** World War II Japanese aviation military training children

World War II: Japanese Military Aviation Training--Children

Figure 1.--This still from a 1944 Japanese newsreel shows what looks like a boys' pilot training school. We have no addurinal infirnation. Strangely a woman is involved in the training. At the time, women did not usually teach boys even in primary schools, with the exception of some mixed rural schools. This may be a propaganda image more than actual military training of any importance.

We see some images of children training for basic flight operations. We have been unable, however, to find any Japanese program to select and train children other than older teenagers. This is not as outlandish as it may sound. The Germans had a child training program as an activity choice in the Hitler Youth. The boys trained in gliders which meat that many were accomplished pilots by the time that they finished secondary school or the HJ Fliger program. The HJ Organization created arrangements so that the boys finishing the HJ program would automatically transition into the Luftwaffe. There were other similar HJ programs for other specialized services. But there was nothing like this in Japan. There was no mass youth organization. The most important youth organization was the relatively small Boy Scout program which was deemphasized as war approached because of its perceived Western taint. There was military training in the school, but we know of no specialized flight training in the schools. That does not mean it did not happen, but we have been able to find no information about it. We have found one photograph showing boys practicing on basic flight apparatuses, but we have no explanatory information. As far as we can tell, selections for pilot training occurred after young men were inducted into the military. Both officers and enlisted men were selected. And unlike the American air services, pilots were nor automatically assigned officer status. Some of Japan's most illustrious aces remained enlisted men throughout the War.


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Created: 3:20 AM 5/5/2020
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Last updated: 10:49 PM 5/27/2020