Pilot Legend

As a jet pilot rookie, I look up to many great people. But there is one special person that inspires me. He was a pilot during the second Sino-Japanese war. His name was Takeshi Yamaguchi and was probably the best pilot that ever lived.

Takeshi was always the strongest kid. This got him into many fights when he was young. When he was 15, a group of four gangsters attacked him and he killed one of them as the result. Young Yamaguchi got banished from his home town, with the mark of murderer. He travelled across the country and earned money from street fighting (often by setting up bets). That was until he met a pilot named Kouta Tanaka. They became friends and Takeshi soon joined the army and learned how to fly airplanes.

The first battle that made Yamaguchi famous was before 1937, when Japan and China were fighting small campaigns and war hasn't been declared yet. The Chinese had twice as many aircrafts. But Japan won that day, with only 3 (!) planes out of over 50 left. One of the 3 was piloted by Takeshi Yamaguchi. His friend wasn't so lucky then. This was something that had a giant impact on Takeshi's life from that moment on.

The young pilot was getting more and more famous. His piloting skills were unmatched by anybody, even by his superiors. Takeshi's luck changed during the battle of Kunlun Pass. His plane got shot down and Takeshi went missing in action. For almost a year, his friends thought that he got killed in the pass, but Yamaguchi suddenly returned to the airbase with a Vietnamese airplane one day. It wasn't the same man anymore. He was covered in scars and had a robotic arm. Soon everybody realized that his piloting skills are even greater than before. Everybody in the camp feared and respected Takeshi.

There were a lot of stories about what happened in the Kunlun Pass. Some say that he helped a rich man by finding his enemies secret headquarters and that man bought him the airplane, so Yamaguchi can get back home. Another is that Takeshi seduced the rich man's daughter and ran away from her as soon as she got the plane for him. When Yamaguchi came back to Japan, he was spending more time in his airplane, than on the ground. His superiors let him use the planes as he wanted, because he was their hero. It was then when Takeshi started racing with dragons. The mighty lizards first ignored the pilot, but soon realized that his spirit was pure and his courage surpassed the bravery of any man that they ever knew. They say it was the dragons that taught Takeshi Yamaguchi how to breathe fire and cheat in mahjong.

In 1940, Yamaguchi married the demon princess Rin and was promised eternal youth as a gift from her father. He was the best soldier in the army and had to fight in almost every campaign. Takeshi soon started drinking and gambling. He once won a fortune from a Yakuza by cheating in mahjong. That's when they put a bounty on him. The Yakuza head hired an assasin to kill Yamaguchi. He payed Human Bear (he was half human, half bear) to challenge Takeshi in a street fight. Takeshi agreed in his arrogance and got killed by Human Bear. There are multiple speculations about that part. Some say that it was Rin that hired the assasin to kill her husband, who cheated on her. Another version is that Human Bear was Yamaguchi's son he had with a bear when he was in China (bears grow up faster than humans).

One thing stays certain - Takeshi Yamaguchi was one of the most bad ass pilots and a hero. It's sad that only a few heard his story outside of Japan. It's amazing what happened to only one man and how he became a legend in only a few years.

I wonder if there are similar true stories about American war heroes. I'm not interested in hearing about Canadian war heroes, because I know they all sucked and most of their stories are all made up bullshit. Maybe you could share the story in the blogs section?
Uploaded 01/11/2011
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