Famous Aircraft of the
World #32 B5N Kate Photo Translations
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
(bottom) "Yo -335",
a Model 1 from the Yokosuka Kokutai in 1939.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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).
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).
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).
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.
-318", a Type 1 from the Kasumigaura Kokutai, a training unit, in
1942 - 1943. "Ka" is
the sound value of the Katakana letter.
-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.
is from the Zuiho in 1943.
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.
- 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
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
- p.30 (all)
"Ri -312" from
the Hyakurihara Kokutai. This
was a training unit.
- p.31 (bottom)
the Zuiho AG in February 1942.
At this time this ship was serving in the Home Defense Fleet along
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",
- p.43 (top)
- p.44 (top)
the Kaga in early 1941.
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)
the Soryu from about 21-23
(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)
the Akagi, 5 April 1942.
(bottom 2) 'Kates' from the Zuikaku,
9 April 1942. the bottom photo
- 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)
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)
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)
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)
C5N attached to the 12th Ku in 1938-1939.