J.N.A.F. AND  I.J.A.A.F. Aircraft Ordinance
PART II, Army Bombs
by Bryan Wilburn
Compared to the Japanese Navy, the Army system of bombs and markings was quite simple. This simplicity was probably due to the land type targets they were directed against. Of the bombs dropped, roughly 10% failed to detonate. These "Duds" were eagerly examined by ordinance experts, if in fact one can eagerly examine a live rattlesnake's fangs.
Construction of the Amy bombs was quite simple. They used screw-on or screw attached nose sections. Sheet metal tail assemblies were welded an to the body and tail fins were spot welded in place. Tail fins were of three types; solid, ie 15kg Type 96; open, ie 1/2kg Type 99; and finally closed, ie 250kg. (Click to see diagrams)
As with casing simplicity, Army coloration was also simple. Nose, body and tail coloration was Black. A red nose band was painted on once the high explosive was filled. A White, 1" band was located just forward of the suspension lug. Most sources indicate this band denoted a high grade steel casing, later in the wax the White band was sometimes left off. Forward of the Unite band, a Yellow band, again 1", was used to denote a Piric acid bursting charge. The overall color of the 15kg fragmentation type was Dark Blue Grey. While other body and band colors were used on special types of weapons these will be covered in a future article.
Another topic which will be covered later is fuzes, over 20 Army and Navy nose and tail units.
While mast units covered here are of known use, the 1/2 kg bomb is a bit of an enigma. Documents indicate it might be a cluster bomblet, however no casings were located. The units examined were found in sealed boxes. It is quite possible this 1939 vintage weapon was in fact a hand thrown weapon either to mark or harass.
P11 informational markings were in White, and the standard practice was to stencil the bomb weight, in kg, an top, just forward of the Yellow band. Mile I can't help with the exact shades of Yellow, Orange and Black the 15 kg was probably Blue Black, possibly FS 35045. The Red however, was the standard Red used for primer coats, unit markings and Hinomaru, a close match to FS 31136 when freshly painted.          
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