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

 
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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/10/2012 7:17:07 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.17
Date: 24th December 1941 Tokyo time

Airstrip repairs at Kuantan were proceeding at full speed. Two engineer companies plus several other units were working tirelessly for more than week to get the airstrip to shape. Bomb craters were being filled, surface strengthened, hangars and other facilities repaired, new phone lines laid down, radio tower blown up was built anew. It was not an easy task under hot southern sun, but the works were nearly finished and airfield will be operational in several days.

Trucks with some equipment and several men sent three days before from Kota Bharu to south arrived. Moving near the eastern coast of Malaya on trails pretending to be roads they encountered numerous problems. Being stuck in mud was as common as blown-up tires. Men within the truck convoy were at work from early morning to midday, with shovels, axes, pickaxes, ropes and whatever tools available to get trucks from the mud or to change tires. From midday to 4 PM the men and their trucks were hidden under the jungle cover, trying to eat something and rest a little. Then the movement continued - no surprise, that the men that arrived at Kuantan airfield were as dirty as engineers working there for several days.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/13/2012 1:44:32 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.18
Date: 25th December 1941 Tokyo time

While pilots of the 3rd Chutai were making themselves familiar with their new planes back in Thailand, rest of the Sentai prepared themselves for another move. This time for Kuantan. Advanced echelon that arrived yesterday to the Kuantan area reported that runway is finally repaired enough to be of use. On landing, the pilots were greeted by members of the 59th Sentai, that arrived several hours earlier. This two units, both equipped with Hayabusas were to break the RAF over Singapore. While pilots from both units were discussing things fighter pilots usually talk about, their maintenance crews were transported by several army transport planes, while the rest were to be marched south like the advanced echelon did. They were to be expected in several days.

The tension went sky-high in the evening, when new orders from the HQ arrived. Regardless of their missing ground elements both units were to make their presence felt over Singapore the following morning. Bombers protected by 1st Sentai Ki-27s were to go in just after the lunch to catch most of the allied planes on ground. As able hands were in short supply, pilots had to make sure their machines are in perfect state for the upcoming battle themselves...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/14/2012 3:54:03 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.19
Date: 26th December 1941 Tokyo time

Morning hours of the Kuantan airfield were filled with much activity. Both fighter Sentais were being readied for the big mission today. Without their ground echelons they had to use what they had on hand. This went for food too. Instead of normal breakfast they had to do with products of local marketplace. Several pilots made jokes about the Air Force trying to made their Hayabusas lighter using a food diet.

Around 10:00 AM pilots were seated in their machines making final checks before start. Soon the green flare from a control tower appeared and roar of 50 engines spread around the airfield filled the area. Pilots were looking in direction of control tower for a second green flare - meaning that elements were to assemble for start next to runway in order of take-off.

Instead, a red flare was fired. At first thoughts about someones error in firing wrong flare went through the minds of pilots. But then a second red flare showed up. One by one pilots stopped their engines, many remained sitting in cabins for few minutes, and only then jumping out of their planes. Cursing, they headed to their operation rooms, only to hear what they already knew - that the mission for today was cancelled. Due to thick layer of clouds all over the southern Malaya the mission was delayed for one day in hope of better weather over target.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/18/2012 10:25:47 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.20 (Part 1)
Date: 27th December 1941 Tokyo time

On this day, finally, Lt.Col. Anma led formation of 26 dark-green Hayabusas to the main enemy bastion in the far east - Singapore. Cruising at 20,000 ft the formation had to circle around several clouds standing in the way. As a result of this maneuvering, one element of the 2nd Chutai lost sight of the formation and continued to target independently.

Alarms soon sounded over the Tengah, Sembawang and Kallang airfields at Singapore islands as reports of incoming Japanese formations filtered over the telephone and radio networks. One by one allied fighters from 4 squadrons took to the skies to defend the island from Japanese invaders. Driving their machines hard, pilots strived to gain altitude before the enemy arrive. In total 51 Buffalo Mk. I fighters took off for combat.

On approach to Singapore pilots from 1st Chutai flying below and forward of the 2nd Chutai were first to spot the dark shadows of climbing allied fighters. Without hesitation the pilots rolled their machines into dive to engage the enemy that so far has been elusive.

