View Full Version : The Falcons of New Guinea.......

02-04-2011, 12:43 AM
The Falcons of New Guinea and New Britain
Known Markings of Active
Type 1 Fighter / Ki-43 / Hayabusa

<span class="ev_code_RED">Note: The author (myself) is a novice student of Japanese air combat, aircraft, markings and units of New Guinea and makes no claims to the accuracy of the following information. All of the following is what I have been able to gleen from a number of publications, questions to the true experts on the subject like those found at http://www.j-aircraft.com , and is nothing more then my interpretation of it. The work SHOULD be questioned, and is presented solely seeking corrections and additions to firm up my knowledge my educational process done publically so we may all learn from it. Further, any information utilized should be checked against photographs before proceeding with any subsequent work (CGI, profiles, models), and finally it cannot be stressed enough to NOT use profiles or existing artwork to base your own work upon.

Venerable, work-horse or Peregrine Falcon, all fitting terms to describe the agile and in its day formidable Japanese Army Type 1 Fighter or better known to those in the West, the Ki-43 "Oscar". Surprising to those first encountering it a vast departure from its predecessor the Ki-27 "Nate", the Hayabusa proved both quick and fleet, and in the skilled hands of veteran Japanese pilots a truly dangerous adversary. However, as the Hayabusa and its experienced units began to trickle into New Britain and ultimately New Guinea, the allied aircraft and more so the tactics they had begun to use tested its limitations. In short order even the most skilled of Ki-43 aces would find combat difficult claiming the Hayabusa's day had passed, yet would utilize it till the end of the campaign.

To be sure the Ki-43 would remain a threat until the end of the war, however under gunned and designed for a time when swirling combat was more the norm, facing tremendous odds and tenacious tactics, the Falcons of New Guinea would simply have to struggle on till help arrived. Yet it would never come.

The markings presented should be debated. Some having obvious and clear photographs as supporting evidence, others generated by documentation (not photographs), and finally some are generated using reasonable assumption, and others totally unproven (all noted as such). Points of note regarding the telltails themselves is as follows:
1. Command flight markings and colors in some cases are questionable. Though the norm for many units in the theatre was to utilize a "cobalt or royal blue" color, for those unconfirmed where there was a significant command group it is assumed they followed suit.
2. Except for the 1st & 11th Sentais, the common theme of color coding of Chuutais was cobalt blue for command, white for 1st, red for second, and yellow for third. Further, when outlined typically darker colors (blue, red, and yellow) were outlined in white, white in red the exception being the 77th which in one known photograph outlined the yellow 3rd chuutai marking in red.
3. Typically on sparsely camouflaged to bare metal aircraft markings in white would be outlined in red. On dark or dense camouflaged aircraft, blue or red markings would be outlined in white. However, examples of dark markings utilizing a "halo effect" with camouflage can be found.
4. The longer units remained in theatre markings seemed to degrade as to quality. Outlining, crisp detail, even in some cases the shape suffering and additional unit specific markings simply not added. Lastly, it would not be uncommon for any unit to have unmarked aircraft in their inventory. Virtually all aircraft were met with combat instantly upon arrival, and there were more important things needed to be done to service an aircraft then paint on a bit of unit pride.


1-16, 1st Hikousentai:
Making up the balance of the 12th Hikoudan along with the 11th Hikousentai, the 1st would follow their sister regiment to Vunakanau Rabaul, New Britain arriving January 9th, 1943 with 33 Ki-43-I. By the end of January the 1st Sentai would be moved East into the Solomons to be stationed at Ballale extending their reach as far East as Guadalcanal to help cover the withdrawls of Japanese forces there. By early February the Sentai would be stationed back in New Britain and ultimately both Lae and Wewak, New Guinea where they would fight until finally withdrawn out of the theatre in August, 1943. Any 1st Sentai aircraft seen in combat after their departure would of very likely been now a 13th Sentai aircraft.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: The Sentai marking unlike many was simplistic and to the point. Highly visible and helpful in quick aircraft identification, the upper 3/4 of the rudder roughly was painted in chuutai colors of Cobalt Blue for the Command Flight (1-4), Red for 1st Chuutai (5-8), White 2nd Chuutai (9-12), Yellow 3rd Chuutai (13-16). They were further marked to differentiate the shoutai possibly, or perhaps the aircraft within a flight itself via contrasting stripes in either white or red upon the rudder (the unstriped rudder considered 4th). Though photographic evidence of aircraft once to New Britain often shows just a single stripe, the use of numerous stripes as in 1942 cannot be confirmed by the author except via a single photograph with a questionable date. It is also debatable that Command flight aircraft ever utilized the stripe system having no photographic evidence. Finally as to regiment markings, there are some indications that 11th Sentai aircraft may have been utilized by the 1st Sentai after the 11th's departure, or perhaps cannibalized for replacement tail sections as photographs hint at painted over rudders with the remnant of 11th lightning bolts still intact on the vertical stabilizer as demonstrated in telltails 5 & 14.

Command Markings: As they had in 1942 the 1st Hikousentai still made use of "command stripes" and markings. Photographs indicate that not only were they utilized mid-fuselage ahead of the hinomaru, yet also upon the wings and possibly horizontal stabilizers. The extent or exact meaning of these command markings past recognition unknown to me, yet evidence can be found in photographs.

Additional Aircraft Markings: Once to New Guinea the graphic fuselage chevrons that once adorned 1st Sentai aircraft were gone replaced by a hinomaru. In most cases fuselage hinomarus were bordered in white, yet some aircraft can be found where the white border 'seems' to be missing. In kind the hinomaru contrary to 1942 had been shifted farther forward. Additional markings can be found in the form of radial striping about the cowling, and other stripes yet their exact purpose is unknown to me.

Spinner Marking: Lack of spinners shown in 1943 photographs makes it impossible to determine if they were painted past a primer unlike years previous. However there is one photograph with a questionable date showing what would be a fully painted yellow spinner upon a third chuutai aircraft.

Camouflage: For the most part initially, aircraft were camouflaged in a fully covering uniform green upon its upper surfaces. Ultimately however, 1st Sentai aircraft can be found more sparsely painted to even bare metal. Both palm fron or a snake weave patterns along with fully covered areas (tail sections and wings) can be found, to even just small blotches though camouflage wear (chipping) cannot be ruled out.

17-20, 11th Hikousentai:
The first Japanese army fighter regiment to reach the South East Pacific theatre of operations was the 11th Sentai making up the bulk of the 12th Hikoudan. Arriving at Vunakanau airfield Rabaul, New Britain from Truk December 18th, 1942 with their 60 Ki-43-I, within a week would be making claims of fighters shot down over Buna, Papua, and would even lay claim to a destroyed B-17 by early January. Quickly however significant losses began to mount. Sent East to Buka Island upon the arrival of the 1st Hikousentai, they would conduct operations over the Solomons until early February when pulled back to Munda, New Georgia and ultimately New Britain. The balance of their time in theatre was spent fighting over New Guinea based out of both Wewak and Madang, until withdrawn back to Japan late June, 1943. Any 11th Sentai aircraft found in combat after that time would of most likely been 1st Sentai, ultimately any remaining aircraft taken over by the 13th Sentai.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: Simple and instantly recognizable, the lightning bolt suggested by some to be two offset 1s or kana "ichi" to make a stylized "11" debatable. Found in chuutai colors of white for 1st (18), red for 2nd (19) and yellow for 3rd (20), it is unknown by this author if there was a specific color or style utilized by the command group. Further, it has been suggested in numerous profiles and artwork that senior officers may have utilized an outlined emblem (17), some even suggesting a dramatic 6-lightning bolt design utilized by the Sentai Hombu, yet I have been unable to find photographs of either so item 17 remains unconfirmed.

Command Markings: The 11th Sentai did indeed utilize various command markings. Be they a single broad white stripe about the fuselage just behind the cockpit, to even one example showing three thin red stripes in the same location. However, photographs must be utilized for confirmation, and caution must be shown (see "Additional AIrcraft Markings").

Additional Aircraft Markings: 11th Sentai aircraft can be found with a number of unique markings that are not unit specific. Unfortunately, we cannot be sure of what is an 11th determined mark, or what may simply be a remnant of previous units. To make up for aircraft numbers before departing for Truk and bulk up the total to 60, a number of 50th and 64th Sentai Ki-43-I were procurred. Though it is very likely that camouflage may have been touched up and regiment markings added over those existing, it is also very likely that the entire aircraft was not redecorated, so to that end some 50th and 64th specific marks as well as camouflage may have been left intact. That said if the case, then though a particular marking may no longer hold meaning such as a command or personal aircraft mark, it never the less would of now been a part of a 11th Sentai aircraft. So never the less its own.

Spinner Marking: There is some indication that some 11th Sentai aircraft had painted spinners. Unfortunately regarding 'Additional Markings' above and from photographic evidence, it is doubtful that it was added in chuutai colors and was not a standard form of decoration.

Camouflage: Camouflage due to the conditions explained in 'Additional Markings' would of very likely been rather varied. Be it the large mottle of green and brown/tan commonly thought of for 11th Sentai Ki-43 over Burma, to even perhaps 50th or 64th schemes. Camouflage determination must be made on a case by case basis with photographic evidence.

21-24, 13th Hikousentai:
December, 1942, 12 aircraft of the 5th Sentai (6 Ki-45-Kai, 6 Ki-46) were formed into an un-numbered Dokuritsu Hikou-chuutai (calling themselves Tokushu Kogekitai) arriving by carrier in Rabaul mid-February, 1943. Initially a heavy fighter (Ki-45 Kai) unit, the 13th Sentai arrived at Rabaul, New Britain May 11th, 1943 attached to the 6th Hikoushidan, absorbing the Tokushu Kogekitai. The unit spread out between Rabaul and Wewak (Boram), New Guinea, the attacks of mid-August by allied forces left them with only two Ki-45 remaining. To that end, taking up the Ki-43-I left behind by the 1st (and 11th) Hikousentai, they would continue the fight primarily as a Ki-43 unit for the remainder of the campaign. Though it is probable 24th and perhaps even 59th Sentai Ki-43-II were utilized by the 13th, ultimately by mid-November the Sentai had been withdrawn to Wakde, and would vacillate between Ki-45 and Ki-43-II as the Japanese were pressed out of the theatre.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: As to Ki-43 utilized by the unit there has been significant debate as to the markings actually used. One would assume the emblem utilized on Ki-45 when reaching the theatre would of continued on, especially considering that later Ki-45 found in the Philippines did so. What we can speculate that while in the Wewak area unit markings upon Ki-43 would of remained as procured, yet once finally granted relief from the action and aquiring their own Ki-43-II for whatever the reason on those aircraft utilized a new and much different emblem. Clearly a 3 laid against a 1 forming a harpoon tip if you will, the 13th's marking seemed to resemble more that of the 47th's, yet considering the only two photographs I have seen and the sentai structure can make some rather sound speculations.

The first being, the sentai emblem varied slightly in both shape and detail. From a very crisp and moderately narrow emblem with a shadow effect in white, to rather simply applied yet proportions somewhat flexible. From the size and structure of the Sentai, plus "supposed" earlier versions of this emblem (as presented in many publications before use of the marking known to be used on Ki-45) I assume there was a command flight and have represented it in the typical cobalt blue (21), the remaining chuutai based upon the same information and unit structure of 3 chuutai shown typically as white for 1st (un-outlined)(22), red for 2nd (shadowed)(23), yellow for 3rd (un-outlined)(24). However, at this time only have photographic evidence of the 1st and 2nd/3rd chuutais.

Command Markings: Unknown, none of the three known aircraft having any form of command marking.

Additional Aircraft Markings: An aircraft number, can be found clearly on one example. Oddly the most detailed marking in the photographs (23 telltail), the number is both crude in form, size and placement, yet it is assumed that other Hayabusas would of been marked as such as well. Hinomaru are typical in placement and outlining of those on the fuselage.

Spinner Marking: Spinners appear to be primer brown with no color relating to chuutai noted.

Camouflage: in all three photographic examples the aircraft appear to have been repainted often in a palm fron pattern. Touched up enough times that it even makes areas seem fully covered, the varied shades from fresh to worn are evident and "assumed" to be dark green.

25-28, 24th Hikousentai:
The build up of Japanese Army Flying Corps forces continuing, roughly mid-May, 1943 the long existing 24th Sentai reinforced existing units arriving at But/Dagua, New Guinea with their newly acquired Ki-43-II. Though the reason unknown to me, on route they had left their 1st Chuutai at Babo much farther West for air defense there. Oddly though joining the rest of the Sentai ten days later, one of this group laid claim to their first kills in the theatre of two B-24's with a third damaged. Almost instantly the unit began to see action making numerous claims of B-24's yet also noting significant losses of senior personnel. Once the attacks of mid-August began combat would be relentless, yet by October 2nd, 1943 the unit would be withdrawn back to Japan, though would return to the Western portion of the theatre in May of 1944. Any 24th Sentai aircraft seen in action most likely after the October 1943 date however would of been flown by the 14th Hikoudan Hien units freshly there (68th & perhaps 78th Sentai) having lost virtually all of their aircraft time and again in the months subsequent to August 17th.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: Though difficult to visualize and debatable, the unit emblem now contrary to their previous (looking much like the 1st Sentai style) had changed to a small stylized 2 & 4 merged together. Classic in chuutai coloration of cobalt blue for the command flight (25), white for 1st chuutai (26), red 2nd chuutai (27), and yellow for 3rd (28). There was no contrasting outlining, yet the emblem seemed to vairy slightly in consistancy of proportions (not shown).

Command Markings: Though debatable as to whether a command or personal mark, in one photograph of either a command flight aircraft or a second chuutai, a wide yellow band about the fuselage between the hinomaru and combat band can be found.

Additional Aircraft Markings: Hinomaru placement and style including outlining is as typical with most other units of the day. Further some though not all 24th Hayabusa have a well written 2 digit number upon the rudder as shown in telltails 26 & 27. No other unique markings are known.

Spinner Marking: spinners of aircraft may or may not have been marked in chuutai colors. With some aircraft it is obvious, with others debatable.

Camouflage: Though in most cases upper surfaces were covered fully (assumed in green), other 24th aircraft can be found either sparsely covered to some even seeming primarily bare metal. Chipping and paint failure is also quite evident on even active aircraft.

29-35, 33rd Hikousentai:
Arriving late in the theatre the 33rd Hikousentai would not escape the wrath of the New Guinea unscathed. Noted as reaching Hollandia, New Guinea on the 21st/2nd of February 1944, their aircraft strength of 30 Ki-43-II was bolstered to an impressive 50 on the 26th of February, yet after transferring to the Wewak complex of bases (Wewak and But noted) in early March would not see their aircraft numbers above 20 until leaving the theatre (roughly assumed in April, 1944). Contrary to many other Hayabusa units however, they would fight another day.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: A beautifully sweeping inverted 3 covering most of the vertical stabilizer and rudder, made for a somewhat visible yet obvious marking. It is debatable whether a cobalt blue marking either outlined or not (29 & 30) existed for the command flight like other units, however the 33rd is noted as the 1st chuutai being white (and possibly outlined in red when upon sparsely camouflaged aircraft...unconfirmed) (31 & 32), red and also outlined in white for the 2nd chuutai (33 & 34), yellow for the 3rd chuutai (35).

Command Markings: It is unknown by the author if command markings while in New Guinea were utilized by this regiment.

Additional Aircraft Markings: The placement and outlining of Hinomarus was typical for the aircraft and period. Though no personal marks have been found, it is noted that in other theatres a 33rd Hayabusa did have a unique wide red tail band about the rear fuselage, yet nothing similar is known to me in New Guinea. There is a rather striking feature however. Some of the 33rd airframes were noted as having a rather large (perhaps 12") single digit numeral perhaps denoting the aircraft 2/3 of the distance between the fuselage hinomaru toward the combat band. Very well formed (almost stenciled) in one case, rougher in the second.

Spinner Marking: Spinners I have noted seem to be in a primer nothing more.

Camouflage: The typical camouflage found on New Guinea 33rd aircraft tends to be a very fine lined and dense palm fron / snake weave pattern. So fine and dense with varied hues from repaints that it will often hint at chipping though they are simply gaps in the pattern.

36-40, 59th Hikousentai:
Briefly at least part of the Sentai stationed in Babo through March and April of 1943, the 59th participated in the infamous Darwin raids before being eventually transferred to But, New Guinea mid-July with their remaining 27 Ki-43-II. Well recognized in the region and their simply marked aircraft noted over much of the regions bases, the 59th became well known for the tenacity and skill of its members. Oddly enough, the most recognizable aircraft and pilot of the 59th was that of Captain Shigeo Nango. Deservedly well respected by his men and those in the theatre, it is he that is noted in his diary as stating "it was no longer the day of the Hayabusa". The regiment while in theatre saw considerable combat and of the Ki-43 regiments was perhaps/arguably the most successful, yet on February 17th, 1944 the regiment was withdrawn to Japan saving it from the fate of others remaining. It is possible that 59th aircraft seen in combat during the month of October, 1943 and after mid-February, 1944 were flown by members of the 68th & 78th Sentai's to bolster their aircraft numbers.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: Simple and recognizable, a single narrow stripe running diagonally over the rudder and vertical stabilizer enveloping the leading edge of the transition piece to the fuselage. Noted as being marked in the classic colors of cobalt blue outlined in white for the command flight (36), white for the 1st chuutai (37), red outlined in white early on, then later and perhaps on more sparsely camouflaged aircraft without outlines for the 2nd chuutai (38 & 39), and yellow for the 3rd chuutai (40). We know without question that there was indeed a command flight color in that it is often debated as to why Capt. Nango utilized it for his dual commad stripes they also outlined in white. Further, all 59th aircraft had a similar width stripe along the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer its full width and parallel to the rudders marked in the same color and outlining as the sentai vertical stabilizer marking.

Command Markings: The 59th utilized a couple of notable command markings. Typically a single or double band about the fuselage behind the hinomaru and wider then the combat band. All examples I have seen in white except for Capt. Nango's (and beware of those in profiles showing red) which were two cobalt blue outlined in white markings.

Additional Aircraft Markings: The fuselage hinomaru was placed typically, yet seems in some cases to have a very narrow outline, others more typical and still on a couple of others possibly non-existant or in a different color then white. Many of the aircraft also carried a two digit number crisp in detail and common in font upon the rudder above the sentai marking (stripe) (as shown in 37, 38, & 40). Though seeming a rather regimented unit as to markings, oddly there is one example of Sgt. Hirohata's aircraft sporting a rather large bird in flight (perhaps a sparrow) in red on the side of the fuselage behind the hinomaru. From the same photograph though it has been debated, there also seems to be a rather large white and red stripe forward of the hinomaru where command markings are more typically placed, and perhaps even a stripe angling down toward the hinomaru. Caution is again advised when reviewing profiles of this aircraft as to color and markings.

Spinner Marking: Spinners can be found in both base primer, yet also 1/2-3/4 (removable portion ahead of props) in white, and perhaps even chuutai colors (unconfirmed).

Camouflage: Initially, 59th Ki-43 were painted in a uniform and fully covering dark green upon the upper surfaces of the aircraft and debatably even the undersides of the fuselage and it is suggested wrapping over and under wing leading edges. In time however, the fully covering pattern gave way to small areas missed, dense palm fron patterns and even small blotches. Some aircraft even so devoid of camouflage (some wear some as intended) that they without thorough scrutiny seem bare metal.

41-44, 63rd Hikousentai:
Noted as arriving at Hollandia, New Guinea December 1943, the 63rd Sentai is said to have joined the fight at Wewak January 3rd, 1944 sans its first chuutai with 27 Ki-43-II. By February 20th, 1944, the first chuutai had arrived with 11 more aircraft, yet almost instantly the squadron came to realize what their brothers in arms had been facing losing 5 aircraft in their first engagement. Never the less quickly gaining their teeth the 63rd began to rack up victories, yet as had been long proven to both sides it was a give and take campaign. By March the regiment was back to Hollandia, and on April 21st, 1944 they made their last interception. Four months of air combat had taken their toll on the 63rd, and as pilots became foot soldiers slipping back into the shadows of the jungle, the Japanese High command began scratching their regiments number from the roles. By July 25th, 1944, the 63rd Hikousentai was officially disbanded as though swallowed up by New Guinea.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: Bold and large, the 6 & 3 actually obvious especially on earlier aircraft before reaching New Guinea (seperated by outlining), the tip in some cases even extending all the way to the combat band yet in all cases continues off the vertical stabilizer and down onto the fuselage. Though the command flight color of cobalt blue outlined in white (41) cannot be confirmed or denied by this author, what we are sure of is the 1st chuutai was in white (42), 2nd chuutai in red outlined in white (43) also red without an outline (not shown), and the 3rd chuutai in yellow (44). Further notes past what is shown in the telltails, is what started as a very crisp and uniform marking in short order became sloppy and lost many proportions from aircraft to aircraft. Some of these markings were clearly hastily added.

Command Markings: Though one aircraft I have seen a photograph of "hints" at a possible command stripe, to date I have yet to find one.

Additional Aircraft Markings: As shown in the telltails, it was more often then not the case for a 63rd aircraft to carry a rather large 2 digit aircraft number between the forks of the sentai marking upon the rudder. Always in white, initially these numerals were very crisp and proportional. Over time their quality began to waiver till ultimately they looked more hand drawn and excessively narrow yet tall. The second type of mark found just as common as the numerals are large individual katakana in place of the numbers. Again always in white, they are so common that finding neither the numerals or the katakana is the oddity. Fuselage hinomaru were as typical for the timeframe with a wide white border.

Spinner Marking: Though probable that some spinners were left in their base primer finish (in that few photographs show them), those that show spinners have roughly 50% of the removable cone finished in the chuutai color.

Camouflage: 63rd aircraft camouflage varied dramatically. Some seeming to have all upper surfaces painted fully in what I believe is green, others have such a dense and narrow palm fron or snake weave patteren that they leave few bare patches. However, some of the aircraft were clearly hastily painted leaving them moderately camouflaged, and others were clearly sparsely painted in simple small blotches.

45-48, 77th Hikousentai:
Last of the Hayabusa Sentai to join the fight of too little too late, the 77th Hikousentai tremendously experienced and having fought in virtually every theatre the Japanese attacked, arrived at Hollandia on February 28th, 1944 with their Ki-43-IIs was quickly thrust into the battles. Based both in the Wewak area during March yet were quickly pulled back sometime after March 16th. April was a devastating month for the 77th of which the victories would not compensate, and by late April not even two months of combat under their belt in New Guinea, the 77th's pilots were joining the others as they retreated into the jungle on foot. In the end, there was not a single survivor and just as with the 63rd, the 77th was officially disbanded on July 25th, 1944.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: A clear and obvious 7 laid on its side, contrary to what is presented in some well respected publications, the chuutai markings would of had no reason to change in color. Cobalt blue with a halo effect about it (and possibly even white outlining for some) of the command flight (45) white outlined or not for the 1st chuutai (46), red with a halo effect (and possibly even white outlining for some) for the 2nd chuutai (47), yellow and in one very well known case (though perhaps a chuutai leaders color outlined in red) for the 3rd chuutai (48). Oddly, for the sentai emblem to have a halo effect as precisely as it does would entail either camouflaging the aircraft after or cleaning off the camouflage before its application. It is also odd that a halo effect would be utilized on darker colors (blue and red) when outlining was so commonly used. However, it may be "possible" that outlining of the marking held some greater significance (such as a chuutai leader or so on), yet that is simply speculation.

Command Markings: 77th aircraft utilized a number of command markings though all tending to be near the rear side of the hinomaru. Noted as a single white band about the fuselage slightly wider then the combat band, there is also an example on a 3rd chuutai aircraft of two bands with a diagonal stripe beginning just above the aircraft centerline and sweeping backward to over the top of the fuselage. There is also an example of either a command flight or 2nd chuutai aircraft with a rather wide band closely followed by a much narrower band both outlined in white. Whether the stripes are blue or red I cannot say, yet the marking is rather ornamental.

Additional Aircraft Markings: Hinomaru were placed and of a size common to Ki-43 with a broad white outline. One example though noted in Burma has a very large katakana which is just different enough that I cannot determine which it is in white. The aircraft also has a command stripe, and the white 1st chuutai marking is very well outlined. Unfortunately, most of the 77th Ki-43 photographs from New Guinea have damaged rudders. So I am unable to determine if such markings were used on other aircraft.

Spinner Marking: Unknown, not a single 77th Ki-43 New Guinea photograph I have seen has a spinner still in place.

Camouflage: Examples I have seen are actually quite cleverly camouflaged. Cowling heavily painted in a heavy palm from enough times it is virtually fully covered, the mid fuselage sparsely painted in small blotches to just past the hinomaru it becoming a very dense palm fron or snake weave with minimal though existing bare flecks to then loosen slightly once more all in green. The effect being, the outline of the aircraft is very well broken up, yet oddly in one example the tops of the wings seem fully covered, while in another it is a very loose yet narrow palm fron.

49-52, 248th Hikousentai:
As noted in Mr R. Dunn's historical recounting "248th Hiko Sentai: A Japanese “Hard luck” Fighter Unit", and excellent informative read which can be found here: http://www.j-aircraft.com/rese...dunn/248th/248th.htm (http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/rdunn/248th/248th.htm) , the 248th initially slated as one of Japan's home defense units was offered up by the high command, and on October 31st, 1943 after the 5th Airforce had pounded the Wewak complex of bases for 2 months, 32 Ki-43-II of the 248th landed to aid in the fight. Past that I'll suggest you read the above link past saying, like the 63rd, 77th, and the two Hien Sentai in the theatre the 68th & 78th, the 248th at the end of the campaign was officially disbanded on July 25th, 1944.

Sentai/Chuutai/Shoutai Emblem & Markings: Often misunderstood even assumed to be of other units, the 248th's "boomerang" emblems graphically represent individual "ichi" or 1s merged into one to make 2-1's, 4-1's, 8-1's (or is it "ni" (2's) to make 2, 2-2's, 4-2's, I'll let you decide). Flowing and artistic, no two were exactly alike the markings seeming hand painted and covering the entire vertical tail area. Item 49 for the command flight is absolutely unconfirmed. Such telltails have been shown in red & blue, and have been repeated countless times on numerous profiles and artwork none of which I can find photographic evidence of. White chevrons were of the 1st chuutai (50), red 2nd chuutai (51), and yellow 3rd (52).

Command Markings: None known in photographs. Though often represented in profiles, I have never found a single command marking on a 248th aircraft.

Additional Aircraft Markings: Hinomaru are typical and outlined as directed. There are no other markings I have found to differentiate 248th Ki-43.

Spinner Marking: None known. Most/all photographs do not show the spinners.

Camouflage: Though some typical photographs hint at a light green, I am of the opinion what we are seeing is simply faded paint that held up well (remained attached to the aluminum), and that 248th Ki-43 were painted in a maderate yet wide spray palm fron.

"Green Hell" as some have called New Guinea taxed men and machine of both sides. Yet if you look closely at the dates and numbers, for all intents and purposes only two to at best four Hayabusa Hikousentai at a time fought the entire might of the U.S. 5th Air Force and their Australian and New Zealand allies. In addition to their numbers you could count only 2 other Fighter Hikousentai in the theatre flying Hiens (and doing as much battle with their own aircraft as the enemy). Yet when you really pour over the numbers of men and machines available, you quickly realize that it was perhaps 50 or typically less aircraft meeting the hundreds coming into view almost daily on the Eastern horizon.

Day in and day out. If not the enemy, then the disease, the elements, the psychological pressure, and often even their own commanders chipping away at the pilots of New Guinea. In the end it was as though each man was expected to fight a hundred and there comes a point where it becomes all to evident it is not due to a confidence in your people, yet a sacrifice you're willing they make. The Falcons and Swallows of New Guinea deserve their remembrance. SO what say we for good or bad get the record right.

Reference List:
1. http://www.j-aircraft.com , of note Mr. J. Lansdale and "Straggler" regarding aircraft markings, Mr. R. Dunn as to unit histories, Mr. J. Long regarding aircraft technical information, and a host of many others too many to list adding the information they have learned to improve the knowledge of all.
2. Japanese Army Air Force Units and their Aces by Hata, Izawa, and Shores, ISBN 1-902304-89-6, Grub Street Publishers (bulk of historical content).
3. MacArthur's Eagles by Lex McAulay, ISBN 1-59114-479-5, Naval Institute Press
4. Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, by R.M.Bueschel, ISBN 0-88740-804-4, Schiffer Publishing
5. Emblems of the Rising Sun (2nd edition), by P. Scott, ISBN 1-902109-55-4, Hikoki Publishing
6. F.A.O.W. #65 Army Type 1 Fighter "Hayabusa", Bunrindo Co. Ltd.
7. Aero Detail #29 Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa, by Nohara, Mochizuki & Hards, ISBN 4-499-22735-6, Dainippon Kaiga Co. Ltd.
8. Japanese Army Air Force Camouflage & Markings, by D.W.Thorpe & Y.Oishi
9. Monografie Lotnicze #48 - Nakajima Ki43 Hayabusa, by Pajdosz, Wlodarczyk, Jarski, ISBN 83-86208-97-X, AJ Press
10. Model Art Camouflage and Markings of IJA Fighters
11. Osprey 85, Ki-43 'Oscar' Aces, by H.Ichimura, ISBN 978-1-84603-408-4, Osprey Publishing
12. Countless other historical publications and documents gleened for minor content.
13. Vast numbers of photographs supplied upon the internet and in numerous publications.


02-04-2011, 08:37 AM
Some of the markings put into practice within the simulation.......








02-04-2011, 08:45 AM
Looking good http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Why not put on the paint scheams forum?

02-04-2011, 08:55 AM
Is it historical information or just paint?


02-04-2011, 09:56 AM
Im am sure that most skinners do a lot of research for there skins and would appreciate the information that you have put together.

02-04-2011, 10:13 AM
Then you should pm a moderator and have them move it so those looking for historical information can't find it http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif


02-04-2011, 05:52 PM
Well done.

Thanks for all the time spent putting all this together.


02-05-2011, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by DD_crash:
Im am sure that most skinners do a lot of research for there skins and would appreciate the information that you have put together.


Historically authentic paints, with detailed information, is very much appreciated. Coupled with well researched and thoughtfully built missions, this gives an air of authenticity in the missions that are flown with, and against, them.

Thank you very much, Billfish. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif