Japanese Suisei (Judy)
dives on the Essex
(November 25, 1944)
Air Group 4, made up of fighting, bombing, and torpedo squadrons, experienced
a kamikaze attack on the carrier Essex on November 25, 1944. Sixteen
crewmen lost their lives when the plane crashed into the flight deck. This web
site tells Air Group 4's story during World War II and includes a few pages
related to kamikaze.
The article "Suicide Tactics:
The Kamikaze During World War II - Air Group 4" gives a brief summary
of Japan's kamikaze operations and provides details about kamikaze attacks on
Air Group 4 ships or nearby ships. Both this article and other pages on the site
effectively utilize historical photos related to the attacks.
Gerald W. Thomas, former Torpedo Four pilot and former
president of New Mexico State University, created this web site. The site includes
his book Torpedo Squadron Four: A Cockpit View of
World War II (1991). Two chapters in the book describe
kamikaze attacks witnessed by men in Air Group 4:
12. Essex Takes a
33. More Kamikazes at
Much of the information in these two chapters comes from interviews with
crewmen and pilots.
The Air Group 4 web site goes beyond other Internet material published by
World War II veteran groups. This site not only covers the battle details of the
kamikaze attacks experienced by Air Group 4 but also briefly addresses the
general history of Japan's kamikaze. For example, the site includes a review of
Naito's Thunder Gods, a book on the men who piloted the ohka glider bombs
in suicide attacks.