General Liu Chi-Sheng
Liu Chi-Sheng was born in the Hebei Province on 22 February
His father was a career officer and in 1931 he followed his footsteps when
he entered the Central Officer Academy due to the emergency in Manchuria.
In 1934 he changed to the Central Aviation School in 1934. He was
graduated from the fifth class of the Central Aviation School in 12
October 1936 with excellent records.
At the start of the Sino-Japanese war, Liu Chi-Sheng was serving in the
21st PS of the 4th PG. This unit was at the time equipped with Curtiss
On 14 August 1937 the IJNAF Kanoya Kokutai despatched nine Mitsubishi G3M2
Model 21 long-range bombers under the command of Lieutenant Commander
Nitta to attack the Schien-Chiao Airfield near Hangchou and nine under the
command of Lieutenant Commander Asano to attack the Kwangteh Airfield. The
Japanese planes took off from Matsuyama Airfield in Taipei at 14:50 (local
Japanese time), each carrying two 250kg bombs.
The raid was soon spotted by the Chinese and the Chinese intelligence
reported that a number of Japanese bombers had taken-off from an airfield
Taiwan, crossed the Formosa Strait and were heading north over Chekiang in
the direction of Hangchou. At this time Hangchou was only defended by a
handful of Hawk IIIs flown by instructors from the Central Chinese
Aviation Academy since reinforcements from Chou Chia-Kou hadn't been able
to fly in due to bad weather. Colonel Kao Chi-Hang had previously flown
from Nanchang to Schien-Chiao to await the 4th PG's Hawk III's which were
flying in from Chou Chia-Kou in the Honan Province and which was under his
command. The three squadrons of the 4th PG encountered heavy weather en
route, with heavy rain and low visibility.
However barely had the warning been received when a number of Hawk IIIs
from the 21st and 23rd Squadrons of the 4th PG landed. The newly arrived
fighters were hurriedly re-fuelled but this was far from complete when the
air alarm started due to the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Nitta's
bombers. Colonel Kao rushed to his aircraft ‘IV-1’, which had just been
landed by Captain Mao Ying-Chu. Ordering Mao to go get another aircraft,
Kao jumped into IV-1 and, without waiting to be refuelled, took off
immediately. He joined up with Lieutenant Tan Won who had just spotted
Nitta's flight (no.1 Shotai) of 3 G3M's.
The Japanese came in at the low "attack" altitude of 500m, which made it
easier for the Chinese to intercept them right after the take-off. The
Japanese dropped their bombs on the airfield doing little damage. Tan
opened fire on the no. 3 G3M in Nitta's Shotai. However, the much more
experienced Kao noted that Tan had opened fire from out of effective
range. Kao then bore in himself and closed in also on the no. 3 Japanese
aircraft. He first silenced the two Japanese gunners and then closed in to
20m(!) firing steadily at the left engine. The wing tanks on the left wing
caught fire and the G3M crashed burning near the town of Banshan near the
Kao then spotted the no. 3 Shotai and attacked the no. 2 aircraft. Again,
Kao bore in to close range riddling the G3M with 70 hits and crippling the
left engine. Kao then ran out of fuel and had to make a dead stick landing
at Schien-Chiao. The Japanese G3M managed to limp back to Matsuyama on one
engine. But as it touched down, the left landing gear collapsed and the
aircraft suffered "moderate damage". The Japanese later took this plane
out of service to be displayed in Japan and, to all intents and purposes,
it was written off.
While Kao was attacking the no. 2 plane in no. 3 Shotai, 21st PS Squadron
Leader Captain Lee Kuei-Tan and his wingmen Lieutenant Wang Wen-Hua and
Lieutenant Liu Chi-Sheng caught up with the no. 3 plane of the Shotai.
Shooting at the hapless G3M repeatedly, the three brought it down near
The two flights led by Lieutenant Commander Asano ran into a single Hawk
III flown by Captain Chow Ting-Fong (Squadron Leader of the 34th
Provisional Pursuit Squadron made up of cadets flying Hawk II's). Chow was
a flight instructor from the Air Force Academy and his guns were empty
from an earlier action over Shanghai. He, nevertheless, dived into the
attack, putting the Japanese off their aim as they dropped their bombs on
When the 22nd PS reached Schien-Chiao, the Japanese bombers had already
dropped their bombs. They took off trying to catch the Japanese bombers
that were flying east. They flew to the mouth of the Chien Tang Chiang
(river) amid low cloud and bad weather where they lost sight of the
Japanese aircraft and returned to base. Pilots included in this chase were
flight leader Lieutenant Le Yi-Chin and 2nd Lieutenant Chang Kuang-Ming.
However, Lieutenant Cheng Hsiao-Yu of the 22nd PS managed to intercepted
them. Cheng had taken off too late to intercept Nitta's flights and flew
on to Chien Tang Chiang on a hunch. Spotting the G3M's, Cheng gave chase
and caught up with no. 2 aircraft of the no. 2 Shotai over Chao-Er. Cheng
shot up the right engine and the wing tanks of this G3M and sent him away
streaming fuel. This G3M eventually ran out of fuel just short of the
Taiwan coast and ditched just off the lighthouse at the mouth of Keelung
The Chinese lost one Hawk III which ran out of fuel when it tried to take
off as Nitta's G3M's arrived overhead. This unfortunate Hawk no. 2105
crashed into a tree, mortally injuring its pilot Lieutenant Liu Shu-Fan.
Another pilot from the same flight, Lieutenant Chin An-Yi, was slightly
injured when his Hawk no. 2106 also ran out of fuel and ended up force
landing next to an AA gun position.
So, the final tally for the day was 3 G3M's destroyed and one written off
on landing. Actually, Chinese pilots made only 3 claims but AA gun crews
also made 3 additional claims. As a result, 6 claims were submitted in
total (and publicised for propaganda purposes).
During the night of 14 and 15 August the pilots of the 4th PG at
Schien-Chiao airbase had to prepare their fighters themselves since the
ground personnel had left the field to take shelter during the air raid on
14 August and had not returned. The pilots carried cans of fuel on their
backs from the storage building to the field, punched holes on the cans
and fuelled the aircraft themselves. They had not eaten since noon, and
were not able to go to bed until 1:30 a.m. They did not sleep long because
alarm sounded less than two hours later.
In the early morning on 15 August Colonel Kao Chi-Hang led 21 Hawk III's
from the 4th PG to intercept a dawn attack on Hangchou by twelve Type 89
torpedo bombers from the Japanese carrier Kaga. In the confused action in
and out of clouds, the 4th PG made 17 claims, more than the total number
of Japanese planes in the action. The actual losses were six shot down and
two ditched in Hangchou Bay.
Kao quickly shot down one of the Type 89's on the edge of the formation
and then attacked another setting it alight. A lucky shot from the
starboard quarter hit Kao in the right arm before passing through the
instrument panel and damaging the engine in his Hawk ‘IV-1’. He was forced
to land at Schien-Chiao and was out of action for 2 months.
21st PS's Squadron Leader Captain Lee Kuei-Tan in no. 2101 attacked the
no. 2 Shotai, shooting down the no. 2 plane over Chao-Er. Two out of the
crew of three were seen to bail out but they were over the Chao-er River
and probably did not survive. Lee then teamed up with Lieutenant Cheng
Hsiao-Yu of 22nd PS in no. 2202 to claim another Type 89. Return fire from
the tightly packed Japanese formation was heavy and Lee's no. 2101
received slight damage to its upper wings while Cheng’s no. 2202 took a
shot in one of its landing wheels. Cheng’s wingman, 2nd Lieutenant Chang
Kuang-Ming also claimed a victory in this combat when he attacked the
leader of a group of Japanese bombers. He opened fire with his two machine
guns. Tracers and bullets truck his target, and the enemy plane turned
into a fireball and plunged out of the sky. He broke off immediately and
turned around for another strike.
Lieutenant Huang Yan-Po in no. 2107 attacked the first Shotai, claiming to
have shot down the no. 3 aircraft in flames. He too took a shot in the
landing wheel. Lieutenant Tan Won in no. 2104 also attacked the same
Shotai and claimed another Type 89. This may have been the aircraft of the
Kaga's Commander, Air Group (CAG) Commander Iwai who was killed in this
action along with his deputy. Lieutenant Wang Wen-Hua caught two Type 89's
trying to attack Schien-chiao from the south and shot one down in flames.
One of the crew, a young ensign, bailed out and was captured. (This
unnamed ensign later defected to the Chinese side and helped translate
decoded Japanese radio messages). Lieutenant Yuan Chin-Han in no. 2108
went after the no. 1 Shotai in a formation and claimed to have shot down
the leader in flames (this may also have been Iwai's plane, it is almost
certain that many Chinese pilots shot at the same planes). Lieutenant Liu
Chi-Sheng in no. 2102 also claimed one Type 89 over Woong-Chia-Fu but was
hit in the fuel tank and force landed at Chaio-shi Airfield where his
plane was further damaged by bombing.
Lieutenant Le Yi-Chin from the 22nd PS made no less than 4 claims but
these are almost certainly duplicates of other claims or overoptimistic.
Squadron vice-commander Lai Ming-Tang landed to refuel and took off again
to claim a shared kill with his wingman Lieutenant Liang Tian-Cheng.
Of the 23rd PS, Captain Mao Ying-Chu, Lieutenant Yang Yu-Ching and
Lieutenant Wang Yin-Hua each claimed one Type 89.
In the end of September the 4th PG transferred all its remaining Curtis
Hawk IIIs to the 5th PG and departed to get Polikarpov I-16 Type 5s
(‘Early’) and I-15bis. This re-equipment was finished in the end of 1937
and the beginning of 1938
Polikarpov I-16 Type 5
As Japanese troop advanced on Wuhan, the
temporary capital of the Chinese government, the 4th PG was made
responsible for the air defence of the city and was based at Fencheng.
On 18 February 1938 the Japanese attacked the town with a reported 16
bombers, escorted by 26 fighters. In fact the actual composition of the
Japanese force was 15 G3M bombers escorted by 11 A5M carrier fighters. The
G3Ms were from the Kanoya Kokutai and led by Lieutenant Commander Sugahisa
Tuneru. The escorts were from the 12th and 13th Kokutais and led by
Lieutenant Takashi Kaneko of the 12th Kokutai.
According to Japanese accounts, there were low clouds over Wuhan, which
caused a lot of confusion. Following warning from the air raid warning
net, the Chinese interceptors began taking off at 12:45. First came eight
I-15bis from the 23rd PS based at Hsiao-Kan led by Captain Lu Ji-Chun.
Then came eleven I-15bis from the 22nd PS led by Captain Lee Kuei-Tan,
commander of the 4th PG, which took off from Hankou Airfield at 13:00.
Finally, ten I-16s of the 21st PS led by the commander Captain Teng Ming-Teh
took off from Hankou Airfield at 13:10.
The first Chinese interceptors to encounter the Japanese were the I-15bis
from the 22nd PS led by Lee’s flight, which included Lieutenant Cheng
Hsiao-Yu in the no. 2 position, Lieutenant Chang Kuang-Ming as no. 3 and
Lieutenant Pa Ching-Cheng as no. 4, were climbing steeply at about 1500
meters south west of the airfield three minutes after take-off. Japanese
planes from the upper rear intercepted them from an altitude thought to be
at 4000 meters. Other Chinese accounts indicate that six A5Ms attacked the
first six aircraft in the Chinese formation and another 6 (sic) attacked
the two flights of five bringing up the rear. It would appear that it was
the 12th Kokutai A5Ms led by Lieutenant Kaneko that attacked Captain Lee
and the first two flights of the 22nd PS. Other A5Ms, including those from
the 13th Kokutai, attacked the two rear flights of the 22nd PS. Caught by
surprise, the 22nd PS was hard hit and the Chinese planes were badly
scattered. Badly shot up in the initial attack, Lee managed to regain
control and headed back to Hankou Airfield. Witnesses on the ground saw
him attempting to land his stricken I-15bis. Unfortunately, it would
appear that Lee’s fuel tanks had been hit and were leaking because, while
on final approach, the I-15bis suddenly burst into flames and crashed.
Lee, the youngest Commanding Officer of the 4th PG at the time, was
killed. Cheng and Pa were hit at the same time and spiralled down. Chang
was attacked by three Japanese aircraft more than a dozen times. He
damaged one of the enemy aircraft, and landed without injury to himself
but counted over 210 bullet holes on his aircraft, including three rounds
lodged in his parachute pack seat. Pa was killed when his aircraft crashed
but Cheng spiralled down and landed safely. After landing he found his
rudder cable severed by a Japanese bullet.
At the rear of the 22nd PS formation, things were just as desperate when
they engaged the Japanese at 3000 meters south-west of Hankou. Lieutenant
Wang Yi was shot down and killed. Captain Liu Chi-Han, 22nd PS leader,
claimed to have shot down the A5M attacking him in a turning fight.
