View Full Version : Thailand Hurricanes?

1st June 2009, 11:31
In the book......

"On the Paths of Ash" by Robert Holman

Holman makes mention of captured Hurricanes from the Thais being used against the allied troops in Malaya.

I know there were Hurricanes in Singapore still in the crates and not assembled.

Does anyone have any further information on these Thai Hurricanes being used after Thailand's surrender?

Any help would be appreciated


1st June 2009, 12:03
Hmmm not sure where the Thais would have got the Hurricanes because they had already surrendered on the first day of the Japanese invasion, and Hurricanes didn't arrive in Singapore until well after that.

None of the Thai aviation sites claim to have either owned or even ordered any Hurricanes. The closest that they had was the Curtis 75Ns.

Seems he is getting rather mixed up


1st June 2009, 12:28
Hi Amrit

I did rather wonder if that was the case having looked through my books on the subject and the web and coming up with nothing. After that, the next course of action is to ask on this forum for the definitive answer.


Graham Boak
1st June 2009, 17:04
The Japanese ace Kato tested a Hurricane, although I believe this was in Burma rather than Singapore (and certainly not Thailand, as said above). Apparently up to four were available. He was particularly impressed by the firepower, and suggested using it in combat, but the idea was rejected by his commanders.

There are a number of photos of Hurricanes in Japanese markings: I recommend a visit to j-aircraft.com, although I can't point you at anything more precise within the site.

Alex Smart
2nd June 2009, 14:44

Perhaps it was just a mix up with translations somewhere,
Curtiss HAWKS and HAWKER Hurricanes ?


Graham Boak
3rd June 2009, 09:13
I haven't seen any comment suggesting that Thai Air Force aircraft were involved in the fighting, either in Thai hands or in Japanese. There seems to be no reason why the Japanese would need to comandeer such types. I suspect it is either a garbled version of the Kato story, or misidentification. Otherwise, it could perhaps be an account of a "friendly fire" incident.

Graham Boak
4th June 2009, 14:12
The 64th Sentai, including Kato, could have encountered flyable Hurricanes at Singapore, at Palembang, and at Rangoon. In Hurricanes Over Singapore (Cull/Sortehaug) it is stated that at least two such were airworthy at Palembang, one of which crashed and killed 2/Lt Aiko Kikuchi on 10th March 1942.

Incidentally, the book also states that at least 10 of the P-40s captured in Java were flown on operations by the 50th and 12th Sentais, in Burma in 1943. Perhaps that deserves its own thread?

Graham Boak
4th June 2009, 17:31
Nick Millman has posted the following information on j-aircraft.com.

"The Hurricanes were captured at Palembang on or about 18th February 1942 and three were repaired and restored there to flyable condition with the intention of being used by each Chutai of the 64th. One was destroyed in an accident on its first flight test, as you describe, stalling immediately after take off and killing the pilot. On 20th March 1942 one of the remaining Hurricanes was flown to Chieng Mai in Thailand with a heavy escort of Hayabusa where it was subsequently destroyed by the AVG ground strafing on 24th March 1942. The fate of the third is unknown but it may have been one of the aircraft subsequently tested at the Army Air Arsenal depot in Singapore.

The Hurricanes were originally intended to be used for ground strafing as the Japanese airmen were impressed by the armament and the effectiveness of the aircraft as used in this role against them by the RAF. The view prevailed that the aircraft must be flown in conspicuous Japanese markings to avoid any suspicion of clandestine use, which goes against some of the more fanciful rumours about these aircraft. Photographs provide the evidence that these aircraft were marked with the Hinomaru and the Sentai tail insignia, the former RAF markings being painted out.

Evidence for this information is from private correspondence with former 64th Sentai pilot Yoshito Yasuda. Despite the intention none of the Hurricanes were flown in any direct operations against the Allied forces."