From: Bratislava, Slovakia
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