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Enemy Air-Borne Forces, Military Intelligence Service, Special Series No. 7, December 2, 1942
[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the wartime U.S. War Department publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The Japanese parachute battalion consists of a headquarters staff, a supply unit (which carries 15 reserve aero engines), 3 parachute companies, and flying personnel. The total strength of a battalion is about 670 officers and men. The Japanese parachute company comprises a command group, a supply group, and 3 sections. The section is formed of 2 rifle groups, and 1 heavy weapons group. A rifle group is made up of a squad of riflemen, an antitank team, and an airplane crew. A heavy weapons group has 1 machine-gun section, 1 gun crew, and 1 airplane crew. The organization of the Japanese parachute company as reported several months ago is shown in figure 8.

[Figure 8. Organization of the Japanese parachute company (July 1941)]

[(AR) = armed with automatic rifle             (P) = armed with pistol]

(a) Total company: 107 pistols, 95 automatic rifles, 18 AT rifles, 12 MG's, 3 40-mm Arisaka cannon (model 19), 19 portable radios, 1 command plane, 10 transport planes, 20 pursuit planes.

(b) Personal and armament of company headquarters: 1 captain (CO) (P); 1 Lt (2d-in-comd) (P); 1 Lt (technical O) (P); 1 1st Sgt (P); 1 Transport Sgt (P); 4 EM (clerk, first-aid man, liaison agent, mechanic) (P).

(c) Supply section: 1 NCO (sec chief) (P); 4 NCO’s (pilots) (P); 1 NCO (observer) (P); 2 EM (mechanics) (P); 2 EM (basic) (P); 1 radio set; 5 planes--1 command, 1 transport, 2 pursuit.

(d) Combat section headquarters: 1 Lt (sec CO) (P); 1 NCO (mechanic) (P).

(e) Initial ammunition for the rifle group: 32-34 hand grenades; 360-450 rds, pistol; 3,000-3,375 rds, automatic rifle; 1,500 rds, AT rifle.

(f) Rifle squad: 1 NCO (Ldr) (P); 3 EM (sharpshooters) (AT rifles); 3 EM (loaders) (AR).

(g) AT team: 1 NCO (Ldr) (P); 3 EM (sharpshooters) (AT rifles); 3 EM (loaders) (AR).

(h) Plane crew of the rifle group: 3 NCO's (pilots) (P); 1 NCO (observer) (P); 1 EM (mechanic) (P); 3 planes—1 transport, 2 pursuit.

(i) Initial ammunition for the weapons group: 450 rds, pistol; 1,525 rds AT; 5,000 rds, MG; 100 rds, cannon.

(j) MG squad: 1 NCO (Ldr) (P); 4 EM (gunners) (P); 4 EM (loaders) (AR); 2(7) 12.7 mm MG's.

(k) Gun crew: 1 NCO (Ldr) (P); 1 EM (gun pointer) (P); 1 EM (loader) (AR); 1 EM (range-finder operator) (AR); 1 EM (sharpshooter) (AR); 1 40-mm Arisaka cannon (model 19).

(l) Plane crew of the weapons group: 1 NCO (observer) (P); 3 NCO's (pilots) (P); 1 EM (mechanic) (P); 3 planes—1 transport, 2 pursuit.

Figure 8. Organization of the Japanese parachute company (July 1941)


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