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by Masao Satake
& Masahiro Mino
Farewell to Yamaguchi
Illustrated Story of the Greatest ZERO Pilot
This is an outstanding art book of twenty four original paintings by the artist Masao Satake, that depict the life of Saburo Sakai as a pilot, from his first solo flight on April 1, 1937 throught the last combat mission he flew in World War II. The book's introduction is written by Masahiro Mino.
Satake's incredible paintings breath life, color and excitment into Sakai's already legendary aviation career. Each is accompanied by a page long description of the historical event depicted, in both english and Japanese text.
The painting 'first score' depicted his victory over a Chinese I-16 while flying an A5M4 Claude with the 14th Kokutai, a year and a half after his first flight.
Other paintings depict his attack on Captail Kelly's B-17 over the Philippines, service on Java, shooting down an RAF Buffalo, flight line at Rabaul, victories over P-39 Airacobras, Farewell to Yamaguchi, the three aces taunting loops over Port Moresby, 'Encounter with a Spitfire', Scramble and 'Air Battle Over the Owen Stanleys'.
His famous August 7, 1942 mission when severely wounded is depicted in two paintings, 'The price of error' attacking SBDs and 'Long flight back to Rabaul'.
His later war flying is depicted in two works, 'Defending Iwo Jima' showing him flying with the Yokosuka Kokutai in an A6M5 Zero, against an F6F Hellcat. Lastly, 'The Sunset of the Yokosuka Kokutai' escorting torpedo bombers against Task Force 58.
This book is for any lover of fine aviation art, and one of the greatest aces in history.
Review by Justin Taylan
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