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Nakajima Ki.84a/b Hayate in Japanese Army Air Force Service (Aircam Aviation 29)
By Richard M. Bueschel
Publisher: Osprey 1972 52 Pages
PDF 9 MB
As the American transport vessels and their escorts headed norrh toward Luzon from Panay Island in the centre of the Philippines, they were covered by a protective screen of carrier-based F4U Corsairs. USAAF land-based P-38 Lightnings were also on hand, ranging over rhc Mindoro Straits from their bases on Leyte. The lookouts on board ship began to relax. The day was coming to an end as the sun sank lower toward the sea to the west. The date was 5 January 1945, and the possibility of attack from the air was negligible as the Japanese air forces in the Philippines had been all but destroyed. One month earlier, on 7 December, the Americans had blasted a reported 56 Japanese planes out of the skies over Leyte for the loss of a single P-38 Lightning. Since that date Japanese attacks from the air had been sporadic, with suicide attacks largely replacing conventional raids.