Marushin MARS017 Imperial Japanese Army Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa "Oscar" Fighter - Tateo Kato, 64th Sentai, Malaya, 1942 (1:48 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) was numerically the most important fighter used by the Japanese Army Air Force during the Pacific War. It remained in production from the beginning of the Pacific War until its end in August 1945. In many ways, it was a transitional type, bridging the gap between the lightly-loaded monoplane fighters of the late 1930s with their fixed undercarriages and open cockpits, and the more highly-powered heavy fighters of the early 1940s with their retractable undercarriages and enclosed cockpits.
Its appearance was a complete surprise to the Allies, and the fighter proved to be superior in performance to most of its opponents during the first year of the Pacific War. Most of the Japanese Army's aces established the larger part of their scores while flying this airplane. The Ki-43 is often confused with its contemporary, the famed Mitsubishi A6M Reisen (Zero Fighter) of the Japanese Navy, and was often misidentified as a "Zero" early in the war.
Pictured here is a 1:48 scale replica of an Imperial Japanese Army Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa "Oscar" fighter that was piloted by Tateo Kato, who was attached to the 64th Sentai, then deployed to Malaya during 1942. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 10 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: October 2008
Historical Account: "Order of the Golden Kite" - Tateo Kato (September 28th, 1903 - May 22nd, 1942) was a Japanese ace army aviator, honored posthumously by an award of the Order of the Golden Kite for his commanding a squadron which, according to Tokyo, downed more than 250 airplaines in the Battle of Malaya during the Pacific War, which Japanese of Kato's time would have identified as the Greater East Asia War (Dai Tô-A Sensô).
Kato's last command was the 64th Sentai of the Japan Army Air Force Fighter Units (the ''Nihon rikugun sentokitai). Lieutentant Colonel Kato, who was posthumously promoted to the rank of Major General, was honored amongst other war dead at Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine in a Shinto ceremony in mid-October 1942.