From: Denver Colorado
ORIGINAL: Mac Linehan
I saw some planes with male names. I thought they were all female.
Some time ago, when reading a history on the Pacific War (Roland Spectre "Eagle against the Sun" IIRC), there was a paragraph about the intelligence department who came up with the code names. The list included both male and female names. To my embarrassment, I do not recall all the details.
In 1942, the American Technical Air Intelligence Unit, headed by Col. Frank McCoy, decreed that all Japanese military aircraft should thence-forward be referred to by an assigned Christian name. Male names for fighters and female names for just about everything else. Variants were described by an Arabic numeral. Inevitably some errors crept into the system. For example, the Zero-sen was christened 'Zeke', but when the clipped-wing version of the Zero-sen appeared, the Allies mis-identified it as a new type and called it 'Hap'. Then, when USAAF General "Hap' Arnold objected to this use of his nickname, the plane was re-christened 'Hamp'. Finally, when it was discovered that 'Hamp' was really 'Zeke', the plane had to be re-named again, ending the war as 'Zeke 32'.
Still, it was probably a more familiar system than the more bewildering (to the Allies) Japanese nomenclature.
Thank You for the clarification!
That is an awesome avatar...