Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 1 Attack Bomber (G4M1 Model 11 Betty) manufacture number unknown. Assigned to an unknown Kokutai. No known markings or tail code.
On February 17, 1944 during the morning, this Betty took off from Rabaul on a flight to Truk. On board were the pilot, co-pilot and rear gunner. Also, Japanese interpreter Edward Chikaki Honda (aka "Ed Honda"), a guard and six Allied POWs were aboard the aircraft as passengers.
- Major Gregory 'Pappy' Boyington pilot F4U 17915 crashed January 3, 1944
- Lt. John M.
Arbuckle pilot PBY 08428 ditched November 22, 1943
- Major Donald W. Boyle pilot F4U 49891 crashed January 23, 1944
- F/O Allen M. Brown wireless-gunner Beaufort A9-244 ditched October 21,1943
- F/Lt. Brian P. Stacey co-pilot Catalina A24-34 shot down February 7, 1944
- Captain Charles K. Taylor, Jr. pilot P-38H 42-66909 crashed October 23, 1943
During the flight, Boyington wrote years later that he thought of hijacking the aircraft, but others aboard thought he was exaggerating.
This Betty landed at the start of "Operation Hailstone" the U. S. Navy (USN) Task Force 58 (TF-58) carrier aircraft attacks against Truk. After landing, F6F Hellcats began attacking the airfield. The prisoners were hastily untied to allow them to exit the bomber and take cover in a nearby foxhole as the airfield was bombed for an hour. During the attack, this Betty was destroyed. That night, the prisoners were held in a jail then aboard L2D Tabby (DC-3) flying via Saipan to Japan.
The Siege of Rabaul page 21, 23-24
Ba Ba Blacksheep
Thanks to Henry Sakaida for additional information
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December 10, 2018