However, Liu’s own engine was also hit in the fight and it exploded
shortly afterwards, forcing Liu to bail out. While descending in his
parachute, two A5Ms came in to strafe Liu. Liu recalled that the Japanese
bullets zipped by "like hailstones". After dodging couple of passes, Liu
allowed his body to go limp and "played dead". Thinking that the Chinese
pilot had been killed, the Japanese broke away allowing Liu to land
safely. Lieutenant Li Peng-Hsiang, also in the rear of the formation, came
under attack by a 13th Kokutai A5M flown by shotai leader PO1c Mitsuga
Mori. Lieutenant Wu Ting-Chun tried to intervene by attacking from above
and behind Mori. However, Mori turned sharply away from the attack,
causing Wu to collide with Li. Wu managed to bail out and survive but Li
was killed. According to other sources Wu claimed to have downed a
Japanese fighter, and then crashed into another one. On returning Mori
claimed to have downed two other I-15bis (his first 4 victories of a total
of 9 – 4 in China). Feng Yu-Ho claimed two Japanese aircraft and Chang
Ming-Sheng claimed a Japanese light bomber.
Arriving from Hsiao-Kan, the 23rd PS I-15bis led by Captain Lu Ji-Chun saw
the surviving 22nd PS planes being chased all over the skies by the
Japanese A5Ms. Joining the melee, the eight I-15bis of the 23rd PS took
the heat off the 22nd PS, allowing the badly mauled survivors to escape.
The Japanese A5Ms, having come off their success against the 22nd PS, were
fighting well with their flights largely intact. The 23rd PS soon found
themselves at a disadvantage. It would appear that the Chinese fighters
were not able to effectively support each other in the fight. Once again,
individual Chinese fighters found themselves under attack by flights of
three A5Ms. Somewhere in the melee, Captain Lu was isolated, shot down and
killed. Lieutenant Wang Yu-Kun, after claiming to have downed two A5Ms,
came under attack by three others. Wang’s controls were shot away and the
I-15bis went into a long glide towards fields north east of Wuhan. The
Japanese planes continued to fire on Wang’s plane but, fortunately, the
Chinese pilot was not hit. The I-15bis eventually crash-landed in a field,
Wang was knocked unconscious but he survived with only a bruised right
leg. Liu Chung-Wu and Hsin Sau-Chuan each claimed a victory. Hsin was so
close to the Japanese aircraft he shot down that lubricants of the
Japanese aircraft splashed on his windshield and totally obstructed his
vision and he had to break off action.
Just as it appeared that the 23rd PS was going to suffer the fate of its
sister squadron, the tables were turned with the arrival of ten I-16s from
the 21st PS. Having climbed to 3500 meters north-west of the airfield, the
21st PS led by Captain Teng, saw the A5Ms dive from approximately 4000
meters altitude and attack the 22nd PS south west of Wuhan. Arriving on
the scene with an advantage in altitude, the I-16s were able to surprise
the Japanese, which were tangled in a dogfight with the 23rd PS. This
time, it was the turn of individual Japanese fighters to be attacked by
the Chinese in flights of three. Lieutenant Liu Chi-Sheng scored a solo
kill and then joined Captain Teng and Lieutenant Yang Ku-Fan to attack
another A5M which was engaged in a turning fight with Lieutenant Liu
Chung-Wu of the 23rd PS. Together, the four Chinese fighters shot down
this hapless A5M. Lieutenant Yang Ku-Fan then joined with Lieutenant Li
Wen-Hsiang, Lieutenant Wang Teh-Lian and Lieutenant Han Sen to down
another A5M. Finally, Lieutenant Huang Yuan-Po, Lieutenant Wang Teh-Lian
and Lieutenant Kung Yeh-Ti combined to down a fourth A5M.
Soviet volunteers also took part in this combat and according to the
recollections of the volunteer Aleksey Dushin, about 10 o’clock in the
morning they took of on an alert and at an altitude of 4500 m found
themselves under cumulus clouds. An arrow on the ground pointed out the
direction from which the Japanese would appear. After a ten-minute flight
along this course they turned and flew back, and straightaway they
discovered about 1500-2000 m beneath them, three flights, each of nine
Japanese bombers flying in a tight formation. Moments later Japanese
fighters appeared flying above the clouds. They began to dive on the
Soviet volunteers on a meeting course, with the initiative remaining with
them. Three Japanese attacked Dushin, and consequently he shot at all
three. A cone of bullets, in his words, found one aircraft, but it did not
burn. Two A5Ms began to fire at him, but he was rescued by the
manoeuvrability of the I-15bis. Dushin was able to escape from them by
diving, but on the way out the third Japanese caught him. But an I-16 came
to his rescue, which later turned out to have been flown by
Blagoveshchenskii (or I. Puntus according to other sources). Dushin then
chased after “his” Japanese and opened fire at a distance of 25 meters.
