This aircraft was built by Mitsubishi during mid January 1942. True serial number 693.
Assigned to an unknown Sentai. No known markings or tail code. This aircraft had a an operational life of 36 months (3 years).
This aircraft force landed or crashed on the beach or shallow water of Lingayen Gulf off Binmaley,
west of Dagupan.
Possibly, this aircraft was serving as a transport when it crashed, or taking off or landing at Lingayen Airfield.
This wreck was investigated by US Intelligence sometime after the US Army landing at Lingayen Gulf on January 9, 1945. Its serial number 4262 appears in at least one Allied intelligence report, Report No. 68, "Life of Japanese Combat Airplanes," 20 March 1945.
Rediscovered on July 7, 2005 local fisherman from San Fabian discovered wreckage in the sea 20m from shore
in murky water.
The engine was floated to shore using several compressors and
fishing boats. Dagupan
Police SWAT team and environmental officials were dispatched
to photograph and secure the wreckage, and transported it to the Binmaley Police Station. The find was incorrectly reported as a B-17 in local newspapers on July 10th and immediately controversy erupted over the ownership of the wreckage, as it was located on the border between Dagupan and Binmaley.
The fisherman also claimed to recover a
rubber gas mask and a
pelvic bone. These items were taken to Dagupan Police station. Others in Binmaley also claimed to have found remains including an arm bone.
Justin Taylan visited the wreckage on July 11, 2005:
"I inspected this wreckage on July 11th, four days after the discovery. The
engine is a 14 cylinder radial, possibly Kasei Type 11
engine. It was in a remarkably
preserved condition for being in salt water, with only a minimal of marine growth,
and most of the cowling still intact. All the rubber was still present on the
engine and wiring in good condition. The three propeller blades were only
bent back slightly, and had faded yellow tips. It had been taken by a truck
from the beach where it was salvaged, and taken to the Binmaley Police
Station. A small sign nearby listed that this was an engine from an 'American
Air Force Stealth Fighter Old Model'. I explained it was a wartime
relic, most likely from 1945, and there was no 'treasure' aboard it, rather
its value is as an Missing In Action crash site, and historical relic,
and hope the site will get immediate action from the US or Japanese embassy.
Currently, the bones are with the Dagupan City Police. On September 24th, I returned to dive the wreckage still in the water. The area is a hard sandy bottom. Wet season water conditions were very poor. One of the landing gear legs is visible from the surface on clear days, and sand seems to cover most of the wreckage."
Justin Taylan investigated the engine and identified it as a Japanese aircraft. On July 11, 2005 during
of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the wreck discovery was reported and
discussed with Taylan providing testimonial. That same day, radio
and ABS-CBN television news covered the story.
Jim Lansdale adds:
"I believe that it is a crashed Sally investigated by US Intelligence after it was captured/recovered. There is no doubt your serial number is from a Japanese aircraft."
Jim Long / AIR'TELL Publications & Research adds:
"That the serial number appears in at least one Allied intelligence report. Report No. 68, "Life of Japanese Combat Airplanes," 20 March 1945. This report listed 301 Japanese aircraft of various models in order to support a study of how long they lasted in combat. The writers of this report got their data from other intelligence documents, such as reports of field inspections of crashed Japanese planes. I don't have a copy of any other reports associated with No. 4262, just this one listing in the cited report No. 68." [ Read Full Commentary ]
Justin Taylan visited again on June 29, 2009:
"I returned to Binmaley and met with Mayor Hon. Sunplicio L. Rosario, and presented to him a copy of our research on this aircraft. He explained, after a dispute was settled with neighboring Dagupan, the engine was purchased from the fisherman who salvaged it for approximately 100,000 Pesos (roughly $2,866 USD) to compensate them for their efforts. Presently, this engine is still in storage, but he plans to have it displayed at the town's museum in the near future."
Production Record for the Type 97 Heavy Bomber (Ki-21) (Sally) by James Long
page 3, 5
Japanese Aircraft Makers' Plates and Markings (MP&M) Report No. 68, "Life of Japanese Combat Airplanes," 20 March 1945.
Thanks to Jim Lansdale and Jim Long for additional information
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October 29, 2018