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Mitsuru Hayashita
Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Radio Operator/Observer
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Wartime History
Hayashida joined the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and became a Fu-Den-Ren (radio communications trainee), 55th term and became a radioman. Afterwards, he wished to become a air crewman and became Hei (C) 3rd term flight training course studying radio communications. A famous pilot from this class was CPO Shoichi Sugita. Next, he entered the 20th term advanced flight training course between August 1941 until May 1942 where he continued to study aircraft radio communications.

In 1943, assigned to the 552 Kōkūtai as an observer/gunner aboard the D3A2 Model 22 Val dive bomber. During December 1943 he flew combat missions from Kerevat Airfield west of Rabaul until lost on January 13, 1944.

On January 12-13, 1944 he was observer/gunner aboard D3A2 Val 3517 on a night dive bombing mission against Mono. Over the target area, the Vals were intercepted by at least two F4U-2(N) Corsair from VF(N)-75 that were radar equipped night fighters that one claimed one Val shot down. Possibly, this Val sustained damage from their attacks. Returning, his dive bomber crashed on southern New Ireland. On impact, he was thrown clear of the aircraft and although wounded was helped by local people and returned to duty.

In 1945, assigned to the Jinrai Special Attack Ohka Tai as a petty officer air crewman. On March 21, 1945 his G4M2 Betty carrying an MXY7 Ohka was shot down off Kyūshū. When he failed to return, he was officially listed as missing.

References
Kodochosho 552 Kōkūtai, January 12-13, 1944
Kodochosho Jinrai Special Attack Ohka Tai, March 21, 1945

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