Monday, 31 August 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #51 - Philippines pt. 8

The last post in the Philippines series is mainly about the shed used by the TAIU to restore the aircraft and their activities.

First we will start with a view of the Kawanishi "Shiden" being restored.

There are at least two "Shiden" in the still. The tail marking on the one on the right looks to me to be the same with this "Shiden", we discussed in an old post here

Another "Shiden" captured and restored was this Model 11 Koh, with tail marking "341S-23" and serial number #7102, that belonged to the Sento 402 Hikotai (Fighter 402 Air Unit) of the 341Ku...

...and became "S9" when restored by the TAIU. Note the number "23" still on the wheel cover.

In the following still we can see a "Hayate" in the foreground, and another "Shiden" being worked on by the TAIU in the basckground.
In the background on the left there is one with its camouflage paint removed and US flag colors applied on the rudder and next to it we can see the tail of another "Shiden". I believe it's "341-16/S. Photo below from MA#587.
It's a "Shiden" that belonged to the Sento 402 Hikotai of the 341Ku like the other "Shiden" above, it just has the tail marking applied differently.
Here are two more 341Ku "Shiden" captured in the Philippines, from the Jeff Ethel collection.


Various sources indicate that the "201-53" "Shiden" was restored as "7", photo below.
In the still above it seems that the restored "Shiden" on the left could have the number "7" on its tail.
  
As can be seen in the still further above, two "Hayate" were also undergoing restoration. Here's another still.
The one in the foreground with the darker pannels on the cowling, had its engine test started.

And finally here's a still showing a "Shoki" getting restored to flying condition.

As to what happened to all these aircraft in the Philippines, here's what Robert C. Mikesh mentions in his "Broken Wings of the Samurai":

"The plan for locating, identifying and safeguarding this equipment found in Japan started long before TAIU activities were moved to Japan.When rumours began that Japan had capitulated, this brought about renewed activity for the 129 team members of the TAIU at Clark AB in the Philippines, the unit that would have this task.
....
At Clark AB, the TAI Unit quickly organized their equipment and packed it for the move. Most of the heavy equipment at Clark was trucked to an awaiting LST for the move to Okinawa. The remaining equipment and advance teams were flown to Okinawa, leaving behind the many Japanese aircraft the unit had been working on for so many months, preparatory to further flight evaluation. Seemingly only one Japanese bomber and one fighter, a "Betty" and a "Frank", are known to have been sent to the United States of all the aircraft evaluated at Clark. At first glance, this eemed quite a loss of hundreds of man hours the mechanics had expended in making selcted aircraft flyable, but greater treaures were expected ahead.
Only one of these enemy aircraft left behind survived for any appreciable time. It was an "Oscar II" that was placed on a pylon and mounted outside Base Operations at Clark."


Erratum: In pt.2 I mentioned that there is no separate Wikipedia page for the ATAIU units. Actually, there is this one.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #50 - Philippines pt. 7

The second Banpresto dvd starts with a walk-around of a well known Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden". 





Some most interesting cockpit shots.



And the aircraft's data plate...
...which reads:
Keisiki : Shisei Raiden Kai (Type : Test Built Raiden Kai)
Seizo Bango : Mitsubishi Dai 3008 Go (Serial Number : Mitsubishi 3008)
Shozoku : (Belonging to unit : ) 

The aircraft was found at Nickols Field. It originally belonged to the 381Ku and was a Model 21. According to MA#470, it had tail number "81-124". The serial number indicates that it's the 8th production J2M3 aircraft. It was probably sent first to the Philippines in October 1944, to be then sent to the 381Ku which was based in Indonesia.   

Here's how the aircraft looked when originally captured.

In the background on the left is a Zero with tail number "252-61", which means it belonged to 252Ku. The unit was organized on September 20, 1942, when the fighter unit of the GenzanKu became independent. It was based in Tateyama but from November 1942 until March 1943 was based in Rabaul, Balaille, Lae, Munda and took part in the Solomon and New Guinea campaigns. In October 1944 relocated to the Philippines with defence duties, but was almost completely obliterated. The remnants managed to return to Japan and were based in Mobara and Tateyama from where they flew interception missions against enemy aircraft.  


The tail on the right belongs to a Kokusai Ki-76 "Stella" but the tail marking is "954-?" indicates that it belonged to a Navy unit (!!!), perhaps the 954Ku which was originally named 31Ku and changed name on November1, 1942. Originally a carrier bomber unit, gradually changed to carrier attackers and even reconnaissance seaplanes. Their base was Manila, Davao, Cebu and Zamboanga among others. Their duties was patrol and reconnaissance and ship escort. The unit merged with 901Ku on January 1, 1945. 

Radek MARABU Pelican suggested that "the photo of the tail is most likely Willow, not Stela."
It's a valid and interesting suggestion, so let's compare the tails of the two types.


From the shape of the rudder I would say that MARABU is right in his suggestion and therefore I stand corrected. Thanks!

And two color photos from the Jeff Ethell colelction of two Zeros in the same area and setting with the "Raiden" above.


The "Raiden" was restored to flying condition by the TAIU and received the code "S12" but was scrapped in Clark Field.

Saturday, 29 August 2020

IJAAF & IJNAF wrecked aircraft #49 - Philippines pt. 6

As you have noticed there are at least two versions of the same clip with small differences in the contents. These are edited versions.
In 2005, the Japanese toy company Banpresto released a series of eight dvds with aircraft captured by the Allies. Four were about Japanese aircraft (the rest were about German aircraft) and three of them included unedited original clips of the aircraft collected, restored and evaluated by the TAIU in the Philippines. 
They are of much better quality than those in the UTube videos and we will present some stills on this and two more posts. It is also a chance to include more relevant information and photos.  
We cannot include copies of the clips as they are copyright protected and impossible to copy anyway. The dvds, long sold-out and fairly difficult to find, were on sale through our on-line store when they first came out. 

The first clip featured in dvd #2, starts with some clear views of the "mo" "Shoki" we saw in an earlier post.


Followed by the 246 Sentai "Shoki" we also noticed in a older post.

A number of derelict 246 Sentai "Soki" fighters were also gathered. 
In the photo above from the Jeff Ethell collection, we can also barely make out the aircraft with blue hinomaru in the background on the right.
Here's another photo.
And a most interesting one I found here, minus the noise.

The next aircraft seen in the dvd are "Hien".


They are the same 19 Sentai "Hien" we first saw in Philippines pt.2, but this time we can see the tail marking of some of them. The one on the right has a crudely applied number "80" next to a white unit marking. The next "Hien" has a number "16" (probably) next to a yellow unit marking.
In the photo below, we can see that the rudders of these "Hien" suffered some damage around the numbers, perhaps by souvenir hunters.
Perhaps that's the reason why some "Hien" had these numbers overpainted, like the one below.
Ryan Boerema contributed a colorized version of his many years ago, here

A view of probably the same aircraft from the port side.

A better photo of the same "Hien".
Note in the background the "Hayate" on the left and the "Shiden" on the right. 
Here's yet another photo of the same aircraft.
Note the two "Hayate" in the background on the left.
The one we can see most of it and the tail marking is the one below, photo from Model Art #493.
A Model Koh, that belonged to the 72 Sentai, 3 Chutai. The tail marking is yellow with a white surround. The number "81" is in white and the cowling front edge with the spinner are also yellow. 

Another "Hayate" also captured in the Philippines was a well known belonging to the 11 Sentai which we covered quite extensively here
Note in the photo above the "mo" "Shoki" standing on the right and a "Toryu" on the left.
We saw in the previous post that one "Hayate" had a landing accident. The one "Hayate" that was flown in the Philippines was "S10".
Below is a photo of another "Hayate" shipped to the US, this one having the code "S17" on the tail.

But let's move on to the next aircraft in the dvd. They are the two "Toryu" we first spotted on Philippines pt. 2.

And finally the dvd features a short clip in color of a 27 Sentai "Toryu" numbered "86".

The aircraft was obviously moved around but in the photo below we can see it squeezed next to the 208 Sentai "Lily" we first saw in Philippines pt. 3

Compare if you like the color of the drop tank and the IFF stripe to the fuselage hinomaru.

Here's a photo of another 27 Sentai "Toryu" with the number "37" on its tail.
The aircraft looks in almost pristine condition in the photo above, but in the photo below it looks really bad. Note the darker rudder in both photos. Could it be red?

This one does not have a tail number though.