|Pilot CFPO Tokunaga (KIA)
Observer F1/C Morishita (KIA)
Crashed August 2, 1942 at 9:10am
Built by Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the Tainan Kokutai. Tail code V-??? (last three digits unknown. At the time of its loss, this type had not yet been identified or codenamed 'Irving' by the Allies.
On August 2, 1942 took off from Lae Airfield on a reconnaissance mission over Port Moresby. At 9:25am, Lae Airfield received a distress call from this aircraft, stating that it encountered enemy aircraft, then soon afterwards failed to respond. This aircraft never arrived and was declared Missing In Action (MIA). When lost, this J1N1-C was the first combat loss of this new type in the New Guinea theater.
In fact, this aircraft was intercepted by Airacobras from the 41st Fighter Squadron that were escorting B-26 Marauders from the 22nd Bombardment Group over Cape Ward Hunt. This aircraft was shot down and crashed into the sea, killing both the crew. 1st Lieutenant Elbert W. Schinz was given credit for a "twin-engine enemy reconnaissance plane".
Moonlight Interceptor, page 23:
"...they saw a "twin-engine enemy reconnaissance plane". Lt. Schinz led the first pass at the plane getting in a good burst from the side, which was immediately followed by Lt. Carlson getting in another good burst. Lt. .Jackson dived under making the third pass at the Japanese plane which was heading towards Schinz and when they [Japanese] saw Lt. Jackson's plane, he turned and this put Lt. Jackson on its tail, who fired until he was so close that to avoid hitting him he had to duck under very close to the water, and swerving to the right saw the plane hit the water. The attack was made at 0910 August 2, 1942." First Lieutenant Elbert W. Schinz was given credit for shooting down this aircraft."
Kodochosho, Tainan Kōkūtai, August 2, 1942
Moonlight Interceptor page 23
Revenge of the Red Raiders page 121-122
USAF Victory Credit List -
Elbert W. Schinz August 2, 1942
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information
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January 5, 2018