|Pilot Sgt Yuichi Kobayashi
Observer Lance Cpl Natsuo Koibuchi
Crashed January 27, 1945
Built by Kawasaki, this aircraft was likely manufacture number 4065. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). This aircraft was armed with a 37mm cannon, two obliquely installed 20mm cannon and a single 7.7mm machine gun rearward. Assigned to the 302 Sentai.
According to an article by Masatoshi Suzuki, the servicing crewmen of the Nick, appearing in the publication of the Shohi Kai (Boy Flyers’ Association), “4065” was painted on the flap of its left wing. In 1996, stenciled "4067" was discovered on the wreckage.
On January 27, 1945 took off to intercept incoming B-29 Superfortresses from the 73rd Bomb Wing bombing that were attacking the Nakajima Aircraft Factory in Musashino, a western suburb of Tokyo, but was then also shot down by defensive fire from the B-29s.
Koji Takaki adds:
"I believe that B-29 42-24767 piloted by Beyhan was rammed by Nick flown by Sgt Kobyashi, though there is very little evidence. It is said that the Nick rammed a B-29 in a 13-ship formation coming from Ota (Nakajima Ota). On the day the bombing condition was not good, cloudy and intensive fighter attack. 56 B-29s bombed on secondary or opportunity targets. Many explosive and incendiary bombs were dropped on Marunouchi, Ginza, and other street areas. I think some (13?) B-29s flew to Ota."
Recovery & Display
With permission from the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), Taizou Nakamura investigated the crash site on September 19, 1996. Pieces of wreckage from this crash site to return to the family members, including the harmonica of one of the crew members. Other pieces of wreckage are displayed at the Yokohama WWII Japanese Military Radio Museum.
Some sources incorrectly state this aircraft rammed B-29 "Haley's Comet" 42-24616
Shohi Kai (Boy Flyers’ Association) by Masatoshi Suzuki cites manufacture number as 4065
B-29 Hunters of the JAAF page 72-73 covers this mission and losses
Thanks to Koji Takaki and Taizou Nakamura
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February 14, 2020