Saturday, 16 October 2021

Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily" #3

Another photo today from a vintage magazine dated February 16, 1944, taken purportedly in Papua/New Guinea.

Unfortunately, it seems the wartime censor has removed the tail marking, if there ever was one, and so it's rather difficult to tell which unit it belonged to.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily" #2

Two more photos today from the same vintage magazine, dated April 1, 1942, featuring "Lilys" over Burma. Of interest is the very rare view of the Type 89 (special) twin machine gun operated by the dorsal gunner.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily" #1

Until we receive the new EE#3 from the printer's, here a small photo special on the Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lily". Starting with a photo dated late 1941, early 1942, taken during the campaign against Burma and more specifically the bombing of Rangoon.

Unfortunately the tail marking is not visible, but the overall blotches camouflage is rather interesting.

Friday, 1 October 2021

EE#3 - Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" & Fiat BR.20 in hinomaru - pre-order now!

After a very long wait, our latest publication in the Eagle Eye series, dedicated to two IJAAF bombers and titled "Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" & Fiat BR.20 "Cicogna" in hinomaru", is now at the printers.

192 pages, 
2 foldouts including extremely detailed multi-view illustrations in 1/72,
345 (!) photos of which 30 in colour,
70 colour illustrations,
97 drawings and other illustrations including "Sally's" manual,
17 maps.

Extensive coverage of all the campaigns the two bombers were involved in. Special and extensive focus on the Giretsu and other paratroop and glider operations. Special chapters on the Civilian and Green Cross "Sallys" and a lot more with many surprises and material that appear first time in-print!

You can pre-order this monumental work now!
Price is $US55 (including postage for all countries except Japan)

You can send payment directly to our PayPal address: 
Please don't forget to include your name and current postal address.

If you're interested to order our other publications in the Eagle Eye series (here & here) or other items from our on-line store, HERE, email us at our new address: with your name, address and a list of the items you're interested in and we'll reply within 24hours with availability and total pricing.

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - maintenance

Another maintenance photo, this time featuring a Model 2 "Sally".

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - maintenance

A photo today from the Arawasi collection featuring a "Sally" Model 1 and a maintenance crew member of the Tokorozawa Maintenance School.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"

A nice in-action photo today of a Model 2 flight of bombers ready for take-off.

The photo is dated around March 1943, unknown location and unit, when all the jubakutai were very active in every front in Southeast Asia.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - maintenance

A cool photo today of a Model 1 (probably) "Sally" undergoing engine maintenance inside one of the hangars of the Army Maintenance School.

Note the oil tank filler cap on the outboard of the engine.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"

A quite interesting "Sally" Model 2 today with an unusual, for a "Sally", camo scheme. 

The aircraft was found at Chofu airfield and it is said that it belonged to the Giretsu. There is absolutely nothing to indicate any connection with the Giretsu, the camo is wrong, there is no tail marking and there are other details that don't fit. 
Sakurai-san, the 244 Sentai researcher, mentions that immediately after the end of the war, high ranking military officers were urgently called to Tokyo. Transport aircraft from various shireibu hikohan flew to Chofu, so maybe it belonged to one of them. I find this as more probable.
The tail marking, though, (if there ever was one, only a hole can be seen) is closer to the bottom of the rudder, an area usually reserved for a number, not a tail marking which would have been applied in the middle of the tail or higher.
A puzzing and interesting bomber.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - "Moyuru Ozora"

The photo today features a large number of Model 1 Ko "Sallys" of the Hamamatsu School, taking part in the movie "Moyuru Ozora" (Burning Skies).
The markings are random. Many bombers have katakana on their tails, the closest to the camera, probably a Nakajima-built Ki-21, has a "ナ" (na), next to it is a "二" (ni). In the row behind them, the bombers have various bands more common with the usual school markings, but note that none of the aircraft has the Hamamatsu School marking on their tails.  
Special thanks to D. Chouinard for stitching the photo.

Friday, 24 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"

Another Model 2 about to take off on another mission in Burma. Note the asual ground crew members right behind the spinning prop.
Of interest is the vehicle on the right hand corner. Any ideas?

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - Japanese Politicians

On February 24, 1939, 117 members of the House of Peers and 172 members of the House of Representatives visited the IJAAF Aviation Technical Research Department in Tachikawa.
They all boarded a special train at 09:00 in the morning and after reaching Tachikawa station, went to Tachikawa airfield where they met the Research Department's commander Maj Gen Yasuda Takeo* who introduced them to the various IJAAF aircraft types. After 11:00 they were presented with a formation flight of 34 Army airplanes and mock air battles. Following these, all of them expressed their desire to fly, but only 41 were picked for a flight on board what looks to be a Nakajima-built "Sally" Model 1, a Nakajima Ki-34 "Thora" and at least one more aircraft, wing edge visible on the left side.
Among the politicians were Ogawa Gotaro, Minister of Commerce and Industry (maybe 2nd from left in the photo), Matsudaira Yorinaga, President of the House of Peers at the time (5th from left).

