Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

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Fatboy Coxy
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Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 17 Jan 2024 14:48

Hi all, I have some questions regarding the Japanese IJN 22nd Air Flotilla, based in Southern Indo-China, 7th December 1941. The Kanoya Flotilla was lent from the 21st Naval Air Flotilla, only part of the formation was sent. I have provided what I know, but please correct me where I am wrong, or missing information

22nd Air Naval Flotilla
Rear Adm S Matsunaga, Saigon

Mihoro Naval Air Group – Capt K Kondo
Air Commander -
36 x G3M2 based at Thu Dau Moi, plus 12 a/c in reserve

Genzan Naval Air Group – Capt K Maeda
Air Commander – Lt Cmdr Nakanishi
36 x G3M2 based at Saigon, plus 12 a/c in reserve

Kanoya Naval Air Group – Capt N Fujiyoshi
Air Commander – Lt Cmdr Miyauchi
27 x G4M1 based at Saigon, plus 9 a/c in reserve

Yamada Naval Air Unit – Cmdr Y Yamada
Air Commander -
25 x A6M2/11, 11 x A5M4, 6 x C5M2 based at Soc Trang

22nd NAF Transport Unit
5 x Transports

Fujikawa Maru AVT (Auxiliary Air Transport) – Capt Samata Inove, 7,049t, 13.5 Kts, 2x1 6-inch guns.

My questions are

Were all three airfields that were used, Saigon, Thi Dau Moi, and Soc Trang, grass or did any of them have concrete/hard surface runways

Having used reserve aircraft and crews to replace those lost in operations, where did the Air Groups draw further reinforcements from

Was the Yamada Naval Air Unit a temporary force? Was this two Chutai (9 aircraft each) and reserves, I only have 25 A6M2/11 aircraft assigned but have read there were more of them present in the Singapore/Malayan air operations, is this true?
Regards
Fatboy Coxy

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Eugen Pinak
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Eugen Pinak » 17 Jan 2024 17:18

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
17 Jan 2024 14:48
Genzan Naval Air Group – Capt K Maeda
Commander Maeda. Become Captain on 1 May 1942.
Fatboy Coxy wrote:
17 Jan 2024 14:48
Fujikawa Maru AVT (Auxiliary Air Transport) – Capt Samata Inove, 7,049t, 13.5 Kts, 2x1 6-inch guns.
Was still under 12th CARDIV. Returned to 22nd Air Flotilla on 10 December 1941.
Captain: Kondou Tamejirou.

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
17 Jan 2024 14:48
Having used reserve aircraft and crews to replace those lost in operations, where did the Air Groups draw further reinforcements from
I'm not sure spare aircraft were with the units and nor just assigned to them from the pool in Japan.

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
17 Jan 2024 14:48
Was the Yamada Naval Air Unit a temporary force? Was this two Chutai (9 aircraft each) and reserves, I only have 25 A6M2/11 aircraft assigned but have read there were more of them present in the Singapore/Malayan air operations, is this true?
Yes, it was a provisional force, formed from two IJN fighter groups.
Full name: 22nd Air Flotilla attached Fighter Unit.

At the beginning of the war it had:
from Tainan Ku - 12 A6M, 3 C5M
from 3rd Ku - 13 A6M, 3 C5M
Plus 9 spare A5M.
Apparently, part of the unit remained at Saigon.

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ijnfleetadmiral
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 18 Jan 2024 03:45

What I have:

22nd Air Flotilla
Commander: RADM MATSUNAGA Sadaichi (41)
Chief-of-Staff: CDR TAKAME Masayoshi (49)
Staff Engineer Officer: LCDR (Eng.) ADACHI Sadao (Eng. 37)
Staff Communications Officer: LCDR SHIGEMURA Minoru (56)
Staff Air Officer: LCDR MASE Takeji (57)

Mihoro Air Group
Commander: CAPT KONDO Katsuji (46)
Executive Officer: VACANT
Maintenance Officer: LCDR (Eng.) SATO Katsuo (Eng. 36)
Surgeon: LCDR (Med.) YAMAGATA Katsuji (1932)
Paymaster: LT (Sup.) NAKAMURA Kansaburo (Pay. 24)
Communications Officer: LCDR TANAKA Senzo (Spec. Duty 5)
Air Officer: LCDR IMAGAWA Fukuo (52)

Genzan Air Group
Commander: CAPT MAEDA Takanari (47)
Executive Officer: VACANT
Maintenance Officer: LCDR (Eng.) AZUMA Tetsuo (Eng. 33)
Surgeon: LCDR (Med.) MASUOKA Satoru (1927)
Paymaster: LT (Sup.) SUDO Hiroshi (Pay. 24)
Communications Officer: LCDR MINEKAWA Minoru (57)
Air Officer: LCDR SONOKAWA Kameo (52)

