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  G4M1 Model 11 Betty Manufacture Number 5414 Tail T-359
753 Kokutai

Takao Kokutai

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ATIS December 1, 1942

Pilot  Kiyoshi Akamatsu (KIA)
Co-Pilot  Saburo Takahashi (KIA)
Observer  Kaku Yoned (KIA)
Observer  Tadashi Wada (KIA)
Observer  Mitsuo Takano (KIA)
Observer  Takeshi Nomiguchi (KIA)
Radio  Houichi Fukuya (KIA)
Radio  Ietomi Hachigou (KIA)
Maintenance  Naoyuki Fujise (KIA)

Crashed  November 24, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works on September 5, 1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the Takao Kokutai, during November 1942 redesignaed 753 Kokutai. Tail code T-359.

Wartime History
On November 23, 1942 one of fifteen G4M1 Betty bombers that took off from Koepang Airfield at 23:33 on a night bombing mission over Darwin. The bombers were flying at 22,500' in a "V" formation at 22,500' arriving over the target area on November 24, 1942 at 3:39am. At 3:40am, intercepted by P-40E Kittyhawk A29-113 piloted by Richard C. "Dick" Cresswell.

After a brief combat, this bomber's right engine was set on fire causing it to crash near Koopinyah Station to the east of Darwin. This was the first Japanese aircraft to be shot down by an Australian pilot over the Australian mainland. The entire crew was killed in the crash. The rest of the bomber formation returned safely to Koepang Airfield by 6:30am.

This bomber crashed near Koopinyah Station to the east of Darwin. The cockpit and center section were burned in the crash. The tail was crumpled and engines torn off on impact. Soon afterwards, the crash site was located soon afterwards and Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) who inspected and photographed the wreckage. During December 1-2, 1942 another visit was made to search for the right engine, tail gun and any material initially missed.

A seat from this aircraft was recovered from the crash site. Today, it is displayed at Australian War Memorial (AWM) in the aircraft hall. Also, a small dataplate from this aircraft is also part of the AWM Collection.

Kodochosho Takao Kokutai November 23-24,1942
Air'Tell Research Report "G4M Serial Numbers" by Jim Long
Darwin's Air War (Revised Edition) page 79
An Analysis of P-40E A29-113 "In a 1981 letter to the RAAF Meteorological Service, Dick Cresswell stated the kill occurred at about 0130 on 24 November 1942"
Australian War Memorial Collection Database - REL30194
Thanks to Minoru Kamada and Yoji Sakaida for additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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