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Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (2v2 PBEM)

 
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Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (2v2 ... - 7/6/2012 2:32:47 PM   
Barb


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Introduction

As name imply, this AAR is devoted to 64th Sentai alternative history in a PBEM environment. It was one of the most famous units of IJAAF, with even more famous commander - Maj. Kato, Tateo.

I had tried several PBEMs in 1v1 both as Allies and Japan in WITP and WITP AE. Now I am little more busy, so I was looking for a slower paced game. I also like cooperation, so I decided to give a try to 2v2 game - with hope this one will last longer than previous ones (replacements should be easier to find and in case noone is available it is possible to play on 2v1/1v2 or even 1v1 mode).

Now a little more about players:

Barb (SVK) - Imperial Japanese Army high brass, with power to direct industry. With several years of playing UV/WITP/WITPAE, I was allowed to talk into IJN things too.
hartwig.modrow (GER) - Imperial Japanese Navy high brass, basically in command of all IJN forces, altough some are assigned to IJA Southern Area now. Approximately division line of responsibilities goes from China coast, east of Taiwan, Philipines, through Mindanao, Borneo and east of Java.
Charles McCarron (USA) - In command of combined US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand forces.
Aleksander Hahn (GER) - In command of Commonwealth as well as Chinese and Soviet forces. He is also the overall commander of the Pacific theater.

While not hoping to write somtehing as readable as "Small Ship, Big War" by Cuttlefish, I hope you will enjoy my writings (and excuse my not-so-good english).

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 2:46:10 PM   
Barb


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Tateo Kato was born on 28 September 1903 in Hokkaido. His father Sergeant Tetsuzo Kato was killed in the Russo-Japanese War.

He graduated from Asahikawa Middle School and as his father he started a military career. He passed out of the Sendai Junior Army Academy before being graduated in the 37th Class of the Army Military Academy in July 1925 and commissioned in the infantry. He soon transferred from the infantry to the Army Air Force and joined the flight course at Tokorozawa Flying School in June 1926 with the 23rd flying cadet intake.

In May 1927 he was posted to the 6th Hiko Rentai (flight regiment) in Pyongyang, Korea. His flying skill with the Kawasaki Ko-4 biplane fighter (a licence-built Nieuport-Delage NiD 29) was shown to be so outstanding that he was awarded a gift by his superior, and allowed to perform a demonstration at graduation which left the audience enthralled. Prior to overseas duty Lieutenant Kato worked as a flight instructor at the Tokorozawa and Akeno Flying Schools, and by February 1936, he had been promoted to lead a chutai within the 5th Hiko Rentai.

In July 1937 the Sino-Japanese War began, and Captain Kato led the 1st chutai of the 2nd Hiko Daitai (flight battalion), which was transferred to the northern China. The unit was equipped with Kawasaki Ki-10 Type 95 'Perry' biplane fighters The Ki-10 quickly demonstrated their superiority over the Chines Polikarpov I-152s, and the aggressive Japanese pilots dominated the skies. On 3 April 1938 the unit re-equipped with Nakajima Ki-27 'Nates'.

During the combats on 30 January, 8 March, 25 March and 10 April, the chutai totally claimed 39 victories, for the loss of three pilots and Ki-27s, and it was to receive two unit citations. Of these claims Kato himself claimed nine making him the top-scoring Army pilot in China during the period 1937-41.

Kills claimed by Tateo Kato:
Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1938
1 30/01/38 1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed Ki-10 Luoyang area 2nd Hiko Daitai
2 30/01/38 1 Enemy aircraft Destroyed Ki-10 Luoyang area 2nd Hiko Daitai
3 08/03/38 1 I-152 (a) Destroyed Ki-10 Sian area 2nd Hiko Daitai
4 25/03/38 1 I-152 (b) Destroyed Ki-10 Guide area 2nd Hiko Daitai
5 25/03/38 1 I-152 (b) Destroyed Ki-10 Guide area 2nd Hiko Daitai
6 25/03/38 1 I-152 (b) Destroyed Ki-10 Guide area 2nd Hiko Daitai
7 25/03/38 1 I-152 (b) Destroyed Ki-10 Guide area 2nd Hiko Daitai
8 10/04/38 1 I-15bis (c) Destroyed Ki-27 (d) Guide 2nd Hiko Daitai
9 10/04/38 1 I-15bis (c) Destroyed Ki-27 (d) Guide 2nd Hiko Daitai

Kato returned to Japan in May 1938. Back in Japan he entered the Army University and worked on the staff at headquarters. He also visited Europe on assignment together with General Terauchi, and inspected the Luftwaffe in Germany. During this period he was also promoted to Major.

