Kawasaki Ki-32 “Mary” light bomber, c. 1940.

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Kawasaki Ki-32 light bomber, c. 1940, with majestic Mt. Fuji in the background.

“The Kawasaki Ki-32 was developed in response to a May 1936 Imperial Japanese Army specification to replace the Kawasaki Ki-3 light bomber with a completely indigenously designed and built aircraft.

“The design dated from May 1936, when the Japanese Army instructed Kawasaki to design a replacement for the Ki-3 light bomber, and the first prototype flew in March 1937. There were serious teething difficulties with the liquid-cooled Ha-9 engine, but the Japanese Army was now fully engaged in China and needed all the aircraft it could get. ‘Mary’ went into production in July 1938. At that time its performance was the equal of its counterparts in the West and helped bring the Japanese Imperial Army into parity with other Western air forces.

“‘Mary’ was the last Army bomber to use a liquid-cooled engine, which proved vulnerable to battle damage, and its performance was limited somewhat by its fixed undercarriage. Bombs were carried in an internal bay. ‘Mary’s’ last major combat action was at Hong Kong in 1941, where fighter opposition and antiaircraft defenses were almost nonexistent. Thereafter, it was used for training.

“In 1945, Indonesian People’s Security Force (IPSF) (Indonesian pro-independence guerrillas) captured a small number of aircraft at numerous Japanese air bases, including Bugis Air Base in Malang (repatriated 18 September 1945). Most aircraft were destroyed in military conflicts between the Netherlands and the newly proclaimed-Republic of Indonesia during the Indonesian National Revolution of 1945-1949.”



Maximum speed: 423 km/h (228 knots, 263 mph) at (3,940 m) 12,900 ft
Cruise speed: 300 km/h (162 knots, 186 mph)
Range: 1,965 km (1,060 nm, 1,220 mi)
Service ceiling: 8,920 m (29,265 ft)

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