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Double Lucky?

The Campaigns of the 77th Hiko Sentai

Richard L. Dunn © 2005

Rudder of a 77th Sentai fighter Rudder of a Nakajima fighter, showing one of the stylized arabic numerals of the 77th Hiko Sentai. (Photo by Jim Lansdale)

The 77th Hiko Sentai (Flying Regiment or FR) provides an interesting example of a Japanese fighter unit in World War II. It was engaged in active operations during the China Incident; participated in the initial operations in the Pacific War; fought over Burma in 1941-1942, and again in early 1944; served quiet periods in Manchuria, and, briefly, in the air defense of Japan and Sumatra; before its final campaign in New Guinea. Of particular interest, it was the first Japanese fighter unit to confront the famed Flying Tigers and fought its final campaign with the Type 1 fighter against some of America's top aces flying high performance P-38 and P-47 fighters. It flew three different types of fighters in combat. Through its ranks passed a number of pilots who would become notable either as members of the unit or in subsequent exploits. This study outlines the operational record of the 77th and provides insights on the campaigns in which it fought.

Richard Dunn's monograph is posted here in several chapters:

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