CPO       Kotaro Koyae                       15
PO1/c     Masuaki Endo                       14                  KIA June 7, 1942
PO1/c     Ichirobei Yamakazi                 14
PO2/c     Mototsuna Yoshida                  14
Ens       Masao Taniguchi                    14
WO        Yukiharu Ozeki                     14
WO        Kenichi Takahashi                  14
WO        Kiyoto Koga                        13                  DOI Sept. 16, 1938
Lt(jg)    Watari Handa                       13                  Died 1948
Ens       Akira Yamamoto                     13
WO        Sahei Yamashita                    13
WO        Momoto Matsumura                   13
WO        Toshio Kuroiwa                     13                  MIA August 26, 1944
WO        Hideo Maeda                        13
CPO       Sadao Uehara                       13                  KIFA August 27, 1988
WO        Gitaro Miyazaki                    13                  KIA June 1, 1942
Sup Sea   Hiroshi Shibagaki                  13
Ens       Masaichi Kondo                     13
PO1/c     Shigetaka Omori                    13
Lt(jg)    Matsuo Hagiri                      13                  Died Jan. 15, 1997
Ens       Isamu Miyazaki                     13
Lt(jg)    Fujikazu Koizumi                   13
WO        Sekizen Shibayama                  13
WO        Kanichi Kashimura                  12                  KIA March 6, 1943
PO1/c     Keisaku Yoshimura                  12
WO        Takeo Kanamaru                     12
CPO       Tetsuo Kikuchi                     12
PO1/c     Kiyoshi Shimizu                    12
Lt        Chitoshi Isozaki                   12
Lt        Sadao Yamaguchi                    12
Ens       Masao Sasakibara                   12
PO1/c     Noritsura Odaka                    12
Ens       Koshiro Yamashita                  11
CPO       Kiyoshi Sekiya                     11
WO        Kozaburo Yasui                     11
CPO       Tomezo Yamamoto                    11
Lt(jg)    Yoshio Wajima                      11
PO2/c     Matao Ichioka                      11
PO3/c     Takeichi Kokubun                   11
Lt(jg)    Hatsuo Hidaka                      11
WO        Yoshio Oishi                       11
Lt(jg)    Tsutomu Iwai                       11
CPO       Yoshijiro Shirahama                11
WO        Mitsuo Hori                        11
Lt        Sumio Fukuda                       11
Ens       Yoshinao Kodaira                   11
WO        Ichiro Yamamoto                    11
WO        Saburo Kitahata                    10+
WO        Teruo Sugiyama                     10
CPO       Jiro Tanaka                        10
CPO       Shinsaku Tanaka                    10
PO2/c     Takao Banno                        10
CPO       Isamu Ishii                        10
Ldg Sea   Kazuo Hattori                      10+
CPO       Yoshikazu Nagahama                 10+
PO2/c     Seiichi Kurosawa                   10
CPO       Yoshiro Hashiguchi                 10+
Lt        Yasuhiro Shigematsu                10+
Lt        Hohei Kobayashi                    10+
Ens       Matsuo Kagemitsu                   10+
Ens       Shigeru Takahashi                  10
CPO       Tomokazu Sasai                     10
WO        Tomita Atake                       10
WO        Katsuyoshi Yoshida                 10
Cdr       Takahide Aioi                      10
CPO       Kenichi Abe                        10
PO1/c     Takao Sakano                       10
Lt(jg)    Isamu Mochizuki                     9
LCdr      Ayao Shirane                        9
WO        Toshiyuki Sueda                     9
PO1/c     Kiyonobu Suzuki                     9
PO1/c     Juzo Okamoto                        9
WO        Kiichi Oda                          9
Lt(jg)    Mitsugu Mori                        9
Lt(jg)    Kazuo Tsunoda                       9
Lt(jg)    Hideo Morinio                       9
Lt(jg)    Jiro Matsuda                        9
Lt(jg)    Kaname Harada                       9
PO2/c     Hideo Izumi                         9
PO3/c     Susumu Matsuki                      9
WO        Yoshio Nakamura                     9
PO2/c     Saji Kanda                          9
Ens       Tadao Yamanaka                      9
PO1/c     Toshihisa Shirakawa                 9
CPO       Tokushige Yoshizawa                 9
CPO       Teigo Ishida                        9
Lt(jg)    Ichiro Higashiyama                  9
Lt        Yoshio Fukui                        9
WO        Katsue Kato                         9
Ens       Shigetoshi Kudo                     9
Lt Cdr    Tadashi Kaneko                      8
Lt        Masao Iizuka                        8
Lt(jg)    Takeyoshi Ono                       8
Lt        Kenji Nakagawa                      8
Lt        Yukio Endo                          8+
PO3/c     Toyoo Moriura                       8
CPO       Hiroshi Suzuki                      8
PO1/c     Kaoru Takaiwa                       8
PO1/c     Yoshio Iwaki                        8
WO        Yuichi Ema                          8
PO1/c     Koichi Magara                       8
WO        Katsuma Shigemi                     8
PO1/c     Kurakazu Goto                       8
PO1/c     Shigeru Yano                        8
WO        Yoshihisa Tokuji                    8
Lt(jg)    Satoru Ono                          8
Ens       Kazuo Muranaka                      8
Lt        Mochifumi Nango                     8                  KIA July 18, 1938
CPO       Hiroji Yoshihara                    8
WO        Kenji Yanagiya                      8
Ens       Katsujiro Nakano                    7
LtCdr     Yoshio Shiga                        6
A1/c      Tadayoshi Yonekawa                  6
Lt(jg)    Shiro Kuratori                      6
WO        Sakuji Hayashi                      6
Lt        Takashi Oshibuchi                   6
CPO       Yoshiichi Sasaki                    6
Lt        Masaharu Nishiwaki                  5+
PO1/c     Toshiaki Honda                      5+5                 KIA May 13, 1942
Lt        Yoshishige Hayashi                  5
PO        Masahiro Mitsuda                    5
Lt        Tamotsu Yokoyama                    5
CPO       Yoshimitsu Naka                     5
Lt        Yutaka Morioka                      5
PO1/c     Toyomitsu Tsujinoue                 5
PO1/c     Yoshisuke Arita                     5
WO        Yoshihiko Takenaka                  5
CPO       Seiji Ishikawa                      5
PO2/c     Enji Kakimoto                       5                  Committed Suicide in POW camp, August 5, 1944

