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Old 28th October 2022, 19:33
Lucass Lucass is offline
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Sqn. Ldr. Iyōzō Fujita

Hi there!

Anyone can confirm that Fujita in late 1944 was a pilot of Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden 11 with a tail code "341S-12" as a CO of 341st Kokutai in Phillipines ?
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Old 29th October 2022, 00:30
Larry deZeng Larry deZeng is offline
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Re: Sqn. Ldr. Iyōzō Fujita

See under Commanders, below:



341 Kōkūtai
(FPO Designation: U-307)

also as: Shishi Kōkūtai (“Lion” Air Group)


Formed 15 November 1943 at Matsuyama NAS on coast in Ehime Prefecture/SW Shikoku (also known as Takahama) and assigned to 1st Air Fleet. Initial aircraft allowance specified 36 Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden interceptor fighters (GEORGE), this being increased to 72 in February 1944.

5 Dec 43: transferred from Matsuyama to Kasanbara NAS/S Kyūshū to commence training with Mitsubishi A6M Zeros as the first of the new GEORGE fighters were not delivered until mid-February.
14 Jan 44: moved to Tateyama NAS on Tōkyō Bay and continued training.
1 Feb 44: reassigned from 1st Air Fleet to 61st Air Flotilla/1st Air Fleet.
Mar 44: group reorganized tactically with the fighters now assigned to Fighter Hikōtai S-401.
5 May 44: reassigned from 61st Air Flotilla to 62d Air Flotilla and then to 2d Air Fleet on 15 June.
12 Jun 44: 13 Zeros departed Tateyama to fly escort for transport aircraft out of Iwo Jima. On 15 June U.S. carrier Task Group 58.1 hit the tiny volcanic island and shot down 10 of the group's 13 Zeros that had scrambled to intercept the raid. The survivors immediately returned to Tateyama.
10 Jul 44: reorganized again as training nearly completed and sufficient aircraft on hand: Fighter Hikōtai S-401 with an allowance of 48 planes, Fighter Hikōtai S-402 with 48 and Fighter Hikōtai S-701 with 48. All three Hikōtai had a mixed complement of Zero and GEORGE fighters. Concurrent with the reorganization, S-401 and S-402 moved to Meiji NAS near Nagoya in C Honshū because of its longer runway while the S-701 continued training at Yokosuka NAS.
31 Aug 44: 17 planes from Hikōtai 401 transferred to Takao (Kao-hsiung)/SW Formosa, followed by 25 more in mid-September, to fly intercept missions against U.S. bomber raids originated from China.
1 Oct 44: group reported S-401 at Takao with 32(20) GEORGEs and Miyazaki NAS/SE Kyūshū with 11(6) Zeros, and S-402 at Miyazaki with 30(25) GEORGEs and 22(18) Zeros. Hikōtai 701 was presumably still at Yokosuka.
12-14 Oct 44: during three days of strikes on Formosa by U.S. Task Force 38's 17 carriers, Hikōtai 401 at Takao claimed 10 enemy planes while losing 14 GEORGEs. With the Japanese home islands clearly threatened now by the rapid buildup of Allied naval forces in the Philippine Sea, S-701 moved from Yokosuka to Okinawa as part of the so-called T Attack Force while S-402 transferred from Miyazaki to Formosa.
23 Oct 44: Hikōtai 401 and 402 moved from Formosa to Mabalacat/Luzon in the Philippines with 36 planes in response to Allied forces under General MacArthur landing on Leyte on 20 October.
24 Oct 44: attacked the Leyte invasion beachhead and shipping losing all but 4 planes.
Nov - Dec 44: Hikōtai 701 joined the rest of the group at Mabalacat at the end of October or beginning of November and operations continued against enemy forces on Leyte and over the Central Philippines. By the end of December the group had been reduced to 8 serviceable planes.
4 Jan 45: 8 of 13 GEORGE replacement fighters that had just arrived from Japan were destroyed on the ground by two U.S. P-47s.
5-9 Jan 45: all remaining aircraft and pilots of the group were converted into a special attack force (kamikaze) and from Mabalacat, Clark and Tuguegarao in NE Luzon expended themselves against the huge Allied invasion force in Lingayen Gulf on the west coast of Luzon. Reassigned to 1st Air Fleet effective 8 January, all surviving personnel were then transformed into naval infantry and fought on in Luzon until the end of the war. The reorganization as infantry occurred at Mabalacat on 17 January under 26th Air Flotilla and the force was deployed in the hills to the west of the Mabalacat-Clark airfield complex until dissolved on 6 April. As was the case with all JNAF air units that remained in the Philippines after losing all of their aircraft, 341 Kōkūtai was never officially disbanded by the Navy Ministry.


Commander:
Cdr. Shōichi OGASAWARA (Nov 43 - May 44)
Capt. Motoharu OKAMURA (May 44 - Oct 44)
Cdr. Tadao FUNAKI (Oct 44 - Aug 45)


Hikōtai Components
S-401: 10 Jul 44 - 1 Feb 45
S-402: 10 Jul 44 - 1 Feb 45
S-701: 15 Nov - 25 Dec 44


Summary of Stations
15 Nov - 5 Dec 43: Matsuyama
5 Dec 43 - 14 Jan 44: Kasanbara
14 Jan – c 25 Jul 44: Tateyama with elements at:
Meiji (Jul - Aug 44)
c 25 Jul – c 23 Oct 44: Shinchiku/NW Formosa
c 23 Oct 44 – c 5 Feb 45: Clark Field/Mabalacat NAS on Luzon with elements at:
Matsuyama (Jan - 5 Feb 45)


Sources:
Hata/Izawa; JM#116; Thorpe-JNAF.
Hata/Izawa-op cit and et seq.
JM#116.
JM#116.
Morison-vol. VIII:239.
MacArthur-vol. II/part II:484-87.
JM#116.
JM#116.


L. deZ.
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