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Questions on Japan WWII

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:22 pm
by leaustin
I am working on a book (second edition) on my Japanese mother's experience of WWII and the Occupation and hope someone here can help me with questions. She married an American serviceman but my dad can't help me with these questions.

Tokorozawa had the first airstrip in Japan, is now part of the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum. I think this was/is a sod runway. Was this the same as Tokorozawa Airport? My mom says this first runway was pretty small and thought it was only for civilian use (and early flight research). If it was called Tokorozawa Airport I believe it was used by Japanese military during the war and became a logistical depot for the US during the Occupation.

Is it true that Johnson Air Base (near Tokorozawa, formerly Irumagawa Air Base, later Iruma AB) got the first concrete runway in Japan, thanks to the Americans there during the Occupation?

What US warplanes were used in Japan? B-29's I know, think they were used for high-flying recon as well as carried bombs and were able to dive low to attack ground targets. Any P-51s?

Would appreciate any help with this.


RE:US Occupation

Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:49 pm
by rod mountford
Hi I also have a Japanese connection,my wife is Japanese and her grandfather was killed by a B29 raid on Himeji. As to the planes used after occupation they would have been an assortment B 29s B24s P 51s P61s F4Us etc. As to the airfield in question google has not turned up anything? Cheers Rod


Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:36 pm
by leaustin
Yes, Rod, I have my answers, thanks mostly to a veteran who was stationed at Johnson Air Base. That first little runway in Japan was Tokorozawa Airport, now part of the Aviation Museum. B-29's were the high-flying long-range bombers and various fighter planes were used towards the end of the war when Allied forces captured islands nearby that could be used as launching bases, and the carrier ships could get close enough. I've even made a few online friends through my research! Konnichi-wa to your wife. You both might enjoy my book. The second edition will be geared more towards school kids - more Japanese songs, plus photos and glossary of Japanese words used.

Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl