The Vought Corsair was the first American single-engine fighter to exceed four hundred mph, establishing dominance over the Mitsubishi Type Zero-sen with a kill ratio greater than ten to one. The Ki-84 Hayate was introduced by the Japanese specifically to counter this growing American dominance of the skies over the Pacific. Built in greater numbers than any other late-war Japanese fighter, nearly three thousand were completed between 1944 and 1945.
This volume examines the clashes between the Corsair and Ki-84 in the closing stages of the war, revealing how Corsair pilots had to adapt their techniques and combat strategies to account for these newer types, which proved harder to shoot down. It also reveals how the eventual six-to-one kill rate was largely driven by the reduced quality of Japanese fighter pilots due to the high casualty rates inflicted on the Japanese Air Force during the air battles over the Solomon Islands.