The 244th was a Sentai or fighter regiment that served under Japan during WWII. The Sentai was formed in 1941 as the 144th Sentai and was created to intercept American bombers over Tokyo. By 1942, the Sentai was renamed to the 244th and had gained its first Kawasaki Ki-61 Hiens in 1943. The Sentai only surrendered in 1945 at the war's end. During the conflict, the sentai had first flown the Nakajima Ki-27, but was then given the far more advanced Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien and Kawasaki Ki-100 fighter aircraft.
The first commander of what was then the 144th Sentai was Major Shigechika Tomari who had maintained his command for exactly a year, from July 1941 to July of 1942. Succeeding him would be Shin-ichi Muraoka who would only keep command for several months, ending in December of that year. The final commanders of the Sentai were Takashi Fujita who's command ended in November of 1944 and finally Teruhiko Kobayashi who would lead the squadron to its greatest victories from the period of late 1944 to the very end of the war.
The 144th Sentai initially consisted of two chutais or squadrons and was sent to perform relatively low-key combat operations. However, when the regiment was reformed into the 244th Sentai, an additional chutai was added.
After the 144th Sentai was initially formed in 1941, the regiment was assigned to Chofu Air Field in the South of Japan. Here, the group was assigned to for a majority of the war, defending against oncoming B-29 Superfortresses bombing the Japanese homeland. However, in 1944, the squadron began to gain fame as an elite unit against American bombing raids. By 1945, detachments of the regiment were sent into combat over Okinawa where they scored several victories against F4U Corsair fighters. There they stayed until the end of the war with the other detachments of the 244th remaining on anti-bombing duty in Japan.