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  Ki-27 Nate  
JAAF
50th Sentai

Click For Enlargement
1942
Click For Enlargement
Brad Blythe 2007

Pilot  Sgt Toshisada Kurosawa
Crashed  February 9, 1942


Pilot History
Sgt. Kurosawa was born in 1921, once lived in Sapporo. In 1959, he was enshrined in the Gokoku Jinja in Sapporo. At that time, as the bereaved family member, his father, Setsusuke, Nishi 5-home, 20, Kita 16 Jo, Sapporo was registered, however, currently no one related to the Kurosawa family lives there.

Aircraft History
Assigned to the 50th Sentai.

Mission History
One of six Nates that took off from Clark Field to fly a patrol. After a Ki-46 spotted a Stearman biplane piloted by Jesus Villamor and four escorting P-40s over Limay, returning from a photo mission and escort. When the Nates reached them, the escorting P-40s engaged them from lower altitude. This Nate was pursued by a P-40E piloted by Stone.

On the ground at Mariveles on eye witness reported a Japanese fighter chasing a P-40 overhead, gaining on it. The two went in and out of clouds around Mount Mariveles, then an explosion was heard.

Spike Nasmyth adds:
"This eye witness was was at least 6 miles away from the fight so how in hell could he tell who was behind who. None of the other pilots in the fight said anything about a Nate chasing Stone, all of them did say one thing, Stone was a hell of a pilot. I believe he had the [Ki-27 Nate] in his sights and was blasting away. He finished off the Nate and didn't have room to pull out."

Both Sgt Toshisada Kurosawa and Lt. Stone failed to return. Both are listed as Missing In Action (MIA ) to this day.

Wreckage
A few days after the combat, American forces located the Nate crash on Mount Mariveles. They described the site as bits scattered over a hundred feet of jungle and the pilot's body was found nearby.

While searching for Stone's P-40, a team including Spike Nasmyth, Brad Blythe, Kevin Hamdorf and Filipinos rediscovered the Nate in February 2007.

Spike Nasmyth notes in February 2007:
"It was our team that found the Type-97 [Nate]. We were hopeful the wreckage was [P-40 pilot] Lt. Earl Stone, but as soon as the radial engine was found we knew it was the Nate. We have 100% proof the 50 cal hole in the [Nate's] exhaust manifold and another 50 cal bullet lodged in the Nakajima engine. If two 50 cal bullets hit the Nate within 3 feet of each other, imagine how many others hit the Nate. With all [the P-40E's] 6 fifties firing, the rate of fire is 1200 rounds plus a minute, that's a lot of lead per second."

Kevin Hamdorf adds:
"The wreckage found to date is highly fragmented and widely scattered (impact speed was probably in excess of 300mph) over a steep slope, covered with thick jungle vegetation on Cogon Tarak Ridge, Mt. Mariveles, on Bataan into which both aircraft crashed (at least the "Nate" crashed into this ridge). We plan to hike to the site later this year (after the wet season) and conduct a detailed analysis of the wreckage to determine the angle of impact and other information that might provide a better bearing on the possible location of the yet to be found P-40 (piloted by Lt. Earl Stone). According to eyewitness accounts, the "Nate" was firing at the P-40 from behind, when both aircraft entered the cloud cover over Mt. Mariveles. Apparently, both aircraft then crashed immediately into the mountain (engine noise from both aircraft stop almost simultaneously - as described in Allison Ind's book, "Bataan"). We therefore conclude that both aircraft crash sites are most likely to be within the same general area."

The Nate was visited again in February 2008 and February 2009. In these follow up visits, bone fragments and other wreckage were discovered.

References
Thanks to team members: Spike Nasmyth, Brad Blythe and Kevin Hamdorf for additional information
Doomed from the Start pages 312 - 314, 461
Thanks to William Bartsch for additional information
Search & Recovery Mission - May 2008 Update by Kevin Hamdorf

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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