This is the ICM Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate” in the markings of the Imperial Japanese Army’s 11th Sentai. This particular aircraft was flown by the IJA’s leading ace, 2LT Hiromichi Shinohara during the Nomonhan Incident in May of 1939. Shinohara was a renowned marksman. He was credited with downing four Soviet I-16s in his first engagement on 27MAY39. On 27JUN39 he claimed 11 Soviet fighters in one day over Tamsagbulag. On 25JUL39 he claimed four victories, but his Ki-27 was hit in the wing tank and he was forced down behind Soviet lines. With enemy tanks closing in, Sgt Maj Koichi Iwase landed his fighter and rescued Shinohara. A month later, Shinohara was shot down over Lake Mororehi and killed. He was 26.
Hiromichi Shinohara was credited with 58 victories during the Nomonhan Incident, making him the Imperial Japanese Army’s leading scorer.