25th Air Flotilla

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25th Air Flotilla
RabaulJapaneseEnlistedFighterPilots.jpg
Enlisted fighter pilots of the Tainan Naval Air Group, part of the 25th Air Flotilla, pose at Lae in 1942. Several of these aviators would be among the top Japanese Naval aces, including Saburo Sakai (middle row, second from left), and Hiroyoshi Nishizawa (standing, first on left).
Active 1 April 1942 – 5 May 1944
10 July 1944 - 10 February 1945
Country Empire of Japan
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Branch Imperial Japanese Navy
Type Naval aviation unit
Role Bomber, fighter, and reconnaissance
Size Varied
Garrison/HQ Rabaul, New Britain
Lae, Buka, and Buin, Papua New Guinea, and Shortland Islands and Tulagi, Solomon Islands
Engagements New Guinea Campaign
Solomon Islands Campaign
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Sadayoshi Yamada

The 25th Air Flotilla (第二五航空戦隊, Dai Nijūgo Kōkū Sentai, "Nijūgo Kōsen"?) was a combat aviation unit of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the Pacific Campaign of World War II. The flotilla, mainly consisting of land-based bombers, fighters, and reconnaissance aircraft, reported to the IJN's 11th Air Fleet. As originally organized, the flotilla's core units were the 4th Naval Air Group, Tainan Naval Air Group, and Yokohama Naval Air Group. The 4th flew bombers, the Tainan fighters, and the Yokohama reconnaissance aircraft.

The 25th Air Flotilla, under the command of Rear Admiral Sadayoshi Yamada, was deployed to Rabaul, New Britain on 29 March 1942. From this location, the unit supported Japanese military operations in the New Guinea and Solomon Islands Campaigns. During these campaigns, the unit was augmented by aircraft from other flotillas. The operational title for this hybrid organization was the 5th Air Attack Force. The organization took heavy losses in air combat over Guadalcanal.

Organization

Date Higher unit Aviation units and vessels
1 April 1942 (original) 11th Air Fleet 4th Air Group[N 1], Tainan Naval Air Group[N 2], Yokohama Naval Air Group[N 3], MV Mogamigawa Maru
29 April 1942 4th Air Group, Tainan Naval Air Group, Yokohama Naval Air Group, Seaplane tender Akitsushima, MV Mogamigawa Maru
1 November 1942 251st Naval Air Group, 702nd Naval Air Group, 801st Naval Air Group
18 May 1943 251st Naval Air Group, 702nd Naval Air Group
1 July 1943 251st Naval Air Group, 501st Naval Air Group[N 4], 702nd Naval Air Group
1 September 1943 251st Naval Air Group, 253rd Naval Air Group[N 5], 702nd Naval Air Group, 705th Naval Air Group[N 6], 751st Naval Air Group[N 7]
1 December 1943 251st Naval Air Group, 253rd Naval Air Group, 751st Naval Air Group
1 February 1944 251st Naval Air Group, 582nd Naval Air Group[N 8], 751st Naval Air Group
5 May 1944 dissolved
10 July 1944 2nd Air Fleet Nansei-Shotō Naval Air Group[N 9]
15 November 1944 203rd Naval Air Group[N 10], 701st Naval Air Group[N 11], Nansei-Shotō Naval Air Group
15 December 1944 3rd Air Fleet 203rd Naval Air Group, 701st Naval Air Group
10 February 1945 dissolved

Commanding officers

Rank Name Date Note
1 Rear-Admiral Sadayoshi Yamada 1 April 1942
2 Rear-Admiral Keizō Ueno 17 November 1942
x dissolved 5 May 1944
3 Captain / Rear-Admiral Tomozō Kikuchi 10 July 1944 Rear-Admiral on 15 October 1944.
4 Captain Toshiyuki Yokoi 24 October 1944
x dissolved 10 February 1945

References

Footnotes
  1. Attack bomber unit. Renamed 702nd Naval Air Group on 1 November 1942.
  2. Fighter unit. Renamed 251st Naval Air Group on 1 November 1942.
  3. Flying boat unit. Renamed 801st Naval Air Group on 1 November 1942.
  4. Combined fighter- and dive bomber unit.
  5. Fighter unit.
  6. Attack bomber unit. Before the Misawa Naval Air Group, until 31 October 1942.
  7. Attack bomber unit. Before the Kanoya Naval Air Group, until 31 October 1942.
  8. Dive bomber unit. Before the 2nd Air Group, until 31 October 1942.
  9. Air base guards unit.
  10. Fighter unit. Before that known as the Atsugi Naval Air Group, until 19 February 1944.
  11. Attack bomber unit. Before that known as the Toyohashi Naval Air Group, until 19 February 1944.
Citations
Bibliography
  • Bullard, Steven (translator) (2007). Japanese army operations in the South Pacific Area New Britain and Papua campaigns, 1942–43. Senshi Sōshō (translated excerpts). Canberra: Australian War Memorial. ISBN 978-0-9751904-8-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hata, Ikuhiko; Izawa, Yasuho (1989) [1975]. Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II. Don Cyril Gorham (translator). Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-315-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lundstrom, John B. (2006). Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-475-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lundstrom, John B. (2005). First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign: Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942 (New ed.). Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-472-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lundstrom, John B. (2005). The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway (New ed.). Annapolis, MD: US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-471-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Tagaya, Osamu (2001). Mitsubishi Type 1 "Rikko" 'Betty' Units of World War 2. Botley, Oxfordshire, UK: Osprey. ISBN 978-1-84176-082-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Monthly "The Maru" series, and "The Maru Special" series, "Ushio Shobō".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Japan)
  • "Ships of the World" series, "Kaijinsha".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Japan)
  • "Famous Airplanes of the World" series and "Monthly Kōku Fan" series, Bunrindō (Japan)