TURNING POINT IN THE PACIFIC WAR
14 April 1943, the US naval intelligence effort, code-named "Magic", intercepted and decrypted a message containing specific details regarding Yamamoto's tour, including arrival and departure times and locations, as well as the number and types of planes that would transport and accompany him on the journey. Yamamoto, the itinerary revealed, would be flying from Rabaul to Ballalae Airfield, on an island near Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, on the morning of 18 April 1943.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox to "Get Yamamoto." Knox instructed Admiral Chester W. Nimitz of Roosevelt's wishes. Admiral Nimitz consulted Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Commander, South Pacific, then authorized a mission on 17 April to intercept Yamamoto's flight en route and shoot it down.. Squadrons of Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft were assigned the task as only they possessed the range to intercept and engage. Select pilots from three units were informed that they were intercepting an "important high officer" with no specific name given.
Selected members of the USAAF from THE 339TH, 70TH and 12TH Fighter Squadrons
were tasked with this mission. The specific objective was to shot down Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto being transported via “Betty" bomber. To reach their target these pilots would be pushing their Lightning’s to the limits of its range. These USAAF P-38 lightning’s Accomplish the Impossible; by eliminating Japan’s greatest naval strategists. (Footage from both sides included)
This video represents documentaries from both the U.S. and Japanese governments surrounding the death of Yamamoto, the planner of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. His death was a planned assassination executed by USAAF on direct order of the President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This mission was planned by Major John Mitchell and executed by U.S. Army Air Force First Lieutenant Rex T. Barber, along with other pilots.
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