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  Ki-43-I Oscar Manufacture Number 750  
JAAF
11th Sentai

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RNZAF September 1945

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Rodger Kelly 1988

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NZ Fighter Museum 1996

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Robert Rocker 2008

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Ryan Toews 2009

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima at Ota during November 1942. Uncoded serial number 650. Assigned to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). Assigned to the 11th Sentai. No known markings or tail code.

Wartime History
This aircraft was transported as cargo aboard an ship or aboard an aircraft transport from Japan to Truk then ferried to Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul where it operated during late 1942 until 1945 and managed to avoid being damaged on the ground or in the air.

Sometime during 1945, this aircraft made a bad landing at Vunakanau Airfield that required an engine and propeller change. Repaired, this Oscar was carefully hidden four miles from Vunakanau Airfield as one of the few remaining aircraft.

Wreckage
When Australian forces occupied Rabaul, RAAF personnel heard rumors about an intact Japanese aircraft near Vunakanau Airfield and reported it to Squadron Leader Denys Hamilton. With the help of Japanese prisoners, the aircraft was located and photographed in situ during September 1945.

Later, the Oscar was disassembled by Japanese prisoners and crated. During December 1945, the War Department shipped the aircraft to Australia as a war prize. It remained crated and dismantled at RAAF Richmond Airfield in New South Wales. Accepted by the Australian War Memorial (AWM) on July 14, 1949 and transported to Canberra where it remained in storage.

In 1953, sold due to space constraints to Mr. Bob Curtis of Sydney . Next in 1962 sold to Mr. Sid Marshall who stored it in his hanger at Bankstown Airfield. In 1980 sold to Mr. Jack Davidson. In 1985 sold to Mr. Col Pay.

Restoration
Starting in the late 1980s, exterior restoration work was begun by Col Pay. During 1994, sold to Alpine Fighter Collection and shipped in a container to New Zealand for further restoration. By 1996, the Oscar was externally restored and capable of taxing on the ground. At the 1996 Warbirds over Wanaka Air show, the Oscar taxied for the first time since 1945. Registered in New Zealand as ZK-OSC.

During 1999, sold to Paul Allen / Flying Heritage Collection (FHC). Shipped to the United States. Registered with the FAA as 760N on May 12, 2004 with the owner listed as Vulcan Warbirds, Inc. Since the spring of 2004, placed on static display at the Flying Heritage Collection.

References
Ki-43 Production Chart by Jim Long
New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum - Nakajima Hayabusa Ki-43i (Oscar) via WaybackMachine My 25, 2010
RCAF War Prize Flights, German and Japanese Warbird Survivors page 208
Flying Heritage Collection - Ki-43 Oscar
FAA Registry - Aircraft N Number 750N
Thanks to Cory Graff, curator, Flying Heritage Collection (FHC) for additional information

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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