Picture: members of the 453rd Squadron RAAF running to their machines as scramble was ordered



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< Message edited by Barb -- 9/18/2012 10:27:23 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/21/2012 12:52:48 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.20 (Part 2)
Date: 27th December 1941 Tokyo time

Leading 1st Shotai of the 1st Chutai was 2nd Lt. Inuzuka. Bad luck was on his tail from the first moment. Diving down he overshoot with his first burst and while continuing the dive he was separated from his wingmen. Finding himself among numerous enemies he nevertheless engaged them in circling combat. Firing several bursts at several targets he was not able to obtain any hits. Finally finding one of the enemy fighters on a collision course he fired a burst that hit its mark and forced the enemy plane out of combat. Unfortunately the enemy was as good marksman as 2nd Lt. Inazuka and his burst from four half-inch machine guns fired at the same moment ripped Inazukas Hayabusa to pieces in an instant.

2nd Lt. Inazuka wingmens had better luck. W/O Okamoto claimed a damage to enemy fighter in initial pass, but he too found himself among the numerous enemies. After having his plane damaged by two enemy bursts, he wisely dived to the ground and escaped combat, finally landing his damaged Hayabusa back at Kuantan. W/O Uchida engaged several of the enemy planes finally claiming one shot down and one damaged (in fact both of his opponents were only damaged).

2nd Shotai of the same Chutai went into combat on tails of the 1st Shotai. 2nd Lt. Chojiro with wingmens 2nd Lt. Fujimoto and W/O Inokuchi claimed two enemy fighters in the initial dive and further two were claimed by 2nd Lt. Fujimoto in the ensuing combat. Of the enemy planes engaged by this formation one was shot down certainly and three more were damaged.

3rd Shotai led by 2nd Lt. Koda was next one entering the combat. 2nd Lt. Ban claimed found his first victim in a slow climb and his first burst hit the mark. On getting closer to the enemy plane he put more lead into target. Buffalo started to smoke and after a while pilot jumped from it, his plane plunged to the ground. Returning to combat 2nd Lt. Ban found that he spend most of his ammo on the first Buffalo and withdrew from combat. 2nd Lt. Koda attacked several enemy fighters claiming two of them before he was forced to withdrew from combat, however both of his victims survived and landed safely. W/O Junis Hayabusa was damaged in the first encounter with enemy by several bulets. One of the bullets passed the length of the plane wounding the pilot. Engine started to smoke, so W/O Juni immediately rolled his plane over the wing and sought protection of the nearest cloud. After long flight home he safely landed at Kuantan.

4th Shotai, led by 2nd Lt. Fujimoto, could claim only one damaged enemy plane, suffering two damaged Hayabusas in the combat. First, W/O Chozaburo engaged one of the Buffalos firing several bursts after it, and forgot to watch his back. This situation was almost immediately exploited by one of the Australians. W/O Chozaburo managed to escape his enemy with damaged plane and landed safely at Kuantan. W/O Shibayama engaged other enemy plane, but he too was forced to abandon combat with smoking plane. Shotai leader 2nd Lt. Fujimoto engaged at least 4 of the enemy planes, but his shooting was not so accurate as he wished it would be. None of the enemy planes was shot down.

In total 1st Chutai claimed 2 enemy planes shot down certainly, 4 probably and 6 more damaged for the loss 1 pilot KIA (2nd Lt. Inazuka) and 1 pilot WIA (W/O Juni). Of the 12 dispatched planes 1 was shot down and 5 sustained damage in various degrees.

Picture: Contrails visible on the sky over Singapore




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< Message edited by Barb -- 9/23/2012 4:01:24 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/27/2012 6:25:30 AM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.20 (Part 3)
Date: 27th December 1941 Tokyo time

Leading 2nd Chutai was 1st Shotai with Lt.Col Anma and his wingmens 2nd Lt. Hashimoto and W/O Mitsumasa. In the initial phase of the battle Lt.Col Anma claimed a Buffalo "shot down in flames". As the combat spread into several groups of planes chasing each other across the sky, he claimed further two planes until he had run out of ammo. 2nd Lt. Hashimoto claimed two enemy fighters shot down, but his own plane was damaged and he was forced to abandon combat trailing smoke. 2nd Lt. Mitsumasa tried to stay with his Shotaichio which due to wild maneuvers performed by Lt.Col Anma wasn't an easy job. Protecting his leader he had not find himself in position to shoot.

2nd Shotai was led by W/O Agawa. This section managed to surprise several of the enemies, who forgot to watch for their 6s in combat with other elements of the 64th Sentai. At first W/O Kaoki claimed a Buffalo pursuing one of the 1st Chutai Hayabusas. At the same time W/O Agawa claimed two more in quick succession. W/O Kaoki then engaged one enemy fighter in frontal attack. Bullets from both sides hit their marks and both pilots were forced to turn for their base.
W/O Uchida tried to gain favorable position for attack, but in the mass of circling planes this was hard to obtain. After several attempts his engine started to run hard so he turned for a flight back without any success to claim.

