Biplane fighter aces


Warrant Officer Masamitsu Ezoe

In January 1942 Masamitsu Ezoe served on the seaplane tender Sanyo Maru flying the Mitsubishi F1M2 ‘Pete’ biplane scout.
On 10 January 1942 Sanyo Maru was covering a Japanese invasion force who was out to land troops in the Tarakan area on the north-east part of Borneo the following day. During the day two F1Ms, flown by Warrant Officer Ezoe and NA 1/C Naoji Hayashi, strafed a surfaced submarine and then attacked an aircraft identified as a Blenheim, one of three aircraft which they had seen taking off from Samarinda. In fact these aircraft were Glenn Martins of 1-VIG-I. After engaging one bomber for ten minutes, it began trailing white smoke and disappeared south-westwards. This aircraft was claimed as a probably destroyed. In fact M-547, flown by Ensign H. G. Bouwens, crash-landed on Tarakan airfield. The crew survived and managed to find a native boat, in which they sailed across to the mainland but were eventually captured after wandering through the jungle for several weeks.
Ezoe ended the war with 1 shared biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
  10/01/42 ½ Glenn Martin (a) Shared destroyed F1M2   Tarakan area, Borneo Sanyo Maru

Biplane victories: 1 shared destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 shared destroyed.
(a) Claimed in combat with a Glenn Martin of 1-VIG-I. Ensign H. G. Bouwens crash-landed M-547 at Tarakan airfield. The crew survived but was later taken captured by Japanese troops.

Bloody Shambles Volume One - Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Yasuho Izawa, 1992 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-50-X
Alexander Crawford has been most helpful, while compiling this information.