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  Ki-43-I Oscar Manufacture Number 572  
JAAF
1st Sentai
or 11th Sentai

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Justin Taylan 2005

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Andrew Dickes 2006
Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan, 2007

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima. Uncode serial number 472. Assigned to the 1st Sentai or 11th Sentai. No known nickname or nose art or tail number.

Wartime History
Disabled on Ballale Airfield, likely from combat damage, likely at the end of January 1943. Later it was likely further damaged by bomb blast when the island came under heavier bombing.

Richard Dunn adds:
"The 12th FB was the JAAF fighter HQ that controlled 1st and 11th (Sentai) FRs. Both units had particpated in the January 27, 1943 attacks on Guadalcanal. This order may document the situation of the wrecks at Ballale. An extract from 12th Air Sector Operations Order #94, January 28. 1943 reads: 'Five airplanes of the 12th Flying Brigade which were damaged in combat yesterday, were left at Ballale. 14 Field Air Repair Depot will despatch investigating personnel." signed Lt. Col. Kusano, CO 12 Air Sector Forces.' "

Wreckage
Only a portion of the tail and wings section remained, undisturbed until December 2005.

Justin Taylan adds:
"The hinomaru on the fuselage were still clearly visible. The tail was covered in a soft moss growth, I did not have a chance to search for any markings there."

Salvage
The tail section was moved to the beach area by Australian Craig Turner / Solomon National Museum Project in December 2005, where it remained due to a dispute with locals. Turner returned on November 6, 2007 with Gary Spoors / GJD Services Ltd. This aircraft was likely salvaged with other aircraft from the island on November 8, 2007 aboard the barge MV Tina. Transported to Honiara, the aircraft were presumably shipped overseas to either Australia or the United Kingdom.

References
12th Air Sector Operations Order #94, January 28, 1943
Charles Darby noted the manufacture number in 1974
OneNews "Shortland & Ballalae Aircraft Salvage" November 20, 2007
GJD Services - Solomon's (accessed via WaybackMachine.org) circa February 2008

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech Info
Ki-43

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History
Broken Wings of Ballale

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