Friday 9 October 2020

Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko, MC-20 - video

On February 13, 1943, 180 youths, who couldn't wait to become Wild Eagles, were chosen from various places of eastern Japan and visited the Tokorozawa Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko (Army Aviation Maintenance School in Tokorozawa).

The youths are seen passing through the entrance of the school. Below is another photo, from the Arawasi collection, showing better the entrance.
The sign on the left reads: Rikugun Koku Shikan Gakko Tokorozawa Hikojo (Army Aviation Officer's School Tokorozawa Airfield), and on the right: Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko (Army Aviation Maintenance School).

The youths were greeted by the school commander, Major General Kato Tadayoshi. 

In his speech, he mentioned:

"The Empire of Japan is now in a great war of "eat or be eaten". We have to win this war come hell or high water (the Japanese expression is literally translated: even if we bite stones). Loyal and brave Japanese men, especially young people like yourselves, march to the sky following each other in quick succession, destroy the hateful (abominable) enemy US and British Air Force, and win a clear victory."

Here's another photo of Maj Gen Kato, again from the Arawasi collection.
He is wearing a Model 98 officer's uniform. Under his right breast pocket, he wears the medal: Order of the Sacred Treasure. Around his neck wears the medal: Order of the Rising Sun, under that the medal of Manchukuo: Order of the Auspicious Clouds. Above his left breast pocket, he wears various medals for participating in a number of military campaigns. 

The youths are seen next listening to the speech of the General.
The flags held by the youths read: Niigata Prefecture, Akita Prefecture, Iwate Prefecture, Yamagata Prefecture etc.

A visit to the airfield. A Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Helen) on the left and a Mitsubishi Ki-21 Model 1 on the right.
Inside the dorsal gunner position. But of what type of aircraft? "Sally"?
Then they board a Mitsubishi Ki-57 transport.
A very rear view of the Ki-57 cockpit...
...and the cabin interior.

From the 2 minute the song "Shonen Hikohei Koshinkyoku" (Youth Aviation Cadet March)
Here are the lyrics in Japanese:


希み望んで今こそは 輝く少年飛行兵 巣立つその日は日本の
 空の護りよ荒鷲よ 仰げ大空その翼 なじか忘るこの使命

はぐくまれたるこの腕 ひきゅ莞爾と 蹶つの秋精鋭満つる空の陣 
誓って泰しわが国土 遂げよ征空それ制覇 誰かは及ぶその血汐

恵みあまねき皇国の 栄光空の御楯ぞと 赤き心の若人が
 翔ける翼に胸は鳴る あげよその眉眦を 何かは比うこの衿持

Only the third verse is heard in the clip...
"Megumi amaneki kōkoku no eikō sora no ontate zo to akakikokoro no wakōdo ga kakeru tsubasa ni mune wa naru ageyo sono mayu manajiri o nanika wa tagū kono kyōji"

 and the translation is:

"The shields of the skies of our graceful empire, youths with a burning heart
The flying wings echo in their hearts, happy eyes with unequal pride"


Honza78 said...

Hi to all.
George, I have a question for picture number 7. (Ki-48 and Ki-54c).
My eye is not seated on the right, designated as the Tachikawa Ki-54c. In my opinion, the cartoons should have a better framing of the cockpit. Another hanger is the sharp onset of framing on the back of the aircraft and generally extends the shape of everything that is visible from the aircraft. In my estimation, I'd say it's more of a Ki-21. The picture is not good quality and a lot of details are not visible, but this immediately caught my eye. And parking next to a large relative would suggest it.
But as I write, it's just my opinion.
Sincerely, Jan Kanov.

Arawasi said...

You're very right Jan. Will correct. Good eye.