Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseZhu Jiaxun (Wade-Giles: Chu Chia-hsun) was born in Guilin, Guangxi Province, China and was brought up by his uncle in neighboring Guangdong Province. In 1934, he turned down his admission into Sun Yatsen University (also known as Zhongshan University) and enrolled in the Guangxi Aviation Academy. The warlord of Guangxi Province had a friendly relationship with Japan, and thus in the mid-1930s Zhu was among the cadets who was sent to the Japanese Army's Akeno Academy in Mie Prefecture, Japan for advanced flight training. He noticed that certain training materials regularly studied by Japanese cadets were not given to Chinese cadets, and was able to secure them by befriending Japanese cadets; he translated them and would eventually smuggle them back to China. In Nov 1937, four months after WW2 had begun in China, the Guangxi Air Force was merged into the Nationalist central government's Chinese Air Force as 7th and 8th Pursuit Squadrons of the 3rd Pursuit Group, and Lieutenant Zhu was made the deputy commanding officer of 7th Pursuit Squadron. On 8 Mar 1938, while flying an I-15bis fighter, he scored his first victory by downing a Japanese Army Ki-2 light bomber over Tengxian, Shandong Province, China. A month later, he scored his second victory over Zhaozhuang, Shandong Province by firing on a Japanese Ki-27 fighter, killing the pilot in mid-air; his fighter was in turn badly damaged by his victim's squadron mates, and he was able to crash land successfully. In Jun 1938, he was given command of the 32nd Pursuit Squadron of 3rd Pursuit Group, which was a former Guangxi Air Force squadron; upon conversion training (the squadron had just changed from flying Japanese-built Nakajima Type 91-1 parasol monoplane fighters to British-built Gladiator biplane fighters), the squadron was deployed to Hankou, Hubei Province. On 3 Aug 1938, Zhu was a part of the 52 Chinese fighters launched to intercept 18 Japanese G3M bombers and 29 A5M fighters. Because the 3rd Pursuit Group commander Lieutenant Colonel Wu Youlou's I-15bis fighter was slower than the Gladiator and I-16 fighters in the group and fell behind, Zhu took temporary command of the interception mission. During this mission, he shot down one Japanese A5M fighter. In mid-Aug 1938, the 3rd Pursuit Group was relocated to Nanxiong (Postal Map: Nan-hsiung) in northern Guangdong Province. On 30 Aug, he led 8 other aircraft of the same type to intercept 9 Japanese bombers from Taiwan; they failed to intercept the bombers, which attacked Chenzhou, Hunan Province, China at 1030 hours. As they returned, the Chinese pilots found their home airfield at Nanxiong, Guangdong Province, China having just been attacked by 5 D1A2 dive bombers with 6 A5M fighter escorts, all from carrier Kaga. Even though he was able to shoot down two Japanese fighters in this engagement, the pursuit squadron suffered serious losses, losing many pilots (including Lieutenant Colonel Wu) and machines lost. In early 1939, he was transferred to head a series of training commands; his old post at 32nd Pursuit Squadron was handed over to experienced Guangxi Air Force veteran Captain Wei Yicheng. He would remain in rear commands for the remainder of the war.
ww2dbaseSource: Raymond Cheung, Aces of the Republic of China Air Force
Last Major Revision: Oct 2015
Zhu Jiaxun Timeline
|8 Mar 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun, flying an I-15bis fighter, shot down a Japanese Ki-2 light bomber over Tengxian, Shandong Province, China.|
|10 Apr 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun, flying an I-15bis fighter, shot down a Japanese Ki-27 fighter over Zhaozhuang, Shandong Province, China. His fighter was then badly damaged by his victim's squadron mates; he would be able to survive the encounter by crash landing into a wheat field.|
|29 Apr 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun, flying an I-15bis fighter, claimed a Japanese G3M bomber southeast of Wuchang, Hubei Province, China.|
|6 May 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun led a flight of three I-15bis fighters in escorting three SB-2 bombers to attack the Japanese Army airfield on Sanzao Island, Guangdong Province, China. The bombers dropped their payload amidst anti-aircraft fire without meeting any fighter opposition; as the bombers turned back for their home fields, Zhu and his two wingmen also dropped their 22-pound bombs (four bombs on each fighter) before departing.|
|3 Aug 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun, flying a Gladiator fighter, shot down a Japanese A5M fighter over Hankou, Hubei Province, China.|
|30 Aug 1938Â||Zhu Jiaxun, flying a Gladiator fighter, shot down two Japanese A5M fighters over Nanxiong, Guangdong Province, China, but his fighter would run out of fuel, forcing him to crash land in a rice paddy; he suffered light injuries as he was thrown out of the aircraft on landing.|
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