Leader of a dive bomber squadron at Pearl Harbor, he later made friends with
Photograph signed: "Zenji Abe" in English and Japanese scripts.
B/w reproduction of a sepa photo, 5x7. Shown in dress uniform. He flew an
Aichi dive bomber from the carrier Akagi to attack the US Light Cruiser
Raleigh in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Abe, who had seen aerial
combat in China from 1937, participated in many more battles, sinking the
British carrier Hermes, until his forced island landing during the Battle
of the Philippine Sea (1944). One of the few Japanese pilots to fight through
the entire Pacific War and survive, Abe formed a close friendship with former US
Marine Sergeant Richard Fiske when both attended 50th anniversary observances of
the Pearl Harbor attack in 1991. From then until his death in 2004, Fiske
visited the battleship Arizona Memorial once a month two drop into the harbor
two roses purchased by Abe, one each to honor the American and Japanese dead.
Abe wrote a book about his wartime experiences, The Emperor's Sea Eagle.
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