A dear friend of mine was a Kamikaze escort pilot with the Japanese Army Air Force. He flew the Ki-43 'Oscar' and later the Ki-84 'Frank' fighters on several escort missions from lower Kyushu to the area of Okinawa in 1945. At the very end of the war he was pressed into service as a Kamikaze pilot himself and flew six missions to Okinawa - each time being forced to return due to thunderstorms en-route. He was oddly saved by the bombing of Hiroshima, where he was burned and in Hospital when the war ended. I painted this piece in his honor in 2006. He had died from Leukemia in 1992. - R. Cole
Signed and numbered.
Boeing P-12E 'Aircraft Number 23', 24th Pursuit Squadron, 16th Pursuit Group, Albrook Field, Panama Canal...
I'd heard about these night missions many years ago, from one of my Japanese veteran...