PDA

View Full Version : Hank, Tony, Zeke, Oscar, to what aircraft do these names go?



Stingray333
10-22-2008, 12:07 PM
Hello,

Just reading Fork-Tailed Devil: The P-38 by Martin Caidin, and I see a lot of names used for various Japanese aircraft, namely: Oscar, Zeke, Hank, and Tony. Just wondering to which planes, possibly to ones in IL-2, do these names correspond?

I think the Zeke is the Japanese Zero, but why do they call it a "Zeke" and not "Zero", is it only the A6M2?

Thanks,

Stingray

Great book btw... highly recommend it

berg417448
10-22-2008, 12:23 PM
Code names for Japanese aircraft:

http://www.jaapteeuwen.com/models/japan_allied_code_names.htm

TinyTim
10-22-2008, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Stingray333:
I think the Zeke is the Japanese Zero, but why do they call it a "Zeke" and not "Zero", is it only the A6M2?


Zeke was allied codename for A6M.
Japanese referred to it as navy fighter 0 (because it entered service in 194<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">0</span> - hence allied nickname zero. However, the clipped winged A6M3 type 32 was nicknamed "hap" initially (after USAAF general Henry "Hap" Arnold), due to different appearance in the air and consequent assumption it's a new type of fighter. Arnolds protest which achieved chaning "Hap" into "Hamp" only added to the confusion about A6M code names.

VF-17_Jolly
10-22-2008, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by TinyTim:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Stingray333:
I think the Zeke is the Japanese Zero, but why do they call it a "Zeke" and not "Zero", is it only the A6M2?


Zeke was allied codename for A6M.
Japanese referred to it as navy fighter 0 (because it entered service in 194<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">0</span> - hence allied nickname zero. However, the clipped winged A6M3 type 32 was nicknamed "hap" initially (after USAAF general Henry "Hap" Arnold), due to different appearance in the air and consequent assumption it's a new type of fighter. Arnolds protest which achieved chaning "Hap" into "Hamp" only added to the confusion about A6M code names. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Zero Fighter

The name comes from the last digits of the year 2600 in the old Japanese calendar

Mr_Zooly
10-22-2008, 01:31 PM
The guy who selected the names for Japanese fighters chose southern hick male names (no offence intended) so the official US designation was Zeke whereas the Japanese designation was the Type 0 (Zero) fighter.

VF-17_Jolly
10-22-2008, 01:31 PM
Why's a Zero?

During the 1930s and 1940s, an educated Japanese would be able to reckon dates by three different calendars. For discourse with foreigners, he would follow the western calendar, but for everyday use he'd prefer the Showa calendar, based on the year Hirohito became emperor. ("Showa" means Enlightened Peace, the name Hirohito took for himself and his reign when he succeeded his father in 1926.) And for military purposes, he'd follow the koki calendar, based on the mythical founding of the Japanese dynasty in 660 BC. Here's how the war years are shown in the three styles:

West Showa Koki landmark event

1926 1 2586 Taisho dies; Showa (Hirohito) takes the throne

1927 2 2587

1928 3 2588

1929 4 2589

1930 5 2591

1931 6 2591 Japanese army seizes Manchuria

1932 7 2592 Japanese navy raids Shanghai

1933 8 2593

1934 9 2594

1935 10 2595

1936 11 2596

1937 12 2597 invasion of China

1938 13 2598 Rape of Nanjing

1939 14 2599 border war with Russia

1940 15 2600 occupation of northern Vietnam

1941 16 2601 to war with U.S., Britain, Dutch

1942 17 2602 Battle of Midway

1943 18 2603

1944 19 2604 B-29s begin to destroy Japan

1945 20 2605 Japan surrenders

Why is this of interest? Mostly because, starting about 1936, the Japanese began identifying their military equipment by the last digits of its year of adoption, using the koki calendar. The numerical designation was followed by a description of its function. Thus, when the Pacific War began, these were the army and navy fighter planes in service:

Type 96 Carrier Fighter - Mitsubishi A5M, adopted 1936 (2596), with a few examples in secondary combat units in December 1941 ("Claude" in the Allied code-name system)

Type 97 Army Fighter - Nakajima Ki-27, adopted 1937 (2597), obsolete by December 1941 but still the army's basic fighter ("Nate")

Type 0 Carrier Fighter - Mitsubishi A6M, adopted 1940 (2600), a tremendous success in China that year; about 400 available in first-line squadrons when Japan went to war ("Zeke"; later "Zero")

Type 1 Army Fighter - Nakajima Ki-43, adopted 1941 (2601) but still experimental when the war began, with about 40 in two front-line groups (Hayabusa to its pilots, "Oscar" to Americans)

So "Zero" is merely the English translation of the Japanese character for a nul quantity, which was applied to the aircraft because it went into service in 2600. The Japanese called it Rei-sen, short for Rei (Zero) shiki (Type) sentoki (Fighter). Foreigners who like to parade their knowledge sometimes make a half-translation and call the plane "Zero-sen," but this is to conflate two languages. The correct usage is A6M, or Rei-sen"”or Zero!
The dynasties
The traditional Japanese calendar was (and still is) based on the reign of the current Emperor, of whom there were four in the 20th Century.

Meiji lived to 1912, and in his era brought Japan into the modern world, making the hermit nation into an industrial and military power able to defeat Russia in battle--the first time a European army had been defeated by non-whites since the Moors conquered Spain. Meiji died in 1912, which was the 45th year of his era.

Taisho ascended to the throne in the same year, so 1912 was also the first year of the Taisho era. He was mad, and reigned only until 1926, to be succeeded by the Prince Hirohito, who took the era name of

Showa, meaning "Enlightened Peace." By 1931 Japan was at war in Manchuria; by 1937 it had invaded China proper; and in 1941 it went to war against American, British, and Dutch forces in Southeast Asia.

The koki calendar vanished in August 1945, but the Japanese continued to use the Showa year until the Emperor Hirohito died in 1989, which thereby became known both as Showa 64 and Heisei 1. The reign-name chosen by the Emperor Akihito means "Achieved Peace," which strikes me as an oblique commentary on his father's reign.

K_Freddie
10-22-2008, 02:38 PM
There you go, I could have told you that.. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
Actually I had about half that info.. but thanks Jolly - that was informative http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Stingray333
10-22-2008, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the info!

Just to clarify, is any A6M* line of plane properly referred to as a Zeke them? A6M2, A6M5, A6M6, etc?

Thanks,

Stingray

VF-17_Jolly
10-22-2008, 05:13 PM
Yes and No

The A6M2-N Floatplane is a RUFE

also Hamp and Hap were but i can`t remember the desinations although the Hamp had Squared off wing tips

ElAurens
10-22-2008, 05:57 PM
You can call any Mitsubishi A6M series a "Zeke" or a "Zero", with the exception of the A6M2-N float plane, which we called "Rufe". The "Hamp" designation for the A6M3 variant was later dropped when it was discovered it was just an A6M subtype.

Any of you that are even remotely interested in Imperial Japanese aircraft should have a copy of Robert C. Mikesh's "JAPANESE AIRCRAFT Code Names & Designations", published by Schiffer.

ISBN number: 0-88740-447-2

It covers this subject in detail.