Japanese Aircraft in Republic of China Service Color Photographs

Two photographs of a Nakajima Ki-43-I Hayabusa “Oscar” in Republic of China Air Force Markings. The aircraft has been painted in an overall dark green and Chinese insignia, standard for RoCAF aircraft. The aircraft carries the serial P-5017 on the vertical tail.
The Hayabusa originally belonged to the 1st Yasen Hoju Hikotai. It was captured on 01MAY42, flown by Warrant Officer Tadashi Kawazoe. It was one of the first Hayabusa produced, and the first to be captured intact.
An excellent photograph of a Tachikawa Ki-55 “Ida” trainer. The aircraft retains its Japanese camouflage and yellow wing leading edge identification markings with Chinese insignia. Note the second Ki-55 to the left with an unusual white square background on the fuselage insignia.
Ki-55s being serviced in front of a damaged hanger at Hangchow in 1945. The Ki-55 was an advanced trainer version of the Ki-36 army cooperation aircraft, an observation and ground-support type. Powered by a 450 hp Hitachi Ha-13a radial engine, it was thoroughly obsolescent when introduced in 1938. This did not prevent the Japanese from completing a total of 2,723 of both types before production ended in 1944.
An American Sergeant poses in the cockpit of a Ki-55, likely the same aircraft seen in the previous photo. The telescopic sight was for a single 7.7mm machine gun which fired between the engine cylinders.
Fueling a Chinese Ki-55. Both the Ki-36 and Ki-55 utilized the same airframe and shared the Allied reporting name “Ida”. The primary differences between the two were the Ki-55 dispensed with the wheel spats and window under the fuselage, and was intended as a trainer with dual controls.
Engine maintenance on a pair of Ki-55s. Approximately thirty of the type were used as trainers by the RoCAF until being retired in the early 1950s.
The RoCAF also operated a squadron of Kawasaki Ki-48 “Lily” light bombers. Considered fast and well-armed when introduced in 1940, it was out-performed by more modern types by war’s end. These Lillys are serving with the RoCAF’s 5th Squadron, 6th Group.
Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft were also captured by the Chinese, but in fewer numbers than their Army counterparts. Here are an A6M5 Reisen “Zero” with a Yokosuka P1Y Ginga “Francis” in the background. The Francis was a formidable medium bomber, but suffered from reliability issues with its engines and entered service too late and in too few numbers to affect the course of the war.

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