The Type 95 Ha-Go was a light tank employed by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy in all theaters throughout World War II. While it gained initial success against the poorly equipped forces during the 1937 invasion of China, French Indochina and Burma, it did not fair well against the Soviet Union's BT-5 and BT-7 tanks during a border conflict in 1939. The Type 95 was eventually outclassed by other nations' tanks as World War II progressed.
The Ha-Go was of simple construction with thin armor, 6 to 16mm, which could be penetrated by a .50 caliber machine gun and weighed only a little over seven tons. It had a crew of three - driver, bow machine gunner and commander who was also the gunner and loader of the main gun. Its' main gun was a Type 94 (1934) 37mm firing both high explosive and armor piercing with penetration of only 1.4 inches at around 300 yards. It was also fitted with a 7.7mm Type 97 light machine gun in the bow and another one in the rear of the turret at the 5 o'clock position. It had a simple bogie with bell crank suspension that gave a rough ride over uneven terrain, but because of its light weight, was able to negotiate heavily forested areas better than heavier vehicles. The Type 95 was fitted with a 120 hp Mitsubishi A6120VDe air-cooled diesel engine which gave it a top speed of 28 mph on road. The interior of the tank was layered with an asbestos padding that protected the crew from the sun-heated armor plate and provided some padding to the crew when traveling over rough ground.
This particular Type 95 Ha-Go was a long-term resident of the old and new Patton Museum at Fort Knox. On the Pacific Wrecks web site at http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ information from Daniel Sebby, curator of the California State Military Museum, states that this Ha-Go was one of two captured by the U.S. Army's 40th Infantry Division in the Philippines in 1945. Since the 40th Infantry Division fought on Luzon against the Japanese 2nd Tank Division equipped with Type 95s in all three of its regiments, the 6th, 7th, and 10th, it could be assumed that this Type 95 came from Luzon. It was brought back to California and put on display until transferred to the Patton Museum. Since the 40th Infantry Division was formerly a California National Guard unit based at Camp San Luis Obispo, it may have been displayed there.
While on display at the old Patton Museum on Old Ironsides Ave., it was housed inside and eventually moved outside. It still retained some of its war-time camouflage paint scheme, but was missing its 37mm main gun, commander's cupola hatches and left front fender. Photos taken when it was in the old museum show no insignias, only the "license plate" painted on the rear hull. After the first phase of the new Patton Museum was built, the Type 95 along with other foreign vehicles was painted in an inaccurate scheme with insignias on the bow. As the museum building expanded, the Type 95 was repainted as a tank from the 3rd Company of the 7th Tank Regiment and displayed inside the museum in a diorama depicting a knocked out vehicle during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines.
It also states from the Pacific Wrecks web site that "the 37mm main gun was salvaged by Warren Slessenger from Ponape in 1968 and was later donated to the Patton Museum for installation as its main gun". Eventually this gun would be installed in the Type 95. The Ha-Go was transferred to the National Armor and Cavalry Museum collection at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Click on the links below to see interior and exterior photos of the Type 95 Ha-Go. Use your back button to return to this page to see each gallery. Hover your cursor over each photo to see captions.