Of the 3rd Chutai, only W/O Kikuchi manged to keep with the main formation while flying through several clouds on way to target. Now, without wingmen he hurled himself into combat on vertical plane. Suddenly a Buffalo appeared in his crosshairs, but he was not quick enough to shoot until it disappeared. Returning to altitude he looked for a vulnerable enemy plane below. After a while he had seen a Hayabusa being chased by Buffalo chased by another Hayabusa and yet another Buffalo. Seeing the last enemy preoccupied with covering his leader, W/O Kikuchi made a roll to the left and softly slided to a position behind the last Buffalo. Short burst forced the Buffalo to turn rapidly, but Kikuchis Hayabusa with better turn ratio managed to keep inside the enemy turn. Allied pilot, thinking that the Japanese plane was not able to follow, leveled the flight for a moment before attempt to turn in opposite direction. Hits from 12.7mm Ho-103 machine guns coupled with 7.7mm bullets from Type 97 machine gun appeared on the Buffalo sending it to the ground in flames. W/O Kikuchi encouraged by his first claim continued to engage enemy, but without success. Instead his own plane was damaged and he was forced to return prematurely.

4th Shotai entered combat with daring attack on section of Buffalos climbing to get above the furball. Led by 2nd Lieutenant Oba they immediately claimed one of the enemy planes exploding as well as three more planes of the same section damaged as a result of accurate shooting by Obas wingmens - W/O Ishimori and Koga. However 2nd Lieutenant Oba plane became damaged by parts of the exploded planes and he was forced to turn Back. Section, now led by W/O Koga, claimbed up again over the wildly maneuvring planes and looked for another victims. Diving down again W/O Koga attacked another Bufalo, but missed. On the other side W/O Ishimoris plane become damaged by a burst fired from Buffalo from 453rd Squadron RAAF. Protecting the plane of his wingmen, W/O Koga was attacked himself by another section of Buffalos. Trying to lure enemies from damaged plane of his wingmen he attacked both enemy planes face-to-face loosing his wingmen from sight. However this time shooting of the allied pilots hit their target and W/O Koga had to fight for his own survival with damaged plane. W/O Koga managed to return to base with severly damaged planes, but unhurt. W/O Ishimori was intercepted by another allied plane and shot down on way home. Wounded, he bailed out and was picked up by Japanese patrol boat the following day.

Picture: Hayabusa of Lt.Col Anma K. in January 1942




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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 9/30/2012 9:23:52 AM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.20 (Part 4)
Date: 27th December 1941 Tokyo time

Close behind the 64th Sentai was 59th Sentai, also equipped by Hayabusas. First to arrive was a single Shotai of 3rd Chutai - it also became separated by clouds, but through flying stright through the clouds they happened to arrive first to the scene of battle. This section engaged in general combat and claimed 2 Buffalos damaged without losses

Next to arrive was the separated 3rd Shotai of 2nd Chutai from the 64th Sentai. Led by 2nd Lieutenant Kizuka they claimed one Buffalo certainly shot down and three more damaged without loss of their own.

Lastly, the main part of the 59th Sentai arrived, picking up groups of enemy planes that were still climbing to intercept, or disengaged from the main battle.

In total 59th Sentai claimed 17 enemy planes shot down or damaged in combat for only three damaged planes of their own that day. In fact, allied records to be examined after the war wouldn't confirmed any losses, but many Buffalos landed with various degrees of damage and some had to be written-off.

64th Sentai, taking the brunt of combat, facing a total of 51 Buffalos with 29 Hayabusas, claimed a total of 33 planes destroyed or damaged (of these 5 were certainly shot down) for the loss of 3 planes shot down and 11 more damaged (one of these was written off due to damage suffered). In terms of pilots, the 64th Sentai lost 2nd Lt. Inazuka (KIA) and two pilots were wounded (W/O Juni, W/O Ishimori).

Picture: Many of the allied planes damaged in combat had to be written off, like this Buffalo - completely burned out after landing:



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< Message edited by Barb -- 9/30/2012 9:25:31 AM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 10/9/2012 4:41:07 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.21
Date: 28th December 1941 Tokyo time

Well deserved rest was ordered for the unit. After yesterday action many planes arrived with various degrees of damage - from bullet holes to barely running engines. While pilots were still excited and talked about maneuvres performed yesterday, usually using their hands to show position of their and enemy planes, mechanics and armorers gathered around damaged planes and took to work with their tools. At the same time a small army of clerks was going through the reports, summarizing, confirming, verifying and cross-checking number of paper documents required by the army bureaucracy. Not only expedition of ammunition and fuel was calculated, but such things as holed flyers jacket had to be requested as well as rations, razors, sun-glasses, mosquito-nets, various medicaments and other things.