But the guns suddenly ceased, out of ammunition. Nonetheless the A5M made
an unnatural climb upward and vanished from the pilot’s field of vision.
Several days later a Japanese fighter was found in this region, in
Dushin’s opinion, the very same one.
In this combat was the commander of the I-15bis squadron N. A. Smirnov
killed together with a second volunteer. After the death of Smirnov the
commander officially became A. S. Zingaev, though the “chief” of the group
remained Blagoveshchenskii himself.
Four Japanese pilots were lost in this combat. They were Lieutenant
Takashi Kaneko (Class no. 57), leader of the escorting fighters, PO1c
Shigeo Miyamoto (Otsu 1), Sea1c Hiroji Hayakgawa (Pilot 29), all from the
12th Kokutai and PO1c Inao Hamada (Pilot 34) of the 13th Kokutai. In
addition, one A5M from the 13th Kokutai was damaged and the pilot, NAP3c
Airora Sao, badly injured by two bullets. For their part, Japanese pilots
claimed a total of 15 I-15bis (including one probable), two I-16s and one
SB. The Chinese pilots totally claimed fourteen Japanese aircraft in this
combat. Captain Lee Kuei-Tan, Captain Lu Ji-Chun, Lieutenant Pa Ching-Cheng,
Lieutenant Wang Yi and Lieutenant Li Peng-Hsiang were killed during the
After the battle on 18 February Liu was awarded the "One Star Medal ".
On 31 May the Japanese executed a new attack on the aerodromes of fighters
defending the Chinese capital. The Chinese had received advance
information and were ready for them, having been able to concentrate
aircraft at the Hankou aerodrome already the day before. In all, there
were concentrated more than a hundred fighters.
At 10:15 18 enemy bombers were spotted over Tung Chin by Chinese air
defence lookouts followed by a reported 36 enemy aircraft over Lu-Jiang at
10:45. 46 enemy aircraft were spotted over the Camel Pass at 11:45
followed by a report of 39 enemy fighters near Qing-Shan at 12:00.
Thus, at midday a reported 39 enemy fighters and 18 enemy bombers
approached Wuhan. At 11:50 49 Chinese interceptors successively began
taking off from Wuhan. The Chinese fighters were four I-15bis from the 3rd
PG, eight I-15bis and six I-16s (of the 21st PS) from the 4th PG, 21
I-15bis and ten I-16s from the Soviet volunteers. The 31 Soviet volunteers
become the main attack force according to a previously devised plan while
the 18 Chinese fighters climbed higher to provide an echeloned covering
detachment. The fighters patrolled between Hankou and Qing-Shan.
Even before the appearance of the bombers, one of the groups of fighters
flown by the Soviet volunteers was attacked at 12:07 by 18 A5Ms at 4500
meters. The Japanese fighter formation was reported to be 39 aircraft
flying in a ‘V’ formation with 18 fighters at 4500 meters, 12 at 5000
meters and the high-cover of 9 fighters at 6000 meters. Six I-15bis flown
by Soviet volunteers arrived to reinforce but at the same time 18 A5Ms
joined the fight, leaving only 3 A5Ms as high-cover. At this them the
I-16s from the 21st PS also joined the combat while the rest of the slower
I-15bis gradually also did this. The formation led by Captain Cheng
Hsiao-Yu, consisting of four I-15bis from the 3rd PG and eight I-15bis
from the 4th PG didn’t manage to join combat since they were farthest away
when the combat started and when the arrived north-east of the airport the
enemy evaded east.
After the bombers appeared, A. Zingaev’s group threw themselves upon them,
and with the first attack shot down two. The remaining bombers of the
first group and the two remaining groups were not able to force their way
through to the aerodrome and they turned back.