KIA=Killed In Action, DOI=Died Of Injuries, KIFA=Killed In Flying Accident, MIA=Missing In Action
1Sugita's score is listed in many sources as 70. Some historians also claim he was the "highly experienced" Japanese pilot that Tommy McGuire(38 kills) and his men ran into when McGuire was killed by stalling his P38, trying to save his wingman.

2The score for Nishizawa is based on the story that he told his CO, Cdr. Harutoshi Okamoto, that this was his score, shortly before his death at the controls of a Ki-49 "Helen", NOT a DC-3 as has been reported in numerous other sources. He has also been linked to scores of 147 and 103, both works of fiction.

3For many years Sakai's score was considered to be 64. This has turned out to be a number that can not be verified. Sakai himself never made a claim for any specific number of kills. The number 64 was arrived at by Martin Caidin when he was doing research for "Samurai!", the autobiography of Saburo Sakai. Many, more reputable historians now wonder at Caiden's research, as well as his morals, given that Saburo Sakai was paid little if any money from the book, to which he contributed the most information.

4In some sources Akamatsu's score is said to be 54. It is has been said that he claimed over 350 victories when intoxicated, and 260 when he was sober, but almost no one believed him. It is thought that he actually scored over 30 victories. And considering he had over 8000 hours of flight time, perhaps the claim of 54 victories is not so fantastic after all.

There are also stories of him rushing to the flight line in a jalopy, coming from his favourite brothel, jumping into the cockpit of his fighter still wearing a robe and wooden clogs. Saburo Sakai, who knew Akamatsu, said "Don't believe those silly stories-it's all nonsense!" Which leads me to wonder even more at Martin Caidin's heavy hand. For he must have put the story in Sakai's book, "Samurai!", since the very story that Sakai refuted, is in his autobiography!!

5Not in the list of aces, but, listed in the book on page 35, with 5 personal kills and 18 assists. This is why I list him with 5+. A. Lowe.


Created: December 12, 2000
Last updated: March 6, 2004

This Web page is ©2000 Al Lowe. All rights reserved.
Sources: Osprey Aircraft of the Aces No. 22, Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937-45 by Henry Sakaida
and Samurai! The autobiography of Saburo Sakai, by Saburo Sakai with Martin Caidin and Fred Saito.
If you have any problems with my opinion, send me email.  jakeREMOVETHIS@billybishop.net.
Be sure to take out "REMOVETHIS" before sending the email.