Meanwhile the 59th Sentai, a sister unit also equipped with Hayabusas and stationed at Kuantan took over the mission of neutralizing Singapore air defenses. Taking off with the sun barely over the horizon, 27 of their Hayabusas were to sweep what was left of the enemy fighter force in Malaya. After several hours they come back - in a perfect formation, with not one plane missing. It was a little surprising, but the RAF decided not to intercept the formation and keep to the ground. After circling around Singapore island the 59th Sentai took course to home base, without seeing a single enemy plane in the air.

Our mechanics did a great job today, of the 10 planes damaged yesterday, they were able to repair 8. So the 64th was again in strength - 21 planes were ready for combat and 2 more still in repairs.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 10/14/2012 1:19:58 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.22
Date: 29th December 1941 Tokyo time

On this day, we had been ordered to action again. While 59th Sentai was to be sent ahead to take on any enemy in the air, 64th was to escort 2 bomber Sentais flying from Kota Bharu. Plan was to draw enemy fighters to fight with the 59th Sentai and bomb them on ground once landed for rearming and refueling.

59th Sentai went into the air with 28 planes and half distance to target, while pilots of the 64th were running their machines around runway in preparation for take-off. But weather intervened again. Bombers were not able to go through the cloudy barrier in the middle of Malayan peninsula and were forced to return to base. Mission was cancelled. 59th Sentai didn't received the order due to some atmospheric disturbance and continued to their target in hope of engaging the enemy in force. But it was in vain - no enemy plane showed up to confront the 59th. So after another circle around Singapore island they turned back to their home base and after hour-long flight landed again at Kuantan safely.

Spending the whole day around the airfield men of the 64th Sentai had found time to create nengajō - a new years postcards. With courier plane leaving tomorrow morning for Japan it was the last chance to let know their families they are alive and well. Each of the men spend time to create their original postcard - brushes, paper and other writing necessaries were the most bartered items of the day.
While a lot of the military mail had to be on printed formulars, this special delivery was ordered by Lt.Gen Sugawara - commanding officer of the 3rd Hikō Shidan as a gift for the performance of the unit two days ago over Singapore. With the courier plane arriving that evening, news of another gift spread quickly around the airfield. This time it was the osechi-ryōri - a traditional dish served on new years celebration. Men gathered around the plane formed a chain and helped to unload the precious supplies. Last one to leave the plane were two bags of mail - and you can imagine the new heights the morale in the units had risen to ...

< Message edited by Barb -- 10/14/2012 1:35:14 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 10/18/2012 2:21:46 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.23
Date: 30th December 1941 Tokyo time

Order for the day was to repeat the mission, but this time in maximum force. To further reinforce the effort a 3rd Chutai of the 64th Sentai finally joined the unit at Kuantan airfield. 3rd Chutai arrived yesterday evening with 16 shiny new Hayabusas equipped with 2 Ho-103 machine cannons and after small rest and making themselves comfortable (as forward, dusty and crowded air base would allow) they were ready to fight the enemy. 4 bomber Sentais were to attack airfields on Singapore island, 59th Sentai covered by 3rd Chutai of the 64th from above was to sweep the area ahead of bombers, while the rest of the 64th was to provide close escort.

Soon after the 3rd Chutai and 59th Sentai took to the skies formations of bombers heading south passed overhead. 64th Sentai took off a litte later and started to climb toward bombers - and then almost everything went wrong with the coordination.
3rd Chutai of the 64th under the command of 1st Lt. Ishikawa lost sight of the 59th Sentai they were to protect from above as well as a pair of planes from the 4th Shotai. Continuing to Singapore independently, remaining 10 Hayabusas arrived first and started to patrol the area.
Next to arrive was 57 Type 97 Heavy Bombers from three bomber sentais - incidentally covering their arrival was 59th Sentai with 29 of theirs Hayabusas. Each of the bomber sentais had one of the runways as target, so uppon arriving, they had to separate to made their individual bombing runs. Air space being spacious as it is was suddenly full of formations and individual planes on different courses and different altitudes. Bombs went down with screams and soon mushrooms of clouds covered three of the four Singapore airfields.

