|Died||14 Dec 1943|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseZhou Zhikai (Wade-Giles: Chou Chi-kai) was born in Luan County, Hubei Province, China in 1913. He was born into a wealthy family, owing to the fact that both his father (under Beiyang government) and grandfather (under Qing government) were officials. In 1939, he enrolled in the Central Aviation Academy, and saw combat late in the same year, as a member of 22nd Pursuit Squadron of 4th Pursuit Group, flying an I-15bis fighter, against advancing Japanese forces. His first victory, a shared one with his squadron commander Captain Jiang Weihua, was achieved on 22 Dec 1939. In 1942, he was made the commanding officer of 24th Pursuit Squadron of 4th Pursuit Group flying P-43A Lancer fighters. His first victory in a Lancer fighter was achieved on 24 Oct 1942, with his victim being a Ki-46-III. In early 1943, he was promoted to the rank of captain, and then was made the commanding officer of 23rd Pursuit Squadron of 4th Pursuit Group flying P-40E Warhawk fighters. While at Liangshan Airfield in Chongqing, China on 6 Jun 1943, Zhou and the remainder of his 23rd Pursuit Squadron was caught by surprise by a Japanese attack, but he was able to take off with a commandeered P-66 Vanguard fighter (which had belonged to the US Army Air Forces). He shot down two Ki-48 aircraft and damaged another, but his comrades lost 11 P-40 fighters and suffered 3 further fighters damaged. For this accomplishment at Liangshan he was awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun. On 14 Dec 1943, Zhou conducted a reconnaissance mission over Xiaogan Airfield near Wuhan, Hubei, China. He was pursued by two Ki-44 aircraft of Japanese 85th Sentai, which succeeded in scoring 12 hits. He attempted to crash land near Longtan, but failed, and lost his life in the process.
Raymond Cheung, Aces of the Republic of China Air Force
Last Major Revision: May 2016
Zhou Zhikai Interactive Map
Zhou Zhikai Timeline
|22 Dec 1939Â||Zhou Zhikai, flying an I-15bis fighter, shared a victory with his squadron commander Captain Jiang Weihua for the downing of a G4M bomber of Japanese 15th Kokutai over Liuzhou, Guangxi, China.|
|24 Oct 1942Â||Zhou Zhikai, flying a P-43A Lancer fighter, shot down a Japanese Ki-46-III aircraft over Sibao, Yang County, Jiangxi Province, China. This was the first Chinese victory in a P-43 fighter.|
|6 Jun 1943Â||8 Japanese light bombers escorted by 14 fighters attacked Liangshan Airfield in Chongqing, China, destroying 12 P-40 fighters and 1 other aircraft on the ground. Captain Zhou Zhikai, who had just landed in a P-40E fighter after a ground support mission, commandeered a P-66 Vanguard fighter belonging to US Army Air Forces parked nearby and shot down two Ki-48 aircraft and damaged another. Zhou was later awarded the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun for this action.|
|14 Dec 1943Â||Zhou Zhikai, flying a P-40E Warhawk fighter, was killed when he failed a crash landing attempt. He had been pursued and damaged by two Ki-44 aircraft of Japanese 85th Sentai over Xiaogan Airfield near Wuhan, Hubei, China.|
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