Type 3 Fighter Hien (244th Air Combat Group)
|Coastal Defense Ship||Destroyer|
|Light Cruiser||Torpedo Cruiser|
|Heavy Cruiser||Training Cruiser|
|Aviation Cruiser||Fast Battleship|
|Light Carrier||Standard Aircraft Carrier|
|Armored Carrier||Seaplane Tender|
|Submarine||Aircraft Carrying Submarine|
|Submarine Tender||Fleet Oiler|
|Repair Ship||Amphibious Assault Ship|
Piloted by the 244th Air Squadron, the Type 3 Fighter Hien is the battle-hardened Army's fighter aircraft, developed in Chofu, Tokyo for capital defense. During the final stages of the war, the Hien was converted to the highly-reliable, air-cooled Type 5 Fighter to counter new models of enemy fighters.
The 244th Air Squadron consisted of highly skilled mainland defenders from the IJAAF, whose main objective was to defend the skies of the capital of Japan. Because of this, priority was given to supply them with the most state-of-the-art equipment, maintenance crew, advanced training and the most elite pilots. Near the end of the war, they were task to defend against the high speed, high altitude, heavy firepower B-29 Superfortress and their near constant bombardments. It was considered extremely difficult, dangerous and borderline suicidal to engage a B-29 due to very few planes being able to reach them. They were held with high regard by the Emperor himself despite knowing any sortie could be their final.
- Nagao Shirai managed to shoot down 11 B-29s, Teruhiko Kobayashi 10 and Chuichi Ichikawa 9 with a total of 83 confirmed kills within the squadron, 73 were B-29s and more than 100 damaged.
- The base of the 244th is now the Chofu Airport.
- 飛行第244戦隊 - Wikipedia (Japanese link)