Kaname Harada, Japanese World War II flying ace, Died at 99

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Kaname Harada was born on August 11, 1916, and died on May 3, 2016.

He was a Japanese flying ace of World War II.

Kaname Harada was credited with shooting down as many as 19 Allied aircraft.

After the war, he worked as a farmer, before founding a kindergarten.

Kaname Harada was an anti-war activist from 1991.

When the Pacific War broke out Harada was a Mitsubishi A6M Zero pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Sōryū, which formed part of the 1st Air Fleet.

In which he participated in the 1st Air Fleet’s series of operations during the first months of the war.

Kaname flew protective patrols over the fleet during the Attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, and did not see any combat.

He also escorted the aircraft which attacked the Australian port of Darwin on 19 February 1942.

During the Indian Ocean raid, he was confirmed to have shot down three British fighters over Colombo on 5 April, and claimed another two as “probables”. Four days later, he downed two British Bristol Blenheim light bombers which were attempting to attack the Japanese fleet.

Allegedly, in the Battle of Midway, he shot down either three or five American aircraft.

Harada landed on the last surviving Japanese aircraft carrier, Hiryū, after Sōryū was sunk by United States aircraft and was in the air at the time of Hiryū’s subsequent sinking.

Later he was rescued by a Japanese warship after being forced to ditch into the sea.

In July 1942, he was reassigned to the aircraft carrier Hiyō and then again after that.

During early October of that year, the carrier departed Japan to take part in the Guadalcanal Campaign.

He was an anti-war activist from 1991.

Harada started giving public talks about his combat experiences and the need to avoid wars that year after overhearing young Japanese discussing the bombing which took place during the Gulf War as if it formed part of a video game.

Kaname Harada passed away at 99 yrs old.

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