Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
  Ki-61-Ia Tony Manufacture Number 263 Tail XJ002
JAAF
68th Sentai
2nd Chutai

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USMC Dec 30, 1943


Click For Enlargement
ATIU c1944

Click For Enlargement
USN July 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Kawasaki at their Kagamigahara factory during April 1943. Ki-61-Ia manufacture number 263. Uncoded serial number 163. Armed with the "Kou" weapon configuration of two 12.7mm Ho-103 machine cannons in the fuselage forward decking and two 7.7 mm Type 89 machine guns in the wings.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). Assigned to the 68th Sentai, 2nd Chutai. This aircraft was assigned to Captain Shogo Takeuchi, commander of 68th Sentai, 2nd Chutai.  Takeudchi was later killed flying another Ki-61 at Hansa Bay.

This Ki-61 was bare metal finish with dark green spray paint applied to the upper surfaces in a snake weave pattern. The Hinomaru was outlined in white then over painted. The left side of the cockpit had an eagle marking.  A red four-pointed star was painted on the leading edge of the wing over each 7.7mm machine gun port. The rear fuselage had two vertical white bands, the marking of the 2nd Chutai. The tail had the "V" shaped insignia of the 68th Sentai, 2nd Company.

During November 1943, this Ki-61 was abandoned at Cape Gloucester Airfield (Tuluvu) likely due to mechanical problems. The intact aircraft was hidden with camouflage including palm fronds at the airfield and was not damaged by Allied aerial attacks.

On December 30, 1943 this aircraft was discovered by U. S. Marines. The Ki-61 was intact but submerged up to the wings due to recent rains and flooding. After being reported to Allied intelligence, this Ki-61 became known as the "Cape Gloucester Ki-61" or "Cape Gloucester Tony". Disassembled and loaded aboard a U. S. Navy Landing Ship Tank (LST) and shipped to Brisbane.

Transported to Eagle Farm Airfield to Hanger 7 and assigned to Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) with tail code XJ003 painted in black on both sides of the tail. The Ki-61 was stripped to bare metal finish and U. S. stars and bars markings were applied to both sides of the fuseualge and wings.

During early 1944, the Ki-61 was restored and flight tested at Eagle Farm Airfield. Further tests were cut short due to the presence of metal filings in the engine and was once again disassembled for shipment to the United States for further evaluation.

During June 1944, shipped from Brisbane to NAS Anacostia where it was reassembled and flight tested further. Test pilots concluded it was a pleasant aircraft to fly but "a great deal of maintenance was required during the trials it seems likely that the Japanese find it difficult to keep the 'Tony' in commission." This Ki-61 was also flight tested at NAS Pax River Test Center.

The pilot's armor plating (10.3mm armor) was removed and tested at Aberdeen Proving Ground. During test using American .50 caliber and .30 caliber machine guns against the freestanding armor, it was proved that the armor could easily be defeated by a .50 caliber bullet at close range and also failed to stop a .30 caliber bullet.

The ultimate fate of this Ki-61 is unknown after testing. Likely, it was placed into storage and was scrapped at the end of the war.

References
Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien by Richard M. Bueschel has photos and history of this aircraft.
Tuluvu's Air War by Richard Dunn details the capture of this fighter.
Setting Suns page 99
Thanks to Jim Long for manufacture data.

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

Tech InfoKi-61

PhotosPhoto Archive

  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram