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Rick Wilkes
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Airfix Dogfight Double 1/72 F4F-4 Wildcat vs B5N2 Kate

June 7, 2017 · in Aviation · · 12 · 3K

This display represents the factual interception of LT Tomonaga Joichi, commander of the Hiryu's Air Group by LCDR James Thach commander of the Yorktown's Air Group.

LT Tomonaga led the Hiryu's second strike force of 10 's and 6 Zeros that launched at about 1335. Based on reports that there were 3 US carriers, and that LT Kobayashi's force had heavily damaged or possibly sunk one, LT Tomonaga was in search of the other 2.

Sighting an apparently undamaged US carrier Tomonaga split his force into 4 sections and attacked. This time the Zeros kept the CAP mostly at bay until the Kate's had begun to penetrate the screen. LCDR led a last gasp group of fighters off the Yorktown as Tomonaga's attack was unfolding. Barely having time to crank up his landing gear and build speed Thach encountered Tomonaga's aircraft. Firing at close range he set Tomonaga's aircraft on fire, but he was still able to launch his torpedo before a wing folded and he crashed into the sea. Of the 10 Kate's attacking, 4 or 5 made drops and scored 2 hits leaving the Yorktown dead in the water and listing so much that she had to be abandoned.

This represents LCDR Thach's . I changed the aircraft number to "White 1" based on research that showed that while Thach had flown "White 23" while escorting Torpedo 3, for this engagement he flew "White 1" which was actually a spare aircraft.

This represent LT Tomonaga's Kate. I used the kit decals.

4 Kate's made it back to the Hiryu.

The Hiryu was preparing to launch a third strike consisting of 6 Zeros, and all its remaking attack aircraft 5 Val's & 4 Kate's with another dozen Zeros providing a CAP when ~25 SBD's from the Enterprise including about 12 orphans from the Yorktown attacked hitting her with at least 4 bomb leaving her a blazing ruin.

4 June 1942

Reader reactions:
7  Awesome

12 responses

  1. Nice! Never seen that kit before - I like it.

  2. Well done Rick had to put glasses on thought I was seeing double.Low and behold I did see double,great presentation really like the 2 idea.

  3. Nice presentation Rick, well done.

  4. Thanks guys, I appreciate your comments

  5. Rick, now that's a cool idea, and a great presentation too! I have really enjoyed all these articles from the group build and I have learned so much great history too. Thanks so much Rick! 🙂

  6. Nice builds, and very cool display. I've thought about doing something similar with different pairs of adversaries but haven't attempted it yet. I'd love to get one posed rolling over with the pilot starting to bail out... This makes me want to get it done!

  7. Can't wait Greg.

  8. Another great duo!

  9. Beautiful work as usual Rick... I really like how you have them displayed... High side Starboard pass. I wanted to build a Yorktown F4F but didn't have any Squadron emblem decals. So I built the Joe Foss plane instead.

    Looks great and the article is very interesting too. Thanks again for contributing to our Midway GB my friend.

  10. Hi Rick,
    The display and finish is outstanding.
    regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  11. Thank you all for the comments, I really do appreciate them.

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