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Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally 3' from above

Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally 3' from above

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Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally 3' from above

Here we see the Mitsubishi Ki-21-IIb 'Sally 3' from above, showing the upper gun turret that was added on this model, as well as giving us a good view of the wing shape.

Mitsubishi Ki-21

The Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Army Type 97 Heavy Bomber) was produced by engineers Nakata and Ozawa in response to an operational specification issued by the Air Headquarters (Daihonei) of the JAAF on 15 February 1936. The first of two prototypes flew on 18 December 1936, the first production model being the Mitsubishi Ki-21- Ia (Army Type 97 Model 1A). Because of production bottlenecks it was not until the end of 1939 that Ki-21-la bombers equipped the first JAAF unit, the 60th Hikosentai (air regiment) based in China, in totality the next unit to be equipped was the 61st Sentai. Early lessons learned over China demonstrated lack of firepower and protection, and the Ki-21-Ib and Ki-21-Ic subvariants had extra armour, additional 7.7mm Type 89 machine-guns, more fuel and larger bomb-bays. The engines were 634kW Nakajima Ha-5 KAI radials. By the time of the outbreak of war in December 1941, the majority of the Mitsubishi Ki-21-Ia, Ki-21-Ib and Ki-21-Ic bombers had been relegated to second-line duties, or to service as operational bomber trainers. First-line bomber sentais had by now received the more powerful Ki-21-II, with 1119kW Mitsubishi Ha-101 engines in modified Cowlings production models in service in 1941 were the Ki-21-IIa (Army Type 97 Heavy Bomber Model 2A), and the Ki-21-IIb which had a pedal-operated dorsal turret with one 12.7mm Type 1 heavy machine gun. Three sentais remained in Japan, Korea and in Manchuria when the Japanese high command went to war in South East Asia. For operations over the Philippines the JAAF's 5th Air Group, based in Formosa, mustered the 14th and 62nd Hikosentais these went into action early on the morning of 8 December 1941 striking at Aparri, Tuguegarao, Vigan and other targets in Luzon. Mitsubishi Ki-21s of the 3rd Air Group, based in French Indo- China, were earmarked for bombing strikes against Siam (Thailand) and Malaya: units were the 12th, 60th and 98th Hikosentais. These smashed RAF and RAAF facilities at Alor Star, Sungei Patani and Butterworth, being escorted by Nakajima Ki-27 and Ki-43 fighters. In the flush of Japanese victory in 1941-2 the Mitsubishi Ki-21, codenamed 'Sally', performed well only over Rangoon over December 1941 and January 1942 did the Ki-21s suffer heavy casualties. The Ki-21-IIb was the final model to enter service, which was seen on all fronts in the Pacific and Far East theatres. Some 2,064 Ki-21s were built.

I want to know how many Mitsubishi KI21 sally model planes? How many met accidents ? Now where it located?

I would be interested to know how many persons could travel by this aircraft (besides crews) and if you know the sitting arrangement of the passengers. Thanks for the reply.

Do you know any model about Mitsubishi ki-21?

I have a compass that came from one a Mi 21 bomber. The data plate reads Emperor's reign Showa 16 serial# 10683 with the Army star on plate. I'm interested in finding out more about this piece, origin and possible value.

World War Photos

Ki-21-II 546 at Yontan Okinawa 3 Crashed Ki-21-II Sally 156 Okinawa May 1945 Ki-21-I of the 60th Sentai over China Wreck of Ki-21 Sally Okinawa May 1945
Ki-21-I of the Japanese army flying school Parachute bombs fall on Ki-21-II of the 14 Sentai September 1944 MC-21 – unarmed civilian transport version Ki-21-I “Sally” over Chongqing 14 September 1940
Ki-21 of the 14 Sentai in flight over jungle Ki-21-I crew Wreckage of Ki-21-II Philippines in the spring of 1945 Mitsubishi Ki-21-II “Sally” of the Hamamatsu flying school
Ki-21-I “Sally” from 60 Sentai over China Ki-21-II Otsu of 3rd Independent hikotai at Yontan Okinawa 25 May 1945 Wreckage of Ki-21 Mitsubishi Ki-21 Sally wreck in India 1943
Ki-21-II and Giretsu Special Attack Unit 24 May 1945 Ki-21 “Type 97 Heavy Bomber” bombers over Corregidor for attack on US positions Ki-21 “Sally” at Hanoi, Vietnam on September 7, 1945 Mitsubishi Ki-21-II Sally SWPA
Ki-21 at Yontan, Okinawa 25 May 1945 “Type 97 Heavy Bomber” Ki-21-I 2 Ki-21-II of the 14 Sentai Ki-21-I of the 60 Sentai over China
Ki-21-II from Hamamatsu flying school Ki-21 “Sally” of the 60 Sentai China 1939 Ki-21-I from Air Academy Ki-21-II Sally at Hanoi Airfield September 1945
Ki-21, Ki-61 and Ki-43 under attack at Wewak 1943 Ki-21-II under attack Ki-21-II 546 at Yontan Okinawa 2 Mitsubishi Ki-21 546 at Yontan Okinawa, 25 May 1945
Close up of nose section of Ki-21 at Shanghai 1945 J1N1 of the 251st Kokutai and Ki-21 bombers Rabaul 2 November 1943

The Mitsubishi Ki-21 Sally beside G4M is possibly the best-known World War 2 Japanese bomber. It began operations during the Second Sino-Japanese War participating in the Nomonhan Incident, and in the first stages of the Pacific War participating in the British Malaya-, Burma-, Dutch Indies- and New Guinea campaigns, and also attacking objectives as far away as West China, India and Northern Australia. Its initial success diminished with stiffening Allied aerial opposition, a trend not reversed by the introduction of a new variant, the Ki-21 IIb with the upper turret rotated by pedals. In spite of its failures, it was maintained in service until the end of the war, being utilized as transport (along with the civil transport version MC-21), bomber crew and paratrooper trainer, for liaison and communications, special commando and secret agents missions, and suicide operations.
Nine Ki-21 Ia/b (under the name Nagoya) were sent by Japan to Thailand, and were used by the Thai Air force against Vichy French forces in Indochina. By the end of the war, the Ki-21 was used by Giretsu Special Forces in strikes against American Forces in Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and the Marianas. This was part of a last-ditch attempt, which also made use of Army Kamikaze forces, to delay or stop the USAAF air strikes from Okinawa against Japan proper.

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Mitsubishi Ki-21 Type 97 “Sally”

The Mitsubishi Ki-21 was a heavy bomber of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Pacific War. It was originally designed to meet a 1936 requirement of the IJA for a replacement for the Ki-1 and the top secret Ki-20 heavy bombers then available. The requirement called for much higher speed, endurance and bombload than any existing aircraft was then capable of. Designs by Nakajima and Kawasaki were rejected, but that of Mitsubishi was accepted as the Type 97 Heavy Bomber.

The Ki-21 was the Army’s first modern bomber aircraft, with a cantilevered mid-wing design, all-metal construction, retractable landing gear and a long greenhouse canopy. Fitted with Nakajima Ha-5 engines, the aircraft was capable of over 250mph, as the design contract required. Later models were capable of carrying a 1,000kg bombload, twice as much as the Navy’s equivalent G3M.

A few pre-production Ki-21s were rushed into service during the first months of the “China Incident”, but it was not until that conflict was a year old that the type began to see regular service. Ki-21s of the 60 th and 61 st Sentai were drafted in to assist the Navy G3Ms and Army BR.20s that began bombing Chungking and Chengtu in late 1938. Ki-21s were a common sight over the two cities as the conflict rolled on, and remained the primary Japanese bomber in China right up until the final surrender in 1945.

When the wider Pacific War opened, Ki-21s were still the Army’s primary heavy bomber and were used in that role against the Philippines, Malaya and Burma as the Japanese offensives opened. Although Ki-21s had proved capable against Chinese fighters, the modern types in use with Allied forces such as the Curtiss P-40 proved more than a match. Improved models with more powerful engines and extra defensive guns did not completely solve the problems with the bomber. Despite this, the Ki-21 remained in service until the end of the war, despite the arrival of replacements such as the Ki-49 and Ki-67 heavy bombers.

The Ki-21 was assigned the Allied Reporting Name “Sally” in 1942. Later the Ki-21-IIb was mis-identified as a new type and assigned the codename “Gwen” before the mistake was rectified and the new type was re-designated the “Sally III”. There is also an apocryphal story that the Ki-21 was codenamed “Jane”, after General MacArthur’s wife, before he objected and “Sally” was assigned instead. This story, however, does not make sense as the General’s wife was actually called Jean, and there appears to have been no objection to the codenaming of the B4Y Type 96 “Jean” torpedo bomber. Perhaps “Jane” was briefly assigned to the Ki-21-Ib (which had a re-designed tail and extra defensive machine guns) or the Ki-21-IIa (with more powerful engines) before it, too, was discovered to be a variant of the “Sally” – the “Sally II”. The codename “Doris” was also assigned to a non-existent “Mitsubishi B-97” bomber, which may have been confused with the Ki-21.

Mitsubishi Ki-67 Hiryu / PEGGY

Fortunately for the Allies in the latter stages of the Pacific war, comparatively few of the formidable Mitsubishi Ki- 67 Hiryu (flying dragon) medium bombers and torpedo-bombers, codenamed 'Peggy' by air intelligence, were encountered in action. Production was limited and got off to a late start in the war, and by the time of its service debut in 1944 the Ki-67's potency was negated both by Allied fighter superiority and by the poor quality of the JAAF and JNAF crews which operated it. To take the place of the Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally' and the Nakajima Ki-49 'Helen', the Air Office (Koku Hombu) issued specifications for a new bomber to the Mitsubishi concern in November 1940. The work was led by Chief Engineer Ozawa on an aircraft based on the beautiful Japanese lines and powered by the new generation of powerful Ha-100 double-row 18- cylinder radial engines. Three prototypes of the Ki-67-I were completed between December 1942 and March 1943, the first making its initial flight on 27 December 1942. The Ki-67-I proved to be fast (though not as fast as originally specified), and extremely manoeuvrable with loops and barrel-rolls being carried out with ease in an unloaded configuration. Although adopted for service as the Army Type 4 Heavy Bomber, such was the promise of the Ki-67-I that even the Imperial Japanese Navy was impressed, and made early representations to Mitsubishi. On 5 January 1943 Mitsubishi received an order to convert 100 Ki-49s as torpedo-bombers, with internal racks capable of handling the standard 450mm Navy Type 91 Model II aerial torpedo: these saw service with the 762nd Kokutai (air group) from the autumn of 1944 onwards. The Ki-67- I was issued in small numbers to the veteran 7th, 14th, 16th, 61st, 62nd, 74th, 98th and 110th Hikosentais (air regiments) and saw limited action over China, Biak and Sansapor in north western New Guinea, and Sumatra in the summer of 1944. The type was recognized as such for the first time by the Allies in October 1944, during the US 3rd Fleet's attacks on Formosa and the Ryukyus where the Hiryu served in the 8th Hikoshidan (air division) based on Formosa under navy control. Thereafter Ki-67-Is were encountered over the Philippines, off Iwo Jima, in the strikes on the US 20th Air Force's bases on Saipan and Tinian, and in the Okinawa campaign where it was used as a suicide aircraft. For suicide missions the JAAF used modified Peggys known as the Ki-61-I KAI with armament removed and a solid nose packed with explosive. Only two of the more powerful Ki-67-II variant were made, production of army and navy Ki-67-Is amounting to 696. It was the best Japanese medium bomber of World War II.

