[REPOST] Zion Aces (Was: A call for enlightenment)

Mon, 04 Jan 1999 19:22:06 -0800

At 17:01 1/4/99 -0500, you wrote:
>That's more info than you can shake a stick at. A very large stick, at that!
>This post made me think of something...it would be nice if someone (and I'm
>looking in your direction, Mr. Simmons...and/or the gundam.com people)
>would devote some Web site space to ace pilot bios. I also thought about
>this when I assembled my Shin Matsunaga Zaku and realized that the only
>thing I could gather from his bio was that he apparently was under Dozul
>Zabi in the Battle of Ruum. Ridden, Matsunaga, the Black Trinary...not
>much. Maybe just key battles they were in, MS they piloted, etc.

That info should be somewhere in the Gundam ML Archive:


There's also some discussion of the Zion aces in the Mobile Suit Classics
section of the Gundam Project:


Here's a re-post of Mark's article from 25 January 1998:

>The Zion military was divided into two major branches. First, there was
>Dozul Zabi's Space Attack Force, consisting of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
>5th and 6th Fleets. These fleets were divvied up among Side 3, Solomon
>and A Bao A Qu. Then there was Kishiria Zabi's Mobile Assault Force,
>which initially consisted of the 7th Division (stationed at Granada) and
>the 1st Mobile Infantry Division.
>The participation of these Space Attack Force and Mobile Assault Force in
>the first month of the One Year War seems to have been rather
>undifferentiated - according to MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY, members of both
>branches participated in the initial attacks on Sides 1, 2 and 4,
>Operation British and the Battle of Ruum. Perhaps the 1st Mobile Infantry
>Division functioned as special forces or marines, carrying out special
>missions such as gassing colonies (as suggested by MS SENKI). That's just
>a hypothesis for now, though.
>When the Earth Attack Force was formed in February 0079, it was placed
>under Kishiria's supervision (though nominally commanded by Garma Zabi).
>It consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Terrestrial Mobile
>Divisions, plus assorted odds and ends like Ma Kube's mining division.
>MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY is very specific about when and where each of
>these divisions was deployed, and these details are echoed in the latest
>version of the Shindosha timeline printed in GUNDAM THE MOVIES I and DATA
>COLLECTION 2. You'll note that all the drop operations were carried out
>over bodies of water, which makes sense when you think about it.
>March 1, 0079: The Dukedom military stages its first drop operation. The
>1st Terrestrial Mobile Division is dropped at Lake Balchas and the Aral
>Sea, to the north of the Tien Shan mountain range. The force captures the
>Federal Forces's Baikonur spaceport, and then heads around the west shore
>of the Caspian Sea into Europe, and around the east shore into the Middle
>March 4, 0079: The Dukedom military drops a resource mining unit
>commanded by Ma Kube at the north shore of the Caspian Sea.
>March 11, 0079: The Dukedom military stages its second drop operation.
>The 2nd and 3rd Terrestrial Mobile Divisions are deployed on the west and
>east coasts of North America, respectively. Within two days, the 2nd
>Terrestrial Mobile Division captures the Federal Forces' California base.
>March 18, 0079: The Dukedom military stages its third drop operation. The
>4th Terrestrial Mobile Division is deployed at three points in southeast
>Asia and Australia. [Judging from the map in MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY, the
>drop points are the Gulf of Thailand, the Celebes Sea between Borneo and
>the Philippines, and the Gulf of Carpentaria in North Australia.]
>April 4, 0079: The Dukedom military drops reserve forces. The 5th
>Terrestrial Mobile Division is dropped at the Red Sea and the shore of
>the Persian Gulf, and fans out into North Africa and the Middle East.
>This division is the Zion foreign legion, consisting of spacenoids who
>volunteered to fight for Zion after the start of the war. [As per
>Shindosha; MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY claims they were deployed during the
>second drop operation.]
>Here are the major Zion bases indicated in MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY, and
>the divisions that presumably occupied them:
> 1st Terrestrial Mobile Division: Baikonur
> 2nd Terrestrial Mobile Division: California base, Hawaii?
