A Heroic Rescue


The other day, I learned for the first time about a heroic rescue during World War II. I feel the deepest respect for the former captain of the Japanese Imperial Navy destroyer "Ikazuchi". Even during the war, Japan displayed gallantry worthy of sincere respect and gratitude.

BUZZ NEWS:http://buzznews.asia/?p=29573

I will write only the outline of what happened. To see the details, please refer to the URLs above.

・At about 2 p.m. on March 2, 1942, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked and sank two British naval vessels in the northwest Java Sea.

・The 450 crew members of the two ships abandoned the burning and sinking ships. After drifting at sea for more than 20 hours, on the next day, March 3, at about 10 a.m., the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer "Ikazuchi"
discovered the survivors.

・A number of enemy (allied) submarines were patrolling this area, so any ship which dared to stop moving risked being sunk. In addition, compared to the 220 crew members of the "Ikazuchi," there were 450 survivors adrift.

・Among the British survivors was the young Sir Sam Falle, who later led a distinguished career as a British diplomat. When the survivors realized that they had been discovered by the Japanese war vessel, they resigned themselves to death.

・Lieutenant Commander of the "Ikazuchi" Shunsaku Kudo, after confirming absence of enemy submarines in the area, issued the order to rescue the enemy combatants, and hoisted the international code flag indicating a rescue in progress.


・When Kudo realized that the condition of the survivors was very poor and that there were not enough hands available to successfully make the rescue, he ordered that a crew be left only on the first cannon, and that all other crew members engage in the rescue of the ailing survivors. Almost all of the crew members of the "Ikazuchi" were deployed in the rescue effort, and as a result 422 people were rescued.

sir sam falle
・After a period of almost 50 years, in 2003 Sir Falle published his memoirs entitled "My Lucky Life." In the foreword, he expressed his gratitude to Lt. Commander Shunsaku Kudo. The Japanese people first learned of this heroic rescue by the Japanese and Lt. Commander Shunsaku Kudo when Sir Falle thereafter made a visit to Japan.

・After this rescue, Kudo was assigned to be the commander of a separate vessel, and later the "Ikazuchi" was attacked and went down with its entire crew. Lt. Commander Kudo never spoke of his military service while he was alive, but likewise he never failed to kneel in front of the Buddhist altar every morning and offer his prayers for the repose of the souls of his subordinates. He passed away at age 77 on January 12, 1979.

サム・フォール卿 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Falle
敵兵を救助せよ!―英国兵422名を救助した駆逐艦「雷」工藤艦長 [単行本]