Well written article, but slight correction. The Kamikaze version (To-Go Ki and Sakuradan Ki) did not have " a solid nose packed with explosive" . From the view point of center of gravity this is obvious. The To-Go Ki had 2 800KG bombs in the fuselage and a long detonating fuse stuck ut of the nose. The Sakuradan Ki had a gigantic "Sakuradan" , which emitted explosive gas in the forward direction (same principle as modern day HEAT shell) in mid fuselage.

On my last visit to the SWAP (July 2013), I found a relatively intact Ki-67 . Have photos of it.

About the KI-49. When I say 1 hit wonders I didn't mean she was soft, in fact the KI-49 was also with armor and was designed by the same man who designed the KI-44 Shoki, Dr. Takeo Doi. The problem with the KI-49 was her engines, she didn't have enough power and as a result traveled about 249-259 mph, depending on bomb load. What is worthwhile to note however is that the KI-49 was the first Japanese bomber to have a tail turret. but better than the KI-67, now way.

With out a doubt the Mitsubishi KI-67 was the best japanese bomber of the war. Where as the Mitsubishi G4M3 Bomber (Betty) has the most recognition as being the Japanese Bomber of the war. it may of been more numerical, but never better. The KI-67 was designed with the idea of crew safety and it incorporated self sealing fuel tanks right from the start and much better crew armor. She really by size and weight is a medium bomber and not a heavy bomber, oh well! The KI-67 took a long time to come into mased production cause the Koku Hombu (Air Ministry) wanted a bomber, then a tyorpedo plane, then a fighter of different calibers instead of just going forth with the bomber proposal all aslong. With all the delay the KI-67 came into service in time for the Battle of the Phillipinese in 1944 and suffered tremendous losses at tyhew hands of the american fliers. It would of been better for the Japanese to have bought the KI-67 out before the KI-49 Donryu cause all in all the KI-67 was a superior plane from any angle. Where as the Ki-49 was considered slow, and under powered it was also typical of Japanese planes. also known as 1 hit wonders!

There is no doubt that this was an extremely well designed and capable aeroplane, and that was the problem. The Japanese High Command wanted it to be developed into all sorts of models. Not just the torpedo bomber mentioned above but other considerations included: night fighter, ground attack, and escort fighter. Rather than getting on with the job in hand these vacillations resulted in a delayed entry of the Hiryu into it's original role of heavy bomber. Mind you by allied standards this was not exactly what they would call a heavy bomber. Suffice to say like so many military organisations when the top brass start interfering things can go astray.

From Wikipedia(Japanese), Imperial Japanese Army ordered 100 Ki-67s with torpedo equipment at Jan /1944.
After that, all Ki-67 can use torpedo (No.161-last)
To be honest my English skill is very poor, but I hope my comment will help you.

On 5 January 1943 Mitsubishi received an order to convert 100 Ki-49s as torpedo-bombers - does it mean Ki-67s?

Mitsubishi Ki-51 (Sonia)

Mitsubishi lent its considerable development and production talents to more than just "Zeroes" during World War 2. The Mitsubishi Ki-51 was an early-war low-wing monoplane intended for the light bomber/dive bomber role and was deployed by the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) for a time in the conflict - particularly during actions over China and Burma. Total production eventually netted 2,385 examples and the type served into the final weeks of the Pacific War in August of 1945. The Ki-51 was codenamed "Sonia" by the Allies. Its formal IJA designation was "Type 99 Assault Plane".

The series began as two prototypes with a first flight recorded during 1939. From this came eleven pre-production aircraft for evaluation. Its design incorporated a crew of two seated in tandem under a long greenhouse-style canopy with the pilot in front and a gunner in back. The cockpit sat ahead of midships and over the monoplane wing assemblies which themselves were straight projections with rounded tips. The large radial piston engine was mounted in a forward compartment as usual and the fuselage tapering elegantly to a point under the tail. A single rounded vertical tail fin was used along with low-set horizontal tailplanes. The undercarriage was of the tail-dragger arrangement and fixed in place with aerodynamic fairings set over the main legs - typical of early-war mounts such as the Ki-51. Dimensions included a length of 9.2 meters with a wingspan of 12 meters and a height of 2.7 meters. Empty weight was 4,130lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 6,415lbs.