In April 1941 he was appointed as commander of the 64th Sentai, which was at Canton with Ki-27s. The unit received the new Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa ('Oscar') and he trained his unit on them prior to the outbreak of the Pacific War.
He disallowed individual victory credits for the sake of teamwork, and led his men by example in the air. This was quite rare for an officer of his rank to fly routine combat missions.

Note: In the game he is already in the rank of Colonel. IRL he was promoted to Lt.Colonel in February 1942 and posthumously by two ranks to Major General.





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< Message edited by Barb -- 7/7/2012 9:05:17 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 2:49:47 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai
64th Sentai was created in august 1938 from 2nd Hiko Daitai and 9th Dokuritsu Hiko Daitai from 6th Rentai. 1st and 2nd Chutai of the 2nd Hiko Daitai continued with their respective numbers, and 9th Dokuritsu Hiko Daitai became the 3rd Chutai. In 1939 the new 64th Sentai fought in Nomohan incident and claimed 52 victories for the loss of 8 pilots. It was later moved to southern China, but seen no air combat.

64th Sentai carried the same tail markings (arrow pointing down-forward) for the whole war:
HQ Shotai: cobalt blue
1st Chutai: white
2nd Chutai: red
3rd Chutai: yellow

As the preparations for war against allies were finished, the 64th Sentai with 35 Ki-43s and 6 Ki-27 Otsus was moved to Duong Dong airfield on Phu Quoc Island on December 4, 1941, to provide cover for the Japanese invasion fleet bound for Malaya, and to attack ground targets in Malaya and Burma. Ki-27 Otsus were used mainly as liaison aircraft and they were not considered for combat sorties.

On the 4th and 5th 27 grey troopships set off from Saigon and the Samah harbor at the Hainan Island with strong escort. They were filled with 25th Army troops under General Tomoyuki Yamashita - a stout officer with a rather sloppy-looking face, who soon appeared to be a real master of improvisation. The convoy was headed for Siam Bay, where it was to split into five formations and move to the assigned landing areas along the eastern coastline of southern Siam and northern Malaya.

As the convoy moved into range of allied aircraft a canopy of fighters was spread over vessels. On the final fighter patrol before dark on 7 December took off from Phu Quoc at 17:30 to relieve Lieutenant Tadao Takayama's 2nd chutai, and comprised half a dozen Ki-43s led by Kato. Due to bad weather conditions and impending darkness, a bomber accompanied them to act as guide on the return flight, but in poor visibility they did not find Takayama's chutai until 19:10. Kato's flight had to terminate its patrol within the hour due to fuel shortage, and set course for home. Fog, cloud and darkness made it impossible to maintain formation, and three pilots failed to locate the airfield, disappearing without trace into the murky sea...

Note: For the purpose of this AAR I had marked the 64th Sentai Det with 6 Ki-27 Nates as 3rd Chutai - which is preparing for a transition for the newest Ki-43-Ic Hayabusa fighters. HQ flight, 1st and 2nd Chutai are considered to be part of the 64th Sentai unit in game.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 2:51:27 PM   
Barb


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Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa "Oscar"

The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa ("Peregrine Falcon") was a single-engine land-based tactical fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in World War II. The army designation was "Army Type 1 Fighter"; the Allied reporting name was "Oscar", but it was often called the "Army Zero" by American pilots for its resemblance to the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, which was flown by the Japanese Navy.

Like the A6M, the radial-engined Ki-43 was light and easy to fly, and became legendary for its combat performance in East Asia in the early years of the war. It could outmaneuver any opponent, but did not have armor or self-sealing tanks, and its armament was poor until the last version, which was produced as late as 1944.Allied pilots often reported that the nimble Ki-43s were difficult targets, but burned easily or broke apart with few hits.[4] In spite of its drawbacks, the Ki-43 shot down more Allied aircraft than any other Japanese fighter and almost all the JAAF'S aces achieved most of their kills in it.

The Ki-43 was designed by Hideo Itokawa as a response to a December 1937 specification for a successor to the popular fixed-gear Nakajima Ki-27 Nate.