> 3rd Terrestrial Mobile Division: Mayport, Norfolk, Cape Canaveral
> 4th Terrestrial Mobile Division: Subic Bay, Brunei
> 5th Terrestrial Mobile Division: Suez, Alexandria
> Ma Kube's mining division: Katarl
>I've used army ranks for the members of the Earth Attack Force, as well
>as for the Mobile Assault Force (on the grounds that they function like
>marines, and are organized into divisions rather than fleets), and naval
>ranks for the Space Attack Force. I apologize in advance for any
>Registration Number PM056330279A. Assigned to Mobile Assault Force.
>Born in UC 0056, a third-generation Zion of Australian descent (his
>grandparents were among the very first emigrants to space). After
>graduating from naval academy, he joined the Mobile Assault Force as a
>mobile suit pilot. At the start of the war Ridden was a sergeant major,
>piloting an MS-06C Zaku II; after his success in the Ruum campaign, in
>which he sank three Magellan-class battleships, Ridden was made a captain
>and given one of the then-new MS-06F Zakus, which he painted in his new
>red and black color scheme and marked with his personal unicorn emblem.
>He soon earned the nickname "Crimson Lightning" (though the "RB"
>inscribed on his mobile suit makes me wonder if "Red Blitz" isn't the
>intended translation).
>In the middle of the war, Ridden conducted many guerilla raids and sneak
>attacks on Federal Forces supply ships. One such mission, depicted in
>Comic Japan's "The Aces in A Year War" comic, shows Ridden and his
>wingmen Manson and Brux intercepting a Federal Forces squadron
>transporting GMs to Luna Two for field tests. This takes place on October
>15, 0079, by which point Ridden had been promoted to major and given one
>of four experimental units of the MS-06R-2 High Mobility Zaku (the mobile
>suit with which he is usually associated).
>In late October, Ridden was called up for test pilot duty. Giving up his
>R-2, he joined the elite Ace Corps. This group of 30 of Zion's best
>mobile suit pilots conducted an extended series of test flights and
>training manuevers with the pre-production YMS-14 Gelgoog (production of
>which began in October 0079, though the beam weapon production lines
>didn't start until the end of November). The Gelgoog test team was based
>on the Zanzibar-class mobile cruiser "Chimaera", and they spent the last
>months of the war playing with their 24 pre-production Gelgoogs, trying
>out various equipment combinations and customizations (an additional
>Gelgoog was assigned to Colonel Char Aznable). Ridden commanded the 1st
>Squadron of the Ace Corps.
>While most of Zion's top aces were playing around with cool new hardware,
>effectively removed from the war (apart from one brief skirmish in the
>Corregidor shoal zone), the Federal Forces deployed their own mobile
>suits, launched Operation Star One and captured the asteroid fortess
>Solomon. The Ace Corps didn't enter the fray until the last days of the
>war, when many of its members were dispatched from Granada to A Bao A Qu
>to join the final battle of the One Year War. Johnny Ridden disappeared
>in this battle, and was posthumously (?) promoted to lieutenant colonel.
>Registration Number PM055767441S. Assigned to Space Attack Force.
>Born in UC 0055, the oldest son of Side 3's Matsunaga family. He entered
>the war as a private first class, piloting a stock MS-06C. When his
>commanding officer was killed during the Ruum campaign, Matsunaga took
>charge of his unit and was given a battlefield commission. For his
>sterling track record - one Federation battleship and five cruisers
>destroyed between the opening of the war and the end of the Ruum campaign
>- he earned a promotion to lieutenant junior grade and an MS-06F, whose
>head and shoulder armor he painted white.
>Matsunaga's exploits soon caught the eye of Vice Admiral Dozul Zabi.
>Dozul's knack for turning front-line "inspections" into excuses for
>entering combat put him in need of a personal guard, and Matsunaga fit
>the bill nicely. In accordance with regulations he was sent to officer
>training school, and after graduation he became a full lieutenant and was
>given one of the first MS-06R-1 High Mobility Zakus. Matsunaga painted
>his mobile suit in white and grey, and it became synonomous with the
>famous "White Wolf of Solomon".
>Ironically, the White Wolf of Solomon didn't participate in the Battle of
>Solomon. He survived this notorious bloodbath by virtue of having been
>summoned home shortly before the Federal Forces' assault, though his Zaku
>- left at the fortress - was lost. When word of Dozul Zabi's heroic death
>reached Side 3, Matsunaga is reported to have cried like a baby.
