Wednesday 10 May 2023


Continuing the search in the Dutch Archives, spotted a few photos of Japanese aircraft flown by the Angkatan Udara Republik Indonesia (AURI - Air Force of the Republic of Indonesia) after the end of the Pacific War and the return of the Dutch colonials back to the area.

The photos above were in particularly bad condition. I did my best to clean the noise and the blemishes.

The location is the airfield of Yogyakarta, I believe Maguwo (Magoewo), perhaps our Indonesian or Dutch friends can help here.

Closeup of the AURI aircraft in the background. The number of the "Willow" on the left is "72", on the right is "54". Both aircraft have the letters "TJ" on their tails. The AURI called the trainers "Tjureng", from the Japanese "churen" (the short version of "Kyusanshiki CHUkan RENshuki" - Type 93 Intermediate Training Aircraft). Note that Willow "54" has a red/white rudder, while "72" has not.
The derelict aircraft on their tail with the number "4" on the tail, is a Tachikawa Ki-36 confirmed by the fuselage side windows.

The same Ki-36, number "4" probably placed in the Jogja airfield hangar. The AURI painted the letter "T" on the tail and sometimes on the fuselage sides of this type of aircraft. According to some sources it meant "Tjukyu", from the Japanese "jukyu", the number "19", but there is nothing in the Japanese designation of the Ki-36 or Ki-55 that relates to the number "19". Could it be from the Japanese "Teisatsuki" (reconnaissance) or maybe "Tachikawa"?

In 1949 (at least that's the photo date in the archives), Hubert Julian nicknamed "The Black Eagle", a most colorful aviator, visited Jogja and took a bunch of photos with the AURI "Willows".
Hubert Julian in the cockpit of one of the AURI "Willows". Do you know what was stored inside the opening behind him?
Another photo of Hubert Julian with the AURI "Willows". He is standing in front of number "72". Of particular interest is the bomb rack under the starboard lower wing. "Willows", in general, could not carry any bombs. Probably a field modification? In any case, the bomb must have been a very small one.

The only surviving "Willow" was in Jakarta but in recent years it has been relocated to the Air Force Museum (Museum Pusat Dirgantara Mandala) in Jogja where AFAIK it is under restoration.

I also found a rather interesting photo of Japanese weapons used by Indonesians fighting the Dutch.
Note the three 20mm Type 97 Automatic Cannons on the left and in the back. Next to the two are aircraft heavy machine guns and cannons. Can you identify them?

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