Kanoya Air Group
Commander: CAPT FUJIYOSHI Naoshiro (44)
Executive Officer: VACANT
Maintenance Officer: CDR (Eng.) SUGIURA Kyoji (Eng. 32)
Surgeon: LCDR (Med.) NAGAWATARI Kunitaro (1931)
Paymaster: LT (Sup.) OGAWA Wataru (Pay. 25)
Communications Officer: LCDR MAEDA Tetsushi (55)
Air Officer: LCDR IRISA Toshiie (52)

22nd Air Flotilla Attached Fighter Unit
Commander: CDR YAMADA Yutaka (49)

22nd Air Flotilla Attached Transport Unit
Commander: ???

FUJIKAWA MARU
Commanding Officer: CAPT KONDO Tamejiro (40)
Operations Officer: LT OKUDA Takashi (Res.)
Navigator: LT KATO Shisei (Res.)
Chief Engineer: LT (Eng.) SOMEYA Gisaburo (Res.)
Maintenance Officer: VACANT
Surgeon: LT (Med.) SHIGA Hidemasa (1939)
Paymaster: LTJG (Sup.) OMORI Nobuyuki (1940)
Air Officer: VACANT
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Jan 2024 11:17

Ok, wow, thank you guys, but as always more questions arise.

Firstly I get into a right pickle over how Japanese names are to be read, re a first name and a surname or family name, so apologies if I have things back to front.

Re the Fujikawa Maru, you both have its commanding officer as Capt Tamejiro Kondo or Tamejirou Kondou, no doubt slightly different translations of the same name.

However both
http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/41- ... af-22.html
and
http://www.combinedfleet.com/Fujikawa_t.htm

have Captain Inoue Samata, appointed July 1941.

Are we talking about the same ship?, or is there a IJN ships captain, and an IJN Air Force officer in charge of operations here
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Jan 2024 11:23

Question for ijnfleetadmiral, re the Air Officers of the Mihoro, Genzan and Kanyoe Air Groups, are these commanders who led them on operations, because I have two different officers (see my designation of Air Commander)
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Jan 2024 11:25

Question for Eugen Pink re the Yamada Air Unit, do you think that it operated two 9 plane Chutai's with the other aircraft as spares?
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 18 Jan 2024 11:36

General question re the Yamada Air Unit, what operations was it involved in, did it fly CAPs over both or either the close cover force of Vice Adm Ozawa, and Distant Cover force of Vice Adm Kondo. I understand the IJA (Army Air Force) was to provide air cover over the invasion transports?
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ijnfleetadmiral
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 19 Jan 2024 00:17

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
18 Jan 2024 11:17
Re the Fujikawa Maru, you both have its commanding officer as Capt Tamejiro Kondo or Tamejirou Kondou, no doubt slightly different translations of the same name.

However both
http://www.niehorster.org/014_japan/41- ... af-22.html
and
http://www.combinedfleet.com/Fujikawa_t.htm

have Captain Inoue Samata, appointed July 1941.
INOUE Samata was not appointed CO of FUJIKAWA MARU in July 1941. He was at that time serving as ComGunboatDiv 4. Here is what I have for him:

INOUE Samata 井上左馬太
Naval Academy 40 (88/144)
BORN - ???, in Tottori Prefecture
MID - 17 July 1912
ENS - 01 December 1913
LTJG - 13 December 1915
LT - 01 December 1919
ISE Division Officer - ??? - 01 December 1923
YAMASHIRO Division Officer - 01 December 1923 - ???
LCDR - 01 December 1925
YAKUMO Gunnery Officer - 01 December 1927 - 06 March 1929
ISE Gunnery Officer - 06 March 1929 - 05 November 1929
KINUGASA Gunnery Officer - 05 November 1929 - 01 December 1930
YAMASHIRO Gunnery Officer - 01 December 1930 - 16 September 1931
CDR - 01 December 1931
ISUZU Executive Officer - 11 July 1932 - 15 November 1933
CAPT - 01 June 1938
ComGunboatDiv 4 - 15 January 1941 - 10 February 1942
Commander, 1st Specially Established Gunboat Division - 10 February 1942 - 10 September 1942
FUJIKAWA MARU Commanding Officer - 10 September 1942 - 20 September 1942
1st Escort Division Staff Officer - 10 January 1943 - ???
DIED - 07 June 1957
Fatboy Coxy wrote:
18 Jan 2024 11:23
Question for ijnfleetadmiral, re the Air Officers of the Mihoro, Genzan and Kanyoe Air Groups, are these commanders who led them on operations, because I have two different officers (see my designation of Air Commander)
The position of Air Officer was a ground position that handled air operations. Your Air Commander is the senior flying officer. This was as follows:

Mihoro Air Group: ???
Genzan Air Group: LCDR NAKANISHI Niichi (57) (later KIA 20 June 1944 as Air Officer of HIYO)
Kanoya Air Group: LCDR MIYAUCHI Shichizo (56)
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fontessa
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by fontessa » 19 Jan 2024 00:50

ijnfleetadmiral wrote:
19 Jan 2024 00:17
Fatboy Coxy wrote:
18 Jan 2024 11:23
Question for ijnfleetadmiral, re the Air Officers of the Mihoro, Genzan and Kanyoe Air Groups, are these commanders who led them on operations, because I have two different officers (see my designation of Air Commander)
The position of Air Officer was a ground position that handled air operations. Your Air Commander is the senior flying officer. This was as follows:

Mihoro Air Group: ???
Genzan Air Group: LCDR NAKANISHI Niichi (57) (later KIA 20 June 1944 as Air Officer of HIYO)
Kanoya Air Group: LCDR MIYAUCHI Shichizo (56)
Bihoro Naval Air Group: LCDR / LCDR SHIBATA Yagoro 柴田弥五郎 (56): 15 September 1941 - 5 February 1942 (32 C13072082100 / 20 C13072084200)

Although it is a trivial matter, the correct name of the unit was Bihoro Naval Air Group. However, Mi was used instead of Bi for the tail code.
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=274416#p2507494

攻撃機 美幌空.jpg

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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by ijnfleetadmiral » 19 Jan 2024 05:41

fontessa wrote:
19 Jan 2024 00:50
Bihoro Naval Air Group: LCDR / LCDR SHIBATA Yagoro 柴田弥五郎 (56): 15 September 1941 - 5 February 1942 (32 C13072082100 / 20 C13072084200)
What I have for him:

SHIBATA Yagoro 柴田弥五郎
Naval Academy 56 (53/111)
BORN - ???, in Fukuoka Prefecture
MID - 16 March 1928
ENS - 30 November 1929
LTJG - 01 December 1931
AKAGI Pilot - ??? - 22 October 1934
LT - 15 November 1934
Kisarazu Air Group Division Leader - 01 December 1937 - ???
LCDR - 15 November 1940
Bihoro Air Group Wing Commander - 15 September 1941 - 05 February 1942
Air Group 751 Air Officer - 10 November 1942 - 14 January 1943
CDR - 14 January 1943 (KIA; shot down over New Guinea)

NOTE: I know I stated in a previous post that the position of Air Officer was primarily a ground position, I would imagine that during the fighting on New Guinea any pilot who was flight capable was utilized in the circumstances.
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by weiyan » 19 Jan 2024 13:43

Operational plan:
Air raid unit “A” 甲空襲部隊
- Genzan Air Group 36 x G3M2 based at Saigon
- Yamada Unit 12 x A5M4 based at Saigon
Air raid unit “B” 乙空襲部隊
- Bihoro Air Group 36 x G3M2 based at Thu Dau Moi
Air raid unit “C” 丙空襲部隊
- Yamada Unit 25 x A6M2/11 based at Soc Trang
- Yamada Unit 6 x C5M2 based at Soc Trang
Air raid unit “B” 丁空襲部隊
- Kanoya Naval Air Group (Main part) 27 x G4M1 based at Thu Dau Moi

Bihoro Naval Air Group 美幌海軍航空隊
Hikotaicho 飛行隊長
LCDR SHIBATA Yagoro 柴田弥五郎 (56)
Buntaicho 分隊長
LT TAKEDA Hachiro 武田八郎 (59)
LT TAKAHASHI Katsusaku 高橋勝作 (62)
LT OOHIRA Yoshio 大平吉郎 (64)
LT SHIRA Yoshimi 白井義視 (65)

Genzan Naval Air Group 元山海軍航空隊
Hikotaicho 飛行隊長
LCDR NAKANISHI Jiichi 中西二一 (57)
Buntaicho 分隊長
LT MAKINO Shigeji 牧野兹次 (61)
LT ISHIHARA Kaoru 石原薫 (Res.1933)
LT NIKAIDO Rokuo 二階堂麓夫 (63)
LT TAKAI Sadao 高井貞夫 (65)

Kanoya Naval Air Group (Main part) 鹿屋海軍航空隊本隊
Hikotaicho 飛行隊長
LCDR MIYAUCHI Shichizo 宮内七三 (56)
Buntaicho 分隊長
LT NABETA Miyoshi 鍋田美吉 (Res.1934)
LT IKI Haruki 壱岐春記 (62)
LT HIGASHI Moritaka 東森隆 (65)

22nd Air Squadron Attached Transport Unit 第22航空戦隊付戦闘機隊
22nd Air Squadron Assist Officer 第22航空戦隊司令部附
LT INANO Kikuichi 稻野菊一 (64)
LT TOKAJI Tadatsune 戸梶忠恒 (64)
LTJG BABA Masayoshi 馬場政義 (67)

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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Fatboy Coxy » 19 Jan 2024 16:07

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
17 Jan 2024 14:48
Hi all, I have some questions

22nd NAF Transport Unit
5 x Transports

Having used reserve aircraft and crews to replace those lost in operations, where did the Air Groups draw further reinforcements from
Ok looking on line I find three main transport aircraft available to the Japanese military, the Ki-56, derived from a Lockheed Super Electra, used by the Army, the KI-57 developed from the Ki-21 bomber, mostly used by the Army, with a small number used by the Navy, or the Nakajima Navy Type 0 Transport, (Nakajima L2D) a license-built versions of the Douglas DC-3. Wiki, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showa/Nakajima_L2D which says these served in all the Air Fleets, including the 11th Air Fleet, which I'm interested in, so I'd say I'm 99% sure they were used.

OK, second part of my query was where did aircraft come from, and we have this lovely little interrogation with Rear Adm Katsumata, see
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/US ... JO-31.html
Aircrew would be ferried back by transport plane to Japan to pick up new aircraft, which they then flew back, in a series of hops. The interesting point is they had an expectation of about a 20% attrition rate. I wonder how that compares to Allied aircraft doing the same sort of thing?
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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by Eugen Pinak » 20 Jan 2024 19:36

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
18 Jan 2024 11:25
Question for Eugen Pink re the Yamada Air Unit, do you think that it operated two 9 plane Chutai's with the other aircraft as spares?
From the book on IJN fighter units by Hatta and Izawa it looks like this unit had 3 12-plane squadrons: A6M from Tainan Ku led by LT Inano, A6M from 3rf Ku led by LT Tokaji and A5M - which were not spares like I thought - under LTJG Baba.
The book says there were 3 extra A5M found locally, which allowed to add planes to Baba's squadron.
While A6M squadrons usually operated in 9 planes, sometimes 12-plane squadrons were used.

As for the 22nd Air Flotilla Fighter Unit operations, A5M squadron usually did CAP over Saigon and vicinities, while A6M squadrons - 9 planes each - covered invasion fleet and on 8 December 1941 provided CAP over landing at Singora.

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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by fontessa » 21 Jan 2024 02:25

The official strength of the 3rd and Tainan Naval Air Groups was;
 The 3rd Naval Air Group: Carrier-based Fighter x 54 +G5M (Type 98 Land-based reconnaissance aircraft) x 9
 Tainan Naval Air Group: Carrier-based Fighter x 54 +G5M x 6
(The 3rd Naval Air Group had several A5M at the beginning of the war. )

According to Hata Ikuo, they dispatched the below airplanes to the 22nd Naval Air Squadron.
 The 3rd Naval Air Group:A6M2 x 13 + G5M x 3
 Tainan Naval Air Group: A6M2 x 14 + ”several” G5M

台南空.jpg

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Re: Questions on Japanese 22nd Air Flotilla

Post by weiyan » 21 Jan 2024 03:32

Correct:
22nd Air Squadron Attached Fighters Unit 第22航空戦隊付戦闘機隊
Activated on 22 November 1941
Deactivated on 1 April 1942
22nd Air Squadron Assist Officer 第22航空戦隊司令部附
(Commander) 指揮官
CDR YAMADA Yutaka 山田豊 (49)
(Hikocho) 飛行長
LCDR TOKORO Shigehachiro 所茂八郎 (51)
(Buntaicho) 分隊長
LT INANO Kikuichi 戸梶忠恒 (64): Tainan Air Group 14 x A6M2 / 3 x C5M2
LT TOKAJI Tadatsune 稻野菊一 (64): 3rd Air Group 13 x A6M2 / 3 x C5M2
LTJG BABA Masayoshi 馬場政義 (67): Tainan Air Group 4 x A5M4 / 3rd Air Group 5 x A5M4 / KF 3 x A5M4
Last edited by weiyan on 21 Jan 2024 08:43, edited 2 times in total.

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