Famous Aircraft of the World #16 Ki-44 Shoki Photo Translations
by John Quinn,  D.Y. Louie and Jim Perry
Original Japanese Text, copyright Burindo
p.  2   (top) The first prototype Ki.44, flown by Capt. Susumu Jinbo.  Note double cowl flaps on this machine.
         (middle & lower)  Three planes were painted all in greenish gray for the trial manufacturing.  After being accepted into the 47th Independent Chutai, they were painted in earth color on the upper surfaces and greenish gray beneath.  The photos of Major Toshio Sakagawa (5th model), Captain Yasuhiko Kuroe (8th model) and Warrant Officer Takakura (10th model) show that the bottom of the plane was not bare metal.  The top color was changed to dark green for the first production of Model 44-I (113th model) in February 1942 but the lower surfaces remained greenish gray.
p.  6   Mottled dark green camouflage (Example is from the 85th Hiko-Sentai, 2nd Chutai, 1943.  This is the same aircraft as on page 40, very possibly flown by Capt. Yukiyoshi Wakamatsu, 2nd Chutai leader from June 1943 until his death on 18 December 1944)  Model 44-IIs were distributed to the Sentais in Burma and China in 1943.  The upper body was painted in mottled dark green camouflage, but its pattern varied.  The above example of to the 85th Sentai has almost continuous lines while the bottom example from the 50th Sentai has a dotted pattern.  It is a rare example that the stabilizers were left in the primer paint as the top view of this 85th Sentai fighter shows.  The 85th Sentai also painted some of their planes in mottled dark green and brown and the undersides were painted in bluish light gray in some cases. The mottled camouflage color was not introduced into the defense Sentais within the country, but the Akeno Flight School owned quite a few of these mottled camouflaged planes.  The 85th Sentai began its combat career in July 1943, transferring from Manchuria to bases in Kwantung and Hangkow.  One year later the unit transitioned to the Ki.84.
p.  7   Flat dark green camouflage (Example from the 70th Sentai, 3rd Chutai, 1944)  After 1944, as the situation worsened, a few planes were painted overall in dark green camouflage.  As this 70th Sentai aircraft shows, the purpose of the camouflage was compromised as the stripes were painted in to identify the Sentais. The 23rd Sentai's plane has white edges around the hinomarus on the main wings as well as its fuselage. The black paint was seen behind the cockpit to block the sun’s reflection sometimes in this area and was painted dark green in others.
p..17 (bottom) Trial model number 8 (4408).  The left horizontal stabilizer was damaged while landing due to dislocation of the auxiliary fuel tank during the test flight.  Manufacturing number “4408” is seen here near the tail rudder between the painted stripes which are yellow with red trim.  The range of the Ki.44 was approximately 1,000 Km (625 miles) which was similar to the Ki.43-I ('Hayabusa’).  Considering the expansion into China and to the South, the use of auxiliary fuel tanks was inevitable.  A simple auxiliary was fitted right beneath the cabin in the beginning but after the trial model number 6, they were fitted under each wing.  The model number 8 in this photo was flown by Captain Yasuhiko Kuroe with the 47th Independent Chutai in Indochina.
p.18   (lower right) Model 44 no.10 of the 47th Independent Chutai at Saigon airport in Indochina right after the opening of the Pacific War.  The disposable auxiliary fuel tanks were fitted under each wing.  According to the record,  Warrant Officer Tokutaro Takakura flew this number 10.  The 47th achieved its first victory on 12 January 1941 when Kuroe downed a Buffalo over Singapore.
p.19   (top) A group of supplement trial Model 44 planes of the 47th Independent Chutai at the Saigon Airport.  They are leaving for Malaya to join the invasion at Singapore. No. 5, 9, 8 and 10 are lined up (the manufacturing numbers are painted on the main wheel cover in red). No. 5 was flown by Major Toshio Sakagawa.  One disposable auxiliary tank was carried beneath the fuselage, unlike the other three.  The earth color was painted unevenly and the result was too intense.
         (middle) This photo follows the above.  No. 5 model flown by Major Sakagawa taxiing on the runway.  The 47th Independent Chutai had nine supplement trial Model 44 planes: numbers 1 through 10, excepting no.3.  Three planes formed one Shotai.  Each Shotai used 1 to 3 stripes of white, yellow or red on the tail to identify each plane.  Major Sakagawa was the commander of the Chutai and also flew the first plane of the first Shotai, so one white stripe was painted on his plane.  The white band on the lower body indicates the external units and this is a standard sign in all army fighters.
         (bottom) This photo is also of no. 5 flown by Major Sakagawa, but taken from another angle.  The 47th Independent Chutai advanced to Saigon on December 9, 1941, a day after the opening of the war.  They concentrated on the maintenance of their planes and practice until December 27th in Bangkok, Thailand.  Due to the high landing speed, minor damage occurred frequently.
