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  Ki-27 Nate  
50th Sentai

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Kurosawa c1942

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Brad Blythe 2007
Pilot  Sgt Toshisada Kurosawa (MIA / KIA) Sapporo
Crashed  February 9, 1942

Pilot History
Toshisada Kurosawa was born in 1921 in Sapporo. Postwar in 1959, he was enshrined in the Gokoku Jinja in Sapporo. At that time, as the bereaved family member, his father, Setsusuke, Nishi 5-home, 20, Kita 16 Jo, Sapporo was registered at that address. Today, no one related to the Kurosawa family lives at that address.

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 97 Fighter / Ki-27 Nate manufacture number unknown.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 50th Sentai. No known markings or nickname.

Mission History
On February 9, 1942 took off from Clark Field on Luzon piloted by Sgt Toshisada Kurosawa as one of six Ki-27 on a patrol mission. Returning from a photographic mission over the Bataan Peninsula, a Ki-46 Dinah spotted a Stearman biplane piloted by Jesus Villamor and four escorting Warhawks over Limay and reported them to the patrolling fighters that proceeded to the area to intercept.

When the Ki-27s reached them the Warhawks engaged from lower altitude. During the air combat, this Ki-27 was chased by P-40E Warhawk pilot Stone and both aircraft failed to return and were listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

On the ground at Mariveles, an eye witness reported a Japanese fighter chasing a P-40 overhead and gaining on it before both aircraft went in and out of clouds around Mount Mariveles then an explosion was heard. Possibly, the fighters collided in the clouds or both impacted the mountain while engaged in air combat.

Spike Nasmyth adds:
"This eye witness was was at least six miles away from the fight so how in hell could he tell who was behind who. None of the other pilots in the fight said anything about a Nate chasing Stone, all of them did say one thing, Stone was a hell of a pilot. I believe he had the [Ki-27 Nate] in his sights and was blasting away. He finished off the Nate and didn't have room to pull out."

A few days after the combat, American forces located the Nate crash on Mount Mariveles. They described the site as bits scattered over a hundred feet of jungle and the pilot's body was found nearby.

While searching for P-40E Warhawk pilot Stone, a team including Spike Nasmyth, Brad Blythe, Kevin Hamdorf and Filipinos rediscovered the Nate in February 2007.

Spike Nasmyth notes in February 2007:
"It was our team that found the Type-97 [Nate]. We were hopeful the wreckage was [P-40 pilot] Lt. Earl Stone, but as soon as the radial engine was found we knew it was the Nate. We have 100% proof the 50 cal hole in the [Nate's] exhaust manifold and another 50 cal bullet lodged in the Nakajima engine. If two 50 cal bullets hit the Nate within 3 feet of each other, imagine how many others hit the Nate. With all [the P-40E's] 6 fifties firing, the rate of fire is 1200 rounds plus a minute, that's a lot of lead per second."

Kevin Hamdorf adds:
"The wreckage found to date is highly fragmented and widely scattered (impact speed was probably in excess of 300mph) over a steep slope, covered with thick jungle vegetation on Cogon Tarak Ridge, Mt. Mariveles, on Bataan into which both aircraft crashed (at least the "Nate" crashed into this ridge). We plan to hike to the site later this year (after the wet season) and conduct a detailed analysis of the wreckage to determine the angle of impact and other information that might provide a better bearing on the possible location of the yet to be found P-40 (piloted by Lt. Earl Stone). According to eyewitness accounts, the "Nate" was firing at the P-40 from behind, when both aircraft entered the cloud cover over Mt. Mariveles. Apparently, both aircraft then crashed immediately into the mountain (engine noise from both aircraft stop almost simultaneously - as described in Allison Ind's book, "Bataan"). We therefore conclude that both aircraft crash sites are most likely to be within the same general area."

The Nate was visited again in February 2008 and February 2009. In these follow up visits, bone fragments and other wreckage were discovered.

Thanks to team members: Spike Nasmyth, Brad Blythe and Kevin Hamdorf for additional information
Doomed from the Start pages 312 - 314, 461
Yomiuri Newspaper "Former Japanese Army Fighter Discovered in Luzon Island after 65 Years" July 15, 2007
Search & Recovery Mission - May 2008 Update by Kevin Hamdorf via Wayback Machine March 20, 2015
Thanks to William Bartsch, Spike Nasmyth and Kevin Hamdorf for additional information

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Last Updated
February 8, 2021

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