Daily Items


Topic Admiral's Week
Date 15-Sep-2013


From Time Magazine, 24-July-1944

It was a bad fortnight for Japanese brass hats:

This week Tokyo announced that' the Empire's Naval Minister, Shigetaro Shimada, stocky, cherry-lipped architect of Japan's most recent naval disasters (TIME, July 3), had been dropped from the Cabinet. But it was not an out-&-out sacking. Shimada will keep his other job as Chief of Naval Staff, thus be able to devote full time to finding tactical remedies for the Empire's critical plight in the Pacific. His successor as Naval Minister: Admiral Naokuni Nomura,* expert in submarine and torpedo techniques.

On Saipan, Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo made his honorable exit. Onetime hero of the Empire, Nagumo commanded the carriers in the Pearl Harbor attack, lived to see his fame dimmed when he lost four of five carriers in the Battle of Midway. After Saipan fell, U.S. soldiers found his corpse. He had, quite obviously, committed harakiri.

Nagumo's subordinate on Saipan, Rear Admiral Yano, went out the same way when the last charge was beaten off. Less successful was elderly Lieut. General Yoshiji Saito. He started to make the charge, faltered, tried to take his own life, failed. His adjutant finished him off.

Tokyo added one more to the list. Vice Admiral Hiichi Hasegawa of the fleet air arm staff had died "in action," possibly in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

If you are a subscriber to Time Magazine (print edition), you can access any of the Time Archives articles for free including hundreds of articles from WWII.  Quite fascinating to read "contemporary items" about the major events.