Japanese Imperial Aces

By the time Japan had struck Pearl Harbor, they were already hardened by four years of war with China. Their aerial units were finely tuned, flying some of the best aircraft in the sky and were not afraid… but they misjudged their foe and gave America a battle cry.

The Navy A6M Zero and Army Ki-43 Oscar fighters were highly maneuverable and could best the American Wildcat and Tomahawk at almost any degree. The Japanese pilot was brave, talented, and well-trained. The untimely defeat at Midway hurt deep. The Navy lost four carriers along with frontline pilots and ground crew that could not be readily replaced. In fact, throughout the war, they could never make up for these losses.

America proceeded to take Guadalcanal and a strong foothold in pursuing the imperial forces back to Japan. Better U.S. planes came online with the Corsair and the Hellcat, placing pressure on the weakening Japanese Air Groups. Many fought a little too recklessly with even their top pilots being defeated. Japan produced some fine fighters by 1944; the Army Ki-84 Hayate and the Navy N1K1 Shiden. However, they were fighting a losing cause, as B29’s were bombing the mainland almost uncontested.

Coloring Book Art  Japanese Imperial Aces  page samples. Click any of the images above for a detailed view.

The Japanese pilots knew the odds were against their survival of the war, so Kamikaze became an honorable alternative. Most top pilots were denied this choice; their value was far too great. As the atomic bombs were being dropped, the United States Navy was sitting on the doorsteps of invasion, and the outcome was inevitable. Emperor Hirohito’s Warlords wanted to fight on, with pilots preparing for an all out defense of the island; they actually had encounters after their capitulation. Mercifully, hostilities came to an end, leaving these two great combatants to become the greatest of allies.

Politicians manufacture war, and bestow it upon men to carry out their objectives.

Each book contains 49 pages of aerial artwork depicting specific action in the conquest for air superiority. Each drawing is accompanied by a date, fighter group, name and rank of the pilot, as well as a brief description of the encounter.

Click any of the Coloring Book Art covers below to learn more and to order securely online.