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It states a group of B-B17s fought off "3 Me 109s, 3 Zekes and a Rufe shooting down three..."
I also came across another statement of a US pilot who claims to have engaged and shot down a Me 109 in one of the naval battles around Guadalcanal but alas I didn't reference it.
How likely is this to be factual? I know this series was either written during or right after WW2 and has exaggerated claims of damage inflicted on the enemy etc.
Is it possible Me 109s with or without German pilots were shipped to Japan, or blueprints which the Japanese used to make limited numbers of the planes?
My gut feeling is no, probably misidentification caused by the excitement of combat.
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A quote from the article:
"Allied pilots initially believed Ki-61s were Messerschmitt Bf 109s and later an Italian Macchi C.202, which led to the Allied reporting name of "Tony", assigned by the United States War Department."
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Nope, not by a long shot...
This incident took place November 14th or 15th, 1942, if I remember correctly. Problem is, there simply were not any Ki-61 Hien around. Teething troubles with the new aircraft delayed pilot transition to type, and the delivery to the front lines was postponed. The Ki-61 did not arrive in the SOWESTPAC until April, 1943, and it did not see combat until May, 1943.
Don't forget that Me-109s were also reported during the Pearl Harbor attack.
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Me 109s were indeed shipped to Japan. A few of them (the number changes depending on the source, I have seen 2, 3, 5...), without armament, in 1941. But they were only used for tests, and were not employed in combat.checkov wrote:Is it possible Me 109s with or without German pilots were shipped to Japan, or blueprints which the Japanese used to make limited numbers of the planes?
Some pictures here:
http://www.j-aircraft.com/captured/test ... /me109.htm
IIRC, Allied intelligence even asigned a code name ("Mike") to the Japanese Me 109s as they believed they had entered service with the Japanese, so the Allied pilots' reports are probably just a case of seeing what they were expecting to see.