The outcome of the Pacific War was heavily influenced by the results of naval battles between the Imperial Japanese fleet and the US Navy. One of the key elements was Japan's large fighter component, which had gained experience over Manchuria, China and Mongolia in the late 1930s. Flying A5Ms, at least 21 pilots achieved 'acedom' securing air superiority for the invaders. Manufacturer Mitsubishi derived much from these campaigns, producing one of the best fighters of the War, the A6M Zero-Sen. Navy pilots proved to be highly skilled when engaged by the Allied forces, Pacific. Pilots like Nishizawa, Sagita and Sakai scoring more than 60 kills apiece.
Read an extract of Imperial Japanese Navy Aces 1937–45