When first flown in early January 1939, the Ki-43 prototype was a disappointment. Japanese test pilots complained that it was less maneuverable than the Ki-27 and not much faster.[8] In order to solve these problems, Nakajima produced a series of progressively modified prototypes through 1939 and 1940. These changes involved a major weight saving program, a slimmer fuselage with the tail surfaces moved further aft and a new canopy. Crucially, the 11th prototype introduced the unique "butterfly" (or Fowler-type) maneuvering flaps, which dramatically improved performance in tight turns. The 13th prototype combined all these changes, and tests of this aircraft resulted in an instruction for Nakajima to place the Ki-43 into production, the Ki-27 jigs being transferred to the Mansyu factory at Harbin in Japanese occupied Manchukuo.

Hayabusas were well liked in the JAAF because of the pleasant flight characteristics and excellent maneuverability, and almost all JAAF fighter aces claimed victories with Hayabusa in some part of their career. At the end of the war, most Hayabusa units received Ki-84 Hayate "Frank" fighters, but some units flew the Hayabusa to the end of the war. The top-scoring Hayabusa pilot was Sergeant Satoshi Anabuki with 39 confirmed victories, almost all of them scored with the Ki-43.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 3:02:49 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.1
Date: 8th December 1941 Tokyo time (Turn No.1)

War! Everyone knew it is coming, it was just the matter of time. And that time is here. Our commanding officer, Colonel Kato had our unit assembled near our planes in the early hours. Imperial rescript of 8th Dec 1941 was readen to pilots who then shouted Banzai! three times.

Pilots were assembled in operations hut. There mission details were given and planes assigned. Unit was to escort 62nd and 98th Sentai to their target - allied airfield at Kota Bharu, Malaya.

Once rays of dawn began to appear over horizon airfield at Kompong Trach was filled with roar of engines as one after another plane took off into the skies. First were the Army Type 97 Heavy bombers - 19 from 62nd Sentai and 25 from 98th Sentai. They formed up slowly and started for dark western sky with sun barely over the horizon behind them on a clear sky.

24 pilots of 64th Sentai followed soon after them with Colonel Kato in the lead. Warrant Officer Kado had to return early because of engine troubles so only 23 planes continued on their mission. Bombers were soon met and the formation was assumed - 1st Chutai plus Staff shotai directly above the bombers and 2nd Chutai up and little behind.

Flying at 6000 ft towards the west sun rose only slightly when they neared the coast of Malaya and bombers started their bombing runs. Bombing was accurate and bombers turned towards home when a flight of enemy fighters showed up somewhat below the bombers. 2nd Shotai of 1st Chutai dived after them and soon Major Hinoki Y. got one Buffalo. 2nd Buffalo managed to evade combat so far and tried to attack bombers, but LTC Anma Katsumi noticed his attempt and dived on him from above. This enemy was also dispatched to the ground quickly. Third Buffalo was also hit, but his pilot managed to dive quickly and disappeared over the malayan jungles. Return flight was uneventful and all planes landed safely.

Bombers claimed numerous hits on runways and dispersal areas as well as several burning planes on the ground. 2 Buffalo fighters were claimed as shot down and one damaged.

After landing we all heard about success that Navy attained at Pearl Harbor as well as successful actions elsewhere, but nothing about the three pilots lost on the previous day...

< Message edited by Barb -- 7/7/2012 9:11:42 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 6:42:13 PM   
GreyJoy


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subscribed!!

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 7:04:07 PM   
Cribtop


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BANZAI.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/6/2012 7:17:53 PM   
Historiker


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Banzai!




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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/7/2012 9:01:49 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.2
Date: 9th December 1941 Tokyo time (Turn No.2)

Another day brought a different target to be attacked. This time allied airfield near Georgetown on the other side of Malayan peninsula. 62nd Sentai and 98h Sentai sent 11 and 16 bombers respectively. 64th mission was same as on previous day - this time 20 planes were sent. However there was a difference - 59th Sentai with their Hayabusas was to fly to the target before us and engage enemy fighters. Plan was to catch them on the ground, refueling after the fight with 59th.

However no enemy opposition was encountered by both fighter sweep and bomber formation and bomb pattern was quite good. Return flight was also mostly uneventful.

Things got wrong for the 64th only over the home base. While landing, Warrant Officer Kado's Hayabusa (he was forced to return to the base the day before with troubling engine) suddenly lost power and the plane plunged into the jungle short off runway. Pilot has no chance to escape. Warrant Officer Kaoki, next pilot in landing pattern, disturbed by the event, crash landed his plane by overshooting the runway and plunging his plane into the swamp beyond, but otherwise escaped unharmed. Hayabusa of 2nd Lt. Oba sustained damage to the landing gear on rough surface at Kompong Trach.
One bomber of the 98th Sentai also crash landed with only top gunner surviving and another was damaged on landing.

