In this section we are discuss over certain aircraft, talk over and look for any
interesting detail about this bird, people and events. The more detailed the better.
Any details needed, at the least: true modification, pilot's name, serial, unit, location, time period.
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Nakajima B5N Kate - Japan
B5N2 type 97 model 3
Serial: AI-301 Unit: 1st koku kantai, 1st koku sentai Akagi carrier, December 1941. Mitsio Fuchida flew this plane and command the Pearl Harbor raid. The crew was: Pilot: Lt. Mitsuo Matsuzaki, Observer: Lt. Cmdr. Mitsuo Fuchida and Gunner/radioman: PO1c Tokunobu Mizuki.
Artist: unknown Source: 'War in the Air' Series
The same airplane during Ceylon's operation. Natural metal overall, upper surfaces - very worn-out Green. During the Pearl Harbor raid this plane looks the same but not so shabby.
According this source: In his book, MIDWAY: THE BATTLE THAT DOOMED JAPAN, Fuchida detailed that the back of his plane had red and yellow stripes... we now know that this referenced a single red 'carrier identification' stripe and three yellow hikotaicho stripes. In 1966, Dr Michael Hawkins wrote a B5N monograph for the Profile series in which the artist used raw notes from Fuchida that his plane was the number '301' plane, and came up with a silver/natural metal finish plane with red and yellow horizontal stripes across the vertical surfaces. The B5N profile In 1967, Chuck Graham illustrated Al Makiel's article for IPMS-USA a page on Japanese aircraft 'at Pearl Harbor' including an dotted outline of AI-301 based on movie film found at the US National Archives. So the markings at select stages may be determined - like peeling away layers of an onion. AI-301 had a pre-war scheme of natural metal with red tail that had three yellow command stripes and a red vertical 'carrier' stripe. Pilot - Lt.Mitsuo Matsuzaki.
In the mid-1970s, Don Bratt interviewed Fuchida for more details to discover that AI-301 was kept 'leaming' during training to let his men know of his location in the air, yet en route to Hawaii AI-301 was camouflaged to hide the plane from American pursuit. The commanding info on the vertical surfaces was retained to keep his aviators informed of his presence. The plane was painted, IF WE BELIEVE FUCHIDA: 'en route to Hawaii' with SEMI-GLOSS green upper surface camouflage. The TRAINING numbers on the wing's undersurface conform to PRE-war use were black and the undersurface is painted with the same GLOSS Gray-GREEN viewed on Akagi VALs.....and the painting of the plane was accomplished NOT 'enroute', but where the landing base paint shops sprayed the plane...with gray-GREEN, then the dark green upper surface.