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Sadayoshi Yamada
Born (1892-11-26)November 26, 1892
Died November 16, 1971(1971-11-16) (aged 78)[1]
Place of birth Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan
Allegiance  Empire of Japan
Service/branch  Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service 1914-1945
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands held Sōryū, Kaga, 25th Air Flotilla,
Yokosuka Naval Air Group,
51st Air Flotilla, 101st Air Flotilla,
3rd Air Fleet

World War II

Sadayoshi Yamada (山田 定義 Yamada Sadayoshi?, 26 November 1892 – 16 November 1971) was a Vice Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.


A native of Fukuoka prefecture, Yamada graduated from the 42nd class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy in 1914, ranked 5th out of 117 cadets. As a midshipman, he was assigned to the cruisers Aso and Yakumo, and on his commissioning as ensign was assigned to the battleships Kawachi and Asahi. In 1917, he returned to school to study latest naval artillery and submarine warfare techniques, as well as naval aviation. He was then assigned to a fighter squadron in Yokosuka, followed by a posting in 1920 as aircrew on the seaplane carrier Wakamiya.

As a lieutenant, Yamada was posted as naval attaché to France from 1920–1923, and was a member of the Japanese delegation at the Versailles Peace Treaty negotiations. On his return to Japan, he was again assigned to fighter groups in Yokosuka and in Kasumigaura. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1925, and then to commander after graduation from the Naval Staff College.

As commander, Yamada served in various administrative positions within the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff, and was again sent as naval attaché to France from 1935–1937, during his time he participated in the Geneva Disarmament Conference. He was also promoted to captain while overseas. After his return to Japan, he assumed command of the new aircraft carrier Soryu in 1939, and the Kaga in 1940. He was promoted to rear admiral on 15 October 1941.

Beginning 1 April 1942, he commanded the 25th Air Flotilla (also called the "5th Air Attack Force") at the Japanese base of Rabaul, New Britain.[2] The 25th Air Flotilla under Yamada gave land-based bomber and fighter aircraft support to Operation Mo, the attempted invasion of Port Moresby in May, 1942. Subsequently, the 25th Air Flotilla took heavy losses in attacks on Allied forces during the first two months of the Guadalcanal campaign in the southern Solomon Islands.[3] Yamada was appointed Chief of Staff for the IJN 3rd Fleet from 23 November 1942 until 6 December 1943.[4] From 26 August 1945 until 15 October 1945, he commanded the IJN 3rd Air Fleet.[5]



  • Frank, Richard B. (1990). Guadalcanal : The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 0-14-016561-4. 
  • Fuller, Richard (1992). Shokan: Hirohito's Samurai. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-151-4. 
  • Lundstrom, John B. (2005 (New edition)). First Team And the Guadalcanal Campaign: Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-472-8. 
  • Miller, Thomas G. (1969). Cactus Air Force. Admiral Nimitz Foundation. ISBN 0-934841-17-9. 
  • Morison, Samuel Eliot (1958). The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942 – February 1943, vol. 5 of History of United States Naval Operations in World War II. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-58305-7.  Online views of selections of the book:[1]
  • Sakaida, Henry (1996). The Siege of Rabaul. St. Paul, MN, USA: Phalanx. ISBN 1-883809-09-6. 

External links[]


  1. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy.
  2. Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy.
  3. Fuller, Shokan, p. 300.
  4. Wendel, Axis History.
  5. Naval History via Flix

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