Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Falcon Named Oscar

This latest installment of 'TWW' features our favorite Japanese fighter aircraft from the Second World War... the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa... known to the Allies as 'Oscar'. (Hayabusa ( ハヤブサ ) is Japanese for 'Peregrine Falcon'.)

Your blogmeister often refers to the Ki-43 as 'the other Zero' or 'the Army's Zero' (the Japanese Army, that is) because, as early war fighters are concerned, its performance was second only to the A6M Reisen... the original and much-vaunted 'Zero', known too by the Allied code name, 'Zeke'.

It's also somewhat fitting to refer to the Ki-43 as such because U.S. aircrew would often use the term 'Zero' in combat, regardless of the actual type of Japanese fighter that was encountered. This has undoubtedly led to the widely-held and sadly mistaken belief among the masses, even to this day, that the only Japanese fighters our boys fought during WWII were Zeroes. A belief that is especially strong among the more casual fans of the AVG, better known as the Flying Tigers, despite the fact that the AVG never met the A6M Reisen, the real 'Zero', in combat.

Anyhoo, here's a few shots of CBI Oscars...

This Ki-43-IIa is identified in some of our references as the Commanding Officer's ship from 2nd Chutai, 25th Sentai. China, 1944.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

This Ki-43-II of the 204th Hiko Sentai was found abandoned at Lashio, Burma... photo dated March 11th, 1945.

NARA via

A closer look...

NARA via

This poor quality image shows the other side of the same ship...

Project 914 Archives

That's it for now, though you'll probably see more Oscars in the future.

Fade to Black...

No comments:

Post a Comment