Power came from a single Mitsubishi Ha-26-II series 14-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine developing 950 horsepower. The engine drove a three-bladed propeller unit at the front of the aircraft and featured a large spinner for airflow. Maximum speed reached 265 miles per hour with a range out to 660 miles and a service ceiling up to 27,130 feet.

Standard armament included 2 x fixed, forward-firing 7.7mm Type 89 machine guns. The rear operator managed a single 7.7mm Te-4 series machine gun installation on a trainable mount. As a light bomber-dive bomber airframe, the Ki-51 was cleared to carry up to 440lbs of bombs.

Both Mitsubishi and the Tachikawa Army Air Arsenal contributed the impressive numbers of Ki-51 produced. Mitsubishi eventually delivered 1,462 of the stated total with Tachikawa adding a further 913 examples. The Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) became its primary user. All production models fell under the simple designation of "Ki-51".

In the early-going, such aircraft were crucial to the Japanese expansion in the Pacific, particularly against lesser foes where the Ki-51 could act with impunity. The Ki-51 served in the general light bombing role by delivering conventional drop ordnance where needed and doubled as a dive-bombing platform for more accurate strikes on enemy targets and positions. The machine guns could be used as a defensive measure or during strafing runs as needed. The structure of the aircraft proved robust enough that Ki-51s were operated from rough fields which broadened the tactical flexibility of this Mitsubishi design for Japanese warplanners. Later versions were up-gunned by having their 7.7mm machine guns replaced by 2 x 12.7mm Ho-103 series heavy machine guns for a better frontal "punch".

The success of the Ki-51 began to bring about another form, this of a tactical reconnaissance platform constructed by the Mansyu Airplane Manufacturing Company of Manchukuo (a subsidiary of Nakajima). The aircraft incorporated such modern qualities as a retractable undercarriage and three prototypes served as the start of the product. However, the design - designated as Mansyu Ki-71 - was not adopted for serial production.

Fortunes for the Japanese Empire changed after successes found the Allied advance in their drive towards Tokyo. Desperate to turn the tide of the war - or at least engage the allies in favorable surrender terms - stocks of Ki-51 aircraft were reconstituted later in the war for the kamikaze suicide role against Allied warships. For these suicidal endeavors, the aircraft carried an ordnance load of 550lbs to maximize damage and carnage against the enemy. Such ended the wartime career of the Ki-51 as the Japanese surrendered in September of 1945.

The Ki-51 existed in the post-war years by captured forms deployed in Indonesia, China, and North Korea. Indonesian types saw service into its war with the Dutch during its fight for independence and many were lost as a result. Chinese Ki-51s lasted until 1953 in service. North Korean mounts were made available through the Soviet Union immediately after the war, helping to build up the North's air power.

Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally 3' from above - History

Wartime History
Assigned to the 3rd Dokuritsu Chutai (Independent Squadron) under the command of Captain Chuichi Suwabe. Tail Number 546 painted in white and above were three horizontal red stripes with white edges painted on the rudder. The upper surfaces of the fuselage and both wings had green splotches spray painted in a mottled pattern.

Mission History
On May 24, 1945 took off on a night mission to crash land at Yontan Airfieyld on Okinawa. Aboard were Japanese Army soldiers from the Giretsu Special Attack Unit on a suicide mission to destroy parked American aircraft and cause as much damage as possible on a suicide commando raid.

Between 8:00pm to 10:00pm other Japanese aircraft made a diversionary bombing raid against Okinawa to confuse U. S. defenses. Meanwhile, this Ki-21 made a successful wheels up landing on the runway at Yontan Airfield. While skidding, the left engine nacelle tore off behind the bomber rear and the nose perspex fell off.

After skidding to a halt, approximately eight to ten commandos exited the bomber and began their suicide commando raid destroying nine parked aircraft and damaged twenty-nine others at Yontan Airfield. They also managed to set fire to 70,000 gallons of fuel causing a huge fire that was visible miles away. By dawn, each commando was killed by defending American personnel.