>Registration Number PM0571977243S. Assigned to Space Attack Force, then
>Mobile Assault Force.
>It's stated that Char was born in UC 0057, which doesn't match his known
>age during the One Year War; perhaps this was a fiction to get into the
>Dukedom military (at any rate, this birthdate is reflected in his
>registration number). We're told that he entered Side 3's Aznable family
>in 0075, and enrolled in officer training school that same year. After
>graduation, he joined first the training battalion and then the Space
>Attack Force.
>After a strong showing in the One Week War, Char was given an MS-06S Zaku
>II - an extreme rarity at the the time, one would think, since other aces
>were just then being given F type Zakus - and painted it in his signature
>colors, then went on to earn his "Red Comet" nickname in the Ruum
>campaign. Probably didn't hurt that he had the best model of Zaku in town.
>Discharged from the Space Attack Force in October 0079, Char was promptly
>recruited by Kishiria and placed in charge of a submarine group in the
>Earth Attack Force. He subsequently returned to space as part of the
>Mobile Assault Force; MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY reports that he commanded
>the autonomous 300th Squadron, an elite newtype unit, but they may be
>basing that on the novels. In the animation, he commands the 34th Mobile
>Suit Corps at the Battle of A Bao A Qu, then promptly ditches them to
>duel the Gundam.
>Assigned to Mobile Assault Force.
>The famous Black Trinary first met in UC 0076, as part of Zion's pre-war
>mobile suit training battalion. The three members - Sergeant Gaia,
>Sergeant Major Ortega and Sergeant Major Mash - were all members of the
>Mobile Training Battalion's 2nd Company, D Platoon, but they didn't
>immediately gel into the formidable team they eventually became. At the
>time, they all used MS-05B Zakus painted in "dark sea blue".
>At the start of the war, a team led by Gaia was assigned to the
>unsuccessful initial attack on Side 5. For the Ruum campaign, Gaia - now
>promoted to 2nd lieutenant - formed a team with his old friends Ortega
>and Mash. Piloting MS-06C Zaku IIs in their trademark
>black-purple-'n'-grey colors, the trio wreaked havoc on the Federal
>Forces with their patented "jetstream attack" and captured General Revil.
>They were subsequently upgraded to the MS-06S model, then to the
>MS-06R-1A High Mobility Zaku. The trio were stationed with the Mobile
>Assault Force's 7th Division, 1st Mobile Suit Battalion.
>Then, in October, the Black Trinary were given thorough land combat
>training, equipped with pre-production Doms and sent to Earth to help
>stave off the Federal Forces' Operation Odessa. We all know what happened
>to them after that...
>Assigned to Space Attack Force.
>I had to include him in this list, even though all the available
>background info on him is from EB 39, which I can't accept as a reliable
>source. At any rate, the convention is that he fought in the Battle of
>Ruum in a blue MS-05, earning the nickname "Blue Giant" (y'know, like a
>Registration Number MT029668322Z. Assigned to Zionic Corp.
>Born in UC 0039 at Side 1, this famous engineer ended up working at
>Zionic Corp., the creators of the Zaku. As the development of the mobile
>suit progressed, Lem became one of the first test pilots and ended up
>writing the Zaku pilot's manual. He later tested the prototype MS-06RP
>High Mobility Zaku, of which you'll find a picture on page 11 of EB 39
>(it's mis-indentified as Eric Mansfield's). After the war, the fickle Lem
>went to work for the Federal Forces, lending his expertise to their
>mobile suit development efforts.
>Registration Number PM045898156G. Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Born at Side 4 in UC 0045, Greenwood was of German descent (his family's
>original name was "Grunwald"). In 0078, following the accidental death of
>his wife Katie, this father of two moved to the Zion Dukedom and enlisted
>in the armed forces. As a member of the Mobile Assault Force's 1st Mobile
>Infantry Division, he participated in Operation British and lost his left
>eye for his trouble. He missed the Ruum campaign while recuperating, and
>then returned to duty as a member of the Earth Attack Force's 5th
>Terrestrial Mobile Division. Jeez, give an eye for your nation and they
>still stick you in the foreign legion.
