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 Home > History > Code Names for Japanese Aircraft

From Shad Shaddox: "The code name system was started in 1942 to simplify the identification of Japanese aircraft as they were sighted. Generally speaking, boy's code names were given to fighters, while girl's names were assigned to bombers.

An outstanding example of a Japanese fighter was the Mitsubishi Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter. This famous fighter was code named "Zeke." The fact that "Zeke" and "Zero" are similar sounding is coincidental. And of course we all know of the role the Zero played in the Pearl harbor attack.

Examples of bombers used in the Pearl Harbor attack are "Kate" (a torpedo bomber) and "Val", a standard bomber, both flying off carriers."

Alf:   Kawanishi E7K2 Seaplane
Betty: Mitsubishi G4M2a Bomber
Cedar: Tachikawa Ki-17 Support AC
Claude: Mitsubishi A5M4 Fighter
Emily: Kawanishi H8K2 Seaplane
Frances: Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga Bomber
Frank: Nakajima Ki-84-Ia Hayate Fighter
George: Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden Fighter
Helen: Nakajima Ki-49-IIb Donryu Bomber
Ida: Tachikawa Ki-36 Support AC
Irving: Nakajima J1N1-C Gekko Support AC
Jack: Mitsubishi J2M3 Raiden Fighter
Jake: Aichi E13A1 Seaplane
Jean: Yokosuka B4Y1 Support AC
Jill: Nakajima B6N2 Tenzan Bomber
Judy: Yokosuka D4Y3 Suisei Bomber
Kate: Nakajima B5N2 Bomber
Lorna: Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai Support AC
Myrt:   Nakajima C6N1 Saiun Support AC
Nate: Nakajima Ki-27b Fighter
Nell: Mitsubishi G3M2 Bomber
Oscar: Nakajima Ki-43-IIb Hayabusa Fighter
Pete: Mitsubishi F1M2 Seaplane
Rufe: Nakajima A6M2-N Seaplane
Spruce: Tachikawa Ki-9 Support AC
Susie: Aichi D1A2 Bomber
Thora: Nakajima Ki-34 Support AC
Tillie: Kawanishi H6K5 Seaplane
Tojo: Nakajima Ki-44-IIb Shoki Fighter
Val: Aichi D3A2 Bomber
Zeke/Zero: Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen Fighter