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Allied Aircraft and Airmen Lost over the Japanese Mainland during WWII



Toward the end of WWII, the Japanese Mainland was under severe attacks of the aircraft of the Allied Forces. The Japanese anti-aircraft defense was so vulnerable that we were driven into a tight corner where there were no effective counter-measures at hand. Nonetheless, a considerable number of the Allied aircraft (including some of the British) crashed, and the Japanese captured the aviators who bailed out their damaged aircraft, made forced landings, etc.

In consequence, some 570 aviators of the Allied Forces became POWs on the Japanese Mainland and in the nearby surrounding waters.

The Japanese Government and Military authorities, however, took the position of recognizing them not as the POWs as stipulated in the International Laws, but as the war criminals who had carried out the indiscriminate bombings against the Japanese civilians. Therefore, approximately half of them were executed, died of diseases, or were killed by friendly air raids including the A-bomb in Hiroshima, and never returned to their homelands.

After the War, such unfortunate incidents became important issues of the Class B and Class C War Crimes Trials held by the US Army at Yokohama. Many Japanese ex-military personnel who participated in the execution or maltreatment of the Allied POWs were found guilty, and some of them were sentenced to death by hanging.

After the war, for the purpose of preparations for the War Crimes Trials, the GHQ/SCAP Legal Section conducted thorough and persistent investigations into the fates of the Allied aircraft and their crewmembers that had been lost during the air raids against the Japanese Mainland. Today, a great deal of copies of the monumental materials on these investigations in English is under custody of the Japan National Diet Library.

This report was made mainly based on this GHQ/SCAP materials with some additions from other sources, and the outlines of which is separated in accordance with the old Japanese Army Districts. This report is not yet completed as a perfect one, and there will be some need to correct them for accuracy in the future.

(1) Hokubu (Hokkaido and the Kurile Islands) and Tohoku Army Districts >>PDF

(2) Tobu (Kanto and Koshinetsu) Army District >>PDF

(3) Tokai (Tokai and Hokuriku) Army District >>PDF

(4) Chubu (Kinki) Army District >>PDF

(5) Chugoku (Chugoku) and Shikoku Army Districts >>PDF

(6) Seibu (Kyushu) District >>PDF

(7) The outlines of the fliers' cases at the Yokohama class B and class C War Crimes Trials and Bibliography


-ken Prefecture
-ku Ward
-shi City
-gun County
-cho Town
-mura Village
A/D Japanese Army District
Kempei Tai Japanese Military Police
Toryu, Hien, Type-5 Type of Japanese Army fighters
Zero, Shiden-kai Type of Japanese Navy fighters
BW Bomber Wing
BG Bomber Group
BS Bomber Squadron
FG Fighter Group
SQ Squadron
A/C Aircraft Commander