         (middle)Mitsumoto taxiing, Jinbo’s number '6' is in the foreground.
p.20   (top two)  This photo shows, like the previous pages, Capt. Yasuhiko KUROE's Ki.44 number 8 plane of the 47th Independent Chutai ready to take off from Saigon AB.  the 47th Chutai's badge was applied underneath the windshield and represents the Yamaga school war drum to share the Akaho 47 warrior's luck[1] (in yellow and white).  Capt. Kuroe, after moving to Kwantan[2], encountered Brewster Buffalo MK.1s belonging to the British Far East Air Force and shot one of them down on 12 January 1942.  this was the first victory by a Ki.44 fighter.  It is well known that, after transferring to the 64th Sentai, Capt. Kuroe eventually shot down 38 enemy planes and became one of the top aces of the IJAAF[3].
         (third)  This photo shows a plane which appears to be the Ki.44 number 2 plane of the 47th Independent Chutai.  Note the construction of the windshield (the middle slides into the fixed back section) which was through the number 4 plane of this type.  It is apparent that up the Ki.44-II the lower corners of the escape door were rounded.  In the right hand lower corner of the photo part of the 47th Chutai badge is showing.
         (bottom)  This photo shows Major SAKAGAWA's Ki.44 number 5.  He was the commander of the 47th Chutai.
p.21   (all three photos on this page) By the end of January 1942, only one of the Model 44s was left, due to the battles on January 20 and 29, when 7 planes were lost, in addition to accidents, though Model 44s were mechanically superior compared to the Buffalo, Hurricane or P-40.  The mechanics were quite different from the Model 97 which the Chutai was previously familiar with.  Three of the Model 97s were shipped promptly and half of the Chutai members went back to Japan to bring back several brand-new Model 44-I planes. Among them was the number 1 model (serial number "113") of 44-I in these photos.  The 47th Chutai advanced to Morumen(?) to join the Burma aerial campaign, and these 3 photos seem to have been taken there.  It is noted that the engine starting hook was located on the tip of the spinner and also the fuel cooling system was added on bottom the fuselage.  According to the Second Lieutenant Kariya, who took these photos, the color of the planes was dark green.  The “"Sun’s Red Disk" (Hinomaru) was not yet painted on most aircraft at that time, but this plane has it, possibly edged with white.  The last two numbers, "13", of the manufacturing number were painted in yellow on the tail, but no stripe was seen.  Notice the Chutai mark stripe was painted in rather wide[4].  The person in the bottom shot is the Second Lieutenant Kariya, who had a profound knowledge of the Model 44.  He was always with the 47th Chutai and the pilots called him "the God of maintenance".
p.22   (all three photos on this page)  Detailed shots of Model 44-I as on the previous page.  Note the circular lubricating oil cooling system on the front of the cowling and the wheel cover that is attached lower to the main leg cover at a 90° angle.  The photo on the below left is the Second Lieutenant Kariya (right) with a comrade.  You can see the cowling and the fuel cooling system in detail.  The fuel cooling system was introduced in  order to prevent “vapor lock”.  When the temperature rises, small bubbles are created in the fuel and they block the fuel supply pipe and this caused engine failure.  This system was essential in the summer in the South.  You can clearly see the manufacturing number “113” in the white stripe and the “13” on the tail in the lower right photo.  The 47th was withdrawn to Japan after the Doolittle raid of 18 April 1942.
p.28   (bottom caption) Close-up shot of a Model 44-II that is supposed to have belonged to the 85th Hiko Sentai in China.  It was painted in flat dark green camouflage, but the paint has peeled off around the cowling.  This plane was on a defense mission but it was also used for attack.  This was because both sides were positioned at close distance compared to the Burma and the Pacific Ocean campaigns.  In China the Model 44’s range was sufficient for offensive and defensive operations.
p. 30  (top)  These Ki.44-II Ko belonging to the 47th Independent Chutai are resting at Chofu AB which was located in the western part of Tokyo.  In April 1942, American B-25s commanded by James Doolittle launched the first attack over the Japanese main land.  Thus, the 47th Chutai was hurriedly called back from Burma to Japan.  It was first stationed temporarily at Matsudo AB in Chiba Prefecture, then to Kashiwa AB from August through September 1942 and finally settled at Chofu AB in March 1943.  The above photo was taken at some time during the summer of 1943.  On the tail assembly a newly designed Chutai marking of '47' was added in red and a star was painted at the top end of the rudder indicating "Independent".  Strong summer sunlight is reflecting from the duralumin surface obscuring the white surrounds to the red Hinomaru (red sun) markings.
         (bottom) Close-up of Ki.44-II Ko of the 47th Independent Chutai.  The dirt under the 12.7 mm machine gun on the main wing behind the exhaust pipe tells of their intense training.  It was believed at the time that the operation of the Model 44 was difficult, and that the young pilots with flight experience of under 800 hours were not able to handle it.  But the critical war situation forced the inexperienced recruits with 100 or so flight hours to fly them!  Fewer accidents occurred than expected.  It seems the operation was not too hard once the pilot got the knack of it.  Note that the 47th had by this time been pulled out of the Asian mainland to protect the airspace above the Home Islands.
p.31   The four photos on this page show the take-off (in training) of Ki.44-II Kos of the 47th Independent Chutai at Chofu AB.  The Japanese Army and Navy had already obtained an intelligence report suggesting that the Americans had finished developing the B-29 bomber, but they did not have specific data of the plane's performance yet.  Therefore they flew a B-17 captured in the Southern front and practiced attacks against it.  Later on, after the experience of actual encounters with the B-29, they found that the total performance and capabilities of the B-29, including its high altitude performance and defensive armament, were so superior and were beyond their imagination.  They had to come to the pathetic conclusion that there were no effective way to counter the B-29 other than to mount suicide attacks by fighter planes, including Ki.44s, whose armament had been stripped to the bones to make them lighter.  This concept eventually led to the birth of the "Shinten" Air Defense Battalions.
p.34   (three photos on this page)  While the expectation as a powerful air defense battalion is heightening, the 47th Independent Chutai at Chofu AB was reorganized on 3 October 1943 as the 47th Sentai (total 54 planes) consisting of 3 Chutai.  At this time the unit marking was changed.  They used a similar design of the '47', but now the marking was spread out over the whole of the vertical fin.  And, for easy identification of a chutai, the marking was painted in different colors, white for the 1st chutai, red for the 2nd and yellow for the 3rd chutai.  The snap shot above shows the 1st chutai, while the middle and bottom snap shots show the 2nd chutai.  The second plane from the left in the middle and bottom photos, which has a broad white band at the rear of the fuselage, may belong to the commander of the 2nd chutai, Lt. Yasuro Masaki.  In the above photo, at the far end of the line, one can see a plane painted in dark green camouflage, which may be a transferred plane from another unit.  In those days the 47th Sentai, the 244th Sentai with Type 3 fighters (Ki.61s) and the 17th Air Division with Type 100 reconnaissance planes all shared Chofu AB which made it too crowded.  Therefore, soon after these photos were take, the 47th Sentai moved out to the newly constructed Narimasu AB.
p.35   (top)  Training of the 47th Sentai at Chofu AB in November 1943 just before it moved out to Narimasu AB.  In front of a Ki.44-II Ko a Type 97 training fighter is taking off.  This Type 97 fighter was obtained for the purpose of training young pilots for the Type 2 fighters.  In those days there was not many air raids over the Tokyo area yet and time was available for training.  Therefore new pilots to the unit were not allowed to operate Ki.44s until they completed several severe training flights with Type 97 training fighter and Type 1 fighters.
         (bottom)  This photo shows Ki.44-II Ko and Ki.44-II Otsu  fighters of the 3rd chutai of the 47th Sentai at the newly constructed Narimasu AB in early 1944.  The second, fifth, and sixth planes from the foreground are -II Otsu, while the third, fourth, seventh and eighth are -II Ko planes.  On all of the planes of the 47th Sentai, besides the regular place, the last two digits of the serial numbers were painted in large characters at the bottom part of the rudder in the chutai color.  The third from the foreground, -II Ko serial no. 19, has on the fuselage, right behind the "Hinomaru", a yellow band trimmed in red.  The plane also has a yellow band on the spinner.  Therefore this plane seems to be a commander's plane.  Around the Narimasu AB area it becomes very foggy in the winter season and it is said that there were many incidents resulting in emergency landings simply because the pilots could not find the base.
p. 36  (three photos on this page)  As mentioned in the main text  written by Mr. Kariya[5], Ki.44-II Ko "16" of the 47th Sentai piloted by W.O. Son Kurimura sank into the ground of Narimasu AB.  The plane has a fat white band with red trim at the rear portion of the fuselage.  It also has the white chutai marking.  This means that it is the 47th Sentai commander Lt.Col. Noboru Shimoyama's plane[6].  Mr. Kurimura was ordered to carry out a test flight of the plane on that day and had this accident.  The cause of this mishap was the pilot's mishandling of the retraction procedure of the main (landing) gear.
p.40   (bottom)  Model 44-II (manufacturing No. 1134) of the Commander,  Capt. Wakamatsu of the 85th Hiko Sentai, 2nd Chutai at Nanking, China in 1943.  The various colors of paint on the vertical tail show the mark of the 85th Sentai at that time, and a horizontal stripe was added to make a half arrowhead design in 1944.  The wide vertical stripe on the lower body shows the commander’s plane.  The 1st Chutai used white, 2nd, red, and 3rd, yellow.  Capt. Wakamatsu was known as "Commander Red Dharma" and he was the top ace of the 85th Sentai.  Dharma, in Buddhism, is a reference to one’s essential quality or character.  It can also refer to law or virtue.  An excellent long-distance shot, all his victories were over fighter aircraft.  He had a record of 18-20 planes shot down: at least nine P-51s and four P-40s.  He was killed over Hankow on December 18, 1944 in combat with Mustangs.  Another P-51 victim on that same mission was Rikio Shibata of the 85th's 1st Chutai.  Shibata was credited with 14 victories during the Nomanhan fighting while flying with the famous 11th Sentai.  During WW-II he added another thirteen victories, for a total of 27 at the time of his death.  On this day the 85th (flying Ki.84s) was heavily attacked by waves of B-24s, B-25s and P-51s.  The 85th lost four aircraft in combat, and did claim victories, but by the day’s end severe ground losses had reduced this Sentai's strength to but 3 operational aircraft.
p.42   (top)  New members of the 47th Sentai beside a specially equipped Ki.44-II Otsu at Narimasu AB.  The photo was taken in the later part of 1944.  The second man from the right is Sub. Lt. Setsuo Ichiraku who wrote this article.  In those days graduates of special pilot apprentice officer school and Ko class executive candidate officer school were allowed to operate Ki.44 fighters after 10 hours of pilot training with Ki.43 (Type 1) fighters.
         (middle)  This photo shows Ki.44-II fighters of the 47th Sentai lined up at the preparation line.  This was also taken at approximately the same period as the above photo.  Second from the foreground, serial number 25, is a -II Otsu specially equipped fighter and, as one can see, a 40mm rocket gun barrel of Type Ho-301 is sticking out from the front of the main wing.  The furthest plane which is camouflaged and is sticking out from the line is a Ki.51 Type 99 reconnaissance/attack plane which the 47th Sentai used as a communication (liaison) plane.
         (bottom)  This is a side view of a Ki.44-II Otsu, serial number 1420, specially equipped plane which belonged to the 1st chutai of the 47th Sentai.  This is a very clear picture and one can see the enlarged opening of the exhaust outlet, Ammunition case, and details of the Ho-301 gun barrel.  This plane has a wider white rim around the Hinomaru than usual and has a white band with orange colored rim right behind the Hinomaru.  Therefore this plane seems to belong to the Commander of the squadron or the Sentai.  Please note that the Sentai marking on the tail assembly (white) has not only orange trim, but also orange[7] triangle sections.  The recognition stripe on the front of the main wing is in red.  It is said that at the point of time of 1 November 1944 five Ki.44-IIs out of a total of 54 planes of the 47th Sentai were equipped with Ho-301 guns.  However, when tried against B-29s, it became apparent that its initial velocity was to slow causing instability in its trajectory, and was judged difficult with which to hit a target and not actively used.  A total of 396 Ki.44-II Otsus were manufactured with serials from number "1304" to number "1749".
p.43   (top)  Ki.44-II Otsu specially equipped serial number17 fighter of the 2nd chutai of the 47th Sentai departing for a sortie.  According to another photo taken from a different angle, a showy, arc shaped red marking is clearly visible on its fuselage.  The shape of the cooling air inlet for the lubrication oil seen underneath the cowling is not a simple circular, but oval shape.
         (bottom)  A memorial photo of the 2nd chutai members of the 47th Sentai taken in front of a Ki.44-II Otsu specially equipped fighter on 1 January 1944.  The plane is decorated at the tip of the spinner with a sacred straw festoon and a set of round rice cakes.  Third from left is Sub. Lt. Kariya who was the ground crew commander of the squadron.  The rest of the people are all pilots.  Next to him to his right is the C.O. of the 2nd chutai, Lt. Yasuro Masaki, while second from the right is W.O. Son[8] Kurimura who piloted the Commander's plane and caused the accident mentioned on page 36.  Later, on 9 January 1945, he was killed in an air battle.  Second from the left in the second row is Sgt. Masumi Yuki who, in the same air battle, crashed into a B-29 and sacrificed himself over Narimasu AB.  This was watched by the rest of the chutai crews.  Please note the red painting of from the tip of the cowling to the side of the fuselage[9].  This is the same marking as the "Shinten" Air Mastery chutai's planes had, which was organized later as an attack group specializing in bodily crashing into B-29s.
p.45   (top)  Following serial number "1750" of the Ki.44-II Otsu fighter, the guns on both the fuselage and wings were changed to Ho-103 Type 1 - 12.7mm caliber machine guns and called the Ki.44-II Hei.  The number of Ki.44-II Hei planes manufactured (including a small number Ki.44-IIIs which ended up only as experimental planes) can be estimated to be 426 by subtracting the number of Ki.44-I, Ki.44-II Ko and Ki.44-II Otsus produced from the total number of Ki.44 fighters produced, 1225.  In any case, among the Ki.44 fighters, this type was produced most.  In the plane shown in this photo (serial number "1966"?), the aiming device is changed from the telescope type to the light-image type.  This changeover occurred in the middle of the Ki.44-II Otsu series.