Note that the Tachikawa "Sally" does not have any tail marking as was common with most, if not all, aircraft of the Research Department.

*The English Wiki mentions that Yasuda was "a strong advocate of the use of suicidal ramming tactics against American bombers.". The Japanese Wiki page says that when "suicide attacks" were proposed in March 1944, he expressed his strong opposition and that was the reason why he was relieved from duty.
Note his involvement in the "Japanese Atomic bomb".

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

IPMS Fort Worth "Supercon"

 IPMS Fort Worth "Supercon"
Sept. 11, 2021

After a skipping a year due to COVID, the "Supercon" is back, and so were the entries, particularly those of a Japanese flavor. The very first example of which I came upon was a nicely presented A6M-3 diorama, the camouflage being quite interesting. Standing out quite well on it's own, was an all white G4M under new management, and a green crossed Ki-51 "Sonia" followed that. There were two nice B5N "kates" and a very attractive A5M "Claude" on the tables as well. Other examples that caught my attention were a NMF Ki-44, a well weathered Ki-84 in home defense markings, a Diorama of a F1M "Pete", and a captured P-51B.
There was one entry representing the modern aspect of Japanese aviation, a Mitsubishi F-1, but it made for an interesting contrast to what is normally seen.
One other thing stood out, or more to the point, two: The tan colored Zeros. I'm not going to say too much about this, I do feel that they are off on the color (A discussion for another time). Otherwise, the models are nicely done.
Overall, a good show.

- D. Chouinard -

Monday, 20 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"

Another photo from the Arawasi collection featuring a Ki-21 Model 1, probably Ko.
Note the curious absence of the radio antenna mast on the fuselage and the Ki-27 "Nate" tail on the left. Note also the absence of the whatchamacallit thingy on the tip of the spinner to connect with the starter truck.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally"

Another photo of a Model 2 Ko in a quite interesting camouflage scheme.

The overall hairyokushoku has green or brown camouflage paint applied on the top surfaces surrounded by a lighter paint, I would suggest yellow as it is slightly darker than the white fuselage band.  
This kind of camouflage was more common with other IJAAF aircraft types in China, so a Model 2 with this camo is really unusual. The pattern largely depended on the arsenal or the depot that painted the aircraft. Unfortunately, no tail marking has been applied and wartime censors have erased the machine guns in the nose and dorsal positions.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko #2

Here's another photo, from the Arawasi collection this time, featuring a Nakajima built Model 1 "Sally" from the Army Maintenance School.
In the background is another "Sally" with the hiragana お (O) on the tail and a Kawasaki Ki-32 "Mary". 

Friday, 17 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko

A bunch of photos today featuring a Model 1 "Sally" and flight crew members from the Rikugun Koku Seibi Gakko (Army Aircraft Maintenance School) in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture. 

In the first photo, a crew member is checking the aileron control rod through the access panels.

In the second photo the crew members are pulling and pushing the bomber on the tarmac to bring it to...I have no idea, starting line? The Seibi Gakko had a black or red (? check here) band with a different hiragana on top to indicate the individual aircraft. In the photo above the hiragana has been censored, but I would say an う (U) or an え (E) are possible. The guy pulling the plane is using a tail wheel tow bar (check here)
Note the Ki-27 "Nate" in the background.

In the third photo the crew members are saluting each other before getting on the bomber. Note the bearded guy, an unusual sight for a Japanese, right? Beards, moustaches and facial hair in general were actually not that unusual for the Japanese officers, not for the common soldiers, as long as they were trimmed and well kept. Being unshaven, was ofcourse not allowed. 
The officer handling the parachute is wearing a sash indicating he's on active duty that day.
Note the overall hairyokushoku of the aircraft and the darker hairanshoku interior blue on the door and the dorsal gunner's position.

In the fourth photo the crew member is attaching the starter truck rod to the spinner. This was not the most common method to start a Ki-21. "Sallys" had electric starters, alternatively they used hand operated crank (see here) and only if the engine was too stabborn or the weather was way too cold, they would use the starter truck. Note the "Sonia" in the background.

And finally in the fifth photo the plane is ready to taxi for take-off with more "Nates" in the background.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - camouflage

Talking about camouflage patterns, here's a quite unusual one, on a Model 2 "Sally. The very bad quality photo with a lot of noise, is from the book "Shashin-shu Nihon no Bakugekiki" (Photo Album Japanese Bombers) by Kojinsha, 2002.

The date is 1943, location Burma, but unfortunately the unit is unidentified.
The camouflage pattern is called "唐草模様" (karakusa moyo - check here). Below is a sample of the pattern.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Mitsubishi Ki-21 "Sally" - video

Continuing yesterday's green with brown camo theme, a video clip today from the Associated Press collection (actually a Japanese news reel), from HERE, featuring "Sally" model 2 Ko of the 60 Sentai, during the operations against the U.S. positions in the Philippines in 1942. 

In the stills below we can clearly see the two tone, green and brown, camo scheme.

Note the Te-1 machine gun in the nose.