314 Air Battle over Shuangliu(Date: 14th March 1941)
It had been 4 years since the start of the second Sino-Japanese War (the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression), Japanese forces were agitated for not being able to reap major operational successes. After the eruption of the War in Europe (European theater of World War II) and the War between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (Eastern Front of World War II), Japanese forces were anxious to fight southbound on the Chinese mainland to resume their strategic “fatigue bombing” and “psychological attack” by raiding its major cities, bombing its installations of resources, and destroying its lines of communication, so as to cut off its supplies of materiel. Especially, Japanese forces had assigned almost a thousand planes for strategic “fatigue bombing” missions on Chungking. On the contrary, the performance and total number of ROCAF’s pursuers were inferior to that of Japanese A6M “Zero” pursuers, and the air battle was very brutal. At 0915 hours on 14th March 1941, 12 Japanese planes were coming to raid on Chengdu. The 3rd Route Command of the ROCAF assigned 31 I-15s from the 3rd PG and the 5th PG to be ready for the coming raids, and the force mix was planned as follows:
I. The 1st formation of 9 I-15s was led by Cmdr. Huang Xin-rui, 5th PG, to fly at 7,500 feet as a high-layer patrol.
II. The 2nd formation of 11 I-15s was led by Deputy Cmdr. Cen Ze-liu, 5th PG, to fly at 7,000 feet as a middle-layer patrol.
III. The 3rd formation of 11 I-15s was led by Cmdr. Chou Ling-xu, 28th SQ, 3rd PG, to fly at 6,500 feet as a low-layer patrol.
At 1140 hours on the same day, Cmdr. Huang flew with Pilot Ren Xian, Pilot Ma Guo-lian, Pilot He Han-hong, and Pilot Liang Tong-sheng toward Shuangliu, and encountered hostile aircraft over the skies of Shuangliu. Cmdr. Huang engaged instantly, but his skull was shot by enemy fire, and later died due to a crash-landing at Soumatou. Pilot Ren followed Cmdr. Huang to engage, but also perished at the southern gate of Shuangliu. Deputy Cmdr. Cen and his wingmen spotted the enemies over Shuangliu, and both he and Pilot Lin Hen were killed during a dogfight. Pilot Deng Wei-yin, Pilot Jiang Dong-sheng, and Pilot He De-xiang of the 2nd flight, encountered hostile aircraft in the vicinity of Shuangliu airfield. Pilot He was hit, and crash-landed at western gate of Shuangliu, while Pilot Jiang was crashed and killed at Shierbao (or the 12th bunker of Shuangliu airfield) after dogfighting with 4 Zeros over 12 minutes.
Cmdr. Chou Ling-xu of the 3rd formation engaged incoming Zeros with his wingmen, Pilot Chen Dai-quan and Pilot Shi Fu-xing. Later, Cmdr. Chou was shot by enemy from behind, and killed after being crashed at Shuangliu, while Pilot Shi crash-landed at Xinjin airfield and wounded.
At 1210 hours, Flight Leader Lin Yao, 28th SQ, engaged 6 Zeros at 2,000 m with his wingmen, Pilot Yuan Fang-bing and Pilot Wei Feng-gang, over the skies between Chungking and Shuangliu. They made a short turn to face and open fire at incoming Zeros, but it didn’t work. Japanese Zeros passed them by from their lower behind, turned around, and dived to shoot. FL Lin’s right wing was damaged by 3 bullets, while Pilot Wei followed FL Lin closely and was hit by 33. Pilot Yuan was killed in action, and his plane crashed at the eastern gate of Shuangliu. Both FL Lin and Pilot Wei later landed at Qionglai to add fuel, and returned at Shuangliu at 1530 hours.
Pilot Jin Wei, 32nd SQ, encountered a Zero at 1220 hours with his wingmen flying behind their formation on the right. Because of lacking oxygen supply, the Zero could only fly at 4,000 m. Then the Zero engaged Pilot Jin who was hit after four times of dogfighting head-on. He bailed out at Huangjin Township of Chongqing (or Chongzhou), and was wounded. Pilot Chen Peng-yang was flying at Pilot Jin’s right below, and was missing during the fight. He was hit, and killed on impact at Chongqing.
Even though ROCAF pilots were in high morale and fighting spirits, they suffered a great loss of 10 planes destroyed and 7 damaged to Japanese new Zeros. PG Cmdr. Huang Xin-rui, Deputy Cmdr. Cen Ze-liu, SQ Cmdr. Chou Lin-xu, Pilot Ren Xian, Pilot Lin Heng, Pilot Jiang Dong-sheng, Pilot Yuan Fang-bing, Pilot Chen Peng-yang were all killed in action.