On November 25, 1944, the first mass kamikaze attack occurred on the ships of the Third Fleet steaming off Luzon, Philippines. Six suicide craft plunged into four aircraft carriers — USS Hancock (CV-19); USS Essex (CV-9); USS Cabot (CVL-28); and USS Intrepid (CV-11). Dayofthekamikaze.com is dedicated to the Americans and Japanese killed in that little-known battle, and seeks to help young adults understand what happened and how World War II is relevant to their lives today.
As Seen On Television in Europe
This website has video from the 2004 production shown on Österreicher Rundfunk (ORF) Austrian Public Television. Six American Third Fleet veterans met six high school students from around the world. The American version is now available on DVD for use in schools and universities, and includes a lesson plan for in-class discussion.
125 Kamikazes, four U.S. Navy Carriers
USS Essex (CV-9) hit by Yoshinori Yamaguchi's D4Y kamikaze at 1256 Hours, November 25, 1944
The Japanese Imperial Navy's first planned suicide attack came at a time when many such attacks were coming daily, and it wasn't until after the war that the scope of the November 25 attack could be fully researched and understood.
What happened that day may not be well known, but such an attack gives students insight into what life was like aboard an American carrier and what it was like to fight and die at sea during World War II. Incorporating high school students into the documentary gives viewers a chance to see how their lives are much like the veterans, who fought a bitter war at the same age over sixty years ago.