According to the recollections of N. G. Kozlov, the encounter with a large
group of A5Ms occurred about 15 to 20 km east of the aerodrome. The
Japanese attacked leaving one flight at altitude. Following the manoeuvres
of his leader, Kozlov in a banking turn gave a burst at a Japanese
fighter, which was following K. Opasov. In the turning carousel, this
Japanese finally flew directly into the gun sights of Kozlov’s I-15bis,
but the burst went into an already burning aircraft. A second Japanese
began an attack on Kozlov. For their part, the I-16s conducted a battle in
the vertical, diving at a steep angle and hitting the Japanese and then
soaring upwards, and opening fire at the moment when the Japanese was
dependent on his motor, climbing through a half loop. Mainly attacking out
of the sun, the Japanese quickly lost the initiative, which gradually
passed to the Chinese, as the battle dissolved into a sharp dogfight and
gradually dissipated. While departing Kozlov let off a burst at long range
at a Japanese under attack by two I-15bis, and the A5M limply began
turning wing over wing and tumbled out of control to the ground.
In this combat Anton Gubenko returned in his damaged aircraft and reported
that he had shot down one Japanese and rammed another.
Totally the Chinese fighters claimed 14 enemy aircraft shot down after a
battle that lasted for 30 minutes. The 21st PS Squadron Leader, Captain Lo
Ying-Teh, claimed one enemy aircraft shot down, which crashed south of Hou
Lake. Lieutenant Liu Chi-Sheng of the 21st PS returned claiming an A5M,
which crashed 20 kilometres north of the airfield. The pilot was seen to
bale out. Han Sen teamed up with Huang Yan-Po and jointly they attacked
one enemy aircraft five times before it crashed near Tian-Xin Shoal. The
Soviet volunteers claimed six enemy aircraft shot down; one crashed at
She-Kou, killing the pilot while another crashed 30 kilometres from
She-Kou with the pilot parachuting.
The Chinese and the Soviet pilots each lost one pilot and one aircraft and
several aircraft were seriously damaged. The 21st PS flight leader, Zhang
Xiao-Xian, in I-16 no. 2107 was shot down and crashed in the Dai-Jia
Mountain killing Zhang. I-15bis no. 90, flown by a Soviet volunteer,
crashed near Hang-Dian but the pilot managed to parachute safely.
The Japanese record that 35 A5Ms (eleven from the 12th and 24 from the
13th Kokutais) escorted 18 G3M2 bombers. Poor visibility in the region of
the target led to the fighters of the 13th Kokutai failing to discover the
enemy, and the A5Ms of the 12th Kokutai became engaged in a battle against
a reported 50 fighters. Nine aircraft of the Yoshitomi chutai of the 12th
Kokutai reported tangling with about 50 enemy fighters and during the
combat PO3c Yoshimi Minami claimed one enemy aircraft (9 victories in
China and a total of 15) and Momoto Matsumura clamed three. He then
received a hit in his A5M’s fuel tank; moreover, he found himself
surrounded by twelve enemy aircraft. Since he had run out of ammunition,
he employed a ramming tactic. Then, despite the fact that the left wing of
his aircraft had been sheared off from the red ball of the rising sun
outward, Minami started on his way back to base. He made an emergency
landing on the banks of the Yangtze River and set his aircraft on fire.
Fortunately for Minami, friendly search aircraft were able to spot him; he
was rescued by a patrol boat and returned safely to base. One Japanese
fighter (Sea1c Hiromitsu Takahara (Pilot 36) of the 12th Kokutai was
killed) was lost in the combat. The Japanese fighters totally claimed 18
victories (alternatively 12 and 6 probables) including an old, unarmed
Bellanca 28/90 biplane (evidently a reconnaissance aircraft).
After this battle Liu was awarded the "Two Star Medal ".
In the morning on 26 June 18 Japanese land-based bombers escorted by 28
carrier fighters attacked Nanchang. These were intercepted by Chinese
fighters, which returned claiming five fighters and one heavy bomber
(possibly a G3M). One of these claims were made by Liu Chi-Sheng of the
During the attack Lieutenant Takahide Aioi of the 12th Kokutai took three
A5Ms of the shotai with him and detached his group from the main force.
They found themselves surrounded by about twenty enemy fighters and after
a hard struggle each of the aircraft claimed two of the enemy fighters.
Aioi himself barely managed to elude his pursuers but did get back and
land at Anking.
Totally the returning Japanese fighters claimed 19 enemy fighters, 4
probables and 2 more destroyed on the ground without losses.
After this battle Liu was awarded the "Three Star Medal ".
