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"Code Names of Japanese Fighter Aircraft" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following short report on Allied code names for Japanese aircraft was printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 21, March 25, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Code names are used by Allied forces to designate Japanese aircraft. In order to make these code names more familiar, there is set forth below a list of the names used to designate some of the Japanese fighters, followed by a brief explanation of their significance.

1. Hap               5. Oscar
2. Rufe6. Claude
3. Zeke7. Dick
4. Nate8. Perry

Hap, Rufe, and Zeke are all Type Zero aircraft. Zeke is designated by the Japanese as the Type Zero, Mark I, Carrier-borne Fighter, Model 2. The designation of Hap is the same, except that Hap is Mark II where Zeke is Mark I. Rufe is a float-plane fighter, and except for the substitution of the float to replace the wheeled landing gear, this aircraft is believed to be practically the same as Zeke structurally.

Nate is Type 97. It has seen service in various areas, but being an older model, its performance is not up to that of the more recent Hap and Zeke.

Oscar is Type 1, and is believed to be a modification of Nate.

Claude, Dick, and Perry have been less frequently encountered than the fighters above mentioned. They are, respectively, Type 96, Type 98, and Type Zero.

It is well to bear in mind that Japanese fighter aircraft appear to be used with minor alterations by both the Army and Navy Air Services. Zeke and Hap, although used prominently by the Navy, have been reported in operation with Army units also. Likewise, Nate and Oscar, which have been reported most frequently in use by the Army, have, upon occasions of emergency, been used by the Naval Air Service.

For further details on these planes see Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 19, p. 1.


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