This wasn't the luckiest day so far - two Hayabusas and Ki-21 written off, one Hayabusa and Ki-21 damaged. Warrant officer Kado of 3rd Shotai/1st Chutai was killed as well as 6 men of the 98th bomber crew. And still no news about the three pilots lost on 7th december.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/9/2012 5:35:32 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.3
Date: 10th December 1941 Tokyo time

Recon planes of the 51st I.F. Chutai reported no planes, nor activity at Georgetown airfield, but sighted several vessels at anchor in port. 3rd Air Division headquarters ordered to attack this vessels immediately. Again 62nd and 98th Sentais sent their heavy bombers up - this time 10 and 16 respectively. 64th was to fly close escort for them with 21 planes while 59th Sentai was to sweep the area with 23 planes as on previous day.

Heavy but inaccurate flak was encountered over the target area, but no allied plane tried to intervene. Bombers managed to hit 4 small vessels in port in quick succession. Both 59th and 64st Sentais were circling the area looking for enemy planes, but in vain. One of the heavy bombers from 98th Sentai developed troubles on way home, so a flight of fighters was detached to stay with him. Crew of the bomber was quite happy to see Lt.Col Takeuchi's flight around and waved the circling fighters. All planes landed already and pilots gathered around 64ths operation room, when the troubled bomber arrived. Port engine coughing continuously and landing gears not extended it tried to land. Bomber managed to sit on a runway quite successfully, but its luck run out soon and the plane started to rotate and finally crashed in two thirds of the runway. Ground crews rushed to the scene, but managed to safe only 4 men from the plane - pilot, 2nd pilot and navigator perished in flames.

Lt.Col Takeuchi's flight had to land on shortened runway, but managed the feat without mishap. His engine barely stopping Lt.Col Takeuchi leaped from the cockpit and run toward burning bomber to help unlucky crew. One of the mechanics tripped him to the ground before he could get too close. He was forced to watch as heat become too great and machine-gun ammo started to explode...
Lt.Col was in bad mood for several days, but eventually thanked the brave mechanic for saving his life - had he not tripped him to the ground, he would be too close to plane to get out unharmed.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/9/2012 7:08:51 PM   
obvert


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Love it. I'll be following along. Banzai!

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/9/2012 7:16:33 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Love it. I'll be following along. Banzai!


+1

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/9/2012 8:12:42 PM   
cantona2


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Very good start

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/11/2012 5:41:22 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.4
Date: 11th December 1941 Tokyo time

Target for this day: Airfield at Kuantan. Newest photographs from 3rd Air Division recon planes showed several planes around airstrip at Kuantan so it was decided to disable the airfield for good. And who was going to get this job? As usually - heavy bombers from 62nd and 98th Sentai took off from Kompong Trach (33 total) accompanied by 21 green Hayabusas of 64th Sentai.

Again, no enemy plane was sighted in the air, which is very strange. Of the 160 enemy planes on hand on first day of the war, not more than 20 were destroyed up to date. Where the rest of them are, remain unanswered.

Light Clouds in the target area somewhat obscured the target, but skilled bomber crews found the opening and bombed their target. One enemy two engine plane was seen burning, while several others were damaged by bomb blasts.

On a return trip the formation flew over a convoy carrying more troops to Malaya - what a sight! More than 30 vessels accompanied by warships of our navy. Allies would bow before our might! But not before we will gain more victories for the Sentai!

Proud feeling held us for the rest of the flight. Warrant Officer Fuchida was probably too proud and sat his plane too roughly on the runway. The plane bounced back to the air immediately, but pilot managed to get it under control quickly and then landed safely. Plane was slightly damaged - tips of propeller were bend - but skilled mechanics worked through the night to get the plane ready for action on the morning. W/O Fuchida had to spare several cups of sake to thank his ground crew...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/16/2012 10:19:02 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.5
Date: 12th December 1941 Tokyo time

From the 3rd Air Division came request to slow down enemy retreat down the Malayan Peninsula. Only planes in range to carry full bomb load were heavy bombers of 62nd and 98th Sentai. Target, roads out of Taiping, were full of retreating troops and refugees - and these we were ordered to slow down. Both bomber units sent up 26 heavy bombers and escort was provided by 15 planes of the 64th Sentai (three had to return early).

