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  G4M1 Betty "Bataan 2"    
IJN
Yokosuka Kōkūtai

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Click For Enlargement
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August 19, 1945

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as G4M1 Betty manufacture number unknown. Assigned to the Yokosuka Kokutai. No known tail code or markings.

After the capitulation of Japan, this aircraft was painted overall white with green crosses, in accordance with the terms of surrender for aircraft. Initially, larger crosses were painted on the upper surfaces of the wings and each side of the tail, mistakenly painted too large. These were over painted (but visible through the white paint). Two slightly smaller green crosses were painted overtop on the upper wings and tail.

Mission History
After Japanese capitulation, US Army General MacArthur instructed the Japanese to send emissaries to Manila on August 17, 1945 to arrange the formal surrender, and bring with them all of Japan's defensive plans. Japanese Army Chief of Staff, General Umezu refused to participate and delegated the mission to General Torashiro Kawabe, who choose fifteen staff members to accompany him.

On August 19, 1945 two Betty bombers, this aircraft and G6M1-L "Bataan 1", both painted in surrender markings took off from Tokyo with the Japanese delegation. Rendezvousing with two B-25J Mitchells from the 345th Bombardment Group, with two others flying backup incase the first two missed the rendezvous point, the Japanese were flying slightly off course. Providing top cover were six P-38 Lighting of the 80th Fighter Squadron. The Americans assigned the call signs "Bataan I" and "Bataan II" to the Japanese aircraft. The G4M1 Betty was call sign "Bataan 2". The Japanese landed at Ie Shima Airfield at 12:40pm in front of a large crowd of Americans gathered to witness their arrival.

On the ground, the delegation boarded C-54E Skymaster 44-9045 and were flown to Manila to meet with General MacArthur's staff to work out details of the surrender. The Bettys and their air crews remained at Ie Shima Airfield.

After the meeting, the delegation returned to Ie Shima Airfield on August 20, 1945. While taxiing, "Bataan 2" slipped off the runway damaged the wheel. This required five of the crew to perform minor repairs while the rest of boarded G6M1-L "Bataan 1" and departed at 6:40pm, and were escorted by B-25J Mitchells from the 345th Bombardment Group to a point 55 miles north Ie Shima then proceeded back to Japan.

After this bomber was repaired, it was flown back to Japan. The ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
Warpath Across the Pacific pages 355-358
Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko 'Betty' Units of WWII pages 98-100
Thanks to Yoji Sakaida for additional information

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Information
G4M1
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