Densho Digital Archive
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre Collection
Title: Bill Hashizume Interview
Narrator: Bill Hashizume
Interviewer: Norm Ibuki
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: October 29, 2005
Densho ID: denshovh-hbill_2-01-0019

<Begin Segment 19>

BH: Well, like I said, the Japanese, it takes, it takes quite a few years to train a good pilot. Japan had enough of those during the start of the war, then the cream of the crop were on aircraft carriers. And the aircraft carriers --

NI: Were they kamikaze?

BH: No, no, no, before that. And that's why they were successful at Pearl Harbor. At Midway, luck went against them, but they lost the cream of the crop at Midway, and that's where... and they couldn't train 'em fast enough. They couldn't train 'em fast enough because they had, their supply of oil was limited, not like the thing. And their production facilities, the Americans were, let's say a plane was lost, they replaced that in three days. Whereas in Japan it took 'em about ten days to replace the thing. Same for ships, aircraft carries, it took about, Japan, three years. Americans did it one year, and better, better and faster. The students that became pilots, they knew how to drive cars. Japan didn't have cars, they didn't know how to drive cars. Of course, a car and an airplane's a little different, but it takes, you know, it takes a certain amount of know-how to thing, Americans had that. They had a lot of private planes, they have a lot of students, they knew how to train 'em, and they trained 'em fast and they didn't waste any money on fuel. If they wanted to take ten more hours of thing, another extra hour flying, Americans, didn't bother you, but Japan balked. They couldn't afford spending all that precious fuel to train. And that's where, that's where the difference began to show. And well, most of these things I didn't know about while I was in the thing, but it's after the war that I learned.

NI: During the war, your main job was maintenance.

BH: Maintenance, yeah.

NI: Aircraft...

BH: Aircraft maintenance, yeah.

NI: So you were doing that?

BH: But that's, during the basic training, I was taught that. But after becoming an officer, I had nothing to do with that.

NI: What did you do after that point?

BH: Well, I was a, I was an instructor at this cadet school, flying school, cadet school at Kurashiki. That's all I was doing, but mostly it's all administrative work.

NI: Okay. You weren't teaching, then?

BH: No, actually, most of the teaching was done by non-coms, non-commissioned officers.

NI: I see.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2005 Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and Densho. All Rights Reserved.