In the ensuing chaos 3rd chutai rather cleared the area not to risk any "friendly favor". After them, formations of bombers cleared the area in eastern direction, soon followed by 59th Sentai. Sky over Singapore was empty for only few minutes - last formation of bombers arrived to unload their ordnance over the Tengah airfield. Had the RAF choose to appear in the air, they would have most probably claimed several planes of this formation. But RAF didn't showed up. Last one to arrive was the 64th Sentai with 22 of their Hayabusas with two additional machines of 3rd Chutai picked up along the route. Instead of providing bombers with the fighter cover, the main formation of the 64th arrived late and served only as a rearguard to returning bombers.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/5/2012 3:50:35 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.24
Date: 31st December 1941 Tokyo time

For the last day of the year, another operation was scheduled. Both 64th Sentai and its 3rd Chutai were to cover formation of heavy bombers attacking enemy ground concentration at Johore Bharu. Weather intervened and the operation was cancelled completely.

Instead, many men located at Kuantan given their hands to smarten up the place for the upcoming new year celebration. Almost everyone devoted at least several thoughts on their families back home on this day. Huts were cleaned up, and a tables were put together. Festive air was kept all the day. Most of the usual daily business was put aside. Only the essential parts were kept - like cooking and repairing machines. When the tropical sun set behind the horizon, men gathered in and around the eating tent. Lt.Col. Kato as senior officer of the base kept a short speech. After that, men enjoyed quite quiet evening - in the kind a bunch of young men could have spent a "quiet" evening with several bottles of beer and sake...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/8/2012 12:09:07 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.25
Date: January 1st, 1942 Tokyo time

Stormy weather soaked the airstrips around the whole Malayan peninsula so almost whole Japanese air force in the area was grounded.

Men, waking up early, or without shortest sleep, took their chances for Hatsuhinode - tradition of watching the first sunrise of the year. Many of them drove or walked over to the beach not far from the airstrip. Looking to the east men hoped to see the first light of the first sun.

Clouds, covered the sky from horizon to horizon, reducing chances of seeing the sun. But there it was, sky started to lose shades of dark it was wearing for the night. Then in a distance, over the sea, a break in clouds allowed several sun-rays to break through.

For the men on the beach, this ment just one thing - almost an omen - that the Sun will triumph over the shadows of darkness in these violent and stormy years.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/9/2012 9:43:47 AM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.26
Date: January 2nd, 1942 Tokyo time

Two considerable things happened on this day. First - an air operation - was scheduled to take place in the morning. Full complement of the 64th Sentai (5 planes of HQ flight, 9 planes sent by each 1st and 2nd Chutai as well as 12 planes of 3rd Chutai) was to take care of the 34 Type 97 Heavy bomber planes heading toward Singapore airfields. After successfully joining the bombers near Kuantan the whole formation flew to Singapore. No enemy planes were met and AA fire concentrated on the bombers. Due to heavy thunderstorms in the area, both bombing and defensive fire had only minimal effect. Return was also an easy task for both bombers and their escorts. All planes landed safely on their home fields.

Second - eleven new fighters arrived at Kuantan airfield to reinforce the complement of 64th Sentai. Mechanics quickly started to modify the planes to get them up to standards with the rest of the planes. 64th Sentai, now with 52 pilots and 50 planes in total was better equipped and trained then ever before. This move was not just a coincident.. as a new set of orders were being prepared for the 64th at 3th Hikō Shidan HQ.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/12/2012 9:28:08 AM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.27
Date: January 3rd, 1942 Tokyo time

New orders had arrived. 2nd Infantry Division captured Palembang with its rich oilfields and adjacent airport after landing in the area the day before. As the runways were operational the 64th Sentai was to move to Palembang airfield to offer protection to both ground troops, airfield, oilfields and shipping in the area. 59th Sentai, a sister unit also based at Kuantan was to be moved to nearby Praembolih to help with the task. Praembolih was captured on the same day by 1st Raiding Regiment flown from Northern Borneo.

Much activity ensued on the airfield after the radio news reported the capture of the Palembang and code-word for a movement was received. Men running in every direction seemed to suggest a high level of panic. But the opposite was true - due to frequent movements in the last month, every men knew what to do, so officers had almost nothing to do except to pack their personal belongings.

In the evening hours of the day the 64th Sentai took to the air by Chutais and headed towards the Sumatra.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/13/2012 1:20:23 PM   
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64th Sentai war diary entry No.28
Date: January 4th, 1942 Tokyo time

3rd Chutai was assigned the role of a night combat air patrol. With one Shotai in the air circling the area and looking for enemy intruders and rest of the Shotai in readiness they took an eye on the sleeping of several thousand Japanese men in the area.

