Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa", 25 & 33 Sentai - video

Another NHK video today dated June 16, 1943, featuring Nakajima Ki-43 "Hayabusa" fighters.
We posted a similar video a few years back, here, from the net (now the link's gone) while we were preparing to attend the Shizuoka show; so, not much info there. Allow me to repost the stills and what we have discovered.

The narrator mentions that the target of their attack was the city of Lingling in the Hunan Province.
Although the date of the video release is a bit too close to the event I believe it shows an attack dated June 10, 1943.
According to Monograph No. 76 "Air Operations in the China Area", on that day:

"At 15:25, 16 light bombers from the 90th Sentai, eight Ki-43s from the 25th Sentai and 19 Ki-43s from the 33rd Sentai attacked the air base at Hengyang and bombed five aircraft on the ground. This force also engaged about ten P-40s in the air, shooting down and destroying five of them."

Hakans, here, adds that:
 "Ten P-40s from the 23rd Fighter Group (US) intercepted about 25 aircraft over Hengyang between 13:15-13:45. The 74th FS claimed one enemy bomber shot down."

This information is confirmed as correct as according to "Shenshi Shosho #74 one 90 Sentai "Lily" was lost on that day.

The problem with the location mentioned in the video and shown in the map is explained as the US air forces were based in the three cities of Kweilin (present day Guilin) - Hengyang - Lingling District in Hunan, and the Japanese attacked and engaged with US aircraft in the general area of all three. Unfortunately I was unable to confirm the five or any at all P-40s shot down on that day. If you have something, do share.



George Bryant said...

I was fortunate enough to tour the Texas Aircraft Factory while they were building the KI 43. They built 5 aircraft by reverse engineering. They used wrecks recovered from the Kurile Islands. The worksmanship was exceptional. As far as I can tell, only one is flying.

D. Chouinard said...

I remember the Texas Aircraft Factory. Never made it there to see what was going on. From what I understood at the time, they were having problems with the landing gear, but I assume this got worked out? I think the only flying example is based in Oregon (US)right now.

George Bryant said...

You are correct. They had two gear failures. When the production was moved to the Champlain group, I believe they had one collapse as well.