Japanese Army Air Force Organization

One of the things that I often wondered about was what all the Air Force organizational units meant. Well, let's try to make this simple.


The reorganization or the Japanese Army Air Force took place after early combat experience in Chana. Smaller more flexible groups were required to be successful in combat. The following unit structure was in effect for the balance of the Pacific War.


The Basic Group/Unit was called a Sentai. This unit was comprised of three Squadrons or Companys called Chutais. The Chutais were comprised of nine to twelve aircraft. The Headquarters section or Sentai Hombu was commanded by a Lt-Colonel or a Major.


Wings or Air Brigades - Hikodans

The Hikodans were normally commanded by a Major-General or Colonel. The Hikodans consisted of ...

Command Section - Shireibu Hikodan

Reconnaissance Unit

Three Fighter Sections - Sentoki Sentais

Light Bomber Section - Keibaku Sentais


Heavy Bomber Section - Jubaku Sentais


Air Division - Hikoshidan

Was made up of two or three Hikodans


Air Army - Kokugun

Was made up of two or three Hikoshidan


Imperial General Headquarters - Daihonei - The Daihonei was the supreme command of the Japananses Army Air Force

Chief of Army General Staff - Shocho


1) Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War by Rene' J. Francillon. Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1970