1st and 2nd Chutais were to guard the airfield through the day along with 59th Sentai based in nearby Praembolih. Standing patrols in the air were being relieved by readiness flight - so there was an air activity on and over the airfield for the whole day. Shortly before lunch a formation of enemy planes was reported approaching. Readiness flight was ordered to the air and planes from 59th Sentai were called too. In total 8 of the 64th Sentai planes and 6 of the 59th managed to intercept enemy formation before its retreat to the south.

Some 40 Dutch bombers of the Martin 139 type covered by just four Brewster fighters used a cloud cover to reach the vicinity of Palembang undisturbed. But once there a quick reaction of Japanese defences followed. A flight of the 64th Sentai led by 2nd Lt. Miyajima L. was first to spot the approaching enemy formation. Being above and in front of it the flight boldly attacked enemy fighter cover. Rapidly dispersed, the enemy fighter soon found themselves fighting on their own. 2nd Lt.Miyajima and W/O Shibayama claimed one of the escorting fighters each in rapid succession. Seeing no more enemy fighters around they swooped down on enemy bombers. Attacking from every possible direction and angle the first shotai strived to disperse the enemy defensive formation.

Second shotai arriving a moments later oversaw the attack of the first section against the enemy fighter cover. Divided into two sections they started to pursuit two remaining Brewsters and in short chase shot them both down. 2Lt. Fujimoto and 2Lt. Oba laid claims for the victories. Quickly finishing their first enemies they too joined the attempt to attack enemy bombers.

Six of the 59th Sentais Hayabusas were last to enter the scene when most of the 64th Sentai planes were forced to return to base due to ammunition and fuel shortages. Attacking several of the bombers on their bombing run, they at least occupied their attention while damaging several of them.

Nevertheless, the enemy bomber formation, while being attacked by several fighters fought its way to the target - a road leading from Paembang to Djambi. Following their defeat in Palembang, Dutch units were retreating northwards and bombers had a mission to delay their pursuers. Bombs fell among troops of the 2nd Division - 55 casualties were reported as well as half day of pursuit lost to clear the carnage left by enemy bombs along the road. After releasing their bombloads enemy bombers started to run toward west in a descending flight and soon entered a big stormy cloud. This forced the remaining fighters of the 59th and 64th Sentai to abandon the pursuit.

Picture: Martin 139WH-3 - a ML-KNIL main bomber plane of the period




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Barb -- 11/13/2012 1:26:46 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/16/2012 1:31:43 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.29
Date: January 5th, 1942 Tokyo time

Night being watchfully guarded by the 3rd Chutai passed quietly. As the sun begun to rose over Southern Sumatra jungles the rest of the 64th Sentai was put into high alert. This time the sky was clear and incoming enemy formation was reported by recon planes sent in direction of Batavia. In total the enemy sent 34 Martin bombers covered by 6 Brewsters to bomb airstrip at Palembang.

59th Sentai was unable to intervene due to difficulties in radio communications, but 64th Sentai went for the enemy formation completely. In total 32 Hayabusas with arrows on their tails scrambled to meet the attackers.

Enemy fighter cover was completely shattered in just moments - three of the Dutch fighters were claimed by Maj. Miyabe, 2Lt. Kizuka and W/O Kaoki and the remaining three were hard pressed to escape with various degrees of damage. Then the whole might of the 64th Sentai smashed the Dutch bomber formation. One after another damaged bombers leaved formation in an attempt to escape and become prey of the aggressive Japanese airmen. Several of the bombers exploded mid-air, number was shot down and even more limped home badly shot up. In total 13 wrecks of the bombers were counted in the vicinity of Palembang and sky was full of parachutes of allied airmen.

Nevertheless enemy bombers that survived the ordeal dropped their loads over Palembang airfield. There were a total of 5 casualties reported - including a men that had a door of a hut thrown around his neck. The rest were light bruises and wood splinters requiring but a little time to recover. Several of the bombs landed across the airstrip, but as soon as bombs stopped exploding, engineers swarmed the runway and started to fill the holes...

Claims and kills for shot down bombers were assigned accordingly:
Staff flight: 2Lt Miyajima, W/O Yasuda and W/O Agawa
1st Chutai: Lt.Col. Takeuchi, 2Lt. Chojiro, 2Lt. Koda, W/O Inokuchi, and W/O Shibayama
2nd Chutai: Lt.Col. Anma, 2Lt. Izumida, W/O Ohmori, W/O Mitsumasa and W/O Kikuchi

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 11/21/2012 11:45:33 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.30
Date: January 6th, 1942 Tokyo time

It was felt that after the massacre of the previous day, the enemy would abandon its attacks for a while, so it was for the 3rd Chutai to take care of the skies above Palembang.
But enemy was stubborn enough to send another mission to bomb the airstrip at Palembang. The enemy formation, smaller - containing 12 Martin bombers with cover of just one Brewster, easily evaded the lookouts on the cloudy skies.