On May 25, 1945 the wreckage of this bomber was photographed where it crash landed on the runway at Yontan Airfield. Afterwards, the U. S. Navy 87th Naval Construction Battalion (87th NCB) "Seabees" personnel used a pair of cranes to lift the bomber and tow it off the runway. Afterwards, American personnel began removing pieces of aluminum from the wreckage as souvenirs. The ultimate fate of this bomber is unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

Production Record for the Type 97 Heavy Bomber (Ki-21) (Sally) by James Long
The Earthmovers 1943-1945 (1945) pages 266-267
Emblems of the Rising Sun (1999) page 61
Setting Suns (2007) page 13 (lower photo)

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Ki-21 "Sally", Japanese Heavy Bomber

1713 built at Mitsubishi Jukogyo K.I. and 351 at Nakajima Hikoki K.K. from 1938 to September 1944:

The Ki-21-I used two 850 hp (634 kW) Nakajima Ha-5-Kai engines and had just three guns. Its bomb load was 1650 lbs (750kg.)

The Ib added two guns and a larger bomb bay. The fuel tanks were partially self-sealing.

The Ic added a sixth gun and more fuel capacity.

The IIb replaced the dorsal greenhouse canopy of earlier versions with a turret containing a 12.7mm Type 1 machine gun.

The Ki-21 was the Japanese Army’s principal bomber during the China Incident. It continued in use throughout the Pacific War, with some committed to combat in the Philippines as late as 1944. Like most Japanese bombers, it was lightly constructed and initially had no self-sealing fuel tanks, and it became an easy target for Allied fighters.

The design dated back to 1936 and came in response to a Japanese Army request for an aircraft to match the best foreign twin-engine bombers. The Mitsubishi design team, led by Nakata and Ozawa, completed two prototypes in December 1936. The Army could not choose between the Ki-21 and the competing Ki-19 and ordered improved prototypes in June 1937. The improved Ki-21 easily won the competition and went into production in early 1938. "Sally" was a considerably leap forward for Japanese Army aviation, and it was well liked by its crews but, by 1941, it was already obsolescent.

The initial Allied code name for this aircraft was "Jane," but this was quickly changed to "Sally," apparently because MacArthur did not appreciate having a Japanese bomber named after his wife. The Ki-IIb variant was named "Gwen" until it was realized that this was simply a new variant of "Sally" with the dorsal greenhouse canopy replaced with a turret. This was an attempt to reduce the vulnerability of "Sally" to modern Allied fighter aircraft.

A number of Ki-21-Ias were converted to transports pending delivery of the Ki-57 "Topsy". During the Lae campaign, the Japanese experimented with the use of "Sally" as a PT boat hunter, in an attempt to protect their barge traffic from Rabaul to New Guinea. This proved unsuccessful. "Sally" was also used in special operations, such as the raid on Yontan airfield on Okinawa following its capture by the Americans.

The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2007-2009, 2014 by Kent G. Budge. Index

Mitsubishi Ki-21 'Sally 3' from above - History

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi estimated date of assembly April 1943. True serial number 1177. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 97 Heavy Bomber / Ki-21-IIb Sally manufacture number 6323.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 14th Sentai. Tail number 4 painted in yellow. This bomber was painted with light blue under surface and mottled light blue, light green upper surfaces. Armed with a manual turret with a 12.7mm machine cannon. In the nose, remote tail and two waist positions (with saddle magazines) were 7.7mm machine guns.

Mission History
On November 7, 1943 one of nine Ki-21 that took off on a bombing mission against Nadzab Airfield flying at an altitude of 19,700' to 21,000'. The bombers were escorted by Ki-43 Oscars from the 13th Sentai and 248th Sentai. Over the target, intercepted by U. S. fighters and shot down.

Reportedly two of the crew might have parachuted out or been thrown clear before the bomber exploded and crashed near Bandong (Baghmara) roughly 15 miles north of Nadzab. At least two of the crew did not bail out and their bodied were burned in the wreckage and two others were thrown clear.