As the planes neared Malaya coast, clouds began to accumulate and soon serious thunderstorm developed. By taking a somewhat circuitous route to the south the bombers arrived over target later then scheduled.

Bombardiers looking through their bomb-sights laid their pattern pretty accurately as each vic bombed individually. Fighters of the 64th Sentai circled around looking for enemy planes, but none had been spotted.
----
On the ground, men of the 28th Gurkha Brigade commandeering any vehicle they could have lay their hands on were moving along the only major road to the south on the left side of the road. The right side of the road was full of fleeing civilians - Europeans, Chinese, Malays, all mixed together.

Noisy as a flock of people with carts, animals and vehicles could be, it couldn't drown the sound of engines overhead. Lieutnant Jock MacIntyre of the 2/2nd Gurkha Rifles seeing the planes, ordered his Gurkhas out of the truck and started to spread the refugees to the woods on both sides of the road. Other soldiers, tired, and many wounded with bandages on their hands or heads, seeing the example joined in the effort. As the enemy bombers neared, panic started on the road. A truck run over the handcart in an attempt to move further. People run in panic across the road trying to save their kids, animals or property on handcarts.

Screaming sound of falling bombs soon filled the air as each living being was trying to find a hiding place, be it trunk of a tree or hole in the ground of whatever origin. One of the first bombs landed directly on the road where Jock MacIntyre and several of his men were trying to move truck out of the way. He and most of his squad disappeared in the explosion.

Bombing took only several minutes, but it left the road in a mess. Vehicles and carts burning, several animals dead, craters in and around the road - that was the picture. People started to emerge from the woods on both sides of the road and screams of wounded superseded the sound of explosions. Wounded were attended, loaded on several vehicles and sent forward to a field hospital. Soon the stream of refugees and vehicles resumed their march to the south. Nobody cared much about dozen bodies of MacIntyre and his men lying in a ditch.
---
Return flight to Kompong Trach was rather rough ride through several storms, and some planes separated from the formation. However, all of them managed to return to base and land safely. It was not a glorious job, but one that had to be done....

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/19/2012 2:53:16 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.6
Date: 13th December 1941 Tokyo time

Bad weather and lack of any worthy targets resulted in cancellation of most combat operations in theathre. While pilots of the 64th Sentai used this time to rest, their mechanics were in hard work on their machines.
3rd Chutai (Det.) based at Battambang was not really allwed to rest. As the unit was preparing to swap their Ki-27s for newest Hayabusas pilots were busy with theoretical classes and practical training. Unit was also still in the process of absorbing reinforcements. As HQ expected loses among pilots, they wisely send several pilots from other units to reinforce those on frontline.

While most of the pilots at Battambang were busy with whatever they were doing, two pilots, 2nd Lieutenants Senda and Ishimori were prowling through the streets of Saigon. Receiving orders on the eve of war to abandon their own 85th Sentai and report to Battambang as soon as possible. Now, after a week of traveling by whatever they managed to board including a Chinese junk, borrowed bikes, stolen car (they were not very eager to explain that part of their journey on local police station), crowded army troop transport and flight to Saigon with luxurious Ki-57 (there were more general officers aboard than they have seen in their young lives before), they were looking for something to fill their bellies.

Rather dirty streets and thick weather weren't the best environment to look by the book. Army jackets over their shoulders, blouses unbuttoned, they were looking more like kids returning from school. And they should be actually. In their early twenties this boys should be attending some university at one of the big towns. However because of the China incident these boys went to join the Army and after two years of hard training became pilots.

Suddenly a rain squall arrived and both pilots began to run down the street. Old man sitting on patio in front of one house waved them in. Senda and Ishimori were not to be asked twice and soon they were both sitting in the house enjoying bowl of rice in borrowed clothes while their uniforms were drying. While hardly understanding a word of what old man and his wife said, it was a pleasant time. But orders were orders and they had to be obeyed. As soon as sun scattered rainclouds both pilots were sitting on a backseat of some kind of tricycle passionately bargaining with driver on their way to their new unit...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/28/2012 3:21:00 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.7
Date: 14th December 1941 Tokyo time

Transfer - that was order for today. After yesterdays rest the whole Sentai went into wild turmoil. All were packing, tearing tents, loading luggages and personal belongings onto trucks and preparing planes for long flight. Pilots were given instruction just as before normal combat sortie. Ground personnel not necessarily needed or done with their duties were transported by trucks to port. There several merchant ships were loading the stuff already delivered to port as well as bombs, air fuel in barrels, machine-gun ammunition, tents, mobile repair shops, ...

Flight was calculated in such way as to arrive over their new airfield, at Kota Bharu hour before sunset. In the late afternoon as most of the Sentai personel was sent to port for embarkation, only pilots and several mechanics remained around the planes. Col.Kato briefly looked around their quarters, sat deep into his Hayabusa and gave signal to start engines. As roar of the planes filled the air most of the airbase stopped their jobs and went to line the runway. Crews of all 4 bomber Sentais stationed at the airfield as well as ground personnel were waving their departing comrades as flight after flight of dark green Hayabusas went into air. Staff section made one last circle around the base and then departed in direction of setting sun for their new base.

Dodging several thunderstorms and clouds the planes of the 1st Chutai encountered a big cloud, many miles wide and several thousand feets high. At first the flight tried to break through to the south, but there was no gap in the cloud. Finally it was decided to fly directly through it. One after another planes plunged into white cloud. During the long flight with visibility limited to several yards Shotais became separated as well as individual pilots. When finally planes started to emerge from the cloud, pilots each on their own and separated by many miles struggled to establish their position and headed towards Kota Bharu.

1st Chutai, departing from Kompong Trach before other Chutais, arrived last over Kota Bharu. It did not even arrived in formation but by single planes or twos. Their luckier comrades from 2nd Chutai and Staff Flight has found a gap in the cloud by flying north and arrived all-right. One after another planes from the 1st Chutai were landing... 2....3....5....6...8..11... All eyes were searching the skies for a glimpse of the 12th Hayabusa. But as clocks mercilessly continued to tick it was less and less probable that the last plane will appear. There was hope that the pilot has returned to Kompong Trach, or landed on some other airfield. But this hope also vanished as days run past.

2LT Makino Ryota, leader of 4th Shotai, with a year-long experience from China incident, as well as his Hayabusa was never to be heard of again, disappearing in the white cloud without trace...

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Post #: 17
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/29/2012 7:13:57 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.8
Date: 15th December 1941 Tokyo time

Personnel of the Sentai hardly settled in when orders for the next day arrived. The Sentai was to fly fighter cover for navy task force heading to Kuantan. As enemy ground forces were retreating from northern Malaya, they left this place with its valuable landing strip lightly defended. 25th Army HQ seeing the opportunity ordered several units there to capture the strip and return it to service so that our fighters could be based as close to Singapore as possible.

From the early morning flights of 64th Sentai were patrolling above the Navy Task force. Looking for enemy planes, they still had time to see army convoy covered with naval task force approaching the beaches, army transports anchoring close to shore and launching assault boats. Soon the infantry and several tanks were landed and started from beaches toward airstrip.

Flight relieved flight after flight and still no sight of enemy planes, although news of the landing had surely reached enemy HQ. Even the airstrip seemed abandoned except several damaged planes around and occasional anti-aircraft fire.

The day went uneventful. The only noticeable event was light damage suffered by 2nd Lieutenant Ariyoshis Hayabusa on landing.

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Post #: 18
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 7/31/2012 6:35:19 AM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.9
Date: 16th December 1941 Tokyo time

An offensive mission for today - however unlikely that enemy is about to show up in the air, we were ordered to escort our well known friends from 62nd and 98th Sentais to their target - Pennang Island defences. Bombers were to fly all the way from Kompong Trach, being joined by 14 of our planes over Kota Bharu and support our Army units in capture of the island with its airfield.

Bombers were a little late on a rendenzvous point, but were eventually joined by our fighters. Heavy but ragged clouds were covering the sky as our formation neared Pennang Island. Suddenly, a lone British fighter emerged from near cloud. Both sides were surprised at the same moment - just staring at each other. Then the British pilot realized what was up and dived back to the safety of the cloud. Several long bursts of machine - gun fire followed him, probably scoring some hits, but the result was not observed.

Bombers aligned themselves over the target and released their bombs. Geysers of earth and smoke popped up on the ground in a nice pattern and several enemy AA bursts were seen below the bombers as they were turning from their target. Soon after the bombing the army took the island by force. Thankful messages were send to 5th Air Division by ground troops for accurate bombing.

64th Sentai detached from the bombers over Kota Bharu and headed to landing while bombers continued back towards their home base behind the Gulf of Siam.

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Post #: 19
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/16/2012 7:46:20 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.10
Date: 17th December 1941 Tokyo time

Heavy downpour stopped operations for today. Landing strip was turned into contiguous mud. Only light Ki-27s of 1st Sentai located at the airfield were able to take off and provide some CAP in case enemy planes from better airfields showed up. But no allied attack materialized. Most of the pilots and mechanics were hiding in provisional huts and tents around airfield, sleeping, reading, writing letters to families or gambling to pass the time.

One of the more lucky players W/O Bushi, managed to win a considerable sum of the money by playing cards. At first he wanted to withdraw, but later returned to game and lost most of his win. For military pilots, whose future was uncertain, money doesn't holde such great value as for civilians. Even then he was left with more than 1000 occupation dollars on top of a nice sum of yens intended to be sent home to his parents.

Some of the more braver mechanics pulled one of the Hayabusas partially into the provisional hut in an attempt to fix unruly engine. While plane crew was sweating over the engine, advices and spicy comments flew through the air from fellow mechanics gathered around for the show.

Sweating was order of day in Colonel Katos hut too. Pacing behind his desk full of papers and upbraiding two of his men, Colonel Kato, doing what every military commander has to do from time to time. After releasing those two jesters, that pulled a borrowed pig into chief-mechanics bed, he looked on his desk and sighed in disbelieve. Military requires a lot of dumb paperwork ....

P.S.: Sorry for the long pause folks

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/16/2012 8:14:20 PM   
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Glad to see this continuing!

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Post #: 21
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/17/2012 4:25:21 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.11
Date: 18th December 1941 Tokyo time

Another day in combat zone and yet no contact with enemy planes. While heavy clouds were still chasing on the sky, airstrip dried enough to permit Hayabusas of the 64th Sentai to take off for protection of naval task force unloading near Kuantan.

Flying endless patrols around the place was not really a dream job for the seasoned fighter pilots, but one never know when enemy will show up and loosing valuable cargo ships with loaded troops to enemy air is not the best way to win war.

Enemy airbases at Singapore and Johore Bharu are less then 200 miles away. While recon planes of 51st Recon Chutai flying daily to observe enemy bases reported only fighter planes based there, there was no trace of enemy bombers. As reported several days before, allies had around 50-60 bombers available on the Malayan airfields - where they are now is a question. But the threat still remains, so Colonel Katos Sentai has to fly these patrols.

2nd Lieutenant Fujimoto damaged his Hayabusa on landing driving into a mud hole. Fortunately he was unhurt and the plane required only light repairs, so it will be available for next day.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/18/2012 10:50:41 AM   
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Post #: 23
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/23/2012 1:21:59 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.12
Date: 19th December 1941 Tokyo time

This day was the full repetition of the previous one. With single exception. Night brought more rains and on the morning take off the strip was not dry enough. Warrant Officer Kaokis Hayabusa run over a mud hole, totally breaking off left landing gear. Only pilots skill prevented his Hayabusa to ram the next one taking off. Pilot survived with light bruises only, but his Hayabusa has to be written off completely.

Apart from this, patrols over naval task force unloading near Kuantan went off smoothly and no enemy planes were encountered either. It seems that enemy has pulled his forces somewhere else, but where?

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Post #: 24
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/25/2012 7:54:20 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.13
Date: 20th December 1941 Tokyo time

Naval task force finished unloading at Kuantan thorough the night and withdrew to safe distance. Bombers, still based in Thailand has no valuable targets in their range. Only a Sentai of Ki-32 light bombers based at Patani airfield, about 100 miles to the north of Kota Bharu were in range to attack retreating enemy units. 1st Sentai provided escort for them and at the same time flew combat air patrol around the home base. Thus 64th Sentai was again allowed to rest for a day in Kota Bharu.

Fortunately weather was better then on preceding days so the men not necessary to other duties filled their time mostly outside. Football match as well as little baseball was played next to runway when no air operations were conducted there. Those unlucky enough to find themselves with some duties worked with better mood in clear and not so hot weather. Some of the men event went to the nearby strip of the beach to swim in the sea. Some even tried to catch some fish on hooks made of nails - although not very successfully. The only catches included seaweed and an army helmet with a hole through...

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Post #: 25
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/26/2012 5:50:43 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.14
Date: 21th December 1941 Tokyo time

No combat operation was scheduled for today, but news of transfer to Patani, about 200 miles to the north, were leaked through the chain of command. It may seem strange to move premium fighter unit from its forward airfield further from front line, but it has its own purpose. Two heavy bomber Sentais were prepared to move to Kota Bharu as its permanent base until the end of Malayan campaign. Kota Bharu, which was meant to become a base for both 64th and 59th Sentais equipped with Hayabusas, was not yet ready, but the place has to be made for bombers.

Thus men of the 64th Sentai began packing their belongings, loading equipment on trains moving north and several trucks with repair machinery moving south towards Kota Bharu. Mechanics were readying their planes, and pilots were flying checking flights around the field.

It was not much a question of belongings, as both pilots and mechanics carried little with them and tents were the main form of accommodation, but various tools and equipment for a military unit has to be carried around - from spare uniforms and flying suits, through food and various kitchen items to spare engines and propellers. All of these items had to be packed and loaded carefully and send to their destination...

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Post #: 26
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 8/28/2012 10:41:55 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.15
Date: 22th December 1941 Tokyo time

Flight to Patani was a routine task which all pilots accomplished without fault. The ground movement wasn't as easy. The railways through conquered part of Malaya sustained damage in the campaign, and there was much traffic congestion around Patani. 200 miles by train took almost whole day, with numerous stops and waiting. Unloading also took some time because Patani was used as major hub for troops moving from north to south and sidetracks were full of trains with men and equipment. Military police was overloaded with numerous tasks - from guarding the prisoners of wars to directing working parties of Malay men repairing rails, sidetracks and roads in the area. On top of that they had to keep order in a place where men from Army, Air force, Navy and Naval air forces were streaming in numbers - of course several brawls took place with inter-service rivalry was the main spark.

Radio Tokyo announced today, that strong enemy surface task force made its presence known in area of Palau Islands recently, but our Imperial Navy prevailed and forced enemy naval force to retreat sinking at least two battleships and several cruisers in the process.

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Post #: 27
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/7/2012 8:52:39 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.16
Date: 23th December 1941 Tokyo time

While main part of the 64th Sentai was making itself comfortable on Patani airfield, time came for the 3rd Chutai to convert from their Ki-27s to brand new Ki-43s.

16 pilots with about hundred mechanics eagerly awaited the new fighters at Battambang airfield. Lined on both sides of the airfield all eyes were scanning the sky while ears were anxiously looking forward to hear the sound of new Nakajima Sake engines. Soon 16 shiny new machines popped over the horizon, passed over the airfield and made several aerobatic figures around to show the abilities of the new planes.

Once landed, 16 factory pilots were surrounded by crowds of mechanics led by pilots answering numerous questions. 3rd Chutai pilots soon found themselves sitting inside the cockipts with factory pilot and main mechanic from each side. Afternoon familiarization flights begun. 1st Lieutenant Ishikawa was the first to take the brand new Hayabusa into air. After several circles around the airfield and several easy aerobatic figures he even tried to fire the Ho-103 machine guns. The landing was not nearly perfect, but pilot and his brand new plane landed safely. After more debriefing two more pilots took into air one after another for their familiarization flights.

Six weary, Ki-27s silently and forgotten, were standing on the edge of the airfield. In several days, they will be flown by the Nakajima factory pilots back to their plant to be completely overhauled and then sent to some training unit to help train new piltos.

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Post #: 28
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/7/2012 11:41:15 PM   
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"Two Battleships and several cruisers." Riiiight. Barb, was it really a big battle? Just curious.

Interesting detail about factory pilots and the upgrade process.

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Post #: 29
RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/8/2012 6:35:54 AM   
Barb


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Allied SCTF arriving at Babeldaob :
BB Prince of Wales
BC Repulse
CA Houston
CL Java
CL De Ruyter
CL Tromp
CL Danae
CL Dragon
CL Durban
CL Marblehead
CL Boise
DD John D. Ford
DD Paul Jones
DD Parrott
DD Pillsbury
DD Banckert
DD Van Nes
DD Witte de With
DD Evertsen
DD Kortenaer
DD Piet Hein
DD Van Ghent
DD Scout
DD Thanet
Allied DDTF running around:
DD Alden
DD Barker
DD Bulmer
DD Edsall
DD Peary
DD Pope
DD Stewart
DD Thracian
DD Express

On the Japanese side several TFs were involved. As far as we know, of the larger allied ships only Boise with several destroyers managed to escape. Mostly in damaged state. Japanese Navy suffered some losses (details are not known to public and our enemies)

IRL: new planes would be trickled into the unit at small rate in time of several weeks to allow several familiar flights to future pilots.

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