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Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) Sentai
Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) Sentai (Flying Regiment)

Research about JAAF Sentai.

1st Sentai
2nd Sentai
3rd Sentai
4th Sentai
5th Sentai
6th Sentai
7th Sentai
8th Sentai
9th Sentai

10th Sentai
11th Sentai
12th Sentai
13th Sentai
14th Sentai
15th Sentai
16th Sentai
17th Sentai
18th Sentai
19th Sentai
20th Sentai
21st Sentai
22nd Sentai
23td Sentai
24th Sentai
25th Sentai
26th Sentai
27th Sentai
28th Sentai
29th Sentai

30th Sentai
31st Sentai
32nd Sentai
33rd Sentai
34th Sentai
35th Sentai
36th Sentai
37th Sentai
38th Sentai
39th Sentai

40th Sentai
41st Sentai
42nd Sentai
43rd Sentai
44th Sentai
45th Sentai
46th Sentai
47th Sentai
48th Sentai
49th Sentai

50th Sentai
51th Sentai
52th Sentai
53th Sentai
54th Sentai
55th Sentai
56th Sentai
57th Sentai
58th Sentai
59th Sentai

60th Sentai
61th Sentai
62th Sentai
63th Sentai
64th Sentai
65th Sentai
66th Sentai
67th Sentai
68th Sentai
69th Sentai
70th Sentai
71st Sentai
72nd Sentai
73rd Sentai
74th Sentai
75th Sentai
76th Sentai
77th Sentai
78th Sentai
79th Sentai

(PARTIAL LIST)

208th Sentai
246th Sentai
248th Sentai

Independent
Squadrons
20th Dokuritsu
Hiko Chutai

7th Flying Unit



1st Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
July 5, 1938 Ki-27
Ki-43
Ki-84
Manchuria (Nomonhan), China, Burma, East Indies, Indochina, Rabaul, Solomons, New Guinea, Philippines, Formosa, Japan

Fist Flying Unit of the JAAF, Claimed 245 Soviet Aircraft shot down and 95 probables at Nomonhan.

4th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
July, 1938 Ki-10
Ki-27
Ki-45
Formosa, Japan

Unit dispanded at the end of the war at Ozuki Air Base, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan

5th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
August 31, 1938 Ki-10
Ki-27
Ki-45
Ki-100
East Indies, Western New Guinea, Japan

Unit dispanded at the end of the war at Kiyosu, South-East of Nagoya, Japan

7th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki--49
New Guinea

Part of the 9th FB (along with 61st Sentai) the only Type 100 HB units in the SE Area. Other units with the type were transport units. 7th was withdrawn in early 1944 and replaced by a Type 97 HB unit (60th Sentai)

 

9th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
July 1, 1938
in China
Ki-10
Ki-27
Ki-44
Ki-84
Manchuri (Nomonhan), China

Unit dispanded at the end of the war at Nanking, China. Flew against B-29's.

13th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-45
Ki-43
Burma
Rabaul (Rapopo)
Kamiri (April 1944)

Started as a Type 2 two-seat fighter (Ki 45) but lost all its fighters by September 1943. It took over some Ki-43s from departing units (1st Sentai), then converted to Ki 43-II. It apparently remained (technically) a Ki-45 unit until early 1944 and had a few on strength from time to time. They fought at Wewak with Ki-43s until late Nov 1943 then withdrew through Wadke to the NEI. They again received some heavy fighters but by the time they moved to Kamiri in April 44 they had officially become a Type 1 fighter unit.

14th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-21
Burma
Rabaul (Rapopo)

Flew its last mission from Burma during the night of December 24/25 1942, which was an attack on Calcutta. It then transferred from Burma theater via to the Dutch East Indies for two months to rest, refit, and re-equip.

Rappop
Then departed February 24, 1943 for Rabaul via Kendari-Babo-Wewak-Rabaul. To be based at Rapopo on March 2, 1943 with 36 x Ki-21-II Sally / Type 97 heavy bombers.

March & April Operations
The first mission was on March 9th to bomb Wau with 26 Sally and Zero. On March 11th they bomb Buna with 40 Zeros escorting. On March 16 they are bombed by B-24s at their base and loose 24 Sallys damaged or destroyed, they have only 12 left. By March 24, 1943 the Sentai had been reduced to just 8 planes due to the night bombing of Rabaul airfields by B-24s on 16/17 March and 23/24 March.

They are change operation to night bombing, and they work transportation duty. In April the Navy begin Operation I-Go, but the 14 Sentai was not use operation. In May and June, they have few bombing missions to Wau, Buna, Bena Bena with Ki-43 escorts.

On July 4th, 16 of Sallys and 1 siki-sen and Zero fly to Bougainville, meeting Zero escort over Buin, for a bombing mission of Rendova. They are hit by anti-aircraft fire and fighters, loosing 8 Sallys, one emergency landing on Ballale.

Pulled out of New Guinea in late 1943 to the Philippines

24th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
China Ki-43
Ki-44
Ki-84
China
Wewak May - November 1943 (Ki-43-I & Ki-43-II)
Babo (1st Chutai) May 1943
Dagua May - October 1943
Murphy Field 1945

During April 1942, converted to Ki-43-I Oscar. Some of the Lae Oscars had these markings. Interestingly that tail marking was first noted on Type 1 model 1 fighters captured at Munda, former K-43s of the 1st Sentai birds that were hand downs, and the paint over the old marking had worn off.

26th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-51
Ki-43
New Guinea
Philippines, Clark Field

Flew only Type 99 Assault (Ki 51) in New Guinea. The third chutai with fighters never came to the SE area.

