Air Enthusiast 2003-07
M.Huggins - Wings of the rising sun
Mitsubishi A6M3 in typical late war scheme. The '1' at the top of the rudder indicates a former 'Zuikaku' unit while the yellow lines denote a commander's aircraft.
The 281st Kokutai and their A6M5 'Zeroes', distinguishable by the individual exhaust stacks. Note the abbreviated tail code on the aircraft at right.
At least one complete Company (Chutai) of Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusas of the IJAAF's 50 Air Regiment (Sentai) in flight over Burma early in 1942. The fighters nearest the camera wear red markings so are from the 2nd Company.
Each IJAAF regiment (Sentai) was easily distinguishable from its cousins by its unique tail emblem. Discarded Nakajima Ki-43-IIb Hayabusa discovered on a New Guinea airfield by advancing Allied units once belonged to the 63rd Sentai. Behind is the tail of a 78th Sentai Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien.
Four Nakajima Ki-44 Shokis from the Akeno Army Fighter Training School in Japan, sometime in late 1944.
A6M2 Model 21 as flown by Lt Masaji Suganami from the carrier 'Soryu' during the Battle of Midway June 1942.
Бомбардировщик G3M2 "Нелл" из состава 25-й воздушной флотилии базовой авиации японского флота.
IJNAF units during the early war years (pre-November 1942) carried a single letter prefix to their tail code, which signified the parent unit. In this case 'G' stands for Genzan Kokutai on a Mitsubishi G3M bomber.
It is possible to judge from this picture the number of personnel required to man a heavy bomber air group (Kokutai), in this case with Mitsubishi G4M1 navy bombers. Aircrews actually made up a very small minority of the unit.
Navy group crews busy themselves in attempting to render this Yokosuka P1Y Ginga medium bomber invisible from the prying eyes of the Allies, by using camouflage netting stiffened with bamboo poles during the campaign for Okinawa during 1945.