Kawanishi George 21 (single engine)
N 0306
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at Freeman Field

Fast maneuverable, fully protected and heavily armed, the NIKI Kawanishi Shiden (Violet Lightning) codenamed GEORGE, was the best Japanese naval fighter of the war.  Almost as maneuverable as the Zero, it was much faster, carried four 20mm cannon, and did not fall apart or explode after one or two strikes.  Courtesy Air Power magazine, Jan 1975

In one of WWII's most unlikely non-sequitors, GEORGE was developed from a fine, but superfluous floatplane fighter, Kawannishi's N1K Kyofu (Might Wind) codenamed Rex.  It had been designed to provide air cover for Japanese landing forces, but although fast (300 mph at 18,000 ft) a floatplane fighter was no match for single engined enemy fighters operating without the drag of the one main and two outboard floats.  Courtesy Air Power magazine, Jan 1975

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Jim West
Page last revised 12/05/2019