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Built by Nakajima sometime between April 1942 to December 1942. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 1 Hayabusa / Ki-43-I Oscar manufacutre number unknown. This aircraft was likely Ki-43 400, Ki-43 426, Ki-43 622, Ki-43 779 or Ki-43 805.
Assigned to the 11th Sentai (11th Flying Regiment), 1st Chutai. Painted with green upper surfaces with the fuselage Hinomaru outlined in white. The rear also had a white vertical stripe rear of the Hinomaru. The leading edge of the wing had a yellow recognition stripe. The tail had the the lightning bolt motif in white.
During 1943, this aircraft operated from Lae Airfield. Abandoned largely intact with the tail rudder damaged and fabric surfaces damaged and the cockpit canopy glass missing. This aircraft was parked near near G6M1-L Betty 714 Tail P-911.
During late September 1943 captured by the Australian Army and the area was occupied by the Allies. Afterwards, this aircraft was disassembled and shipped to Brisbane and transported at Eagle Farm Airfield.
This aircraft was reassembled and restored to flying condition by Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) at Hanger 7 at Eagle Farm Airfield. Possibly, parts from several other Oscars captured at Lae Airfield were used in the restoration. While being restored, most of the green paint was stripped off to bare metal. After restoration, the aircraft was painted green with U.S. markings and tail code XJ002 in black on both sides of the tail.
Richard Dunn adds:
"POW IR 272A. POW 145648 is not named but I have deduced was Sgt Maj Hiroshi Yoshida. He was in the 248th Fighter Regiment (248th Sentai), shot down 12 November 1943. He gave an extensive IR and then the technical supplement. Supplement is dated April 1944 but publication typically lagged some time behind interrogation."
During January 1944, the restoration was visited by Japanese PW 145648 (Prisoner of War) Sgt Major Hiroshi Yoshida who inspected the aircraft and offered to fly it. Also, he correctly indicated cockpit instrumentation and pointed out the landing gear was in the neutral position versus locked.
On March 17, 1944 this aircraft was test flown by USAAF test pilot Captain William O. Farrior for 25 minutes. On March 18, 1944 test flown for 55 minutes. Afterwards, the fate of this Oscar is unknown.
ATIS Serial 410 - Page 4 POW IR 272A / POW 145648 (Sgt Major Hiroshi Yoshida) via Richard Dunn
"Oscar Mk 1 - PW [Prisoner of War] was then shown Oscar Mk 1 in the final stages of reconstruction [circa January 1944], though engine was not yet installed. When told that only a two-bladed propeller had been found with it, he readily identified it as an "Army Type 1 Fighter Mode 1." [Ki-43-I Oscar]. He appeared interested in the reconstruction process, and repeatedly during his visit humorously requested that he be permitted to fly it, offering his previous experience as an argument.
Landing Gear - PW then climbed into the cockpit of Oscar and seated himself. He first comment was that the landing gear was likely to collapse because the control lever was in the neutral position. This was checked and found to be true, then situation was remedied, and the PW placed landing gear leaver in the locked position (Note: He was asked several incidental questions pertaining to the Oscar cockpit, and all answers checked with information previously gathered from Enemy Publication no. 91 ATIS, indicating some extend the veracity of his statements)."
Hand written flight records of Captain William Owen Farrior flying captured Japanese aircraft via Owen Farrior (son)
Oz@War Japanese "Oscar Aircraft Rebuilt at Eagle Farm in Hanger No. 7, by ATIU photos by Samuel Hepford
NARA World War II Army Enlistment Records - William O. Farrior
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information
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