3rd Chutai was thus alerted late, and pilots steeply climbing set upon intercepting the enemy. Just as they had started to engage enemy planes the bombers dropped their loads and quickly turned home. Just one of the enemy bombers sustained damage, but it was able to return home safely.

Situation on the ground looked much more different: two Hayabusas were destroyed by exploding bombs and 6 others were damaged enough to require several days of repairs. What was more serious, the bombing caused also several casualties. W/O Agawa and W/O Shibayama as well as several mechanics were wounded by flying splinters and runway got several new holes. Although there were no fatalities and wounds were of light nature it was a first time the unit experienced to be caught with pants down.
Field kitchen tent also obtained a direct hit, and man had to eat their meals cold until a replacement kitchen was borrowed from an infantry unit stationed near. And for the next day the roles were reverted again. 3rd Chutai was to protect the skies around Palembang in the night while the rest of the 64th Sentai was to take care of the daylight.

< Message edited by Barb -- 12/6/2012 11:40:00 AM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/6/2012 11:40:37 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.31
Date: January 7th, 1942 Tokyo time

A full month passed between the initiation of combat in southern areas - and as nothing worth mentioning happened on this day, except the welcomed arrival of new field kitchen, it is time to look at the summary.

Unit had participated in 17 operations with 311 sorties from 5 different airfields and met enemy air forces on 6 occasions. The total score of the 64th Sentai (including its 3rd Chutai) so far had been 27 confirmed kills against the loss of 14 planes (3 lost on the eve of war). There were 2 pilots Killed in action (2Lt. Inuzuka, W/O Kado), 4 Missing in Action (2Lt. Makino plus three pilots lost on the eve of war) and 4 wounded (W/O Agawa, W/O Juni, W/O Shibayama, W/O Ishimori).

So far the 64th Sentai met only inferior enemy and triumphed every time. But there was a high cost in operational losses - inevitable, but always good-for-nothing.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/6/2012 11:41:10 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.32
Date: January 8th, 1942 Tokyo time

Another day with no enemy activity in the area materialized. The troops of the 2nd Division continued in their pursuit of retreating Dutch troops to the north and 64th Sentai continued to patrol the skies overhead.
It was not a boring day in any way - many activities were underway to ensure the steady CAP - cooks had to prepare their meals, armorers cleaned guns, engine mechanics were attending to their engines, and damages were repaired from the previous air raids.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/11/2012 9:38:43 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.33
Date: January 9th, 1942 Tokyo time

3rd Chutai was selected to sweep skies of Batavia from enemy planes. In the early hours 10 Hayabusas took to the skies from the Palembang airfield and headed to the south-east gaining height.

Nearing Batavia heavy rain clouds were spotted by navigation wasn't really a problem. Some pilots doubted that enemy would challenge the formation at all in such weather. But suddenly there he was - formation of four Curtiss fighters in Dutch markings were spotted climbing below clouds. Two Shotais detached and dived on climbing enemy planes. Caught in disadvantageous position enemy split formation and each pair tried to sought protection of clouds independently. With advantage of height and speed it was no problem for Hayabusas to catch them. After swift combat all four enemy planes were claimed. But later only two claims were acknowledged to 2nd Lt. Tsukamoto and 2nd Lt. Miyajima. Rest of the enemy fighters were considered as probables. (In fact both remaining pilots managed to get their planes back to the base in a damaged state).

Picture: Curtiss CW-21B Demon fighter



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< Message edited by Barb -- 12/11/2012 9:39:03 AM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/12/2012 8:59:32 AM   
Barb


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Is actually someone reading this?

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/12/2012 4:16:45 PM   
Ol_Dog


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I'll admit I do

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If you think you have everything under control, you don't fully understand the situation.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/13/2012 1:16:15 PM   
Barb


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Well, that makes at least two of us :D

64th Sentai war diary entry No.34

Date: January 10th, 1942 Tokyo time

3rd Chutai was celebrating their first kills the last evening rather too much and they remained on ground today. Combat air patrols were kept in the air from the rest of the Sentai for probable retaliatory strikes by enemy. But again no signs of enemy were spotted on the Sumatran skies on this day. Lack of enemy activity is striking...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/13/2012 1:28:38 PM   
catwhoorg


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I read quite a few, but generally don't comment.

That way I know For sure I can't be revealing anything I may have picked up from any opposing thread.

