There is a bizarre twist in the tale concerning Yamamoto’s fighter escort. The Japanese authorities did not report any Zero losses that day, either from the escort flight or of any other fighters in the vicinity. Kenji Yanagiya, the only post-war survivor from the escort, was adamant that none of his comrades were lost.
While it is possible that some Zeros from other units may have wandered into the area to be subsequently shot down, it seems far more likely that the claims for the fighter kills were erroneous. Altogether, it shows how confusing and disconcerting the dog fighting was during the Yamamoto mission.
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