The Assassination of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto
Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was a Japanese naval officer and the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet during World War II. He was responsible for planning and executing the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which led to the United States’ entry into the war. Yamamoto was widely respected for his strategic acumen, and his death was a significant blow to the Japanese war effort.
On April 14, 1943, U.S. intelligence intercepted and decrypted a message detailing Yamamoto’s planned inspection tour of Japanese bases in the Solomon Islands. In response, the U.S. launched Operation Vengeance, a mission to intercept and shoot down Yamamoto’s plane.
On April 18, 1943, Yamamoto boarded a Mitsubishi G4M bomber, accompanied by six Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, for his inspection tour. A squadron of 18 U.S. P-38 Lightning fighters, led by Major John Mitchell and including Lieutenant Rex T. Barber, was dispatched to intercept the Japanese aircraft.
The American squadron successfully located and attacked Yamamoto’s plane over Bougainville Island. Lt. Barber is credited with firing the shots that downed Yamamoto’s aircraft, which crashed into the jungle, killing Yamamoto and all other passengers on board.
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The assassination of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto took place on April 18, 1943, when U.S. forces intercepted and shot down his plane over Bougainville Island. Yamamoto’s death dealt a significant blow to the Japanese war effort, as he was a highly respected strategist and commander. The event has been depicted in several films and books, reflecting its significance in World War II history.