27th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-45
Philippines

Ki-45 Nick

 

29th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-44
Ki-84
Clark Field
Murphy Field

Later served based at Murphy Field in the Manila area flying Ki-44 and Ki-84.

45th Sentai

52nd Sentai

Ki-84 Frank

Osaka April-May '44
Ashiya, Kyushu, May-September '44
Del Carmen, September-October '44
Saravia, October-November '44
Del Carmen November '44
Shimodate December '44 - MArch '45
Itami March '45
Kakogawa March-April '45
Shimodate April-July '45
Chofu July-end of war '45

59th Sentai

Ki-43 Oscar

Wewak area

 

60th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-21
 

Flew Ki-21 Sally based at Galela in April 1944., along with 33rd and 77th Sentai

61st Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-21
 

Part of the 9th FB (along with 7th Sentai) Previously flew Ki-21, based in Celebes. Was the first unit to take the Type 100 HB into combat (Darwin 6/20/43) and transferred to New Guinea in Jul-Aug 43. It was joined there by the 7th Sentai. Together they formed the 9th FB. The 7th was withdrawn in early 1944 and replaced by the 60th Sentai. 7th and 61st were the only Type 100 HB units in the SE Area. Other units with the type were transport units. Decimated in New Guinea, reformed in Japan with Ki-67 in May 1945.

63rd Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-43
Hollandia, Wewak, Los Negros


The 63rd came to the SE Area (New Guinea) in at least two phases. The first arrived at the end of Dec 43. The last, 1/63rd left Japan on the 9th of Feb 44. In their case the route (12 Type 1 fighters and 4 transports) was Akeno-Nittahara-Byoto-Manila-Davao-Babo-Hollandia.

Starting at Hollandia they advanced to Wewak, sent a detachment to Negros (12 a/c virtually wiped out 24 Jan), and withdrew to Hollandia. At Wewak there were engaged in combat in the big fights of 16 and 18 Jan (the 248th article mentions other instances as well, I beleve). The combat on the 16th was near Saidor and over water. The wreck at Wewak may be Capt. Tomio Matsumoto (18th) but could possibly be a loss dating from a sortie from Hollandia to the Wewak area in March. They were in combat over Wewak at least once in Feb 44 but I can't verify any loss.
 
Documents specifically mention Ki 43 No. 6136 being turned into the 209 Branch Depot salvage dump "completely damaged" in Jan 44. Another interesting tidbit the 28 (apparently) fighters arrived by Jan 44 were equipped with one "Fixed machine cannon model 3" and one "experimental 12.7mm."
 
The chutai wiped out on Negros was the 3/63rd. Wrecks found there included 5807, 61- 32, 39, 45, 50, 53, and 55. 5807 and 6150 had old style leak proofing. The others had more modern self-sealing tanks.Interestinly Japanese documents contradict this evidence somewhat. They show 6131 left at Hyane but 6132 turned into the Branch Depot at Hollandia.Looks like either the Americans or Japanese made a typo (head scratching).

68th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-61
Rabaul
Wewak

Parent organization: 14th FB (Flying Brigade HIKO DAN)
Vunakanau Airfield April near Rabaul June 1943
Boram Airfield near Wewak June 1943 - ?

First victory in New Guinea: B-24D "Virgin III" 42-40327.

By December, reduced to three pilots

 

72th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
May 30, 1944
Ki-43
Philippines

Organized on May 30, 1944 and advanced to the Philippines in December 1944. By January 1945 the unit had lost all of its planes and was disbanded in the Philippines on January 16, 1945. Reference: Akimoto via Jim Long

 

74th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
   
Philippines

???

 

77th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
July 27, 1938
Nanking, China
Ki-10
Ki-27
Ki-43
China, Thailand, Burma, East Indies, New Guinea (Hollandia & Wewak)

Organized in July 1937 from the 4th Hiko Rentai as the 8th Hiko Daitai. In July 1938 reorganized as the 77th Hiko Sentai with 2 Chutais. Was in Nothern Burma till Feb.44 and then transferred to Hollandia (Feb-apr.'44) and Wewak (March'44). In New Guinea 9 recorded victories, no known surviving pilots.

Commanding officers in New Guinea:
Maj.Kunio Matsumoto from Oct 43 - April 44 (KIA)
Maj. Shigetoshi Inoue from April to August '44.

One of their top aces was Capt.Yoshiro Kuwabara, the 3rd Chutai leader with 12 victories. he shot down a P-47 on the 11th of March but went missing on the 14th.

Unit was destroyed by the USAAF, not a single pilot survived the war. On July, 25th the unit was disbanded.

78th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
  Ki-61
Rabaul
Wewak

Parent organization: 14th FB (Flying Brigade HIKO DAN)
Vunakanau Airfield April near Rabaul June 1943
Boram Airfield near Wewak June 1943 - ?

July 18, 1943 first combat and claim

 

246th Sentani

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
 
Ki-44
Philippines

 

 

20th Dokuritsu Hiko Chutai (Independent Squadron)

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
 
Ki-27
Philippines

20th Independent Squadron flew Ki-21 Sallys in the transport & liason role at Hollandia. They probably had no a/c based there but may have still flown liaison missions there. However, there may other possibilities. A key here is the fact that the Chief of Staff of Yo Force (6th Flying Division) flew into Hollandia on the evening of the 20th (this from a captured diary of a Lt. Col. Onada). He may have flown in transport attached to 6th FD HQ or one of the units just mentioned. While other possibilities cannot be ruled out, it seems most likely the a/c destroyed was a transport that had flown in the evening of the 20th and was most probably from one of the resident units or 6th FD HQ. Just surmise, however.

7th Flying Unit

Established
Aircraft
Areas of Operation
 
Ki-27
Philippines

References
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information.

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