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IJN
702 Kōkūtai

Pilot  Lt. Shinshiti Sumita, Buntai C.O. (KIA)
Co-Pilot  Mori Hasegawa (KIA)
Observer  Syuhei Kobayashi (KIA)
Observer   Yoshihisa Kajishi? (KIA)
Observer  Eisuke Sumimoto (KIA)
Radio  Kiyoto Akiyoshi (KIA)
Radio  Syoichi Mizuguti (KIA)
Engineer  Syozo? (KIA)

Crashed  May 15, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the 702 Kōkūtai. No known tail number or markings.

Mission History
On May 15, 1943 took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on a night bombing mission over Port Moresby.

Over the target, this bomber was picked up on Allied radar and was presumed to be lost around 7:49pm. Most likely, it was intercepted and shot down by P-70 Havoc piloted by 2Lt Burrell W. Adams from 6th Night Fighter Squadron (6th NFS) at 8:00pm roughly 35 miles northwest of 7-Mile Drome (Jackson).

US Radar Notes: Two raids this night. The first at 7:30pm against an inland airfield (possibly 17-Mile Durand), and a second raid at that same area at 7:40-5pm, with all clear sounded 8:03pm. A third raid at 8:29pm to Port Moresby area (possibly 3-Mile Drome).

Richard Dunn adds:
"Type 1 bombers of the 702 Kokutai attack Port Moresby. According to Allied reports the Japanese mounted two separate attacks each with two SALLY bombers. In the first attack one Sally (sic) was shot down by a night fighter and in the second one bomber was probably destroyed by AA fire. According to the Japanese one bomber failed to return. Exact time of loss is uncertain but presumed to be about 1849 (JST). 6th NFS P-70 piloted by 2nd Lt Burrell W. Adams (with F/O Paul DiLabbio R/O) claimed a SALLY at about 2000 hours (1849 JST = 1949 K or local Port Moresby time). The AA claim for a probable came later. Thus it appears Lt. Shinshichi Sumita (Sumida) a Buntai C. O. of Air Group 702 was shot down by Adams about 35 miles NW of Jackson Field."

References
Kodochosho, 702 Kōkūtai, May 15, 1942
US Army Port Moresby Radar Chart May 15, 1943
Thanks to Richard Dunn and Yoji Sakaida additional information

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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