>Deployed in North Africa, Greenwood commanded the 5th Terrestrial Mobile
>Division's 1st Mobile Suit Battalion, A Platoon - also known as the
>Karakal unit, of Zaku Desert Type fame. He was stationed at the
>Alexandria base until the end of the One Year War. His subsequent
>whereabouts are unknown; guerilla warfare continued in North Africa for
>some time after the end of the war, but it's not clear whether Greenwood
>(or any of the other 5th Terrestrial Mobile Division aces) participated.
>Registration Number PM0513384612G. Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Born in UC 0051 at Side 3. Before the war, Greydon was assigned to a
>support unit; with the start of the war, he was assigned to a mobile suit
>training corps to teach terrestrial mobile suit warfare. In March of
>0079, his training corps was reorganized and sent into combat as part of
>the Earth Attack Force's 2nd Terrestrial Mobile Division; Greydon
>participated in the capture of the California base, and was stationed
>there afterwards.
>In October 0079, Greydon was promoted to 1st lieutenant and placed in
>charge of a Zaku Cannon company. According to MSV TECHNICAL & HISTORY,
>Greyden's company didn't actually enter combat until the last month of
>the war, but he nonetheless managed to bag 34 aircraft, 71 tanks and 2
>mobile suits in this time. He ended the war at Zion's Cape Canaveral base
>(the California base presumably having fallen in the interim), and
>eventually returned to the postwar Zion Republic.
>Registration Number PM0492378642A. Assigned to Mobile Assault Force.
>Born at Side 3 in UC 0049. Sakai enlisted in the Dukedom military in
>0073, and later underwent training as a reserve pilot and found himself a
>member of Zion's first mobile suit corps. He received a field promotion
>to 2nd lieutenant during the Ruum campaign, then was assigned to a
>non-combat post as a technical officer at Granada. In the last month of
>the war, Sakai was assigned to the Ace Corps; since he was at Side 3 when
>the war ended, we can assume he was not one of the Ace Corps members who
>fought at the Battle of A Bao A Qu. During his career, he piloted the
>MS-06F Zaku II, MS-R09 Rick Dom, and MS-14C Gelgoog Cannon.
>Registration Number EX0570042196G. Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Born on Earth in UC 0057, Kurtz defected from the Federal Forces at the
>start of the war and joined the Dukedom military. He was assigned to the
>Earth Attack Force's 5th Terrestrial Mobile Division, AKA the Zion
>Foreign Legion, and sent to Africa. Here he used first the MS-06J Zaku
>II, then the MS-07B Guf, and was a member of the guerilla unit G-27. In
>the last month of the war, he was transferred to Granada to join the Ace
>Corps, and ultimately died at A Bao A Qu.
>Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Assigned to the Earth Attack Force's 4th Terrestrial Mobile Division and
>stationed in Asia. Gaim piloted a dark brown MS-07B Guf, and commanded a
>company that used the "China Lady" emblem.
>Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Assigned to the Earth Attack Force's 4th Terrestrial Mobile Division and
>stationed in Asia. Locke, a Guf pilot, used the "Guf Lady" emblem and was
>reknowned by the Federal Forces as a tank-killer.
>Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Assigned to a support company of the Earth Attack Force's 2nd Terrestrial
>Mobile Division and stationed at the California base. A member of Ian
>Greydon's Zaku Cannon company, Lam was known for his superb anti-ground
>support fire, but he was apparently not a newtype. He ended the war in
>Florida (presumably at Cape Canaveral, like Greydon) and eventually
>returned to Side 3 (also like Greydon).
>Assigned to Earth Attack Force.
>Born at Side 2. Rom was assigned to the Earth Attack Force's 5th
>Terrestrial Mobile Division, 2nd Mobile Suit Battalion, where he led the
>raiding unit known as "Scorpio" in the western Middle East. He used the
>MS-07D, a never-seen Guf variant that one might suppose is a localized
>variant for desert combat. After the war, he emigrated to the
>under-reconstruction Side 7.
