Development of Chinese Nationalist air force (1937–1945)

Development Of Chinese Nationalist Air Force (1937–1945)

Development of Chinese Nationalist air force (1937–1945)

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The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF) was formed by the Kuomingtang after the establishment of the Aviation Ministry in 1920. As tensions mounted between the China and Imperial Japan in the 1930s, a number of smaller Chinese warlord airforce' men and equipment became integrated into the ROCAF in a centralized effort to counter Imperial Japanese military ambitions.



During the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), the ROCAF participated in attacks on Japanese warships on the eastern front and along the Yangtze river including interdiction and close-air support for the Battle of Shanghai in 1937. Initially, the Chinese frontline fighter aircraft were mainly Curtiss Hawk IIs and IIIs and Boeing P-26Cs. These engaged Japanese fighters in many major air battles beginning on the 14th of August 1937, when Imperial Japanese Navy warplanes raided Chienchiao airbase; "814" has thus become known as "Air Force Day". Chinese Boeing P-26/281 fighters engaged Japanese Mitsubishi A5M fighters in the world's first dogfight between all-metal monoplane fighters. A unique mission in April 1938 saw two Chinese Martin B-10 bombers fly a mission over Japan, but dropping only anti-war leaflets over the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Saga. It was a war of attrition for the Chinese pilots, as many of their most experienced ace fighter pilots, such as Lieutenant Liu Tsui-Kang and Colonel Kao Chih-Hang, were lost. A half-year into this Second Sino-Japanese War, which is considered the...
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