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The Japanese have always been great at cartoon art, long before the manga craze of recent years. Here's a representation of Japanese Army Air Force Ki-27 fighters going up against a passle of Russian Polikarpovs in the 1939 border war in Mongolia. The Nakajima fighters seem to be vaguely based on the then-warpaint of the 64th Sentai, which later faced the AVG in Burma. It's all very approximate, as indeed is the shape of the fighters on both sides. The Ki-27 in the foreground, as seen in related images, has fifteen red stars on its flank, which suggests to me that perhaps it's supposed to be flown by Captain Kato Tateo, the commander of the 64th Sentai until shot down over the Bay of Bengal in May 1942. (His actual victory credits in China and Nomonhan came to ten.) Thanks to John Mayberry for sending this on. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
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Posted August 2016. Websites ©1997-2016 Daniel Ford. All rights reserved.