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JAAF Aces
Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces, 1931 to 1945

(Ikuhiko Hata, Yasuho Izawa, Christopher Shores)

JAAF fighter pilots lost in China-Burma area, 1941-42

Here are the JAAF fighter pilots who lost their lives or freedom in areas where the AVG Flying Tigers were fighting. The information appears as an appendix to Japanese Army Air Force Fighter Units and Their Aces by Ikuhiko Hata, Yasuho Izawa, and Christopher Shores. (For more about the book, see the right-hand column.) The family name comes first, in the Asian tradition.

1st Lt Someya Masashi, 77th Sentai, 25 Dec 41 at Rangoon
Sgt Maj Ri Kontetu, 77th Sentai, 25 Dec 41 at Rangoon (POW)
1st Lt Okumura Hiroshi, 64th Sentai, 25 Dec 41 at Rangoon (Dupouy)
Sgt Maj Wakayama Shigekatsu 64th Sentai, 25 Dec 41 at Rangoon (Reed)

1st Lt Suzuki Shigeru, 77th Sentai, 1 Jan 42 at Moulmein (?)

1st Lt Ni-Ino Minoru, 50th Sentai, 23 Jan 42 at Rangoon
Sgt Maj Kimizuka Sadao, 50th Sentai, 23 Jan 42 at Rangoon

Capt Sakaguchi Fujio, 50th Sentai, 24 Jan 42 at Rangoon
1st Lt Higuchi Minoru, 50th Sentai, 24 Jan 42 at Rangoon

Sgt Maj Araya Kimiyoshi, 50th Sentai, 26 Jan 42 at Rangoon

Capt Matsuda Mitsuhiro, 77th Sentai, 28 Jan 42 at Rangoon
Sgt Maj Kitazaka Takeshi, 77th Sentai, 28 Jan 42 at Rangoon
1st Lt Yamamoto Kanekichi, 77th Sentai, 28 Jan 42 at Rangoon (suicide dive onto Mingaladon airfield)

W/O Yoshida Saichi, 77th Sentai, 29 Jan 42 at Rangoon
Sgt Kojima Kenkichi, 77th Sentai, 29 Jan 42 at Rangoon
Sgt Maj Kanda Ki-ichi, 77th Sentai, 29 Jan 42 at Rangoon

1st Lt Beppu Kisaji, 77th Sentai, 7 Feb 42 at Rangoon

1st Lt Mihara Masao, 50th Sentai, 25 Feb 42 at Rangoon
Sgt Wada Gentaro, 50th Sentai, 25 Feb 42 at Rangoon

W/O Nagata Atsuo, 50th Sentai, 26 Feb 42 in Burma

1st Lt Ohyama Kazuhiko, 50th Sentai, 4 Mar 42 at Pegu (?)

Lt Col Okabe Tadashi, 11th Sentai, 21 Mar 42 at Magwe (see note)
1st Lt Sugiyama Shunji, 47th Ind. Chutai, 21 Mar 42 at Magwe
2nd Lt Nagoshi Shinjiro, 77th Sentai, 21 Mar 42 at Maubin (Blenheim gunners)

Capt Anma Katsumi, 64th Sentai, 8 Apr 42 at Loiwing
1st Lt Kuroki Tadao, 64th Sentai, 8 Apr 42 at Loiwing
1st Lt Okumura Muneyuki, 64th Sentai, 8 Apr 42 at Loiwing
Sgt Maj Wada Haruto, 64th Sentai, 8 Apr 42 at Loiwing

Sgt Maj Goto Tsutomu, 64th Sentai, 10 Apr 42 at Loiwing (shot down by R T Smith)
Sgt Maj Misago Eikichi, 64th Sentai, 10 Apr 42 at Loiwing (shot down by Brouk)

1st Lt Kataoka Masashi, 64th Sentai, 28 Apr 42 at Loiwing

Sgt Maj Sudo Yoshio, 11th Sentai, 5 May 42 at Baoshan
Sgt Maj Suzuki Kan-ichi, 11th Sentai, 5 May 42 at Baoshan
Sgt Maj Hiura Nobuo, 11th Sentai, 5 May 42 at Baoshan

2nd Lt Ieri Jiro, 84th Ind Chutai, 12 Jun 42 at Guilin (shot down by Burgard)
Sgt Maj Yamada Misao, 84th Ind Chutai, 12 Jun 42 at Guilin
Sgt Maj Nakano Kunihiro, 54th Sentai, 12 Jun 42 at Guilin

1st Lt Akiyama Mitsunori, 54th Sentai, 22 Jun 42 at Hengyang (suicide dive on Hengyang airfield)

1st Lt Fujino Keiji, 54th Sentai, 4 Jul 42 at Hengyang
Sgt Yamada Yoshio, 54th Sentai, 4 Jul 42 at Hengyang

Notes: Accident, anti-aircraft fire, and Allied fighter squadrons must have accounted for some of these losses. Probably other pilots were lost as well, and at least two were shot down but survived to fight again. If I am fairly certain of who was responsible for a particular victory, I identify him in parentheses. I've put a question mark (?) after individuals lost on a day when the Allies made no claims; possibly that loss should be attributed to earlier or later combats.

I have omitted two 64th Sentai pilots shot down over the Bay of Bengal in May, and two 54th Sentai pilots lost at Guilin in April, since the AVG was nowhere near these combats. The suicide dives both followed combats with the AVG.

The book shows Okabe's death as 1 Mar, but this must be a typographical error. (The 11th Sentai was not fighting in Burma at the beginning of the month, and other Japanese histories show him as dying on 21 Mar in circumstances that tie closely to Cliff Groh's combat report.)

If you can connect any of these deaths with AVG combats, please send email.

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford