History[edit | edit source]
Built by Nakajima and delivered to the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF, or short 'JAAF') as Army Type 1 Fighter / Ki-43-II Kō 'Hayabusa'. The C/n is unknown at this time.
Japanese Service[edit | edit source]
Assigned to an as yet unknown Sentai (perhaps the 77th), operating from one of the Hollandia airfields.
In US Hands[edit | edit source]
During late April 1944, this Ki-43-II 'Oscar' was captured by the US Army in the Hollandia area at one of the four dromes: The Hollandia airfield, the Sentani runway or the Cyclops runway west of Hollandia, or the Tami runway east of Hollandia. Afterwards, having been inspected by the Air Technical Intelligence Unit (TAIU-SWPA), it got assigned the tail code XJ005.
Between June and September 1944 this aircraft then got repaired by American personnel from the 5th Air Force, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 41st Troop Carrier Squadron, during their free time. During the restoration the aircraft got paint-stripped to a bare aluminum finish. On the fuselage and wings it got the US star-and-bar markings. On both sides of the nose, below the cockpit and running to the engine cowl, was a lightning-like stripe with "Rebuilt by the 41st Troop Carrier Sq." written in cursive, with the squadron's motif of Felix the Cat carrying a kitten. The tail code XJ005 was painted in black on both sides of the tail. The tail rudder was painted with pre-war-like red and white stripes. Both main wheel hubs of the landing carriage had the 5th Air Force emblem. On the 16th of November 1944, when the 41st Troop Carrier Squadron moved northwards, this Oscar was left behind at Hollandia Airfield.
Sometime after the departure of the 41st Troop Carrier Squadron, XJ005 suffered a landing gear collapse or made a belly landing, thereby damaging the aircraft. Afterwards, it was towed to a aircraft boneyard area and abandoned there. It thus was never sent to Brisbane, Australia to be restored to airworthiness and being test flown there, so can't be the Ki-43-I Oscar that was preserved by the Australian aviation enthusiast, the late Syd Marshall. The (ex-)Alpine Fighter Collection Ki-43-I that used to be in New Zealand is another airframe (C/n 750), currently at the Flying Heritage Collection, registered as N750N.
Fate[edit | edit source]
The ultimate fate of the aircraft is unknown. Likely, it was scrapped, cut down for souvenirs, set afire, bulldozered over or just disappeared otherwise..
Modelling[edit | edit source]
A nice example of how the plane looked like -and how you can recreate that look- is given at Jacqueline's Modellbauseiten