Saturday 26 August 2023

IJAAF and more a/c - Ganosu Airfield, Fukuoka - video

 One more NARA video, spotted in the "Showakan Digital Archive" by "Shu".

The colours of the following stills from the video were adjusted by our good friend Devlin Chouinard.
The video begins with a closeup of a bomber cockpit. I believe this is the cockpit of a Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" (Peggy) bomber. (Actually a Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Hellen) cockpit. See follow-up post)

Then continues with an extremely rare view of the fuselage behind the pilots' seats. (Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Hellen). See follow-up post)

Note the "hairanshoku" (gray indigo or dark blue) paint prevalent on all surfaces but also the occasional green of various parts, probably manufactured and painted by subcontractors.

(Mitsubishi Ki-67 "Hiryu" (Peggy) bomber cockpit. See follow-up post)

Then the video moves on to a pair of Tachikawa Ki-9 "Akatonbo" (Spruce) trainers. 
Note that the one in the background to the right has a fuel tank in the rear seat, a clear indication that they were assigned to a "special attack" unit. Note that the paint has been completely scratched off at some parts leaving visible the bare canvas.

Suddenly we see a Showa L2D getting its engines started. There is something that looks like a kanji/name on the side of the open cockpit window but it could be just dirt. Difficult to say. 
In any case, it's a "Green Cross" aircraft but difficult to figure out what mission it flew.

Another Showa L2D in combat colours that maybe crash-landed. 

And then the camera moves to a pair of Mitsubishi A6M2-K trainers. 
Here's a b/w photo from NARA, a more clear view of the above still.
The two trainers belonged to the Genzan Kokutai, indicated by the "ゲン" (GEN) on the tail.
Note the Isuzu fuel truck, but unfortunately I can't identify the car on the right side of the photo. 
In the background, there is a good collection of IJAAF aircraft , mostly Kawasaki Ki-48 "Lilly" bombers belonging to the 90 Sentai.

After a brief return to the Showa transports...

...we get a beautiful "Hiryu" in the foreground...
...with more "Spruce" trainers in the background.

Another view of the "Hiryu", this time with a Nakajima Ki-49 "Donryu" (Helen) beside it.

Then we get a glimpse of a rather rare aircraft type...
...a Kokusai Ki-76 Command Liaison aircraft with the very unique anti-glare panel. 

The camera finally returns to the "Donryu".
The particular bomber belonged to the 95th Sentai, as indicated by the slanted band in front of the tail. The fact that it's yellow means that it was flown by the 3rd Chutai. Note the most interesting green camo with brown blotches in the middle. We have found an aircraft of the same unit with the same camo pattern in the Philippines: here
Note what looks like a "P" on the nose side. 95 Sentai "Helens" often had a number there to indicate the individual bomber but a P is most unusual. Perhaps it's just a scratch...


Anonymous said...

The first photo has linked yoke c/w Ki-21 04 Ki-49. That would be unusual in a Ki-67.
Thanks Patrick

Arawasi said...

Patrick, I'm afraid I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

The yoke would be the control wheel for the pilot and copilot as opposed to a joy stick in a fighter. The first photo shows them linked by a horizontal bar as seen in the Helen or Sally. Leading me to think is that a Sally or Helen
Hope that helps.

Arawasi said...

Thanks Patrick. I wasn't sure either but the only Japanese bomber with nose windows so close to the cockpit is the "Hiryu". "Sally" and "Donryu" have only small windows on the starboard side and they're way forward, since space is needed for the radio operator and the bombardier.

Anonymous said...

The access to the nose on the Ki-67 is between the pilot and copilot where as on the Sally or Helen it is to rt side of the cockpit. Seems to me like a Helen or Sally. Just my opinion, what do you think?

Arawasi said...

You're right about the Hiryu cockpit layout, but how about those nose windows too close to the cockpit?

Anonymous said...

If you go to the site they have an illustration of the instrument panel of the Ki-49. This matches almost perfectly with the panel in the first photo.

Arawasi said...

I don't think the problem is to convince me. I'm open to suggestions and corrections. My problem is that I can't explain those damn windows too close to the cockpit! The Donryu doesn't have such big windows right next to the cockpit.
Let me put together a separate post, okay?

Anonymous said...


Brett said...

I wish there was a more detailed look at that Ki-76. After doing some quick research I found several pics online of Ki-76's with that scalloped demarcation line on the fuselage. Interesting! Thanks for the posting this, George!

Kevin Bade said...

Here's my take on the cockpit pics. Pic#1- Helen= linked control yokes, nosecone framing & I think the window issue is photographic depth perception. Pic#2-Ki-67 cockpit. Pic#3 looks like Helen fuselage by squarish framing, observation bubble offset to port. Both Ki-21 &Ki-67 are circular in shape. Right or not theres my opinion