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|Pilot Hajime Toyoshima (survived, POW, died August 5, 1944)
Force landed February 19, 1942
Over the target, this Zero was hit by anti-aircraft fire, and force landed on Melville Island. During the crash, pilot Toyoshima suffered injuries to his face from hitting the gun site during the landing. Toyoshima wandered far from his fighter before being captured.
Aboriginal Matthias Ulungura, from the Snake Bay Settlement, fist found Toyoshima and disarmed him of his pistol, then escorted him to the nearest Australian forces on Bathurst Island. He was turned over to Sergeant Leslie J. Powell of the 23rd Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers.
Prisoner of War
During initial questioning, he tried to convince his captors that he was a Sergeant who was an aerial gunner from a bomber based at Ambon that bailed out and swam ashore.But, his uniform had the ideograph of "Hiryu" and was not stained with sea salt. Later when his Zero and parachute were found, a blood stain was tested and on April 17 Police matched it to his blood type.
He was taken to Redholme Manson in South Yarra, Victoria for further interogation. On March 23, 1942 taken to Lavcony (?) 14C compound, then on April 4 taken to Nayport Setenton (?) Barracks. Next, on April 9, 1942 he was taken to Hay Camp. Hospitalized June 6-15, then returned to Hay Camp.
On January 8, 1943 transferred to Cowra POW Camp. Again hospitalized August 6-11 then returned to the camp, but again hospitalized on August 28 - September 4. Next, placed in detention, pending trial on September 19 - 23 (crime or charge unknown). Then again hospitalized as sick on October 4-11 and returned to camp. Hospitalized again May 13-15, then returned to camp.
Toyoshima signaled the start of "Cowra Breakout" at 2am on August 5, 1944 with a bugle and managed to reach a storm drain ditch, but was shot in the chest when trying to move. Wounded, he lit a cigarette, then cut his own throat and was found dead the next morning. Buried at Cowra in grave QC 18.
The center section remained where it crashed until the late 1960s, when it was recovered, and later became part of the Australian Aviation Heritage Center, near Darwin.
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