Samurai!: The Autobiography of Japan’s World War Two Flying Ace (Uncommon Valor) is a great book written by Saburo Sakai about his experience flying in WW2 as one of Japan’s top ZERO fighter aces.  It’s a fascinating book as Sakai was involved in many of the major battles in the Pacific including the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies, Guadalcanal, and finally, Iwo Jima.

I’ve discussed the book briefly here.  But this goes much more in-depth.

Things discussed are:

  • Sakai’s upbringing and the rough times he had in school.
  • His enlistment in the military.
  • His entry and the intensity of the fighter pilot program.
  • His first air battle and the near calamity.
  • Injuries suffered.
  • His return to the air and the subsequent crushing defeat at Guadalcanal.
  • Kamikaze or “divine wind” attacks and his participation.
  • The ending of the war.