Tsukahara, Nishizo

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Tsukahara, Nishizo, born 03-04-1887 in Fukui Prefecture, but his official residence was Kofu city, Yamanashi Prefecture, where he was raised. Tsukahara graduated from the 36th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1908. He was ranked 20th out of 119 cadets, and noted Admiral Chuichi Nagumo  was his classmate. Nagumo committed suicide, age 57, on 06-07-1944. Tsukahara served his midshipman duty aboard the cruisers Soya, and Iwate and battleship Okinoshima. After he was commissioned as an ensign in 1910, he was assigned to the Shikishima, followed by destroyer Yudachi. Tsukahara subsequently served on the Yamashiro and cruiser Aso. After his promotion to lieutenant in 1914, he was assigned to Umikaze, and was chief navigator on Mogami in 1916, followed by Chitose, repair ship Kanto, and battle cruiser Ibuki. Tsukahara graduated from the Navy Staff College in 1920, and was promoted to lieutenant commander. He held a number of staff positions within the Yokosuka Naval District, particularly pertaining to naval aviation. He was sent to the United States and Europe from 1925–1926, and on his return was assigned as executive officer to the aircraft carrier Hōshō. On 29-11-1929, Tsukahara was promoted to captain, and was also given command of Ōi. From 1931-1932, he was part of the Japanese delegation to the Geneva Naval Disarmament Conference. On 20-10-1933, he was given command of the aircraft carrier Akagi. Tsukahara was promoted to rear admiral on 15-11-1935. He commanded a number of fighter squadrons, and was promoted on to Vice Admiral on 15-11-1939. In April 1940, he became commander of the Chinkai Guard District, and from 10-09-1941 until 01-10-1942, he was Commander in Chief of the 11th Air Fleet. Based out of Formosa, the 11th Air Fleet was involved in the invasion of the Philippines. Later it supported Japanese offensives in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands from Rabaul, New Britain and other locations. On 08-08-1942, after the Allied landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi Tsukahara moved to Rabaul to more closely direct air attacks against Allied forces around Guadalcanal. At Rabaul, Tsukahara was placed in command of all naval forces in the New Guinea and Solomon Islands’ area as well as the 11th Air Fleet in what was called the Southeast Area Command. He later fell ill and was replaced by Jinichi Kusaka   Kusaka died, old age 81, on 24-08-1972. After recovering from illness, Tsukahara was appointed Director of Naval Air Command from 10-12-1942 to 15-09-1944. Subsequently, he was commander in chief of the Yokosuka Naval District to 01-05-1945. Tsukahara was promoted to full Admiral on 15-05-1945.

Death and burial ground of Tsukahara, Nishizo.

He died 10-01-1966, age 78, in Tokyo, and his grave is at the Tama Reien Cemetery in Fuchū, Tokyo. Also buried here are the Commander 2nd Guard Regiment, General Korechika Anami, the Russian spy, Richard Sorge, Commander of the IJA 10th Division, General Kazushige Ugaki, commander 4th Fleet, the Principal of Naval Academy in Eta-jima, General Shigeyoshi Inoue, “Tiger of Maleisië” Conqueror of Nederlands Oost-Indië, General Tomayuki Yamasito and Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto .

 

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