Captured Japanese Nakajima Ki-43-II Oscar New Guinea
As the Japanese began to lose ground in New Guinea and we started moving closer to Japan, we would either put in an airstrip or in some cases take over airstrips the Japanese had previously used and abandoned. Most of the time when we took over abandoned airstrips there would be a lot of destroyed enemy aircraft on the ground that had been caught in one of our air raids. When the 433rd Fighter Squadron took over this particular airstrip they found a brand new Oscar, aka "Army Zero", that had been pushed back in the jungle far enough that it was in perfect condition. They wanted to test the flying capabilities of the Oscar against our planes so they mounted a camera on the Oscar and put it up in the air in mock dogfights with our planes. None of our pilots wanted to fly the Oscar but one relunctantly agreed. Of course there was no ammunition fired, just the gun cameras rolling but when all the planes were back down and they looked at the film, they found that the Oscar at some point had each one of our planes in his sights and and at no time was he in the sights of our planes. From what I have read in the book on the 475th Fighter Group, the tactics for fighting the Oscar's were to avoid the old fashioned "dog fights" in the air but instead to fly with a wing man and after gaining altitude, to fly straight down through the enemy formation.
Notice you can even see a USAAF emblem painted on the bottom of the wing.
Photo and Story Courtesy Staff Sergeant Gail Allison Collection