The Donryu's first mission was a 19 February 1942 raid on Port Darwin in Australia, from a base in New Guinea. The main production model was the better-armed Ki-49-II , 649 of which were built by Nakajima, 50 by Tachikawa and a few by Mansyu in Harbin, Manchuria.
Although used in almost every combat area of the Pacific war, the Donryu was never very successful. Many were destroyed during the Leyte campaign, and by the end of 1944 almost all surviving Donryus were being used in non-combatant roles or as suicide machines, or else - equipped with ASV radar or magnetic-mine detectors - as ocean patrol aircraft.
Three were converted as Ki-58 fighters armed with five 20mm cannon and three 12.7 mm machine-guns. Two were rebuilt as Ki-80 'lead ships' for attacks with fighter-bomber or suicide aircraft. The much more powerful Ki-49-III version never saw action, although six had been built by August 1945.
Origin: Nakajima Hikoki KK
Type: Twin-engined heavy bomber, also escort fighter and maritime patrol aircraft
(Ki-49-I) Two 1,250 hp Nakajima Ha-41 14-cylinder two-row radials
(Ki-49-II) Two 1,450 hp Nakajima Ha-109-II 14-cylinder two-row radials
(Ki-49-III) Two 2,500 hp Nakajima Ha-117 18-cylinder two-row radials