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Akamatsu photographed in 1944 or 1945 with the 302 Air Group at Atsugi, Japan
|Nickname(s)||Matchan or Matsu-chan (meaning a little pine tree) and Temei|
|Born||30 July 1910|
Kōchi Prefecture, Japan
|Died||22 February 1980 (aged 79)|
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/||Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJN)|
|Years of service||1928–1945|
|Rank||Lieutenant Junior Grade|
|Battles/wars||Second Sino-Japanese War|
Sadaaki Akamatsu (赤松 貞明 Akamatsu Sadaaki, 30 July 1910 – 22 February 1980) was an officer and ace fighter pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific theater of World War II. In aerial combat over China and the Pacific, he was officially credited with destroying 27 enemy aircraft.
Akamatsu was known as a troublemaker and trickster. Many of his air victories were obtained while drunk. Despite this, his supervisors stood behind him, as did his fellow pilots who frequently defended and covered for him. Henry Sakaida confirmed that Akamatsu flew for more than 8,000 flight hours. At the end of the war, Akamatsu flew the Mitsubishi J2M Raiden fighter.
Akamatsu was credited with shooting down 11 enemy aircraft over China in the Second Sino-Japanese War, including four in a single engagement near Nanchang on 25 February 1938. In the opening months of the Pacific War, he served in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies campaigns. From January 1944 until the end of the war, Akamatsu flew out of Atsugi Air Base, defending Tokyo from Allied air attacks.
After the war, Akamatsu worked as a fish search pilot for the Kōchi Fishery Association and later ran a small cafe in Kōchi. After struggling for years with alcoholism, Akamatsu died of pneumonia on 22 February 1980.
- Hata, Ikuhiko; Yasuho Izawa; Don Cyril Gorham (translator) (1989) . Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-315-6.
- Sakaida, Henry (2002). Aces of the Rising Sun, 1937–1945. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-618-6.
- "Song of Raiden fighter squadron", Nippon News, No. 254. in the official website of NHK. (in Japanese)
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