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Showing posts from January, 2019

Kamikaze to Croydon at the Tokorozawa Aviation Museum in Saitama

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Today, I went to the Aviation Museum in Tokorozawa, Saitama prefecture, to give them a copy of my novel, Kamikaze to Croydon. I bet they were a bit surprised. I had not called ahead, which I should have done, and I have no calling card (meishi) to explain the details of my endeavor.


所沢航空発祥記念館 Tokorozawa Aviation Museum


They kindly accepted my book for their library, and we had a lot of laughs. I suggested that they do a more thorough and large exhibition of the 1937 flight.



I also mentioned that at Croydon in London, they had a proper display of the arrival, with lots of photos and more, while here in Japan, there is no such thing.

Click here, and you can purchase my novel Kamikaze to Croydon on Amazon



Iinuma Masaaki is a promising young pilot from the mountains of Nagano, Japan, who only has thoughts of flying for the Morning Sun newspaper. When he learns of a prize for the first aviator to fly from Tokyo to London in under 100 hours, he knows he has the will to make it, just not t…

One Chance for Glory

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1931: The first pilot to fly across the Pacific was Clyde Pangborn, and here is a great documentary on Youtube (only about 500 views, how about it).

Great film clips from back in the early 1930s.





He is remembered in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, and in Washington State, U.S.

For their accomplishment, Pangborn and Herndon were awarded the the White Medal of Merit of the Imperial Aeronautical Society by Consul General Kensuke Horinouchi. The presentation took place at the Japanese consulate on 21 November 1931.

The United States National Aeronautic Association awarded the two men its 1931 National Harmony Trophy.



And here is a novel that tells the story.

One Chance for Glory by Edward (Ted) Heikell and Robert (Bob) Heikel, both from Washington State, U.S.

SynopsisPangborn flew 4500 miles over water in a Single Engine Land airplane, jettisoned his landing gear into the ocean to save drag, climbed outside at 17,000 feet in the frigid air at night to make repairs, put t…

So, Who Was The First To Fly Across The Pacific Ocean?

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Quiz time - we all know the name of Charles Lindbergh flying from the US to Europe in 1927. Many other flight records were as important, but who did the first flight across the Pacific Ocean?

What sets Lindbergh's record apart is that it was a solo flight. Not particularly useful, but in that day an age, it caught the attention of the general public and the media. More realistically, a pilot needed a navigator, as in my novel, Kamikaze to Croydon. Breaking the record and flying from Japan to Europe in just four days in 1937 could not be done solo.

American Wiley Post and Harold Gatty did the first round-the-world flight in 1930, after the German Graf Zeppelin, piloted by Hugo Eckener had pioneered that particular feat (including a landing in Japan).



Canadian pilot Harald Bromly was the first to make a serious attempt at the Pacific, but failed when starting from Tacoma, Washington State, U.S.

''I find it difficult to convince many persons that this proposed flight is not s…