Saburo Sakai, WWII Japanese Ace – know who you’re up against

World War II History: Japanese Fighter Ace Saburo Sakai

Pacific Paratrooper

 As the Intermission stories come to a close, until we reach the break of 1944-1945, we take a look at one of the pilots the Allied Air Forces were up against…..

Saburō Sakai in the cockpit of a Mitsubishi A5M Type 95 fighter at the Hankow Airfield in China in 1939

Saburō Sakai in the cockpit of a Mitsubishi A5M Type 95 fighter at the Hankow Airfield in China in 1939

During WWII, Sub-Lieutenant Saburō Sakai served as a naval aviator with the Imperial Japanese Navy. He claimed 64 victories, one of which was made after he had been blinded in an eye and had half of his body paralyzed.

 Born in 1916, Sakai was a direct descendant of samurais. He was the third of four sons, which is exactly what Saburō means – third son. In 1933, he joined the Japanese Navy and began quickly climbing his way up the ranks.

In 1937, however, he decided to become a pilot. He did so well that he graduated first in his…

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