Seizō Yasunori

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Seizō Yasunori
Seizō Yasunori.jpg
Yasunori during World War II
Born Unknown
Died (1945-05-11)May 11, 1945
USS Bunker Hill
Allegiance  Empire of Japan
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Navy
Rank Lieutenant Junior Grade

World War II

Sub Lieutenant Seizō Yasunori (安則 盛三, Yasunori Seizō, died May 11, 1945) was a Japanese student who joined the Imperial Japanese Navy, and on May 11, 1945 was ordered to fly a kamikaze mission during the Battle of Okinawa near the end of World War II. Kamikaze pilots were generally 18–20 years old, poorly trained, and flew poorly maintained aircraft.[1] As leader of the Navy's Kamikaze Corps 7th Showa Special Attack Squadron, he led a group of four young men to attack US Navy ships. Yasunori led a group of six planes which departed Kanoya Air Base between 0640 and 0653 on May 11, 1945. Yasunori dropped a 550-lb bomb and then crashed his A6M Zero into the aft portion of the flight deck of the USS Bunker Hill, along with his wingman, Kiyoshi Ogawa. He and his wingman killed 393 Americans; the most devastating suicide attack in the Pacific War and wounded an additional 264. Three-hundred fifty-two of the dead were buried at sea the next day. The bomb tore a hole in the port side of the ship and his plane crashed onto the flight deck. The ensuing explosion destroyed many of the planes on the deck. His plane dragged another plane overboard. His wingman, Kiyoshi Ogawa, crashed into the ship a few seconds later. A third plane crashed into the sea before reaching the ship. The fate of the remaining three planes is unknown. His story is told in Danger's Hour, published by Simon & Schuster on Veteran's Day, 2008. [2]


  1. ^ Asahina, Robert (January 4, 2009). "The Other Suicide Bombers". Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ Archdeacon, Tom (May 8, 2010). "WWII hero honored for saving dozens". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved July 9, 2011.