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3/202 Kokutai


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During the early stages of the Pacific War, there were two distinguished Kokutai made famous in Japan by their exploits.

One was the Tainan Kokutai, familiar to Western enthusiasts following the publication of Martin Caidins book on Sakai, Saburo titled Samurai. 

The other, equally famous but less well known, fighter group was 3 Kokutai. Formed on 10 April, 1941 it fought over Southern China; the Philippines; the Dutch East Indies; the devastating raid on Broome on 3 March, 1942; the raids over northern Australia in 1942; and Guadalcanal in 1942. On 1 November it was renamed 202 Kokutai.

It returned to raids over Darwin throughout 1943. Then in March 1944 it moved to the central Pacific and fought over Guam, Saipan, Yap and Peleliu befoe withdrawing to the Philippines and being disbanded in July 1944.

The attachment is an article written by historian and author Bob Alford, who also wrote the excellent book "Darwin's Air War 1942-1945". For anyone interested in the air campaign over Northern Australia in 1942 and 1943, I highly recommend Bob's book. Provides great detail of all belligerents, the raids, the air bases and the damage done. 

3.202 Kokutai_Alford.pdf

Edited by Boom
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