After the bomber exploded mid air, the wreckage landed on two sides of a steep valley. The crash site was located by Allied intelligence and investigated.

ATIU / Crashed Enemy Aircraft Report No. 17 (CEAR 17):
"The latest integral component is hydraulic cylinder dates 7 March 1943. The bomb release solenoid dated September 1943 is believed to be a replacement."

Richard Dunn adds:
"The wreckage was found on two different sides of a steep valley after the bomber exploded in air. Steep slopes and rain made inspection of some parts impossible."

Production Record for the Type 97 Heavy Bomber (Ki-21) (Sally) by James Long page 3
ATIU / Crashed Enemy Aircraft Report 17 (CEAR 17)
Emblems of the Rising Sun page 20 (14th Sentai)
248th Hiko Sentai: A Japanese &ldquoHard luck&rdquo Fighter Unit Part 2 by Richard Dunn
"A Type 97 bomber ( Ki 21-II No. 6323) exploded in spectacular fashion. Its tail with a stylized yellow marking resembling a “4” and part of a wing landed on a hillside while most of the bomber ended up on another hillside on the opposite side of a valley."
Thanks to Jim Long and Richard Dunn for additional information

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Vào năm 1936, Không lực Lục quân Đế quốc Nhật Bản công bố một yêu cầu về một kiểu máy bay ném bom hạng nặng có số thành viên đội bay ít nhất bốn người, tốc độ tối đa 400 km/h, có khả năng bay trên không ít nhất năm giờ, và mang được tải trọng bom 750 kg. Các hãng Mitsubishi và Nakajima đã chế tạo những chiếc nguyên mẫu, kết quả của cuộc cạnh tranh cho thấy thiết kế Ki-21 của Mitsubishi tỏ ra trội hơn kiểu Ki-19 của hãng cạnh tranh. Tuy nhiên, sau quá trình đánh giá cả hai kiểu máy bay, Mitsubishi được yêu cầu thay đổi kiểu động cơ Ha-6 bố trí hình tròn sang sử dụng kiểu Nakajima Ha-5 vốn được sử dụng trên chiếc Ki-19, và sau khi cải tiến bề mặt cánh đuôi, chiếc Ki-21 được chấp nhận đưa vào sản xuất hằng loạt như là kiểu "Máy bay ném bom hạng nặng Lục quân Loại 97 Kiểu 1A". Chiếc máy bay được bắt đầu đưa ra hoạt động vào mùa Hè năm 1938, thay thế cho kiểu máy bay ném bom Fiat BR.20 vốn bị buộc phải mua để lấp vào vai trò được dự định cho chiếc Ki-21.

Các phiên bản cải tiến được tiếp tục đưa ra cho đến khi việc sản xuất kết thúc vào tháng 9 năm 1944.

Mitsubishi Ki-21 có lẽ là máy bay ném bom Nhật Bản được biết đến nhiều nhất trong Thế Chiến II. Nó bắt đầu hoạt động trong cuộc Chiến tranh Trung-Nhật, và trong giai đoạn đầu của cuộc chiến tại Thái Bình Dương, hoạt động trong các chiến dịch Malaya thuộc Anh, Miến Điện, Đông Ấn thuộc Hà Lan và Tân Guinea, cũng như tấn công các mục tiêu xa tận Tây Trung Quốc, Ấn Độ và Bắc Australia. Những thành công ban đầu nhanh chóng bị lu mờ khi không quân Đồng Minh đối địch được cũng cố, một xu hướng không thể đảo ngược cho dù phiên bản mới, Ki-21 IIb, được đưa vào hoạt động với tháp súng bên trên xoay bằng bàn đạp. Cho dù bị mất ưu thế, nó vẫn được giữ lại phục vụ cho đến hết chiến tranh, được sử dụng như máy bay vận tải (cùng với phiên bản vận tải dân sự MC-21), huấn luyện đội bay ném bom và huấn luyện nhảy dù, liên lạc, các phi vụ vận chuyển biệt kích và thám báo bí mật, các phi vụ cảm tử.

Chín chiếc Ki-21 Ia/b (dưới tên gọi Nagoya) được người Nhật gửi sang Thái Lan, và được Không quân Hoàng gia Thái Lan sử dụng trong cuộc xung đột với lực lượng Pháp thuộc phe Vichy tại Đông Dương.

Vào giai đoạn cuối của chiến tranh, chiếc Ki-21 được Lực lượng Đặc nhiệm Giretsu sử dụng chống lại lực lượng Đồng Minh tại Okinawa, Iwo Jima, và quần đảo Marianas. Đây là một phần trong những nỗ lực cuối cùng, cũng đồng thời sử dụng các lực lượng cảm tử Thần Phong (Kamikaze), nhằm trì hoãn hoặc ngăn chặn các cuộc tấn công của Không lực Mỹ từ Okinawa vào Chính quốc Nhật Bản.

World War II Database

ww2dbase The Ki-21 medium bombers, designated Army Type 97 Heavy Bombers, were the standard and best bomber used by the Japanese Army during WW2. The design came out of the Feb 1936 requirement for a modern bomber for the Army, and the first prototype took flight in Dec that year. The design was ordered into production very quickly, and by 1937 they were being used in combat in China. After the Pacific War began, they were also seen over Malaya, Burma, and the Dutch East Indies. Although they were largely obsolete by 1943, they continued to serve in some combat and mostly non-combat roles until the end of the war. Nine aircraft of the Ki-21 I variant, nicknamed Nagoya, were given to Thailand for use against Vichy French forces in Indochina. At the end of the war, several Ki-21 bombers were employed by the Army as Giretsu special attack forces for suicide attacks.

ww2dbase The Allies originally gave the Ki-21 bombers the code name of "Jean", but Douglas MacArthur, whose wife's name was Jean, did not like the designation, and the code name was quickly changed to "Sally". After the introduction of variant IIb, because the dorsal greenhouse was removed, the Allies thought it was a new bomber design, therefore a new code name of "Gwen" was assigned. When it was realized that these new bombers were actually variants of Ki-21, "Gwen" bombers were code named "Sally 3".

ww2dbase Source: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Aug 2007


MachineryTwo Nakajima Ha-5 KAI Army Type 97 radial engines rated at 1,080hp each
Armament2x7.7mm Type 89 machine guns, 1x7.7mm Type 1 machine gun, 1,000kg of bombs
Span22.50 m
Length16.00 m
Height4.35 m
Wing Area69.60 m²
Weight, Empty4,691 kg
Weight, Loaded7,492 kg
Weight, Maximum7,916 kg
Speed, Maximum431 km/h
Service Ceiling8,600 m
Range, Normal1,500 km
Range, Maximum2,704 km

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
6 Aug 2007 09:40:03 PM

You have this listed as a fighter, when in fact it is a bomber. FYI.

2. C. Peter Chen says:
7 Aug 2007 06:42:45 AM

Error corrected. Thanks for pointing it out!

3. Bill says:
19 Feb 2009 04:09:43 PM

Info on "Sally" aircraft in formation: Mitsubishi Ki-21-11a from the Hamamatsu Army Bomber School.

4. Bill says:
19 Feb 2009 04:21:09 PM

Photo of crashed "sally" I think this is one of the aircraft, that made a commando raid on Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. One out of nine aircraft despatched by the 3rd Dokuritsu Hikotai (Independent Wing) managed to crash-land near parked U.S. aircraft and supply dumps considerable damage was done by fanatical commandos. If I'm in error, I apologize. Sometimes, I work from memory, many of my files were destroyed years ago. bill.

5. Bill says:
19 Feb 2009 04:27:13 PM

A transport version of the "Sally" was also built. Mitsubishi MC-21 and operated by Dai Nippon Koku K.K. on cargo service between Japan, Manchuria and China.

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.


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