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Nakajima Ki-43-IA, Army Type Fighter Model IA, Peregrine Falcon, "Oscar" Serial No. 750 (MSN 4950) was constructed at Ota in Japan in November 1942 and sent to Truk Island. In late 1942, JAAF units were sent to Rabaul area to reinforce Japanese Navy air units in the area including the 12th Hiko Dan, a composite Brigade comprising the 1st and 11th Sentais equipped with Ki-43-1’s. The 11th Sentai transferred from Soerabaja to Truk by aircraft carrier in December 1942. Fifty seven Ki-43-1’s were then flown to Vunakanau, Rabaul on 18 December 1942.

During 1945, the Oscar made a rough landing at Vunakanau Airfield and damaged the propeller ad engine which needed to be replaced. After being repaired the aircraft was hidden in the jungle about 4 miles from Vunakanau Airfield.

In September 1945, just after the area was secured by Australian troops, RAAF Squadron Leader Denys Hamilton located this Oscar about 4 miles from Vunakanau Airfield. The RAAF at Rabaul took possession of the aircraft on 25 September 1945 and it was photographed.


Photo:- AWM P00001.340

The Oscar as found about 4 miles from Vunakanau Airfield


The aircraft was later disassembled by Japanese prisoners and was crated and shipped to Australia by the Australian War Department in December 1945. It remained crated in a dismantled state at 2 Aircraft Depot at Richmond Air Force Base in New South Wales until it was offered to the Australian War Memorial who accepted it on 14 July 1949. It was transported to the AWM in Canberra and remained in storage.

Due to space issues at the Museum it was sold to Robert G. “Jack” Curtis for scrap in Sydney in 1953. It was displayed as part of the advertising at Jack Curtis’s car business, “The Motor Market” Parramatta Road, Glebe for about three years.

It was then sold to Syd Marshall in 1962. Syd initially stored the aircraft in open storage on the boundary of Bankstown airfield and later stored the aircraft suspended from the roof in his Marshall Airways hangar at Bankstown airfield until 1980.


Photo:- Dirk Broer

Stored in the open by Syd Marshall


Photo:- Dirk Broer

Stored in the open by Syd Marshall


Photo:- John Hewson

The Oscar inside Syd Marshall Hangar at Bankstown in February 1968


It was then sold to Jack Davidson of The Oaks Airfield, NSW in 1980 after Syd Marshall’s death.


Photo:- Mark Powell

The Oscar at The Oaks Airfield


Photo:- Mark Powell

The Oscar at The Oaks airfield


Photo:- John Parker


It was then sold to Col Pay at Scone, NSW five years later in 1985.  He started to do some exterior restoration work on the Oscar. A planned sale to someone in Japan did not go ahead in November 1992.

Col then sold it to the Alpine Collection in New Zealand and the Oscar left Scone on 27 May 1994 for shipping via container to Wanaka, NZ where restoration of the aircraft to flying status as ZK-OSC was completed using its original engine. Its first engine run was on 27 September 1995. It was only used for taxying however during one high speed taxi on the runway in April 1996 it became airborne for some time!


Oscar Fighter Taxi & Lift Off New Zealand 1996


The aircraft was then purchased by Paul G. Allen (co-Founder of Microsoft) of Vulcan Warbirds Inc., Arlington, WA. It was shipped from New Zealand in 1999. It was stored in 2004 pending restoration to fly as N750N, but then placed on static display in 2005 at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum, Paine Field, Washington, USA.


Nakajima Ki-43-IB, Army Type Fighter Model IB, Peregrine Falcon, "Oscar"
AWM, HARS, Fighter Collection (Duxford), Harada Collection



Ki-43-I Oscar Manufacture Number 750
by Justin Taylan

"He Made Aviation History", The Australian Women's Weekly, Wednesday 12 August 1970



I'd like to thank Justin Taylan, Darryl Ford and Allan Brooker for their assistance with this web page.


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This page first produced 22 May 2020

This page last updated 23 May 2020