and having read most of the interviews - it seems that to US intelligence officers they were not inflating numbers (strange how they did that with their own officers). The AA gunner claims that in Ambon they shot down maybe 5 planes with AA during his long tenure there for example, and the IJN commander of the 901st is surprisingly modest and probably undervalues the number of sinkings, while dismissing his own pilots ridiculous numbers :
Q. At what time during the war do you consider that aircraft were most successful against submarines?
A. Defensively speaking, it was during May 1944, at which time we convoyed ships from the EMPIRE to SAIPAN, with the loss of only one ship. Speaking from offensive standpoint, the most successful period of operation was the fall of 1944 when we were shipping very heavily between FORMOSA and the PHILIPPINES to supply the Army based there. I estimate that the Americans had over 10 submarines operating in that region and I think the flying boats were able to sink four or five of them. I lay much credit to the fact that we equipped the aircraft with MAD. No ships were lost to submarines at that time.
Q. Make an estimate of the total number of submarines sunk by Japanese aircraft during the entire war?
A. The 901st Air Flotilla estimated that they sunk about 20 during the entire war. I've no accurate information on the total number of sinkings, although they reported at one time to have sunk as high as 500. This exaggeration is caused by the fact that pilot reports are inaccurate since they are not required to furnish proof.
Edit : sorry six planes
Q. How successful were your AA in shooting down our planes at AMBON?
A. Those of which I have sure knowledge on raids were: crashing on land -- two P-38's, crew killed; two B-25s, crew killed. On the water, one B-25, crew saved by PBY from rubber boat; one P-38, crew saved.
Q. How many heavy AA guns did you have at AMBON?
A. 28 heavy AA guns at AMBON; 14x12cm. high angle guns and 14x8cm. high angle guns.
< Message edited by icepharmy -- 7/12/2012 7:09:32 PM >