Starting from today and until the end of this month, we will be doing translations for you, on demand.
Send an email or leave a comment on this post and tell us which photo caption or artwork caption from any FAOW featuring Japanese WWII aircraft you'd like to see translated, and we'll do it for you.
Repeat - photo or artwork caption (not whole text) from any FAOW (not Model Art or other publication) with Japanese aircraft (not German or US) of WWII (not JIETAI).
Please be kind and don't overdo it.
On May 26, 1941 Zeros Model 21 belonging to the 12th Kokutai are on their way to attack Tianshui and Nanzheng. The aircraft in the foreground, "3-136", is flown by PO3c Nakakariya Kunimori and the other, "3-141", is flown by the new buntai-cho Lt Suzuki Minoru. The aircraft of Lt Suzuki has two blue bands on the fuselage and two yellow bands on the tail. The aircraft of Nakakariya has one blue band on the fuselage and one yellow on the tail. Although difficult to see, both aircraft have two kill markings in the shape of a swallow. On that day, Nakakariya engaged in battle for the first time and is reccorded as having shot down two enemy aircraft. [a rather bizzare comment as this aircraft is heading to battle already having 2 kill markings].
After taking control of Jawa Island, the 3rd Kokutai relocated to Buton airfield, near Kupang on Timor Island, from the end of February until March 1942, and attacked North Australia. This photo shows Model 21s belonging to the "yellow chutai" of the 3rd Kokutai on Buton airfield. The aircraft in the foreground has two yellow bands on the fuselage and on the tail. It's the plane of the chutai commander. This is an officially released photo and the tail number has been censored. In the background a Zero and a "Betty" are about to land.
[Buton Island is in Sulawesi. Kupang had one ex-Dutch airfield, named Oeboefoe. Perhaps "Buton" was the Japanese name of the airfield]
The very 1st pre-production Ki-84 was tested with skis instead of wheels. The cowling entrance has been covered to prevent the engine to freeze. The Ho-103 cannon ports have been covered and the single exhausts can clearly be seen. There was no chance to put to use the ski landing system and therefore it was only tested.
May 1945, Ki-84-Koh "Hayate" of the 58 Shimbutai are taking off from Shimodate airfield, Ibaraki Prefecture, to attack US ships around Okinawa. The scull on the tail is based on the nickname of the 58 Shimbutai which was "dokuro shimbutai". The marking is in white on all aircraft. Under the rudder numbers from 1-12 are written in white, to signify the different aircraft. This number is not the serial number. The 2nd and 3rd aircraft from the one on the foreground [number 7 and the one next to it, tail number not visible] are painted in dark green. All the rest are in dark brown.
Spring 1945, Ki-84-Koh are lining up on Tatebayashi airfield, Gunma Prefecture. These are aircraft to be used in suicide missions by tokko units. All the aircraft have their Ho-5 wing cannons removed. This is an indication that these are tokko aircraft. They are probably aircraft brought directly from the Ohta factory of Nakajima. But the dark brown paint of all the aircraft has peeled off a lot. These aircraft were delivered to the 181~184 Shimbutai and others.
May 17, 1945, at 13:00, "Hayate" of the 57 Shimbutai take off from Shimodate airfield, Ibaraki Prefecture, to relocate to Hofu airfield, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The ground crews at Shimodate wave them goodbye. The aircraft in the foreground on the right, with the number "10" on the tail, was flown by Cpl Nishida. The aircraft next to it, "925", was an escort fighter belonging to the 51 Sentai, 1st Chutai commander, 1Lt Kurihara Rokuro. The "Hayate" with the number "21" on the tail was flown by Cpl Takamoku ?, "03" by 2Lt Yoshikawa ?, "01" by Cpl Yamashita Takayuki, "02" by 2Lt Tozawa Goro and "20" by 2Lt Karasawa Tetsujiro.
The aircraft of Takamoku "21", has a red arrow with a white surround that is running from the nose to the tail. Between the fuselage hinomaru and the tail has the kanji "必沈" (HiChin - "sink without fail"), although not 100% sure, the spinner is red. An illustration of this a/c is on the foldout.
These 12 "Hayate" May 25 attacked the US fleet around Okinawa.
Members of the 57 Shibutai check the route from Shimodate to Hofu. In the middle is the unit commander 2Lt Ito ?, on the left is 2Lt Yoshikawa ? and on the right is 2Lt Tozawa Goro. They all have a band with the 57 Shimbutai marking on their left arm and under it, they have a hinomaru sewn to avoid getting confused to a US pilot if they made an emergency landing. This practice started from February 1945.
*The question marks are there because we are not sure how the kanji of the first names of the pilots are read.
The "Pete" in the photo, flying over Borneo, belong to an air unit attached to the 22 Special Base Unit. Probably a 1945 New Year's Day flight. There are no bombs under the wings. These floatplanes have no tail markings but there were aircraft with "22" or "022" on the tail. During the October B-24 raids of the previous year, the commander of the unit Lt Nishiwaki Masaharu commented that the 7.7mm bullets of the "Pete" were like "piss on a frog's face" (a Japanese proverb meaning that something is pointless, just like throwing water on a grog's face, where the frog doesn't feel a thing). Therefore the unit started using 3Go bombs and there are reports of causing serious damage to the US bombers.