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View Full Version : Before the Flying Tigers. American airmen fought the Imperial Japanese Army in China!



DIRTY-MAC
10-10-2006, 04:27 PM
Throughout the 1930s, American airmen fought the Imperial Japanese Army in China.

enjoy:
http://www.afa.org/magazine/june1999/0699tiger.asp

RCAF_Irish_403
10-10-2006, 05:57 PM
thank you for posting this....good find

leitmotiv
10-10-2006, 07:47 PM
Great stuff---there is a book on this subject from 1966---Caiden's THE RAGGED, RUGGED WARRIORS.

LEXX_Luthor
10-10-2006, 09:09 PM
mmm, no mention of the Chinese~American volunteer pilots in the 1930s.

Good stuff ~> http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm

More stuff, Soviet ~> http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/otherres.htm#China

leitmotiv
10-10-2006, 10:06 PM
Wha-? Chinese-American pilots---where? I've already read those sources.

fighter_966
10-11-2006, 04:18 AM
Japan complained to U.S about the men fighting there.. one of the reason why Japan saw reason for war. I know there was also men from other countries too

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 06:48 AM
14th Volunteer Squadron? I had the understanding that it was primarily Russian, with Americans, French, and others as a minority. As far as I know, this is how planes like the Ki-27 were referred to as "I-97" in China, from the Russian word for fighter...my spelling is probably wrong, but I'd like to say it's "Istreibel", and is why, for instance, the Mosca is an I-16

I'd never heard that the Japanese used this as grounds for war with the US. They'd been in China for 10 years before Pearl harbor

CzechTexan
10-11-2006, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the tip. I did not know that! Very good stuff.

Ruy Horta
10-11-2006, 10:48 AM
I thought this was well known, the pilots were mercenaries. And yes, I recall that even a (or)German(s) flew for the Chinese.

The chinese paid well, so it attracted all kind.

Ruy Horta
10-11-2006, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
As far as I know, this is how planes like the Ki-27 were referred to as "I-97" in China, from the Russian word for fighter...my spelling is probably wrong, but I'd like to say it's "Istreibel", and is why, for instance, the Mosca is an I-16

Well since it was the Type 97, this doesn't appear very dar far fetched, but it might be some confused Ki97 mixup.

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 01:01 PM
No, I really don't think there was an error in which a "9" was substituted for a "2" in "Ki-27". I am very confident that it was simply known that the Japanese called the plane a "Type 97 Fighter", and to the Russians, naturally this meant "I-97", literally, "Fighter 97". By 1941, the Chinese had translated Japanese manuals to English for the AVG. I'm sure they had enough intel to discover the names of the planes they faced

I wonder if CrazyIvan can conform this "Istreibel" designation

Ruy Horta
10-11-2006, 01:22 PM
Makes sense that Type 97 fighter, is literally translated to Istrebitel 97.

I can at least confirm that Soviet ace Arseni Woroshejkin (German spelling as per DDR two volume biography - Vorozheikin, Arsenii according to Stalin's Falcons)) describes his opposition in Mongolia as I 97.

LEXX_Luthor
10-11-2006, 02:51 PM
leitmotiv::
Wha-? Chinese-American pilots---where? I've already read those sources.
Under the Chinese Aces button, at the source you read. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ~> http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/sino-japanese.htm


Arthur Chin Shui-Tin ( http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/china_chin.htm )



Ma Kwok-Lim, Chinese~Canadian ( http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/china_kwok-lim.htm )

etc...

I always like this story of Ma...


By concentrating on the second and third Chinese flights (with one shotai each), only left one Ki-27 taking on the most experienced of the Chinese pilots (Ma and Teng). Although the Japanese, First Lieutenant Yoshio Sotomura (47th Class), also was a senior pilot, he made the critical error fighting to the strengths of the Chinese (probably as a result under-estimating the Chinese pilots and their inferior planes). Instead of fighting in the vertical plane where the Ki-27 had the advantage, Sotomura got into a turning fight with Teng. While Teng kept Sotomura occupied, Ma climbed above the two and bounced the Japanese from behind, hitting the Ki-27 in the fuel tanks. Smoke poured from the Ki-27 as Sotomura tried to escape.

