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  Ki-61 Tony Manufacture Number ???  
JAAF
68th Sentai
3rd Chutai

Pilot  Captain Akinori Motoyama (WIA, died of wounds)
Crashed  December 22, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Kawasaki. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). Assigned to the 68th Sentai, 3rd Chutai. No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On December 22, 1943 took off from Boram Airfield near Wewak piloted by Captain Akinori Motoyama on a scamble to intercept B-25 Mitchells escorted by P-38 Lightnings from the 80th Fighter Squadron attacking the Wewak. Meanwhile, three transports of the 15th Resupply Convoy were unloading in Wewak Harbor.

Akinori Motoyama led the formation of four Ki-61s, his his wing man was Corporal Katsumi Furuhashi. Ki-61 piloted by Tahata was 2nd section leader and Corporal Shoji Oakada was his wing man. Their formation proceeded to 3,000m in the direction of the enemy bases, but saw no aircraft.

Turing back they saw smoke from the attack and returned to Wewak, and attacked several P-38 strafing the ground. Meanwhile, other P-38s attacked them. Motoyama's aircraft was hit and he successfully bailed out. Also lost is Ki-61 piloted by Tahata.

Fates of the pilot
Motoyama landed safely with injuries and wandered in the jungle before returing to Wewak. Later, he died of his injuries.

References
Japanese Defense Archives Library booklet "A Desperate Struggle in the Jungle" by Tabata
Attack & Conquer (1995) pages 135-136
Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units And Their Aces 1931-1945 (2002) page 44 (12/22/43), 299 (Motoyama)
Thanks to Henry Sakaida and Koji Takaki for additional information

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Last Updated
January 16, 2019

 

Tech Info
Ki-61
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