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/13/2012 3:02:00 PM   
GreyJoy


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i do and i love this AAR. Don't comment much cause, in these narrative AARs, i always feel my comments would, somehow, break the continuum of the storyline.


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/13/2012 10:47:12 PM   
Barb


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Actually I was a bit worried that I am writing this just for myself

I am sorry, that I cannot bring posts that quick, but 2vs2 game isn't really what you can call a fast paced. Anyway our opponents are not very cooperative with this AAR when playing kind of "Sir Robin"...

There are some events in China that raised our hairs up, but of course 64th Sentai knows nothing about as they are preoccupied by their own war on the empty skies of Sumatra ...

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/13/2012 11:38:01 PM   
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Even a non-fighting mission is dangerous when you fly on those Oscars!

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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/19/2012 11:14:49 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.35
Date: January 11th, 1942 Tokyo time

As nothing worth mentioning in the 64th Sentai log book has happened today, except pursuit of Dutch units retreating north, it may be worth to look to other theaters of Pacific war through the news presented by copy of Yomiuri Shimbun brought in by a courier plane from Saigon few days ago:

Situation in Kwantung and Korea Area:
As far as these two areas are concerned, no combat is taking place there - they are kind of a backwater now. Relations with Soviet union seem to be rather cordial as Soviet union nor Japan is willing to start war on a second front. Soviets, their counter-offensive off Moscow just finished, got some breathing space, but the struggle in Europe swallowed their best units and reserves. Japanese army, involved in The China Incident and now also committed to new conquests in the south is not in position to threaten Soviet union from Manchuria.
Nevertheless, various non-combat activities are performed in the area - from building new air bases for our expanding air force, building fortifications and intensive training of our young and eager pilot cadets to prepare them for their future combat duties as well as various ground exercises conducted by army units stationed in the area...

< Message edited by Barb -- 12/19/2012 11:15:40 PM >


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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/20/2012 11:05:38 AM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.36
Date: January 12th, 1942 Tokyo time

On this day, weather was fair enough to allow re-visit of Batavia by 3rd Chutai - ten Hayabusas took from Praembolih airstrip and headed south-east. Close to Batavia, heavy rain-clouds covered the sky. Cautious approach was taken so as not to get surprised by enemy waiting somewhere between.

After circling for a while, two Curtiss fighters of the 2e Afdeling of the IVe Vliegtuiggroep were spotted climbing towards formation. 2nd Lt.Kimiyama of the 4th Shotai was among the first to get the enemy wingman into his sights. Dutch pilot tried every trick he had learned so far to shake his pursuer off, but to no avail. Kimiyamas Hayabusa coped with every maneuver Dutch pilot pullet out of his sleeve, and he took the most opportune moment when his prey levelled off for a second and send long burst of his machine cannons into the enemy plane. Cabin fell away and soon its Dutch pilot was swinging under his parachute. A quick fly-past with a salute by 2nd Lt.Kimiyama assured the men under the silk that he may live another day.

While members of the 4th Shotai were occupied with Dutch number two, the leader of enemy flight had his own problems. Being in the middle of 6 enemy planes trying to shoot him down was not really what he expected when volunteered for an "easy service, tropical beaches and lot of beautiful girls." Sweating he skillfully dodged several of the attacks, but the numerical superiority was telling in favor of the enemy. Seeing his wingmans plane falling down in flames not far away he decided it was enough for the day and pushed his plane down. Several Hayabusas tried to follow him down, but eventually he managed to shake them off and land safely. 43 bullet holes were counted in his aircraft...

Picture: Tjililitan airfield, Batavia, Java




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RE: Kato Hayabusa Sentotai - War diary of 64th Sentai (... - 12/23/2012 4:47:44 PM   
Barb


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64th Sentai war diary entry No.37
Date: January 13th, 1942 Tokyo time

Short report from Yomiuri Shimbun newspapers about situation in Northern China Area:
12th Army: Right flank of our Army around Paotow is now without threat after brave troops of the 110th IJA Division pursued remnants of Chinese Army group to the North-East. Other enemy units to the South of Paotow are to be dealt with in short time.
1st Army: Frontline in this area is fluid with strong enemy forces operating north of Loyang-Chengchow-Kaifeng line. Our troops were tactically withdrawn from the area to shorten the front-lines and regroup.
11th Army: After retreat from our exposed position at Ichang the front-line is stabilized - however our troops remain active on this part of the front dealing several blows to Chinese armies.

Picture: Approximate front lines and enemy concentrations in Northern China:



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< Message edited by Barb -- 12/29/2012 8:03:18 PM >


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