Evidently damaged, the Ki-27 could not pull away from the normally slower I-15bis. Ma was able to close to 50m and appeared to hit the Japanese pilot with gunfire as, all of a sudden, the Ki-27 stopped evasive action and flew straight with level wings. At this critical juncture, all four of Ma's ShKAS machine guns jammed. Nevertheless, the Ki-27 was done for and it crashed shortly afterwards. The Japanese pilot died of his injuries. Although, he did not hit the Japanese, Teng contributed to the kill through fine teamwork with his element leader. The Japanese fighters returned claiming 11 shot down against a reported 20 plus I-15bis for the loss of two fighters (Harada and Sotomura).

Ma Kwok-Lim ended the war with 2 biplane victories these being claimed while flying Polikarpov I-15bis.

J_Anonymous
10-11-2006, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
No, I really don't think there was an error in which a "9" was substituted for a "2" in "Ki-27". I am very confident that it was simply known that the Japanese called the plane a "Type 97 Fighter", and to the Russians, naturally this meant "I-97", literally, "Fighter 97". By 1941, the Chinese had translated Japanese manuals to English for the AVG. I'm sure they had enough intel to discover the names of the planes they faced

I wonder if CrazyIvan can conform this "Istreibel" designation
I am no IJA aircraft expert, but from quick Google.co.jp search, my understanding is that "ki" was given to all prototype airplanes IJA authorized after 1933. Nakajima (Ki-27), Kawasaki (Ki-28), and Mitsubishi (Ki-33) responded with their own designs to the IJA call for a new figher plane; Nakajima won the competition with the Ki-27, and it went to production with the formal name of "97-shiki sentouki" (Type-97 fighter). I believe 97 comes from the Japanese year of 2597 (which is A.D.1937), but I could be wrong with this. The naming of the A6M "Zero" fighter originates from the year 2600 ("rei-shiki sentouki", where "rei" means "zero".)

In passing, a few other interesting things.... Aforementioned Ki-33 was a modified version of IJN's A5M (we will get the ai), and IJA chose Ki-27 over Ki-33 because of its better maneuvability. Ki-27 had only fixed landing gears instead of retractable gears, but that was a deliberate decision, so that ki-27 could land on rough airstrips. It could land even in 30-cm deep water (that is 1 foot!). They even landed near ditched planes to rescue downed pilots. Ki-27 was so reliable that during the Nomonhan against the Soviets, it could fly 5 sorties a day without any service.

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 03:28 PM
You are correct; the number 97 comes from the year, as does the famous Zero, it was also called the "Reisen" which I take to be a contraction of the full name of the year. It's literally the Type 0, is what I am told

I'm not really sure about what you're trying to tell me though; I'm not confused over why the japanese used the prefix "Ki" http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif maybe I'm just misunderstanding

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
Makes sense that Type 97 fighter, is literally translated to Istrebitel 97.



is that how to spell that? Thanks http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

LEBillfish
10-11-2006, 03:34 PM
Ki, is short for Kitai, or fuselage number.

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 03:51 PM
I didn't know the actual word was kitai. Thanks!

J_Anonymous
10-11-2006, 04:19 PM
I was just trying to help the board sort out the confusion / myth among those who don't understand the language (that does not necessarily include you), that's all.

J_Anonymous
10-11-2006, 04:30 PM
The "Ki" ("機") originates from the Japanese word of "prototype aircraft";

¦-œ-機€€("shi-saku-ki")


(Well, at least that's what the web page detailing the history of Kawasaki aircraft says, which is not necessarily correct). Each of the 3 Chinese characters means "test", "manufacture", and "aircraft / machine", respectively. "Ki" can be used for all kind of Japanese words, e.g. "Copy machine" is

"³ƒ"ƒ機€€ˆ"co-py-ki""

in Japanese. "aircraft" is

"Œ機€€pronounced "hi-kou-ki" ("flying machine").

Fuselage is

機"€€pronounced€€"ki-tai" ("machine-body").

(You may have to change the character set of your browser to read the chinese characters above).

Chuck_Older
10-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by J_Anonymous:
I was just trying to help the board sort out the confusion / myth among those who don't understand the language (that does not necessarily include you), that's all.

I just didn't understand http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif