Hiroyoshi Nishizawa

the Devil of Rabaul

JNAF   Lieutenant J/G

Ceremonial Sword
"For Conspicuous Military Valor"

Born on 27 january 1920, Nagano Prefecture.
Home there.
Joined IJN in June 1936.
Completed flight training in March 1939.
With Oita, Omura & Suzuka AG's prior to outbreak of War.
With the Chitose AG (Air Group or "Kokutai") in 1941.
Joined 4th AG in February 1942
First kill - 3 February '42 over Rabaul - while flying a 'Claude'
Transferred to the 2nd Sq. / Tainan AG in April '42.
There he met Saburo Sakai and Toshio Ota, they would become known as the "Cleanup Trio".
7 August '42 - best day - claimed 6 Hellcats of VF-5.
Transferred to the 251st AG in November.
Summer '43 - Awarded "Sword" by Admiral Jinichi Kusaka.
Transferred to the 253rd AG in September.
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa
Sent to Japan in October 1943 to become an instructor he hated his new job "baby sitting" & after many requests, he was reassigned to the 203rd AG in November 1943.
Subsequently promoted to W/O (Warrant Officer) 25 October 1944 - flew cover for the 1st Kamikaze mission.

October 25th 1944 - Mabalacat Airfield, Luzon
Zeros about to make the very 1st Kamikaze suicide attack
October 25th 1944 - Mabalacat Airfield, Luzon

During this attack he "saw" his own death & upon returning to base requested a Kamikaze mission.
He was flatly refused. Men of his calibre were not expendable.
The next day, October 26th, Nishizawa boarded a transport plane to pick up some replacement Zeros. The transport was attacked by two F6F's and was shot down.
At 25 years of age, the Devil of Rabaul was dead.
Posthumously promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade



Hiroyoshi Nishizawa

Victories Include :

150 claimed by newspapers after his death
147 he told his family
102 claimed by some other sources
86 he told Group Leader Okamoto shortly before his death
He shot down one more plane after that and consequently
87 is the figure that is most accepted today


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On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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