Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: More on Thai Fighters

  1. #1

    Default More on Thai Fighters

    The “Jake;’ as Allied pilots referred to it, was a vast improvement on the old Watanabes, with its 1,080-hp Mitsubishi Kinsei 43 radial engine. It was fast for a seaplane at 234 mph, and could do more than merely reconnoiter with its 551 pounds of bombs. An extended endurance over 1,300 miles rendered it suitable for long patrols above coastal waters, where USAAF long-range heavy-bombers attempted mine laying operations in early 1944. Appreciative Japanese officials presented three more Aichi E13A-ls to the Naval Wing in May, after a B-24 was shot down into the Gulf of Thailand. This aerial victory bespoke Thai skill and determination, because the Jake had no forward armament, and carried only a single, rearward-firing, 7.7-mm Type 92 machine-gun for its observer.

    The very notion of this lightly armed seaplane taking on a faster heavy-bomber bristling with 10 .50-caliber machine guns, let alone destroying it, was extraordinary. Apparently, the Aichi’s Thai pilot made straight for the intruder, setting a head-on collision course. Just before impact, he dove underneath the big bomber and along the underside, allowing his observer to fire upward into its belly. A fireball consumed the Liberator from which only its wings twirled into the Gulf.

    Their first attack on Bangkok occurred June 5, but KTAT fighter pilots, prepared this time for the reappearance of the old Liberators, were unable to catch up with the 55 B-29s, which were 28 mph faster. The XXth Bomber Command’s ineffectual raid on the Thai capital represented the operational debut of this new and monstrous warplane. When the same number of Superfortresses returned to destroy Bang Sue’s marshalling yards on November 2, they were intercepted this time by seven Ki.43s of Foong Bin 16 and twice as many Japanese Hayabusas. Flight Lieutenant Therdsak Worrasap scored accurate hits on one of the big bombers, which later crashed with the loss of all hands before reaching its base, but was himself shot down by the enemy’s defensive fire. He survived with severe burns, parachuting over Petchburi. Another B-29 was badly shot up by Pilot Officer Kamrop, who, like Worrasap, thereafter received his second Medal of Valor.

    The KTAT and IJAAF pilots had pressed home 45 attacks against the combined firepower of 660 12.7-mm Browning Ms/AN machine-guns, losing two Thai and five Japanese fighters. Their interception spoiled the American bombardiers’ aim, and the marshalling yards suffered no hits.

    On November 11, nine P-51 Mustangs and seven P-38 Lightnings sortied against a railway line between Chiang Mai and the Ban Dara bridge, damaging a locomotive, then turned their attention to Lampang airfield defended by just five serviceable Nakajima fighters. Out-numbered by more than three-to-one odds and almost totally outclassed by superior fighter planes, the Thai airmen fought like the peregrine falcons after which their aircraft had been named. A Lightning spun out of control under the guns of Pilot Officer Kamrob Plengkham, who then dove on a P-51 that disengaged from the battle after receiving several hits. Two more Mustangs were badly shot up by his comrades, and fled the scene of combat before one crashed in northern Thailand, the other inside China.

    After making a forced landing, Flight Lieutenant Chalermkiats Ota sprinted from the wreckage of his Ki-43, as it was strafed by one of the Americans. They had nonetheless been prevented from destroying all but one of Lampang’s Hayabusas left parked in the open on the airfield. Although every KTAT pilot had been shot down and wounded, Chief Warrant Officer Nat Sunthorn was the only Thai fatality.

    https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2016/05/12/17322/

  2. #2

    Default

    Very interesting Zoe! Thanks for the links and the information! Good to see you too!

  3. #3

    Default

    Wow. Learn something new every day.

  4. #4

    Default

    Yes, thanks for this interesting information, and for sharing the link. I always enjoy learning about the lesser known stories from the PTO.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for that fascinating link Zoe.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thank you for sharing that, Zoe. I seem to remember that someone has painted some Ki-43's in Thai Air Force colours in the Hobbies section.

  7. #7

    Default

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20151113_130358.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	97.7 KB 
ID:	292520

    Flight Lieutenant Therdsak Worrasap scored accurate hits on one of the big bombers, which later crashed with the loss of all hands before reaching its base, but was himself shot down by the enemy’s defensive fire. He survived with severe burns, parachuting over Petchburi. Another B-29 was badly shot up by Pilot Officer Kamrop, who, like Worrasap, thereafter received his second Medal of Valor.



Similar Missions

  1. Thai air show
    By BobP in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-18-2017, 11:28
  2. Austro-Hungarian Army Fighters Part 3 the Phonix fighters
    By john snelling in forum WGF: Historical Discussions
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 08-19-2013, 16:14
  3. Thai Fighters (and Belgians and Bombers)
    By Zoe Brain in forum Shapeways Models
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 10-21-2011, 17:18
  4. Thaiophilia and a Thai Song
    By Zoe Brain in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-18-2011, 15:19
  5. Thai Fighters
    By Zoe Brain in forum WGF: Historical Discussions
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-14-2011, 06:28

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •