ICM Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate” of 2LT Hiromichi Shinohara in 1/72nd Scale

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.

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3 thoughts on “ICM Nakajima Ki-27 “Nate” of 2LT Hiromichi Shinohara in 1/72nd Scale

  1. Same Website…

    27 June 1939
    The Japanese launched heavy air attacks when the Japanese 2nd Hikodan struck the Soviet air bases in Mongolia. At dawn, a force of 57 heavy and light bombers led by Lieutenant General Tetsuji Giga took off from Hailar Airfield. The force included nine Ki-30s of the 10th and 16th Sentais, nine Ki-21s of the 61st Sentai plus twelve BR.20s of the 12th Sentai. From forward airfields they were escorted by 74 Ki-27s from all three fighter Sentais with the 24th Sentai flying top cover. On reaching Mongolia the force was divided into two task groups. 
    At Tamsag Bulag, a Ki-15 reconnaissance aircraft was spotted above the airfield and quickly was brought down. Soon observation posts began reporting a large enemy aircraft formation approaching. The alert was signaled immediately and about ten minutes later, the bombing began with the Japanese releasing their bombs from 3,500 to 4,000m having to make their way through the anti-aircraft barrier. Meanwhile, some Soviet fighters had already taken off, while others hurriedly taxied to follow them thus the Japanese bombing failed to meet its objectives. 34 I-16s and 13 I-15bis entered a short clash with the Japanese escort that was seemingly reluctant to fight and soon disengaged to follow the retreating bombers. The Soviets did not give chase but reported five enemy aircraft as shot down, including two bombers. Major Grigoriy Kravchenko of 22 IAP reported ”an R-97 shot down after pursuit” (which implied a Ki-15 in Soviet terms). The Japanese reported three Ki-27s (11th Sentai) and two Ki-15s (61st Sentai) as lost and acknowledged a single Ki-21 from the 61st Sentai making a forced landing in the Mongolian territory. The crew set the aircraft on fire before leaving aboard a similar bomber that landed nearby to collect them. 
    Meanwhile, the other group of Japanese bombers performed a raid on Bain Burdu Nor airfield where 70 IAP was deployed. Here the Japanese managed to take the enemy by surprise as Japanese saboteurs had cut the telephone lines between Russian observation posts and the regiment headquarters, and the Soviet fighters were caught on the ground. As a result, two I-16s were destroyed by direct bomb strikes, and a dozen fighters were shot down at take-off. The total losses amounted to nine I-16s and five I-15bis, and the human casualties included seven pilots killed and five wounded. The Japanese left the field unbeaten to celebrate their success. 
    On the same day, the Japanese bombed Bain Tumen, where SB bombers and an escort fighter squadron were deployed. Five Ki-30s and 21 Ki-27 participated and casualties were limited to an I-15bis fighter shot down in a dogfight with Ki-27s. Ground losses included one technician killed and 19 wounded. 
    Totally, the Japanese bombers claimed 49 Soviet aircraft destroyed on the ground. 
    During these raids, the 24th Sentai, providing top cover, was able to claim only three victories. 
    The 1st Sentai claimed 45 without loss. Future ace Hitoshi Asano (22 victories) of the 2nd chutai flew his first engagement as No. 3 in the commanding officer’s flight. A number of I-15bis were surprised as they were climbing and Asano claimed eight shot down. Sergeant Major Megumu Ono of the 2nd chutai flew as the third aircraft in Captain Yamada’s element. They attacked I-15bis climbing to intercept them, and against these, he claimed his two first victories. Muneyoshi Motojima of the 1st chutai claimed his first victory on his first mission. 
    1st Lieutenant Yoshihiko Yajima of the 2nd chutai, 1st Sentai, claimed his two first victories during the attack on Tamsag Bulag. 
    Whilst on the way to Tamsag Bulag, 1st Lieutenant Fujio Honma of the 1st chutai, 1st Sentai, collided with Corporal Shinji Arai from the same chutai, and Honma was forced to bale out into hostile territory. Sergeant Major Mitsuyoshi Tarui from the same chutai at once landed beside him and flew him back to base. 
    The 11th Sentai claimed 50 for just two losses! The killed pilots were 1st Lieutenant Sadayoshi Mitsutomi (NCO46) and Sergeant Major Kiyoshi Hori (NCO58). Totally three fighters were lost. 
    The 1st chutai claimed 26 victories over Tamasagbulag. Warrant Officer Hiromichi Shinohara of the 1st chutai, 11th Sentai, claimed eleven Soviet fighters shot down! Sergeant Major Koichi Iwase flew as wingman to Warrant Officer Shinohara in his first engagement. He fired off all his ammunition to no avail, receiving in return at least ten bullet holes in his own aircraft. 
    Sergeant Major Bunji Yoshiyama of the 1st chutai claimed three I-16s and one I-15bis. Whilst returning to base, he also landed to pick up Sergeant Major Eisaku Suzuki, who had force-landed east of Buyr Nur. 
    Warrant Officer Mamoru Hanada the leader of the 2nd chutai’s third section claimed six aircraft destroyed. 
    2nd Lieutenant Yamato Takiyama of the 2nd chutai flew as a member of the section of Captain Koji Motomura, the chutai leader. During the combat Takiyama claimed an I-16. 
    Sergeant Major Saburo Kimura of the 3rd chutai, 11th Sentai, was surrounded by eight or nine hostile aircraft, but although he was hit, he escaped, claiming to have shot down four I-16s and three I-15bis. Kimura was hospitalized after this combat. The rest of the chutai’s pilots added four further claims to bring the day’s tally to 11. 
    Takaaki Minami of the 4th chutai, 11th Sentai, was pressed by seven enemy aircraft but he managed to claimed three of them shot down even if his Ki-27was hit 36 times and he was pursued down almost to the ground. Here Sergeant Major Bunji Yoshiyama came to his aid, and he was able to get back to base. 
    Corporal Jiro Okuda of the 4th chutai, 11th Sentai, claimed three victories. 
    Corporal Naoharu Shiromoto of the 4th chutai, 11th Sentai, was strafing Tamsag Bulag when his aircraft was hit by AA fire and he was escorted back to base by Corporal Okuda, gliding the last few kilometres after his engine finally quit. 
    The Japanese strike had been ordered by the Kwangtung Army without getting permission from Imperial Japanese Army headquarters in Tokyo. Tokyo promptly ordered (on 29 June) the Japanese Army Air Force not to conduct any more strikes and reprimanded General Giga for the use of excessive force as the Japanese General Staff was haunted by the prospect of this ‘local conflict’ evolving into a full-scale war, for which Japan was not yet prepared. While this was all happening the two countries maintained diplomatic relations and kept on exchanging protest notes pertaining to any minor incident. The concern for the Japanese was that their mass raids on Mongolia could provoke the USSR to perform counterstrikes on targets in Korea and even Japan. As it turned out the Soviet Command had prepared plans for air raids against Japan, Korea and Manchukuo with dozens of military, industrial and transport targets pin-pointed. For instance, a route map was ready for a night raid on Tokyo to be carried out by two TB-3 heavy bomber regiments (up to 100 aircraft) and plans were also in place for heavy bombers to sweep along the Chinese Eastern Railway from Khabarovsk to a Trans-Baikal airbase and back. Two squadrons of the newest DB-3 long-range bombers had been already relocated to advanced positions along the Soviet bank of the Amur River. With the beginning of Khalkhin Gol combat operations, the Soviet Air Force regiments located along the South-eastern Pacific coast were placed in operational readiness, and their commanders received sealed envelopes with advance orders about the bombing targets. But the order to attack never came.

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