         (middle)  A Ki.44-II Hei serial number 31 of the 2nd chutai of the 47th Chutai which made an emergency landing.  The aiming device on this plane is still the telescope type.  As Mr. Ichiraku wrote in the text, the landing procedure of this plane was to have a speed of 190-200 km/h at the end of the 4th circle facing the landing strip, and 180 km/h right before touching the ground.  Therefore a prompt judgment of the situation was required on every landing, and a moments mistake caused accidents.  Naturally the pilots were very nervous.
         (bottom)  A Ki.44-II Hei belonging to the Hitachi Kyodo (training) Air Division at Mito AB in Ibaraki Prefecture.  This division was formed on 20 June 1944 from a nucleus of the Mito branch of the Akeno Air College and assumed concurrent tasks of air defense of the Kanto area.[10]
p.49   (bottom)  This Ki.44-II Hei belonged to the 3rd chutai of the 246th Hiko-Sentai at Taisho (now Hachio) AB in Osaka Prefecture in 1944.  As a tradition since the days of the Type 97 fighter planes, the Sentai's planes had their cowl flaps, landing gear covers, rear portion of the fuselage and vertical fin painted in red.  The spinner is in yellow (chutai color) and had a red circle with black Sentai marking on the tail assembly; all these were very colorful markings.  The external fuel tank (to be dropped) underneath the wing had 125 liter capacity.  The external fuel tanks had a shape of either straight line type, shown in this photo, or a curved line type.  Please note the type of the small bomb rack beside the external fuel tank is different from the ones shown in the photos above or on the previous page.  the last three digits of the serial number, "321", are shown on the main gear.  This, however, does not make sense because, according to Army records, 426 planes of the Ki.44-II Hei subtype were manufactured after the serial number "1750", which in no way reaches to the number "2321".  Besides this plane, serial number "2338" has been confirmed elsewhere.  Therefore it seems that some serial numbers were skipped somewhere, or more than 426 planes were actually produced or old Ki.44-II Kos were modified and converted to Ki.44-II Heis.  The changeover to the Ki.44-II Hei (Type 2 fighter plane) in the 246th Sentai took place during the period of April through July of 1943[11].  Though their main base was Taisho AB, they moved and fought around Kyushu, Taiwan, the Philippines and the Kanto area.
p.53   (top) The trial Model 44 No.2 (serial number "4402") of the 47th Independent Chutai at Saigon Airport.  You can see the single disposable auxiliary under the body and the main leg in detail.  Notice the “2” which is the last number of the serial number on the disposable auxiliary and the leg cover.  The suspension straps are attached to the tank, not to the fuselage, and their shape differs from the ones that were hung under the main wings after the trial Model No. 6. Sergeant Takao Ito[12] looks at the auxiliary tank.  Three yellow diagonal lines with red rims are painted on the vertical tail which indicates the No. 3 plane of the No. 2 Shotai, commanded by Capt. Susumu Jinbo.
p. 56  (top left) Mitsumoto's “02”. 
p.58   (top) Second Lieutenant Kariya wearing a flight helmet in front of a Ki.44-II Otsu (serial number "1435") of the No. 2 Chutai.  He himself has maintained this plane with a great care.  Notice the red paint and the red stripes on the side and the lower fuselage, with a blue fuselage band.  The aircraft in the background may have been flown by Capt. Yasuro Masaki.  It was armed with 40mm wing guns, and numbered “35” in red on lower rudder.
p. 62 (top) The ground crew of the 47th Independent Chutai working on the Ki.44-II Ko under a growing cumulo-nimbus.  They made it possible to keep 100% maintenance.  Their skill was the very best in the army, without a doubt.
         (lower)  A pilot of the 47th Independent Chutai boarding a Ki.44-II Ko.  When they returned to Japan from Burma, Major Sakagawa was transferred and Capt. Susumu Jinbo was appointed as the Chutai commander.  He commanded the Chutai for a year, until August of 1943, when he was transferred to the Inspection department.
p.63   Warrant Officer Taisuke Aoki and his Ki.44-II Ko (serial number "1026") being met by a ground crew member after a training flight.  The above photo shows the cabin, its surroundings and also the rivet lines clearly.  The maintenance crew accompanied each Chutai until 1943.  In order to improve efficiency, the flight units and the maintenance units were separated after 1944.  This aircraft also appears at the bottom of p.67 
p.66   (top) This photo, taken in January 1942 at Saigon AB, is of Ki.44 trial/additional-trial planes belonging to the 47th Independent Chutai.  These are all 2nd formation (shotai) planes.  From the foreground, the no. 3 plane piloted by Sgt. Major Takao Ito (Ki.44 serial number 4402, No. 2), no. 1 plane piloted by Capt. Susumu Jinbo (serial number 4406, No. 6) and the no. 2 plane piloted by flown Lt. Shunji[13] Sugiyama (serial number 4407, No. 7)[14].  The identification stripes on the tail assembly are yellow with red trim.  The windshield, antenna pole, gas outlet behind the cannon in the fuselage and the exhaust pipe of the first plane in the foreground are different from those of the other planes.  Since this was a publicly displayed photo, the serial number written in red on the main landing gear cover was erased.  The furthest plane from the foreground is a Type 97 fighter plane which was brought in as a supplement for a lost plane.
         (second)  Though it is not clear in this photo, the two planes are Ki.44 trial/additional-trial planes and are taking off from Saigon AB.  The left front plane is the same plane shown in the above photo (the first one in the foreground), i.e. 3rd position in the formation piloted by Sgt. Major Takao Ito[15].
         (lower two)  The Ki.44 serial number 4407, No. 7 plane, the second position plane of the formation belonging to the 47th Independent Chutai piloted by Lt. Shunji Sugiyama[16].  This photo is also blurred, but these are the only snap shots of the 2nd formation planes in flight, very precious photos taken by Mr. Kariya from aboard an AT-2 transport plane.  Please note that the cover of the tail wheel is not completely closed.  Only on the right side (below the windshield) was the Chutai's "Jindaiko" (war drum) badge painted.
p. 68 (top)  A ground crew waiting for the sign from the pilot, "Remove the wheel stopper", while the Ha 109 engine is roaring.  This is a departure scene of Ki.44-II Otsus of the 47th Independent Chutai (later the 47th Sentai) observed every day at Chofu AB.  This photo was taken in the fall of 1943.  The Ki.44-II Otsu, nicknamed 'Shoki', seen from this angle emphasizes the "top-heavy" look and shows its powerfulness not obtained from other Japanese planes.
         (bottom) Ki.44-II Otsu and Hei planes of the 3rd chutai of the 47th Sentai at Narimasu AB testing their engines before departure.  The second plane from the right, serial number "66", has a wide band in red or blue on the rear portion of the fuselage and is probably the chutai commander, Capt. Tei-ichi Hatano's plane.  The tip of the vertical fin of the planes next to this and the one in front, serial number "87", are painted in red, indicating the leaders planes of the formation[17].
p. 69 (top) Training flight of the 3rd Chutai, 47th Sentai at Chofu, around November 1944.  Note yellow Home Defense bands on number "19" and number "26".  Aircraft in foreground left behind by 87th Sentai, which had moved to Sumatra.
p. 70 (three photos)  The fighter Sentais, including the 47th Sentai, of the 10th Air Division encountered B-29s over Kanto for the first time in early November of 1944.  They were shocked to find that they could not carry out their attacks against the B-29s because Japanese fighters could not get up to the altitude of 10,000 meters where the B-29s were operating effortlessly.  They also realized the power of the exhaust turbine supercharger.  Consequently the "suicide attack" (crashing into B-29s) by planes which had been lightened by removing armaments, armor plates, etc., was ordered.  this group of fighters was named "Shinten" (Air Mastery Divisions).  Each fighter Sentai had four "Shinten" members (later the number was increased to eight).  In the 47th Sentai Sgt. Maj. Suzuki and others were selected.  Thus, ghastly suicide attacks, spearheaded by Staff Sgt. Mita, were started during the Tokyo air attack on 24 November 1944.  The three photos on this page show sequences of the take off of the Ki.44-II "Shinten Air Mastery Battalion".  In order to distinguish them, the "Shinten" planes were either painted in red form the cowling to the fuselage[18]  or had a large "Jindaiko" badge which was originally used to identify the 47th Independent Chutai.  The suicide attacks carried out against enemy ships by aircraft were called "Kamikaze" by the Navy and "Shinbu" by the Army.  Their counterpart "air against air" was called the "Shinten".
p. 72 (both) Ki.44-II Ko, sallying at a battle line in China.  The plane in the above photo is likely belonged to the 85th Hiko-Sentai judging from the dark green camouflage color and the greenish-gray base paint on the ailerons, the elevators and rudder, in addition to the red stripe at the rear fuselage.  The plane, carrying a 125 liter capacity disposable fuel tank, enters the runway in the photo below.  Two red stripes on the body suggest that the commander of 2nd Chutai flew this plane.  The 85th Sentai fought in various areas in China from the beginning of 1943 and they were freed from the war in Korea in 1944.  The 85th claimed a total of 250 aircraft destroyed or damaged from June 1943 until it ended the war at Kimpo, Korea.
p.76   (top left)  After a first mission accounted for 6 F6Fs on the morning of 16 February 1945, Capt. Tei-ichi Hatano, CO of the 3rd Chutai of the 47th Sentai confers with his pilots. From left: 1st Lt. Itsuro Narimasu, Hatano, Lt. Kobozoe, Lt. Ichiraku, W.O. Chu-ichi Nakajima, Lt. Yukio Ishihara, T.Sgt. Haruo Nakanishi, M/Sgt Chiaki Aruga, Sgt. Takao Maruyama and Sgt. Shozo Yamazaki.  Nakajima and Nakanishi were KIA on the chutai's second mission of the day north of Tokyo. Note Hatano's Ki-84 “45” is in the background[19].
p.78   (top)  Ki.44-II Hei serial number "31" belonged to the 2nd chutai of the 47th Sentai.  The "Hinomaru" (red sun mark) of this plane do not have the white bands which were used to indicate Air Defense Group[20].  However this was not limited to the 47th Sentai.  Not all of the planes had the white bands.  The 47th Sentai abolished the chutai system in January 1944[21] and was reorganized to have three groups where both the pilots and the maintenance crews were put together.  The three groups were named, respectively, "Asahi group", "Fuji group", and "Sakura group".  the colors of the group markings were inherited from those of the old chutais.  After the changeover to the Type 4 ("Hayate") fighter, however, it appears that the "Fuji" group chose the blue markings with the white shadow.
         (middle)  Members of the 47th Sentai and the National Defense Women’s Group.  A “"Jindaiko" is painted on the fuselage side of this plane.  The vertical tail is painted all in red, and the last two numbers of the serial number, “32” is painted in black on the rudder.  Fourth person from the right is Sergeant Major Isamu Sakamoto who fortunately survived a ramming against a B-29 on 27 January 1945.  Between November 1944 and mid-February 1945 the 47th Sentai was credited with 19 victories and 29 damaged.  It is reasonable to assume that all these air victories represented B-29s.
         (bottom) 2nd. Lt. Makoto Ogawa's Ki.44-II Hei.  He became the top ace of the 70th Sentai by shooting down five B-29s and 2 P-51s in the air battles over Japan.  The plane is number "2".  It is difficult to recognize, but his Sentais marking, which was made by a design of "70", is drawn on the tail assembly in yellow.  The "Hinomaru" on the fuselage has a white band and it appears that narrow red band is painted right next to it.  The plane number "2" (in black) written on the fuselage in a large character was unusual and cannot be found on other Ki.44s[22].  This is not the last digit of the serial number, but an arbitrary number it seems.  Later on, to indicate the number of enemy planes he shot down, markings of eagles (in gray) were painted between the "Hinomaru" and the number "2"[23].
p.79   (top) A group of Ki.44-IIs of the 85th Hiko Sentai.  Each plane has the flat dark green camouflage color and the rudder is in greenish gray base paint except for the plane on the right.  This plane (on the right) has a red stripe with white trim, and this indicates the “No.2 Chutai Commander’s plane,” and may be another of Wakamatsu's.  The second plane has two narrow yellow stripes, and this probably indicates the “No.3 Chutai Second Commander’s plane.”  The design of all these marks of the 85th Sentai changed often.
         (lower two)  Ki.44-II Kos of the 246th Sentai at Taisho AB in Osaka Prefecture.  Red painted cowl flaps and red bands around the rear fuselage are common for all planes of the Sentai[24] and it appears that, for distinguishing chutais, red paint on the vertical fin was used.  the planes with the red rudders in the right photo may indicate the 2nd chutai.  In other photos planes with yellow painted spinners can also be recognized and this may also be used for distinguishing chutais.  It is difficult to distinguish if the color of the spinner in the photograph is red or dark brown.  Here in the right photo, it is not clear whether the number "15" is painted in red or not.
p.80   (top) A Ki.44-II Hei of the 246th Sentai which was captured by U.S. forces at a corner of Clark AB in the Philippines.  Its serial number is "2338" which means that the plane is same one mentioned on page 51.  because the Sentai's assignment had been the air defense over the main land (i.e. Japan), its planes were not camouflaged.  Upon receiving the order to advance to the Philippines, the planes had camouflage hastily applied.  Naturally the white band of the "Hinomaru", the red cowl flaps and vertical fin, as well as the red band around the rear fuselage were erased.  Instead, a white rim around the "Hinomaru" on the fuselage and a white band at the rear of the fuselage, which was a symbol of the "over sea battalion" were put on.  The plane, serial number "2338", has its spinner painted in yellow which means that the plane belonged to the 3rd chutai.  It is noticeable that even on the main landing gear covers the camouflage was put on and that the last three digits, "338", of the serial number were clearly painted in yellow.  The serial number, however, seems to be rewritten.  The Sentai marking on the tail assembly is a red circle arranged with a black wing.  This marking was used starting from the spring of 1943 when the Sentai converted to the Type 2 fighter, to the end of 1944 when the whole Sentai was annihilated in the Philippines.
