After the fall of Burma, Malaya, Netherlands East Indies (NEI), and the Philippines, all types of Allied aircraft were impressed by the Japanese. Several Curtiss P-40E Warhawks were captured by the IJAAF in the Philippines and Java. Historian Rick DUNN relates:
"The SS Seawitch's cargo of 27 P-40s was supposed to have been dumped in the harbor in Java, but the Japanese may have been quick enough to have recovered them without too much corrosion. Also, three crated, brand-new P-40s were delivered to Cebu by SS Anhui about mid March 42. I assume, but can't verify, if they were then transported to Mindanao. Anyway while I don't know their fate they were potentially available for capture."
Author and historian Bill BARTSCH confirmed that, "Three P-40Es were brought by the blockade runner SS Anhui that left Brisbane on February 22, 1942, bound for Cebu. This event is included in my book "Doomed at the Start," (pp. 339-40). The Warhawks ended up being re-shipped to Mindanao, where they were assembled by American mechanics under USAAC 1st Lt. Pete Warden. All three were flown to the field at Maramag, where two were captured by the Japanese (p. 422)."
In the event, many Curtiss products were repaired and test flown by the Japanese Koku Gijutsu Kenkyujo (Air Technical Research Laboratory or Gi Ken) at Tachikawa, Japan and at the test facilities in Singapore.
N.B. For another view of a captured Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in Japanese markings documented by Bill BARTCH, click on the link below the photo of P-40E (Nos 1-4) at Tachikawa.
"Japanese Warhawk!" Yasushi Ushijima as translated by Osamu Tagaya, AAHS Journal: Summer1975, PP 89-93.
"Doomed At the Start." William H. Bartsch, Texas A & M University Press: 1992.
Military Aircraft: September 1997, Delta Publishing Co., Ltd.
Koku Fan Magazine: August 1973, Bunrin-Do Co., Ltd.
Photo credits: Bunrin-Do and Delta Publishing