Old Thailand Aircrash

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Feb 17, 2008
For example, IJA aircraft lost in the battle of Burma for a year from December 7, 1942 to December 8, 1943 are reported 72.
Not two or three.


Source: Domei Monthly Report Vol.7/No.12 issued in December, 1943
(Library: Japan Press Research Institute)
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Thank you for the link to the Domei Reports. Interesting.

Apparently my last post was misleading for which I apologize.

Working backwards from your comment, "not two or three": in my #80, I identified four IJAAF casualties --- two Ki-36s (Umemoto identified them as Ki-51s) from 独飛71 and two Ki-51s (Umemoto identified as from Sentai 27 and 独飛89). The first two were the result of my trying to follow up on your attachments (#77) from a brief history of the 71st Independent Flight Company. The second two were the result of my following up on your suggestion (#62, #71) that the Ki-51 could be an alternative. As I noted, unfortunately none of the four fit the situation at Mae La Luang.

They were selected from a much larger / longer list of IJAAF casualties during that period. You quote a Domei Report dated Dec 1943: "IJA aircraft lost in the battle of Burma for a year from December 7, 1942 to December 8, 1943 are reported 72". Note that three of the IJAAF casualties I cited occurred before December 7, 1942, and one after December 8, 1943, in April 1944. None were in that period reported in Domei.

I counted casualties listed by Umemoto for the same period as the Domei Report. His results were substantially higher than Domei for both the IJAAF and the Allies:

IJAAF: 369
Allied: 236

Regardless of the difference in numbers, the vast majority of Umemoto's 369 IJAAF casualties involved aircraft that did not have two-man crews, and, therefore, would fail to fit the details at Mae La Luang. Only six events involved two-man crew aircraft; none were close to Mae La Luang; and none landed on a river bank.

I fear that we're just "spinning our wheels" in this search. In general, details from official records and eye witness accounts just don't match well. As you mentioned in your #70, we really need to find and identify the only allegedly remaining physical piece of evidence from the crash, ie, the aluminum disk. I'll check at the Memorial Hall in Khun Yuam next year to see if the disk has been found and update you.


Feb 17, 2008
The Domei (Domei News Agency) reports the aircraft loss during the period like this -

Allied: 591 (86 uncertain)

I have no idea about Umemoto's research but let me wish your good luck.
P-40B Performance (change of subject):
Estimating the last moments of flight of Flying Tiger Jack Newkirk which ended with his fatal crash in Lamphun, Thailand on 24 Mar 1942.

There are a number of possible scenarios regarding the fatal crash of Jack Newkirk (see two examples here and here). One is that, on starting his return to Chiang Mai from strafing targets in Lamphun, he followed the rail line north and encountered AA fire from a railway bridge at N18°35.12 E99°01.3. He circled around to the left to make another approach on the bridge to attack the AA unit, but hit a tree, and crashed at about N18°34.76' E99°01.25.

Out of curiosity, I made some assumptions and roughed in a possible flight path, checked distances, and calculated a flight time of about 32 seconds between Newkirk being fired on by an AA unit at a railway bridge and his crash as he was circling to target that AA unit. Things do happen quickly at 300 mph; but just 32 seconds? I wonder if that's possible.

I roughed in a possible flight path on the attached Google Earth map. From that, I made these calcs:

Assume approx. speed = 340 mph* (547 kph), but say 500 kph for ease of calculation.

500 kph x 1000 m/km
—————————---- = 140 m/sec
60 min/hr x 60 sec/min

Flight path measures approximately 4.5 km long.

So, time to fly path length was approximately

4.5 km x 1000 m/km
—————————-- = 32 sec
140 m/sec

*Dan Ford, Flying Tigers, p 354

Some questions come to mind:

1. Is 500 kph (311 mph) a realistic speed to assume at a strafing altitude for a P-40B?
2. At that speed, or other speed (if judged more likely), is the flight path,
particularly with its turning diameters of about 1 km (0.6 mi), realistic?
3. For that matter, would the turns significantly reduce the flight speed
and thereby significantly increase the flight duration?

Any comment would be appreciated.


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