Famous Aircraft of the World #32 B5N Kate Photo Translations
by John Quinn,  D.Y. Louie and Jim Perry
Original Japanese Text, copyright Burindo
F/O    "AI-301" of the Akagi AG during the foray into the Indian Ocean in April 1942.  This was the machine of LCDR. Mitsuo Fuchida, the Hikotaicho or Group Leader of the Akagi AG.  Fuchida probably flew as the observer in this machine.  This was not the same plane as he was in on the Pearl Harbor.  That plane had gone down into the Borneo jungle in February 1942 on a raid to Tjilatjap, Java.
p. 1    "Ka -310", a Type 97 Model 1 of the Kasumigaura Kokutai.
p. 2    (top)  " - 345", a prototype Type 97 Model 1 in 1938 wearing the markings of the Naval Test Arsenal.
          (bottom)  "Yo -335", a Model 1 from the Yokosuka Kokutai in 1939.
p.3     (top)  "V-303", a Type 1 from the Akagi AG in early 1941.  Note that this machine is wearing 2 tail stripes which during the war generally marked a buntaicho or squadron leader's plane.
          (bottom)  "9-349", a 14th Kokutai Model 1 in 1938-1939 in China.  This was a land based unit which also had a complement of fighters, both A5Ms and A6Ms.
p.4     (top)  "BI-323", a Model 3 from the Soryu AG in October 1941.  At this time the fleet strike force was involved with intense training for the upcoming Pearl Harbor operation.
          (bottom)     "AI-316" a Model 3 from the Akagi AG in December 1941.  This machine participated in the Pearl Harbor attack, as did those on the next two pages.  It was part of the high-level bomber group which was personally led by Fuchida.  These aircraft were organized into chutais of 5 aircraft each.  These were further broken down into 2 shotais, one of 3 machines and the other of 2.  This was not the usual formation, but was designed specifically for this attack by Genda and Fuchida so as to be able to hit the maximum number of targets.  This specific plane was assigned to the Akagi's 2nd chutai as the 1st (or lead) plane of the 43rd shotai (indicated by the single tail stripe).  It was crewed by PO2c Yasuji Otani (pilot), W.O. Nishimori (observer) and PO2c Mitsuo(?) Okubo (radio).  The high shotai number would seem to indicate that each shotai of a carrier or division (in this case the Akagi and the Kaga) was assigned a unique number.
p. 5    (top)  "AII-376" is a high level bomber from the Kaga AG on 7 December 1941.  The identity of the crew is unknown.  This machine was a part of the first wave.  Note the date given by the Japanese authors - 16th year, 12th month, 8th day.  The year is given as the year of an Emperor's reign, in Hirohito's case this was known as 'Showa', so the this can be literally read as 16 Showa or the 16th year of Hirohito which equated to 1941.  The day is Tokyo time, i.e, when it was the 7th here (or in Hawaii) it was the 8th in Japan.
          (second)  "BI-318", a Model 3 from the Soryu AG on 8 December 1941.  This machine was assigned to the Soryu's 1st chutai as the 2nd aircraft of the 1st shotai in the first wave.  The crew were W.O. Haruo Sato (pilot), PO1c Noboru Kanai (observer) and PO2c Yoshikazu Hanada (radio).  This machine is the one the Japanese credit with bomb hit which destroyed the Arizona.  It and its crew would be lost two weeks later over Wake Island.
          (third)  "BI-320", also a Model 3 from the Soryu AG, was assigned to its 2nd chutai and was the 1st aircraft of the 1st shotai in the first wave.  It is shown with a single tail stripe whereas normally one would assume that as the chutai lead machine, it should have two stripes.  This may be an instance where the reconfiguration of the units can be seen.  The crew of this machine was PO1c Kiyoshi Shintani (pilot), Lt.(jg.) Sadao Yamamoto (observer) and PO3c Shiro Suzuki.  A Lt.(jg.) a this stage of the war was normally seen as the leader of a shotai, not a chutai.
          (bottom)  "BII-310" is a high level bomber from the Hiryu.  This too is a first wave machine and, again, is a case of a chutai being led by a shotaicho.  It was the first aircraft of the 46th shotai from the Hiryu's 1st chutai.  This machine was crewed by PO2c Takesuge Uesugi (pilot), Lt.(jg.) Toshio Hashimoto (observer) and Sea1c Tomio Koyama (radio).
p. 6    (top)  "BII-320" is also a first wave torpedo bomber from the Hiryu.  This machine is marked with the 2 tail stripes of a chutaicho.  It flew as the number one aircraft of the 41st shotai, 1st chutai.  The plane was crewed by Lt. Heita Matsumura (pilot), PO1c Takeo Shiro (observer) and PO1c Sadamu Murao (radio).
          (2nd)  "EII-307" is a machine from the Zuikaku and flew as a high level bomber with the 2nd wave.  There seems to be some confusion as to the identity of the crew.  According to Model Art #378 the crew was PO1c Tadayoshi Kawada (pilot), Ens. Kazumasa Kaneda (observer) and Sea1c Eiji Shinoda (radio), but in Pearl Harbor: The Way It Was the crew is listed as Sea1c Masato Hatanaka (pilot), PO2c Hideichi Kamino (observer) and Sea1c Kingoro Oizumi (radio).
          (3rd)  "EII-305" is another Zuikaku bomber that flew in the second wave.  The 'Kates' from the Zuikaku and the Shokaku made up the high level contingent for the second wave attack.  None of this type from these carriers participated in the first wave.  There were also no torpedo bombers on the 2nd wave.  This particular machine was the 3rd aircraft of the 53rd shotai from the Zuikaku's 3rd chutai.  This machine was crewed by Sea1c Kazuo Tanabe (pilot), PO2c Akira Saito (observer) and Sea1c Akikazu Hara (radio).
          (bottom)  "EI-321" is a high level bomber from the Shokaku that flew with the 2nd wave attack force at Pearl Harbor.  This machine was the first aircraft from the 45th shotai of the Shokaku's 2nd chutai.  This machine was flown by the chutaicho and is missing 2 thin white stripes across the tail.  These were located beneath the tail code.  It was crewed by PO1c Etsu Ishikawa (pilot), Lt. Tsutomu Hagiwara (observer) and PO2c Eikichi Sagara (radio).
p. 7    (top)  "DI-362" is a Type 1 torpedo bomber from the Ryujo in June 1942.  Note that the last 2 digits appear under the left wing.
          (2nd)  "Ka -318", a Type 1 from the Kasumigaura Kokutai, a training unit, in 1942 - 1943.  "Ka" is the sound value of the Katakana letter.
          (3rd)  "O -620", a Type 1 from the Omura Kokutai, another Homeland training unit, in 1943.
          (bottom)  "U-sa -315", a Type 1 from the Usa Kokutai in 1943 - 1944.
p. 8    (top)  "Yo -352", a Type 3 from the Yokosuka Kokutai in 1943 - 1944.
          (2nd)  "A1-3-305" is from the Zuiho in 1943.
          (3rd)  "KEB-306" is a Type 3 from the 931 Kokutai in June 1944.
          (bottom)  "O-ki -303" is from the Okinawa Kokutai in June 1945.
p.12   "EII-307" as previously discussed from the color section in flight over Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.  The heavy black smoke beneath the tail is from the U.S.S. California.
p.13   A 'Kate' begins its take-off roll from the Akagi during the sortie to the Indian Ocean in April 1942.
p.17   Type 96 carrier bombers from the Kaga (note 'K' in code).  This may be a photo from a mission over China in the mid 1930s.
p.24   Two shots of the Type 3 carrier bomber prototype.
p.25   (center)  This early 'Kate' wears the codes of the Koku Kijitsusho or the Naval Air test Unit.
p.27   (top)  "Yo -360" from the Yokosuka Kokutai.
          (bottom 2)  Early 'Kates' from the Soryu AG.  Soryu aircraft were coded with a 'W' until 1940.
p.28   (bottom)  "3-356", a Type 1 from the 12th Kokutai over China in 1939.  This machine wears a Hokoku inscription or dedication, #268.  These generally were applied to donated aircraft.
p.29   (all)  Machines from the 14th Kokutai over China sometime between 1939 and 1940.
p.30   (all)  "Ri -312" from the Hyakurihara Kokutai.  This was a training unit.
p.31   (bottom)  "CI-301" from the Zuiho AG in February 1942.  At this time this ship was serving in the Home Defense Fleet along with Hosho.  The aircraft from these ships were identified with a red stripe running the length of the fuselage.
p.32   On this page and through to page 39 are photos showing the trainer version of the B5N, all from the Kasumigaura Kokutai.
p.40   (top)  "Sa -313" from the Sasebo Kokutai.
          (bottom)  "Ka-i -607" from the Kaiko Kokutai.
          (both)  "U-sa -301", Usa Kokutai.
p.43   (top)  "3-317", 12th Kokutai.
p.44   (top)  "VI-324" from the Kaga in early 1941.
          (bottom)  "BI-323" from the Soryu AG while in training for the Pearl Harbor attack.  From the caption it appears that this plane was flown on occasion (14 October 1941) by PO1c Noboru Kanai.
p.46   A shot of the Akagi flight deck on the voyage to Hawaii.  The Zero "AI-110" has a single yellow stripe above the code.  This was the machine of PO1c Katsushi Tanaka, a shotaicho from the Shindo chutai.
p.47   (top two)  These photos are from aboard the Shokaku in preparation for the launching of its planes for the Pearl Harbor attack.
          (bottom)  A photo showing the last fighter of the Shokaku CAP flight for the Pearl Harbor strike just prior to take-off.  The 'Kate' bomber behind it with the 2 white tail stripes is the plane of buntaicho Lt. Tadao Ichihara.  This plane was most likely coded "EI-309".
p.48   The take-off of a 'Kate' from the Zuikaku.
P.49   A bomb laden bomber, coded "BII-307", from the Hiryu.
p.50   (top)  Two bombers from the Kaga.  These are coded "AII-352" (left) and "AII-376".
p.51   Japanese photos from Pearl Harbor. (also the one from the bottom of the preceding page, as well as those on the next.  Note "EII-307" in the bottom photo)
p.53   (top)  Pearl Harbor.  'Kates' from the Shokaku.
          (middle)  A shotai from the Zuikaku returning from the raid.  The lead plane carries 3 tail stripes.  This is the machine of the Hikotaicho or group leader, Lcdr. Shigekazu Shimazaki.  The code of this machine is unknown, but "EII-301" might be a reasonable guess.
           (bottom)  A bomber returns to the Akagi.  The photo from the top of the next page is from aboard the Akagi.
p.54   (bottom) A returning bomber aboard the Zuikaku.
p.55   (top)  "BI-318" from the Soryu from about 21-23 December 1941.
          (bottom 2)  In February 1942 the Soryu and Hiryu Air Groups (Hikotai) were based at Kendari in the Celebes Islands.  These machines are apparently from the Soryu.  Visible in the middle photo are the machines of a shotaicho (1 tail stripe -- 2nd from left) and a buntaicho (2 tail stripes -- 3rd from left).
p.56   (top)  "AI-308" from the Akagi, 5 April 1942.
          (bottom 2)  'Kates' from the Zuikaku, 9 April 1942.  the bottom photo shows "EII-330".
p.57   (both)  "AI-301" was the machine of the Hikotaicho from the Akagi, Lcdr. Mitsuo Fuchida.  The photos are from 9 April 1942.  These were taken during a foray into the Indian Ocean.
p.58   (all)  These photos are thought to have been taken from aboard the Kaga, presumably in early 1942.
p.59   (top)  "EI-310" from the Shokaku.  Note the number '10' lower front of the cowling.
          (bottom)  2 machines from the Zuiho in March 1943.  the plane in the foreground is coded "AI-3-305" (see color section).
p.60   Another shot from aboard the Zuikaku.  The caption dates this photo as being from 26 October 1942 which would make this during the Battle of Santa Cruz.
p.61   (top)  "O-hi -301" from the Oppama Kokutai.
p.63   (top)  "Yo -352" from the Yokosuka Kokutai.
p.65   (top)  A plane from the 653 Kokutai.
          (bottom)  "O-ki - 303" from the Okinawa Kokutai, 12 June 1945 (see color section).
p.67   (both)  "KEB-306" from the 931 Kokutai from June 1944 (see color section).
p.74   (top)  "W-329", Type 1 from the Soryu about 1940.
p.83   (bottom)  "Su -331", a B5M1 from the Suzuka Kokutai on 1 October 1938.
p.85   (all)  "33-305" from the 33 Kokutai from mid-1942.
p.86   (both)  "S-91", a C3N1 the 12th Kokutai from about September-October 1937.  Shortly after the 12th Ku went from using an 'S' to a '3' to designate the unit.
p.87   (all)  "3-92", another C5N attached to the 12th Ku in 1938-1939.