         (middle)  The 246th Sentai which was annihilated in the Philippines was rebuilt in January 1945 using the remaining (stayed behind in Japan) group as a nucleus.  The Sentai was based again at Taisho AB and assumed air defense duties.  Introduction of the Type 4 fighter had started, but they could not obtain enough supply.  Consequently Type 2 planes and Type 4 planes were both deployed in this Sentai to the end of the war.  Taking the opportunity of rebuilding, the old Sentai marking was abandoned and a simple red stripe crossing the vertical fin was adopted.  Distinction of the chutai was made by painting the spinner white (1st chutai), red (2nd chutai) and yellow (3rd chutai).  Shown in the above photo are Ki.44-II Hei fighters of the 2nd chutai of the 246th Sentai which made emergency landings at Oi Navy Base in Shizuoka Prefecture in the spring of 1945.  The red band on the tail assembly is recognizable.  Please note the antenna pole of the "58" plane shown in the foreground was moved to the back of the windshield.
p.81 (top) Photo of the Ki.44-II Otsu of the flight training team commander Major Yoshio Hirose at Mito AB in Ibaraki Prefecture in November 1944.  Note the large lightning bolt in red with white trim on the fuselage.  There are few other examples like this with the bold lightning design.  The lightning indicates "Hiko Sentai Commander". The upper half of the fuselage is painted in flat dark green camouflage and the upper fuselage is spray-painted sideways.  The paint is faded and peeled in parts indicating frequent use of this plane.  The lightning bolt is painted unevenly which suggests it was done hurriedly.  The color of the spinner is probably the average dark brown. The white stripe (It seems a red rim was painted only in front of the white stripe.) looks strange (The white stripe was used for external Army units only before this time.), but by this time the B-29s already started attacking the mainland, so they were possibly mixed up.  The dividing line of the dark green color on the main body ascends slightly towards the directional rudder.       The team mark from the Akeno Flight School, which the flight team originated from, is painted on the fin.  The letter "  " (This is a part of the name of the team.) is painted in white in a red octagon shape mirror.  A red and white wing is added on each side as this was done at the Akeno Flight Training Team.  (Refer to the color illustration in the front.)  Major Hirose was one of the veteran fighter pilots and was dispatched to China for the China/Japan war in 1937.  He was honored to shoot down the very first enemy plane on 19 September 1937.  He became an instructor with Akeno Flight School, then he joined the 77th Hiko-Sentai as c.o. of the 3rd Chutai from August 1940 until July 1941, then deputy Sentai Commander from July 1941 until August 1942.  He then became the commander of the 64th Sentai from March 1943 to June 1944.  He returned to Japan and became an instructor with Akeno Flight Training Team as well as the defense force member with his Ki.44.  On 22 December 1944, he dashed against the B-29 formation that was attacking Nagoya and was blown up with his airplane.  U.S. sources indicate a B-29 was rammed and destroyed over Nagoya on this date.  Hirose's decision was totally voluntary.  The army sent a citation and a special two ranks promotion (to Colonel).  He shot down 9 planes in total through the China/Japan War and the Pacific War.
         (bottom)  Ki.44-II of Tachiarai Army Flight School at Suminoatsu Airport in Kyushu in November 1944.  It’s in poor condition with most of its paint peeled off and the main wheels seem to be flat.  This plane was probably used at Akeno Flight School.  A yellow stripe is painted on the lower body and a letter "  " (black with white trim) is painted on the rudder.  This school opened in September 1940 and trained the young pilots.

[1] Translator's note : This is based on the famous revenge incident called "Chusingula" which occurred in 1702. 
[2] Translator's note: Not sure of the spelling of this place.
[3] Kuroe is officially credited with 30 kills including 2 in Nomanhan. (Hata/Izawa)
[4] According to Japanese Fighters, 1921-1945 published by Tank, this was Sakagawa's machine.  The wide white band would tend to support this view.
[5] Translator's note: This name could be pronounced 'Karitani', though the editor has seen rendered as 'Kariya' in other sources.
[6] Or would this be the 1st Chutai CO's plane? - Ed.
[7] Yellow? - Ed.
[8] Translator's note: this name could be pronounced 'Takeshi' or 'Takeru'.
[9] I believe this is New Years Day 1945 and that this may be Masaki's plane #1435.  See photo on page 58. - Ed.
[10] Again this assumed to be 1945. - Ed.
[11] More likely 1944. - Ed.
[12] FAOW #17 in its corrections for this book says that this is W.O. Mitsumoto.
[13] I think this name could also be pronounced 'Toshiji'. - Ed.
[14] In its corrections for this book FAOW #17 the pilots are listed, front to back, as #4402 W.O. Mitsumoto, #4406 Capt. Jinbo and #4404 Sgt.Maj. Ito.
[15] As above, W.O. Mitsumoto.
[16] As above, Sgt. Maj. Ito in #4404.
[17] According to another source this photo was taken in Oct. 1944.  As a point of speculation, could the like colored tips of the tails mark a shotai? - Ed.
[18] This is the translation and obviously refers to the lateral red stripe seen on some of these planes. - Ed.
[19] See FAOW #19.  Caption is from Watanabe's Air War Over Japan.
[20] i.e., Home Defense. - Ed.
[21] 1945? - Ed.
[22] This is not necessarily true.  See Yoshio Yoshida's number "11" from the same outfit! (Model Art #329, Watanabe's Air War Over Japan) - Ed.
[23] Ogawa is credited with 9 victories in Hata/Izawa.
[24] Close examination of the photos shows this not to be the case! - Ed.