Built by Kawasaki. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 3 Fighter Hein / Ki-61-Ib Tony manufacture number 7?? (last two digits unknown). This aircraft had "Ko" armament of 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 machine cannons in the nose with two 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns in the wings.
Assigned to an unknown Sentai. This Tony was damaged or disabled at Babo Airfield.
This Tony was abandoned at Babo Airfield. The fuselage was cut forward of the Hinomaru, possibly by the Japanese during the Pacific War to salvage the tail section. The front half of the fuselage with the wings attached was pushed off a ravine into a dump area near the control tower.
"On the leading edge of the wing in the gun port fairing I observed the manufacture number. It was in the 700's series, possibly 727, i will have to check my notes."
Until 1991, this Tony remained in situ Babo Airfield. Wreckage included the wings, fuselage and engine. The fuselage was damaged or cut off beyond the cockpit. A battered Ki-61 tail section was in the same area, but unclear if it is associated with this aircraft, or another.
Recovered by Bruce
Fenstermaker in 1991. The salvage was funded by the Santa
Monica Museum of Flying. Shipped to California, it immediately went for auction, but did not sell.
In 1993 or 1994, Santa
Monica Museum of Flying exported this aircraft to Russia, along with A6M3 Zero 3869, presumably for restoration. No work was done on this airframe for Santa Monica's project.
Several years ago, this aircraft sold on Barnstormers.com for $80,000 and remains in storage at Voenno-Patrioticheskoe Obshestvo “Vysota” in St. Petersburg as of April 2008. Photographs taken in March 2008 document these items in storage.
Thanks to Bruce
Fenstermaker and Gerald Yagen for information.
Barnstormers eFlyer "Backyard Treasures" by Sergei N. Stepanenko 2008 (photos)
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October 23, 2019