Feb. 14, 1942 (Saturday)

Netherlands East Indies

In the “Long Room” at lunch I spoke with a Dutch flying officer who had just returned from Madoera Island, where he was making an official investigation of the wreckage of a Japanese “Zero” fighter. It landed in a rice paddy — they had to build a dam around it, pump the water out, then dig the mud away. As they had not quite completed the job, details of the propeller and engine manufacture are lacking from the dope he gave me: Span 35 feet (approximately), length 26 feet (approximately). American P-47 is most similar looking plane. The design, while purely Japanese, is derived from Seversky’s designs. Elevator flippers very narrow (10 inches approximately). Retractable tailwheel and hook. Hook very heavy, with spring-loaded automatic release. Flush-riveted fuselage — good workmanship. Small narrow flaps. Retractable, single strut landing gear. Twin row, Pratt & Whitney design, 16-1800 h.p. engine (brand-new). U.S.-made “Eclipse” generator. Two Oerlikon 20mm cannon on movable (pilot-controlled) mounts, which permit horizontal horizontal and vertical movement. Two .30-caliber machine guns (in wings, as cannons were), which are used to aim the canon. Three or four bladed prop. No armor nor bulletproof glass. Excellent telescopic site. Folding wings. Pilot dressed, under flight clothing, in white silk shirt and black silk shorts. Gold-bordered silk Jap flag around neck. (This is the traditional hari-kari outfit and ensures immediate entrance to heaven.) Also, 11-inch leather boots. Excellent parachute with small narrow straps.