graduate

Tominaga Kiyoji (1892-1960)

Tominaga Kiyoji was commissioned in the infantry in 1913 and was a graduate of the War College. A former assistant military attaché in Russia, he also participated in the general disarmament talks in Geneva in 1931. By the time war broke out in the Pacific, he was Chief of the Personnel Bureau. Promoted to lieutenant general just as war broke out, he became Vice-Minister of War in March 1943, and he became notorious for his ineptness in personnel assignments, such as assigning Mutaguchi two division commanders whom Mutaguchi loathed. Tominaga was given command of 4 Air Army in August 1944.

4 Air Army was deployed in the Philippines at the time of the Leyte campaign. Units from this air army engaged in some of the first kamikaze attacks, on 24 October 1944. The first formally organized kamikaze unit was the Manda Unit, which attempted to ram American bombers starting 5 November 1944. Tominaga continued to receive reinforcements through the Leyte campaign. He strongly resisted the order to abandon Manila, demanding that the order be put in writing. By 13 January 1945 his air strength was exhausted, and his remaining manpower was reorganized as infantry. By this time, Tominaga was seriously ill, and he ignored Yamashita's order not to evacuate his staff to Formosa.

Yamashita demanded Tominaga's court-martial and execution for cowardice, but Tojo, who still had some influence, was able to avert a scandal by having his friend Tominaga demoted and retired instead, in May 1945. However, Tominaga was recalled to active duty to command 139 Division when it was organized in Manchuria in July 1945. He was captured by the Russians in July 1945 and not repatriated until 1955.

Service record

1892     
  Born
1913
Second lieutenant     

1934
Colonel
2 Imperial Guards Regiment
1935

General Affairs Section, General Affairs Bureau, General Staff
1936

Chief, General Affairs Section, General Affairs Bureau, General Staff
1936

Chief, 2 Section (War Plans), 1 Bureau, General Staff
1937

Chief, Intelligence Section, Kwantung Army
1937

Chief, 2 Section, Kwantung Army
1938

Commander, 2 Imperial Guards Regiment
1939

Head, 4 Bureau, General Staff
1939

Head, 1 Bureau, General Staff
1940

Eastern District Army
1940
Major general
Commandant, Noncommissioned Tank Officers' School
1941

Head, Personnel Bureau, Ministry of War
1941
Lieutenant general
1943-3     

Vice-minister of war
1944-8

Commander, 4 Air Army, Philippines
1945-5

Retires
1945-7

Recalled; Commander, 139 Division, Manchuria
1945-7

Prisoner of war, Russia
1955

Repatriated
1960

Dies

References

Fuller (1992)

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-7-9)

Hayashi and Cox (1959)


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