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  G3M2 Nell Manufacture Number 197 Tail Number P-905
IJN
? Kōkūtai

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima, completed late December 1942. Uncoded serial number 97. Assigned to an unknown Kōkūtai. Later, converted to a transport aircraft. Painted dark green on upper surfaces and unpainted on lower surfaces.

Richard Dunn adds:
"Many Nell transports called at Tuvulu (Cape Gloucester Airfield) over a period of several months as late as November 1943. The only Nell known to have been attacked on the ground was Pappy Gunn’s July 28th target. From Gunn’s report it sounds as if this aircraft was totally destroyed. However, a field diary of No. 4 Air Intelligence Unit undercuts this. It states ten maintenance men worked on Gunn’s victim on a daily basis between July 28th and August 2nd. This is more effort than needed to drag a totaled aircraft off to a bone-yard. Unfortunately there is no documentary evidence as to whether the aircraft was successfully repaired and flown out, whether it was subsequently damaged, or its repair given up as a hopeless cause. It is possible P-905 was Gunn’s victim still at Tuluvu months after repair efforts failed. Photographs of this aircraft are intriguing but not conclusive. The right wing is shown attached to the aircraft and not drooping. It has a dent in the leading edge and some evidence of skin damage. There also appears to be a separation just outboard of the engine. Shrapnel damage is evident on the right side of the nose of the aircraft. No extensive fire damage is evident in the photographs but rudder fabric on the right vertical stabilizer is missing. The right engine and propeller appear undamaged. The damage seen on this aircraft is at least partially consistent with Gunn’s version of events. If the aircraft’s wing and engine were repaired or replaced and fire damage was not extensive, the damage to this aircraft is quite consistent with his version."

Wartime History
This aircraft was abandoned at Cape Gloucester Airfield. On December 30, 1943 captured by U. S. Marines. Later, studied by Allied intelligence, that determined this aircraft was in a salvageable condition.

References
Tuluvu's Air War - The Aircraft of Tuluvu by Richard Dunn
“pro forma” form incorrectly records this Nell's serial number as 397
Japanese Aircraft Makers Plates and Markings, Report No. 20, March 20, 1945, page 17
G3M production statistics, table 4, notes by Jim Long

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
Nell

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