In September 1938 the 21st PS replaced their worn-out I-16s with
Polikarpov I-15bis at Lanzhou.
Liu Chi-Sheng in front of his Polikarpov I-15bis no. 2109 on 7 July 1939.
This aircraft was a presentation aircraft from Chinese living in Honolulu,
In the evening on 25 May 1939 the
Japanese attacked Chongqing with 26 bombers. Six Chinese fighters
intercepted these bombers over the confluence of the Jia-Ling River and
Yangtze. The Chinese claimed 2 bombers and one of these was claimed by Liu
For this feat was he awarded with the "Four Star Medal".
On 24 July the Japanese again attacked
Chongqing. Liu claimed one enemy aircraft in this attack and was awarded
the "Five Star Medal".
From the later half of 1939 Liu served
as Squadron vice-commander of the 21st PS.
On 6 June 1940 the Japanese attacked the
Baishi Yi airfield in the Chongqing area. Liu claimed one Ki-21 bomber and
was awarded the "Six Star Medal".
At 13:00 on 10 June the Japanese again
attacked Chongqing with 129 aircraft. The Chinese fighters claimed 5
aircraft in the vicinity of Bishan. During this combat Liu claimed one G3M
and was awarded the "Seven Star Medal".
At 12:00 on 12 June 154 Japanese
aircraft attacked Chongqing. The intercepting Chinese claimed seven
aircraft and one of these was claimed by Squadron vice-commander Liu Chi-Sheng
of the 21st PS (I-15bis). One aircraft crashed north of Nanchong and two
crashed in the town of Ruxi, Two more crashed in Ruichi and one crashed
burning near Nantian. The seventh crashed north-west of the city of
Yang Ku-Fan and Liu received flesh wounds in this battle.
Liu was awarded with the "Eight Star Medal" after this combat.
On 16 July Liu claimed one bomber in the
Chongqing area. This was his last victory and he was awarded the “Nine
During this day the 21st PS lost Deng Shou-Kang, who was shot down and
baled out, but later died of loss of blood from his wounds.
In October 1940 he transferred to the
24th PS of the 4th PG and became Squadron Commander of this unit.
25 G3Ms from the Mihoro Kokutai attacked
Lanzhou on 22 May 1941.
At 10:20, the 4th PG ordered its aircraft to fly to dispersal strips. Liu
Chi-Sheng led seven I-16IIIs towards Wu Wei with an SB-III flown by Yang
Chung-An, Squadron Commander 9th BS, providing navigational support.
One of the I-16III could not retract its gears and diverted to Hsi Ku
Cheng Airfield at Lanzhou. At 11:02 the remaining I-16IIIs found bad
weather in the vicinity of Wu Wei and diverted to Chung Chuan Chun
Airfield north of Lanzhou.
Shortly after 12:10 when everyone had landed, the 25 Mihoro Kokutai G3Ms
passed overhead. Kao You-Hsin had not yet switched off his engine and he
took off, anticipating that the Japanese would turn back to attack the
Chinese planes on the ground. Sure enough, nine bombers returned flying at
5,000 meters and were attacked by Kao. The first pass was made from the
left side, followed by a pass from the front. Kao fired from 400 meters
and dived under the formation after the pass. Two G3Ms; the leader and no.
2 of the 3rd shotai, were seen to emit smoke. Kao made three more passes
from the side disrupting the Japanese bomb runs. With the precious time
bought by Kao’s attack, the Chinese ground crews were able to get the
remaining I-16IIIs started. All five remaining fighters got away with only
one of them suffering damage from the fragments of 45 bombs that the G3Ms
dropped on the airfield.
Kao broke off after firing 600 rounds, one of which holed a propeller
blade due to a malfunctioning synchronization gear.
One G3M, flown by Lieutenant Shin-Taro Hashimoto, went down between Hai
Yuan and Ching Yuan. All onboard were killed.
Liu ended the war as the leading ace of
the Republic of China Air Force with 10 and 2 shared destroyed (7 and 1
shared destroyed while flying biplanes).
He finally rose to the rank of Major
General and retired from military service in 1963.
After retirement he lived in Taipei.
At the end of 1990 he visited relatives
in Canada. While in Canada he suffered cerebral haemorrhage and passed
away on 18 February 1991.
Curtiss Hawk III
Curtiss Hawk III
I-16 Type 5
I-16 Type 5
I-16 Type 5