Famous Aircraft of the World #17 Ki-61 Shoki Photo Translations
by John Quinn,  D.Y. Louie and Jim Perry
Original Japanese Text, copyright Burindo
FC     One of several known Ki 61s to have been flown by Teruhiko Kobayashi. This plane, "24", was photographed both with and without the inscription on the tail! Inscription translates as "victory".
F/O    18th Sentai, 12/44. Kanji on cowl translates as "Tsurugi" or "Sword". The plane was flown by 1st Lt. Naoto Fukunaga. The unit  was flying from Maran in Java at this time.
p. 2   Top, 19th Sentai, 2nd Chutai. Feb. 44.
 "     Bottom, "73", Sgt. Masao Itagaki, 244th Sentai, early 1945. This pilot flew for some time with the Shinten-Tai or Special Attack flight of the 244th and survived at least 2 successful ramming attacks. One of those attacks was on 12/3/44 on which occasion he parachuted to safety.
p. 3   Top, "57", 1st Lt. Toru Shinomiya, leader of the 244ths Shinten-Tai flight. He too claimed a victory by ramming on 12/3/44, but he was able to bring "57" home though a good portion of his left       wing had been torn away. In mid-December he was one of the 244th's contribution to the "Shinbu-tai", special attack units for raids against shipping and which were later used during the Okinawa campaign. (see photo bottom p.66 of their farewell ceremony.)
 "     Middle, 7th Special Attack (?), April, 45.
 "     Bottom, 11th Special Attack (?), April, 45.
p. 4   Top, "37", 55th Sentai, early 45. A similar "34" appears in Nihon belonging to Matskawa.
 "     Bottom, 56th Sentai, early 45.
p. 5   Top, 68th Sentai, early 43(?).
 "     Middle, 2nd Chutai, 68th Sentai flown by Sakeuichi, the CO, not Takeuichi as listed by some sources.
 "     Bottom, Toda (see p. 25)
p. 6   Top, 244th Sentai, February 45. Supposedly one of Kobayashi's, however in an old issue of Kofu-Fan magazine (5.78?) there is an interview with a mechanic from the 244th, Shigeru Suzuki, who      indicated that a pilot named Fujita flew a machine with multi-colored stripes on the rear fuselage.
 "     Bottom, "43", 244th Sentai, shortly after the end of the war.  This is more likely the Fujita machine. No victories appear on either machine...though they may be on the left side of the upper machine (note in all planes displaying victories that they have been photographed from the left side only!).
p. 7   Both, 149th Special Attack photographed after the war.
p. 8   Top, "295", 244th Sentai, January 45. Flown by the CO, Capt.  Teruhiko Kobayashi, 244th. He was given command of this unit on 11/27/44 and at 24 was the youngest CO in the JAAF. Was this the machine in which he scored his ramming kill? This was his 6th victory and occurred on 1/27/45. The aircraft was lost while the Capt. parachuted to safety. The drawing shows 5 kills, however, close inspection of the photo at the bottom of pages 60 and 61 reveals a sixth in the second row and in silouhette only. The upper stripe may be yellow and note in the photo the over-painting of this stripe on the rear fuselage. Kobayashi's machines will be discussed in more detail with the photo section.
 "     Middle, "24", 244th Sentai, Febuary 45. Also Kobayashi. This bird shows the six kills, including the ramming victory. This is the second of 3 known birds with the number "24" that he flew.
 "     Bottom, 244th Sentai, 3rd Chutai, after the surrender. This plane was originally thought to be Kobayashi's but is now believed to have belonged to Capt. Tadakazu Ichikawa, though this is still not totally certain. Photographed by an American after the war, the color was described as "chocolate bar brown" (weathered olive drab?), but may have been dark green.
p.31   Bottom, "45", Ando (or Endo depending on source) -Kobayashi's wingman, 244th Sentai.  Killed in ramming attack on 1/27/45.
p.32   Top and bottom, 149th Special Attack, photographed after the war.
p.36   Capt. T. Yano, 105th Sentai.
p.40   Capt. Haruyoshi Furukawa, CO of the 56th Sentai.
p.41   Photo of machine illustrated on page 5.
p.60-3 All Teruhiko Kobayashi (12...10 B-29s, 2 F6Fs), 244th Sentai.  "88", reportedly Kobayashi only flew this plane once for the benefit of the Japanese press. Second machine is "295". Close inspection of the photos of this machine show that the lower stripe is all white. The section shown as blue is actually from a shadow cast by a prop blade. The upper stripe may be yellow. Close study also shows that the top stripe was painted on first, then the camouflage, and finally the white stripe. This bird also had 5 kills painted on under the cockpit! The plane with clover leaf may have been someone else! Possibly Tadakazu Ichikawa.  Note in photos, particularly those of the dark green machine (p.148), that with Kobayashi's kills, he always distinguishes the 2 F6Fs from his bomber kills (also at least 1 ramming kill).  With the "clover leaf" machine these are not in evidence. Note in Izawa[JAAF] Kobayashi's "first" name is given       as Akihiko!
p.63   Top, "45", Ando again.  (see p.31)
p.65   " " Bottom?
p.66   Top, Eto (?).
p.66   Bottom, Eto...Kana.
p.67   Nakanno, Itagaki, etc.
p.72   Top, "89" still taken from a motion picture, part of which is featured in the last episode of The Unknown War. Kana "I" is visible on the tail. Itagaki's bird?
p.72   "57", Sho-ichi Takeyama. This plane is one of at least 4 known to have carried this number.
p.75   Top, possibly Toda.
p.76   Bottom left.  Possibly same as "37" on page 4.
p.78   Sakeuichi.
p.79   Bottom, 78th Sentai, New Guinea. "ku" on tail?
p.80   Bottom, "43", Kobayashi or Fujita (Koku-Fan, 5.78)
p.81   Bottom, possibly 18th OTU, 12/44.
p.82   "20", possibly of the 18th OTU.
p.82   Top left, Adachi.
p.82   Top right, Maeda.
p.82   Middle, Kobayashi or Ichikawa.
p.82   "70", tail may have had an inscription.
p.83   5 B-29s, 3w/o.
p.83   Koba.