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Built by Nakajima during May 1943. Uncoded serial number 465. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 1 Fighter / Ki-43-II Oscar manufacture number 5465. Ferried from Japan southward to New Guinea.
Assigned to an unknown Sentai, possibly the 13th Sentai or 26th Sentai. No known markings or tail code.
During late 1943 or early 1944, this Oscar was abandoned at Alexishafen Airfield. Likely, the Japanese stripped it for usable parts before abandoning it on the side of the runway. While abandoned, it was further damaged by Allied bombing and strafing attacks.
On April 26, 1944 captured by the Australian Army 30th Battalion when they occupied Alexishafen Airfield. On May 1, 1944 a team from Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) noted this Oscar as manufacture number as 5465.
Afterwards, this Oscar was abandoned. As the former airfield area was owned by the Catholic church, the wreckage was not removed. By the early 1960s, propeller, engine cowling and access panels on the nose were removed and the cockpit canopy missing. The tail section had rectangular pieces of metal cut out likely by local people since the war or Allied personnel as souvenirs. The left wingtip was bent upward from damage.
During 1984 this Oscar was recovered by a team from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) working on behalf of the Australian War Memorial (AWM). The aircraft was transported to Madang then shipped to Australia then transported to Australian War Memorial (AWM).
Storage and Display
At the Australian War Memorial Annex (AWM Annex), this aircraft underwent conservation and was placed into storage. Since 2000, the rear fuselage and engine are displayed at Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Bradbury Aircraft Hall. The wings and center section are displayed at the Australian War Memorial Annex (AWM Annex).
Ki-43 Oscar Production Chart by Jim Long
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks (1979) page 18 (upper), 42 (middle)
Thanks to Jim Long and Charles Darby for additional information
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