>These are two of the other MS-06R-2 pilots (the last one was kept at
>Granada for further testing). One was stationed at Solomon, one at A Bao
>A Qu - no idea which was which. GUNDAM WEAPONS book dutifully
>regurgitates their victory tallies from EB 39, then goes on to note that
>said book probably isn't a very reliable source (told ya so!) - for
>starters, they're irked that EB 39 goofed up Gilliam's rank. Anyway,
>Gilliam's colors are blue and yellow with black highlights; Hazzard's,
>black and brownish-orange.
>Assigned to Home Defense Corps.
>This fellow was assigned to Giren's defense headquarters, and his mobile
>suit bears the griffon emblem of the Zion Home Defense Corps. Since his
>presence has been confirmed at the battle of A Bao A Qu, Mansfield must
>have been transferred from Side 3 along with Giren. As noted above, the
>High Mobility Zaku depicted in EB 39 isn't actually his. The new GUNDAM
>WEAPONS book reprints some color pages from an old Bandai publication
>(yes, CROSSOVER FANZINE 40!) which show you what his MS-06R-1A really
>looks like. It's in low-visibility grey, with an antenna on its left "ear".
>Assigned to Space Attack Force.
>This fellow's MS-06R-1A is pictured in CROSSOVER FANZINE 40 and dutifully
>recreated in the new GUNDAM WEAPONS book. All that's known about him is
>that he was assigned to A Bao A Qu's E (East) field defense battalion.
>His brown-and-yellow colors misled military historians into assuming his
>Zaku was a ground combat model, until they found pictures which showed
>its distinctive High Mobility-type legs.
>Assigned to Mobile Assault Force.
>The ill-fated hero of MS SENKI is assigned to the Mobile Assault Force,
>1st Mobile Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, B Company. This would put
>him under Kishiria's command. He participated in the One Week War and the
>Ruum campaign. In November 0079 he was transferred to Earth with his
>company to support Operation Odessa, and then fought in the attack on
>Jaburo, using a Dom in both battles. His last sortie was at the Battle of
>A Bao A Qu, piloting a Gelgoog. His last known rank, at the time of the
>assault on Jaburo, was sergeant.
>Assigned to Space Attack Force.
>Speaking of all these other aces, let's consider for a moment 0083's ace
>of aces. The question I pose for you: Did he actually fight in the Battle
>of Solomon? This battle was an utter bloodbath for the Zions, and the
>writeup on Matsunaga implies that the only reason he escaped death was
>that he wasn't there at all - only a handful of Zions survived the battle.
>What about Gato's nickname? Remember that Matsunaga was able to make a
>name for himself as the White Wolf of Solomon just by virtue of being
>stationed there. It's likely that the Space Attack Force launched many an
>attack from this fortress over the course of the war, giving both Gato
>and Matsunaga ample opportunity to have their names cursed by the Federal
>Forces. In his dialogue, Gato mentions that he has gone forth in battle
>from Solomon many times.
>And counter-evidence? The series itself offers little. While Gato makes
>several references to the fact that many of his countrymen's lives were
>lost at Solomon, he never once mentions having fought in the battle
>himself - at the very least, a curious omission. Even when he fires the
>shot that decimates the Federation fleet, he flashes back to the Battle
>of A Bao A Qu. If he had any memories of the rout at Solomon, you'd think
>this would be a good time to replay them.
>Gato's behavior at A Bao A Qu is itself interesting. Had it not been for
>Delaz physically restraining him, he would have gone out again and fought
>to the bitter end. I find it hard to imagine that he'd have retreated
>from Solomon even when Dozul ordered his troops to flee - much less, that
>he wouldn't gripe about it later.
>In all honesty, there are a couple of counter-claims. A sentence in the
>0083 novelization, when Karius is introduced, states that Gato and Karius
>fought together at the Battle of Solomon. Since these novels were edited
>by the director, I guess I have to accord them some weight, even for such
>a throwaway reference. The MS WARS book also features an original picture
>of Gato preparing to launch at the Battle of Solomon. They undercut their
>case just a tad by showing him climbing into a Gelgoog, with more in the
>background - there were no Gelgoogs at Solomon.
>So, I leave it up to your discretion. I rather like the idea that he
>missed this key battle, not just because it's such a glaring omission in
>his dialogue, but because it makes the chip on his shoulder that much
>more understandable...


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