Ghostly Tales -
The Last Kamikaze!
March 1978, Vol. 13, No. 128, 48 pages
The kamikaze squadron pilots in this horror comic are still
trying to carry out their duty for their country even in death. The March 1978
issue of the comic book Ghostly Tales, which ran from 1966 to 1984, has three
dealing with the supernatural. The story entitled "The Last
Kamikaze!" is a reprint from the December 1972 issue (No. 100). The
contents of this seven-page story show that the author, San Ho Kim, has little
understanding of historical kamikaze squadrons.
In 1972, American Major Riddly goes to the home of former Colonel
Okamoto Utagawa in Nagoya to tell him the story of getting attacked two weeks
before by two Zero fighters. Colonel Okamoto was commanding Colonel of U-ka Air
Base near the end of World War II. One of the Zero fighters had rammed Riddly's jet
plane, and he bailed out as his plane went down. After he parachuted to the
ground, he found himself in the midst of skeletons dressed in Japanese
flight suits and armed with pistols and swords.
The skeleton squadron pilots explained to Riddly that their
mission was to attack Commander General Macarthur when he flew over their area in
the southern Philippines. Riddly calmly explained to the skeletons that the war
has ended and that Japan and America are now close friends. The kamikaze
squadron then faded away into the island mists as the squadron leader told his
men, "We did all we could and more. Now, we shall go away and rest in
peace." After Riddly finishes telling his story of the kamikaze skeletons, Colonel Okamoto apologizes
to Riddly for being an innocent victim. Riddly says that he honors the kamikaze
squadron for being special soldiers, and Okamoto says he will leave
the next day for the Philippines to do all that he can for their remembrance.
This short ghost story contains quite a few errors and
historically implausible events. The kamikaze squadrons never had a mission to
kill a specific individual such as General Macarthur. Former Colonel Okamoto, based on his rank,
served in the Japanese Army, but the planes flown by his
kamikaze squadron were Navy Zeros. Okamoto mentions that the kamikaze ghost
squadron rammed another American plane during the Korean War, but this incident
seems inconsistent with the squadron's location in the Philippines rather than
Korea. The Colonel's name of Okamoto Utagawa lacks a given name and has the
impossible combination of two Japanese family names.
The idea of a ghost squadron of kamikaze pilots seems to
have some potential, but this comic story with several errors falls short of