Our Bombers Were Led by a Japanese Officer
He was called the Benedict Arnold of Mindanao, a turncoat to the Empire of
Japan. Yet few turncoats were as honorably and honestly motivated as
Minoru Wada, a WW II Japanese prisoner of war, who voluntarily led an
American air strike against his own military because of his belief that his
actions would quickly end the war in an “ultimately humane” manner.
On August 10, 1945, Second Lt. Wada personally flew in the lead Mitchell PBJ 1-D, directing a force of VMB-611 bombers and VMF-115 Corsairs in an attack on the 100th Japanese Division headquarters, resulting in a total wipeout of their target. This single raid is said to have effectively shut down Japanese strength in the Philippine Islands.
The U.S. Marine fliers pounded the headquarters and billet area with fragmentation bombs, napalm, rockets and heavy machine-gun fire and official after-action reports noted that the target area was devastated, and the unit’s commanding general, Kumakashi Harada, was killed in the raid.
To read the article by J. David Truby, click here.