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TAIU-SWPA (Technical Air Intelligence Unit–South West Pacific Area) was the first of the Technical Air Intelligence Units formed during World War II to recover Japanese aircraft to obtain data regarding their technical and tactical capabilities.

HistoryEdit

TAIU-SWPA was originally formed as ATAIU in November 1942 as a joint venture by the United States Navy (USN), the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the British Royal Navy at Hangar 7 of Eagle Farm Airbase, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.[1][2] Aircraft tested at Hangar 7 of Eagle Farm Airbase carried a 'XJ' code. Known used codes are XJ001 till XJ005, preceding those used later in the Philippines.

In mid-1944, the US Navy personnel were withdrawn from the TAIU and reassigned to Naval Air Station Anacosta (NAS Anacosta), to form the Technical Air Intelligence Centre (TAIC) to centralise and co-ordinate the work of test centers in the United States with the work of TAIUs in the field. The original unit was then renamed TAIU for the South West Pacific Area (TAIU-SWPA).[2]

By the time of the invasion of the Philippines, Technical Air Intelligence operations in the South-West Pacific Area were fully developed. Considerable instructions were given to the troops in the field on the equipment likely to be found and the importance of its preservation. After the liberation of the Philippines, in early 1945, TAIU-SWPA was moved from Australia to Clark Field in the Philippines and there it gained an appreciation of the state of the enemy's technological and economic development, essential to the build-up for the planned invasion of Japan.[1]

Known AircraftEdit

Type Model Serial number Tail code Notes Origin
A6M 'Zero' A6M3 3030 (components from s/n 3028, 3032) XJ001 Rebuilt and tested by TAIU as aircraft no. XJ001, Eagle Farm Airbase, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. C/n 3030: Q-102 of the 2nd Kokutai; C/n 3028: V-187 of the Tainan Kokutai; C/n 3032: V-190 of the Tainan Kokutai)[3]
Ki-43 'Oscar' Ki-43-I Kō  ? XJ002 Repaired and restored using various airframes at Hangar 7, Eagle Farm and tested as aircraft no. XJ002, Eagle Farm Airbase, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Assigned to the 11th Sentai.[4]
Ki-61 'Tony' Ki-61-I Kō 263 XJ003 Rebuilt and tested by TAIU as aircraft no. XJ003, Eagle Farm Airbase, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Assigned to the 68th Sentai, 2nd Chutai
Ki-43 'Oscar' Ki-43-II Kō 5388 XJ004 Repaired by personnel from the USAAF 5th AF, 49th FG, 8th FS at Hollandia, New Guinea. Tested as aircraft no. XJ004, Eagle Farm Airbase, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Assigned to the 59th Sentai.[5]
Ki-43 'Oscar' Ki-43-II Kō  ? XJ005 Repaired by personnel from the USAAF 5th AF, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 41st Troop Carrier Squadron at Hollandia, New Guinea. Tested as aircraft no. XJ005, Hollandia, New Guinea. [6]
N1K1-J 'George' N1K1-J 5511 7 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no. 7, Clark field, Philippines, June 1945. 1944 Assigned to the 201st Kōkūtai, with tail code 201-53.[7]
N1K1-J 'George' N1K1-J 7102 S9 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no. 9, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. "341-S-23" from 341st Kokutai, 402nd Hikotai, captured at Philippines.
Ki-84 'Frank' Ki-84-I 1066 S10 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.10, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945.
Ki-44 'Tojo' Ki-44-II Hei 2068 S11 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.11, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Assigned to Akeno Kyōdō Hikōshidan
J2M 'Jack' J2M3 3008 S12 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.12, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Attached to the 201 Kōkūtai. Previously been attached to the 381 Kōkūtai, S-602 Hikotai.[8]
J2M 'Jack' J2M3 3013 S13? May have been tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.13, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Attached to the 381 Kōkūtai, tail code 81-124.[9]
Ki-45 'Nick' Ki-45-Kai Hei 3303 S14 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.14, Clark Field, Philippines, 1945. [10]
L2D 'Tabby' L2D3 6240 S15 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.15, Clark Field, Philippines, 1945.
D4Y 'Judy' D4Y3 3957 S16 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.16, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Marked "57", captured at Philippines.[11]
Ki-84 'Frank' Ki-84-I 1446 S17 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.17, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Assigned to the 2nd Chutai of the 11th Sentai, tail code '46'.
Ki-44 'Tojo' Ki-44-II Hei 2143[12] S18 Repaired, but not tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.18, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Assigned to the 29th Sentai.
B6N 'Jill' B6N2 Made with components from s/n 3779 and s/n 6745 S19 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.19, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. "01-35" from 701th Kokutai, 252nd Hikotai, captured at Philippines.
Ki-45 'Nick' Ki-45-Kai Tei 4268 S22 Tested by TAIU-SWPA as aircraft no.22, Clark Field, Philippines, 1945.
G4M 'Betty' G4M2 2134 Tested by TAIU-SWPA, Clark Field, Philippines, June 1945. Assigned to the 702nd Hikotai, 763rd Kokutai. Tail 763-12[13]

[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied_Technical_Air_Intelligence_Unit#Other_Technical_Air_Intelligence_Units
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/David_Trojan/Technical%20Air%20Intelligence%20Wreck%20chasing%20in%20the%20Pacific%20during%20the%20war.pdf
  3. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/a6m3/eagle_farm.html
  4. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/ki-43/lae.html
  5. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/ki-43/XJ004.html
  6. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/ki-43/XJ005.html
  7. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/n1k2/5511.html
  8. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/j2m/3008.html
  9. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/j2m/3013.html
  10. http://silverhawkauthor.com/japanese-warplanes-of-the-second-world-war-preserved-1-aichi-to-kawanishi-imperial-japanese-army-air-service-and-imperial-japanese-navy-air-service_490.html?printable_version=true
  11. http://arawasi-wildeagles.blogspot.nl/2015/02/yokosuka-d4y3-suisei-judy.html
  12. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/ki-44/index.html
  13. https://pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/g4m/clark.html
  14. http://www.risingdecals.com/DyingSun/DyingSun_A.htm