Author Topic: Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa  (Read 1239 times)

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Offline comrade harps

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Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa
« on: November 20, 2013, 05:20:12 am »
Nakajima Ki-43-III Hayabusa
Personal mount of Rikugun Taisa (Colonel) Atsuto Uchida
56th Hiko Sentai
Obama, Japan, 2 May, 1946



On the 2nd of May, 1946, at about 03.30 hours (local time), a lone fighter plane landed at an airfield near Obama, Japan. RAF ground crews initially rushed to what they thought was a friendly plane using the dimly-lit airstrip as an emergency landing field, but their progress was soon overtaken by the resident armed RAF Regiment personnel. As torch light beams flashed along the flanks of the now silent and rather non-descript plane, they revealed as Hinomarus. The pilot, waving an Allied-produced surrender leaflet, shouted in a heavy accent "Don't shoot - I surrender." The RAF regiment men approached cautiously and took him into custody.



Under interrogation, the pilot soon identified himself as Colonel Atsuto Uchida of the Itami-based 56th Hiko Sentai. This unit had mostly conducted night interception duties, although since Y-Day+3 in March, 1946, it had been all-but dormant following a brief flurry of interception and kamikaze activity. Equipped with a handful each of Ki-43 and Ki-84 fighters, it had been reduced to a rump of professional officers who had few opportunities to pursue conventional combat activities due to a lack of fuel and complete Allied air superiority. As a fighting force, it had been all-but forgotten.




At first, the RAF intelligence officers who questioned Colonel Uchida wanted to know how he had managed to land at Obama without incident. He explained, observing that he had flown into the airfield many times, day and night, and often at low-altitude, on instruments and in bad weather. But, he explained to the Japanese interpreter in the room, there was another question they should be asking. Why was a Colonel of the Imperial Japanese Army flying into an Allied airfield to surrender? He demand to speak to someone more senior, immediately.



When RAF Wing Commander Roderick Henderson arrived, Colonel Uchida advised him that that Emperor Hirohito was on the verge of surrendering. Hirohito, who had been deposed in the August, 1945 coup lead by Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni and replaced by the minor Akihito, had managed to gain the support of key personnel and was the verge of mounting a counter-coup. To facilitate this, Prince Regent Higashikuni's supporters needed to be killed or isolated in their command centre at a Matsushiro Underground Imperial Headquarters tunnel redoubt. Colonel Uchid had brought with him plans of complex and recommended that the RAF destroy it with Grand Slam bombs.



The Allies were aware of the Matsushiro complex and had bombed it twice with B-29s, but were unaware of it's true scale and role. After confirming that Hirohito was not imprisoned there (which is what the coup leaders had originally planned), but was under house arrest near Kyoto, a Grand Slam strike was ordered. On 5 May, the Lancasters of RAF 617 Squadron plastered the Matsushiro tunnel complex with their earthquake bombs, killing Higashikuni, Akihito and several top military leaders. The next morning, Hirohito made an unprecedented radio broadcast stating that he had returned to the throne and that Japan had accepted the Allies' peace terms, with a ceasefire to take effect immediately.

Thus, it was a Hayabusa and conventionally-armed Lancasters that brought an end the war in the Pacific, much to the annoyance of many Americans who had been led to believe that it was their atomic-armed B-29s that were going to force a surrender.

Although the plane that Colonel Uchida flew to Obama on the 2nd of May was without kill-markings, he was an ace thrice-over. An expert night fighter pilot, he had flown twin-engined fighters before converting to the Ki-43-III for night interception work in July, 1945 (when all remaining twin-engined fighters were re-assigned to kamikaze duties). Before dawn on Y-Day, Uchida penetrated a stream of USAAF C-47s carrying paratroopers to the Kanto Plains and shot down three, taking his tally to 17. Two nights later, he earned his final kill when a US Navy PV-2 Harpoon fell to his guns.

Although a respected warrior, he had trouble with the post-coup leadership's irrationality and found himself recruited by Hirohito's "peace camp" supporters. It was through these clandestine connections that Uchido came to pursue his final wartime duty to his nation, delivering the plans to the Matsushiro tunnel complex to the British.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 05:26:16 am by comrade harps »
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Offline comrade harps

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Re: Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 05:40:42 am »


Thus the Nakajima trilogy is complete. I have followed the course of the war from initial victory, to stern defiance and ultimately the darkness of defeat via this family of Italian-come-Japanese fighters. They have been built quickly and I hope that you have enjoyed seeing them and reading their backstories as much as I have enjoyed creating them and sharing them with you. It has been a challenge to creatively explore the changes in Japanese schemes and fortunes over the course of this project.

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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 07:00:26 am »
You're on a roll now Comrade, don't stop.  :thumbsup: :bow:

There must be a few to fill in the gaps as well.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 07:35:43 am »
Great back story, great build  :bow: :bow:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Nakajima trilogy Pt.3: Ki-43-III Hayabusa
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 02:04:19 pm »
Nice work. She looks rather sinister in those colours !

 :cheers:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

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