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Anyone have data on the height of Japanese aircrew?

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by lwd, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Over on j-aircraft there is/was debate on whether or not two pictures were photoshoped. One argument in favor was the height of the aviators in the picture. Both would have to be quite short (and their heights are almost identical). Which brings to question just how tall did Japanese air crew tend to be?

    Note if both were within the average range then it would not point towards any fakery while if both were 3 sigma pilots that would suggest the possibility of it being photoshoped. I find the question of some interest on its own however.

    The thread in question can be found at:
    http://www.j-aircraft.org/smf/index.php?topic=16863.0

    Both sides have made some valid points IMO so a rather interesting debate.
     
  2. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    You must be this tall -------- in order to fly.
    They had to sit on tokyo phone books, and strap wood blocks to the pedals.
    i kid (not so well).
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I I audited an an anthropology class and remember, vaguely, a study of the growth , in height and weight of average Japanese people from before the war until the 80's . Much of the data was taken for military uniform sizes and domestic clothing sizes. I remember thinking I would have been about average in height that a typical Japanese soldier before the war but in the 80's nor so. The conclusion was that Western food was the cause with it's richer higher nutritional value. A conversation ensued about genetics as well. I am 5-6. If true it would seem the pilots might have been average for their origin. . Plus there is something to be said for considering size with being in airplanes and tanks for that matter and perhaps that was one consideration in assigning recruits..

    I also remember whenn the Russian's developed their T 54-55's that they sought shorter crew members for those low rounded turrets. I read an Israeli report saying they did not like the confinement and prefered the fighting room inside of a M 48-60. All this to say the photo might reflect a process.. Just a thought.

    And then there are the belly's gunners on B17-24's ! I am curious if They were chosen for size >?

    Gaines
     
  4. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Love the G. Long live the G.
     
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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looking at https://ourworldindata.org/human-height/ the average height of the Japanese from the three periods listed was about 5'2" (158-161 cm) with a slight decrease over time but the last period ends in 1867 and no data on the variance. There's a chart here:
    http://www.nber.org/chapters/c7433.pdf
    Which has values for the period form 1868-1900 and indicates a further decrease in height during that period to ~5' for Japanese men but again no measure of variation. It also notes that the skeletons were likely from poor/lower class individuals who tend to be shorter due to nutritional effects. On page 260 it notes that by 1937 the average height was back up to 5'2"(160) cm for Japanese recruits.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=I7b_AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA465&lpg=PA465&dq=height+japanese+men+1940&source=bl&ots=W-Eg-lLWSh&sig=0Ip41OX0ToaoT-850zdYcLZuSqQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjTz9yWpfbQAhWGJCYKHVdGB0M4ChDoAQg4MAU#v=onepage&q=height%20japanese%20men%201940&f=false
    Shows similar numbers but again no measures' of variance. Still if the rough estimate by one individual was correct i.e. the two airmen were about 4'3" that would seem to be pushing the odds a bit to me.
     
  6. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I am reading "Gods Samurai" right now and while it does not mention specific heights, there is a picture of Mitso Fuchida (the pilot who called "Tora! Tora! Tora!" during the attack on PH) standing next to the Reverend Billy Graham. Billy Graham is slightly bent and the top of Fuchidas head comes up to about nose level if Billy was standing straight. Billy Graham is listed as 6'2" so I would put Mitso around 5'8" in height. I think he was 'tall' compared to the average Japanese at the time (came from a middle-class family).

    Height is certainly related to nutrition - I see it all the time with Hispanics in this area, especially those who were not born here. Japan was vastly poor and communal farming back then, so I would imagine they would have been in the 5'6" range on average - when making aircraft, they probably didn't need to recruit smaller men like we see in other Air Forces.
     
  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Some Japanese aircrew went as high as 30,000 feet.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    How many Tokyo phone books is that?
     
  9. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    #3- "I also remember when the Russian's developed their T 54-55's that they sought shorter crew members for those low rounded turrets."
    Heard the Chinese would simply cut off the legs of too talls, transplant smaller North Korean feet and calves. It didn't work too good.

    #8- Tsk. (shakes head)..MrT, you are falling behind current thought... If you don't know how many Tokyo phone books, then you will never be able to snatch the pebble from my hand.
     

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