Toshio Ōta

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Toshio Ōta
Toshio Ota.jpg
Native name
太田 敏夫
Born(1919-03-20)20 March 1919
Nagasaki, Japan
Died21 October 1942(1942-10-21) (aged 23)
AllegianceJapan Empire of Japan
Service/branchNaval Ensign of Japan.svg Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJN)
RankPetty Officer First Class
UnitTainan Air Group
Battles/warsSecond World War, Pacific War

Toshio Ōta (太田 敏夫, Ōta Toshio, 20 March 1919 – 21 October 1942) was a World War II Japanese fighter ace. In early 1942, at the age of 22, he flew a Mitsubishi A6M Zero with the Lae based Tainan Air Group. There the young petty officer, 1st class became one of the so-called "Clean-up Trio" of Japanese aces, along with his squadron mates Saburo Sakai and Hiroyoshi Nishizawa.

Ōta's first confirmed kill, of a U.S. Army Air Force P-40E Warhawk, was over New Guinea on April 11, 1942. Transferred to Rabaul in August, Ōta was killed in a dogfight with U.S. Marine Corps Grumman F4F Wildcats over Guadalcanal on October 21, shortly after shooting down a Wildcat himself. His victorious opponent is believed to be 1st Lt. Frank C. Drury of the VMF-212 squadron. Ōta is credited with 34 victories, making him the Imperial Japanese Navy's sixth-ranking ace.

In his autobiography, Sakai described Ōta as outgoing and amiable, in contrast to the more reserved Nishizawa, and said he would have been "more at home in a nightclub" than in Lae.


  • "Winged Samurai - Saburo Sakai and the Zero Fighter Pilots" by Henry Sakaida, Champlin Fighter Museum, 1985, ISBN 0-912173-05-X