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Tei Monzen (門前 鼎) was a vice admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, posthumously promoted to that rank. He was from Fukui.[1]

He was a graduate of the Etajima Naval Academy, Class 42, on 12 December 1914.[2]

Assignments[edit | edit source]

On 10 March 1934, Commander Monzen Tei was appointed Commanding Officer of the IJN River Gunboat Atami.[3]

On 15 December 1938, Captain Monzen Tei (former executive officer of IJN Hyūga) was appointed Commanding Officer of IJN icebreaker Odomari.[4]

When 11,000 U.S. Marines came ashore at Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942 in Operation Watchtower,[5] the 2,571 Japanese construction troops and 400 soldiers assigned to defend the area were under the command of Captain Tei Monzen.[6][7]

”A remarkable amount of work had been done at the airfield in just one month. Japanese Navy Captain Tei Monzen, who was in charge of the project, was so pleased with the progress that he had ordered an extra, celebratory sake ration for the construction workers during the night of August 6, hours before the Marines landed.”[8][9]
“The field was nearly finished. Repair shops, bomb sheds, a fine medical clinic, and a pagodalike administration building were ready; only a small middle section of the runway remained to be graded. Around the field a criss-cross of serviceable roads connected the positions of the 400-man force assigned to defend the base.
”It was time for a small celebration. On the evening of August 6, Monzen ordered an extra ration of sake for all hands, and it was announced that thanks to their industry and patriotism, planes would start landing in a few days.”[10][11]

The landing of the Marines put paid to these expectations.

Monzen was assigned with the Maizuru Submarine Base Unit, 1 October 1943 - 20 May 1944.[citation needed]

Death[edit | edit source]

He was killed in action 9 June 1944 with the 3rd Convoy HQ.[12] His posthumous promotion to vice admiral was effective this date.

The Japanese Dōmei news agency reported on 22 September 1944 that he had “died in action” but gave no details.

The dispatch, recorded by a Federal Communications Commission monitor, said that the Yokosuka naval station, near Tokyo, had listed him as a fatality.[13]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/Etajima_Classes/etajima_042.html
  2. http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/Etajima_Classes/etajima_042.html
  3. http://www.combinedfleet.com/Atami_t.htm
  4. http://www.combinedfleet.com/Odomari_t.htm
  5. Morison, Samuel Eliot, “History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume 5, The Struggle for Guadalcanal August 1942 - February 1943,” Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1948, 1989, page 15.
  6. Watson, Patrick, “Watson’s Really Big WWII Almanac, Volume II: July to December,” Xlibris Corporation, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4257-8994-7, page 144.
  7. Watson, Patrick (2007). Watson's Really Big WWII Almanac. ISBN 9781425789930. https://books.google.com/?id=IHb_geGUpFcC&pg=PA144&lpg=PA144&dq=admiral+tei+monzen#v=onepage&q=admiral%20tei%20monzen&f=false. 
  8. Whelan, Joseph, “Midnight in the Pacific: Guadalcanal - The World War II Battle That Turned The Tide of War,”, Da Capo Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc., Boston, 2017, ISBN 978-0-306-82459-3, August Part I: Marine Invasion and Naval Disaster.
  9. Wheelan, Joseph (August 2017). Midnight in the Pacific: Guadalcanal--The World War II Battle That Turned the Tide of War. ISBN 9780306824609. https://books.google.com/?id=2RirDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT49&lpg=PT49&dq=tei+monzen#v=onepage&q=tei%20monzen&f=false. 
  10. Lord, Walter, “Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons,” 1977; Reprint by U.S. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 2006, ISBN 1591144663; Kindle edition, Bluejacket Books, Open Road Integrated Media, New York, 2012.
  11. Lord, Walter (2012-03-06). Lonely Vigil: Coastwatchers of the Solomons. ISBN 9781453238493. https://books.google.com/?id=fv5RaDrEMIgC&pg=PT57&lpg=PT57&dq=monzen+tei#v=onepage&q=monzen%20tei&f=false. 
  12. http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/Etajima_Classes/etajima_042.html
  13. United Press, “Five More Jap Admirals Said Killed ‘in Action’”, The San Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino, California, Saturday 23 September 1944, Volume 51, page 2.

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