RS Models Kawasaki Ki-100 of Major Yohei Hinoki in 1/72 Scale

Yohei Hinoki was originally posted to the 64th Sentai in Malaya, flying as the wingman the Sentai commander, Major Tateo Kato (18 victories).  Hinoki was credited with a shared victory over a Blenheim on 08DEC41, and two Hurricanes over Singapore on 31JAN42.  On 10APR42 Hinoki’s Ki-43 was shot up by an American Volunteer Group P-40 piloted by Robert Smith (8 victories).  Smith claimed the Oscar as a probable.  Hinoki was wounded, but managed to nurse his damaged aircraft back to his base in Thailand.

Hinoki recovered from his injuries and returned to flight status.  He claimed a Mustang on 25NOV43.  Two days later the 64th intercepted a large American strike against Insein.  Hinoki was credited with a P-51, P-38, and B-24 from this force, but his aircraft was shot up by a Mustang piloted by 2Lt Robert Mulhollem (5 victories).  Mulhollem claimed the Oscar as a probable, but again Hinoki was able to land his damaged aircraft.  This time a .50 caliber bullet had shattered Hinoki’s right leg which had to be amputated.

After convalescing in Japan Hinoki was fitted with a wooden leg and assigned as an instructor pilot at the Akeno Army Flying School.  As the war situation deteriorated, the IJAAF began forming interceptor flights from instructor cadre and Hinoki, now a Major, led the flight from Akeno.  On 16JUL45 he claimed a 457th Fighter Squadron Mustang piloted by CAPT John Binbow for his final victory.

Major Yohei Hinoki survived the war and was credited with 12 victories.  He passed away in 1991.

Construction posts here:  https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/08/12/rs-models-kawasaki-ki-100-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Japanese Army Air Force Aces 1937-1945 Book Review

Japanese Army Air Force Aces 1937-1945

Series:  Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 13

By Henry Sakaida, Illustrated by Grant Race

Softcover, 96 pages, appendices, 40 color profiles

Published by Osprey Publishing, April 1997

ISBN-10: ‎1855325292

ISBN-13: 978-1855325296

Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches

The Osprey Aircraft of the Aces currently numbers over 140 volumes and is still growing.  This volume on the JAAF is one of the early efforts in the series and was published twenty-five years ago.  It is noteworthy for two reasons; First, English language references on the Japanese military during World War Two are comparatively rare.  This is especially true of histories of individuals or even specific units.  Second, the format of this book deviates from most other books in the OAoA series.  The typical formula is a chronological narrative with anecdotes from pilots or official reports interspersed with a general history of the war.  In this book the text is comprised of individual biographies of the pilots, each approximately one page in length.  Photographs of the pilots and their aircraft accompany each subject.

In some ways author Henry Sakaida has provided us with a poor man’s version of Hata and Izawa’s Japanese Army Air Force Units and Their Aces, 1931–1945.  This is not entirely accurate, as Hata and Izawa offer a more comprehensive history, while Sakaida’s work is a more accessible introduction, and adds aircraft profiles which are of great interest to modelers.  Both works are valuable additions to a reference library and complement each other nicely.

Illustrator Grant Race has rendered forty excellent aircraft profiles, almost half of which depict the most common JAAF fighter type of the Pacific War, the Ki-43 Hayabusa “Oscar”.  These are particularly useful for modelers who are interested in building aircraft flown by ace pilots and are provided with captions with all the relevant details.  There are also six color renderings of JAAF pilots in a variety of uniforms and flight gear.

The book is still easy to find today, and often at very reasonable prices.  It represents an excellent value, especially considering the general lack of information on Japanese aircraft available to English readers.  Highly recommended for all JAAF enthusiasts.

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-4 of Captain Marian Carl in 1/72 Scale

Marian Carl opened his account while flying from Midway Island on 04JUN42, downing a Zero.  He was among the ten fighters from VMF-221 to return to the island out of the twenty-five sent up that day.  Carl then deployed with VMF-223 to Guadalcanal, where he became the Marine Corps first ace, eventually raising his score to 16.5.  He returned to VMF-223 as Commanding Officer for a second tour in the Solomons, downing two more aircraft to bring his total to 18.5.

After the war Carl became a test pilot and set speed and altitude records.  He served in Vietnam, where he flew combat missions but refused official recognition or medals for his actions.  He retired from the Marine Corps as a Major General in 1973.  He was killed in 1998, protecting his wife from a home intruder.  He was 82 at the time of his death.

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-4 of LCDR Jimmy Thach in 1/72 Scale

This is LCDR John “Jimmy” Thach’s Wildcat which he flew during the Battle of Midway.  After the loss of USS Lexington (CV-2) at Coral Sea, VF-3 was quickly re-assigned to USS Yorktown (CV-5) for Midway.  Thach was credited with three Zeros while flying this aircraft, but it was pushed over the side after Yorktown was damaged.  Thach survived the war with six victories.  In addition to several Squadron commands, he served as Captain of three aircraft carriers.  Jimmy Thatch retired from the Navy in 1967 as a full Admiral.

This is the Hasegawa kit 51324 (AP24) F4F-4 Wildcat, built with the True Details resin cockpit & wheelwell sets.  This kit has been re-boxed several times with various stock numbers, but all versions contain the same sprues for the F4F-4.  The kit is excellent, but including the True Details set is almost a requirement to dress up the rather Spartan cockpit and close up the otherwise empty wheelwells.  I added some wire & Evergreen details to the interior and wired the engines.  Tailwheels on the carrier-based aircraft were scratched to better represent the solid wheels used there.  Starfighter decals sheet 72-114 was used for the markings.

Hasegawa Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat of LT Butch O’Hare in 1/72 Scale

This model represents the F4F-3a of LT Butch O’Hare of VF-2, “White 15”, BuNo 4031.  This is the aircraft O’Hare flew on 20 February 1942 while defending the USS Lexington (CV-2) from Japanese bombers.  He and his wingman were the only two Wildcats in position to defend Lexington from an attack by nine G4M “Betty” bombers of the 4th Kokutai, but the wingman’s guns jammed and would not fire.  Undeterred, O’Hare made four deflection passes through the Japanese formation.  He shot down three Bettys and damaged four others.  One of the damaged Bettys (carrying the flight leader, LCDR Takuzo Ito) attempted to crash into Lexington but missed, another ditched on the return flight.  O’Hare was credited with destroying five aircraft to become the Navy’s first ace, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

Markings are from Mark’s Starfighter Decals sheet 72-142 USN Hit & Run Raids Feb-Apr 1942.  All behaved flawlessly. The model got the Quickboost resin -3 wings, and the scoop on the top of the cowl was filled with superglue and sanded smooth.  The True Details cockpit and wheelwell set was also used.

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Leonard “Kit” Carson in 1/72 Scale

Leonard Carson was the leading scorer of the 357th Fighter Group with 18.5 aerial victories and another 3.5 on the ground.  His P-51B was named “Nooky Booky” by his crew chief. Carson kept the name for luck as his aircraft were replaced, finishing the war in a P-51K named “Nooky Booky IV”.  His best day was 27NOV44 when he claimed five Focke Wulf FW 190s during a single mission.

Serial Number 43-6634 “Nooky Booky” P-51B-7-NA Leonard K. Carson 362 FS 357 FG, Aeromaster 72-02 decals

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Major John C. Herbst in 1/72 Scale

John “Pappy” Herbst was an American who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and was sent to England with the Eagle Squadron.  He claimed a Bf-109, but this was unconfirmed.  Herbst commanded the 74th Fighter Squadron in China, and flew both the P-40N Warhawk and P-51B Mustang in combat.  He was credited with 18 victories over Japanese aircraft, making him the second highest scoring pilot in the CBI behind Tex Hill.  He survived the war, but died in July 1946 while giving a flight demonstration in a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star.

Serial Number 43-7060 “Tommy’s Dad” P-51B-7-NA Major John C. Herbst 74 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-176 decals

Fighters of the Iron Cross Book Review

Fighters of the Iron Cross: Men and Machines of the Jagdwaffe

Written by Jerry Crandall, Illustrated by James Bently and Thomas A. Tullis

Hardcover in dustjacket, 360 pages, bibliography, and index

Published by Eagle Editions Ltd, 2021

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0-9761034-7-8

ISBN-13: 978-0-9761034-7-9

Dimensions: 9.3 x 12.3 x1.2 inches

Jerry Crandal is well known to scale modelers and aviation enthusiasts as the publisher of Eagle Editions books and EagleCals decals.  This book contains much material which will be familiar to anyone who has purchased his Jagdwaffe decals, as the pilots profiled here also flew many of the subject aircraft.  This is no coincidence, as the author has fostered personal relationships with many Jagdwaffe pilots over the years.  He has conducted extensive interviews and preserved documents and photographs, several of which have not been published previously.

This is collection of the stories of twelve Luftwaffe pilots, much of them told in their own words.  Included in each are copies or transcripts of original documents, along with several photographs from the personal collections of the Experten.  These are reproduced clearly on glossy paper, making them especially valuable for modelers.  The real prizes of this work are the full-color aircraft side profiles which accompany each chapter and the detailed notes which explain them.

The binding is in a large format, and is well-printed on glossy paper.  The layout and quality of the artwork will be familiar to anyone who has purchased Crandall’s previous publications.  While not cheap, this is a substantial book and a top-quality work all around, so you get what you pay for.  If you are a Jagdwaffe enthusiast you will be delighted by this book, highly recommended.

Pilots profiled:

Hauptmann Karl Leonhard

Major Diethelm von Eichel-Streiber

Feldwebel Horst Petzschler

Oberleutnant Manfred Dieterle

Leutnant Herbert Schlüter

Leutnant Karl Albert Helm

Major Rolf-Günther Hermichen

Oberleutnant Gerhard Thyben

Leutnant Elias Paul Kühlein

Feldwebel Hans Langer

Feldwebel Oskar Bösch

Leutnant Willi Unger

Major Wilhelm Moritz

Major Georg-Peder Eder

Regrettably, Jerry Crandall passed away on 12JUN22.

Arma Hobby North American P-51B of Capt. Forrest “Jeep” Parham in 1/72 Scale

Forrest Parham enlisted in the Army and rose to rank of Colonel.  He scored three victories over Japanese aircraft while flying the P-40N before transitioning to the P-51B and adding two more to make ace with five.  He was shot down over Shanghai in April 1945, but evaded capture and returning to his unit a month later.

“Little Jeep” of Capt. Forrest “Jeep” Parham 75 FS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-177 decals

Construction posts Part I here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/04/15/arma-hobby-north-american-p-51-b-c-mustang-batch-build-in-1-72-scale-part-i/

Arma Hobby North American F-6C of Major Eduard O. McComas in 1/72 Scale

Eduard McComas was the commander of the 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group based in China.  He was shot down behind Japanese lines in September 1944, but evaded capture and returned to his unit with the help of Chinese guerrillas.  After his return he scored his first aerial victory and added steadily to his score.  On 23DEC44 he was photographing a Japanese airfield when the aircraft based there began taking off to intercept him.  McComas downed five Japanese fighters, becoming the only pilot in the CBI to score five in a single mission. 

“Miss Revenge” F-6C MAJ Eduard O. McComas 118 TRS 23 FG, Aeromaster 72-177 decals

118th TFS color photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/05/18/north-american-p-51c-f-6c-mustangs-of-the-118th-tactical-reconnaissance-squadron-color-photographs/