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  Ki-21-II Sally Manufacture Number ?  
JAAF
? Sentai

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Ashley Creighton 2003

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi. Assigned to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF). Assigned to ? Sentai. No known nickname or nose art.

Wartime History
Crashed at the crest of a cliff on Masahet Island.

Wreckage
The wreckage comprised of a tail section and engine, broken in two halves.

Ashley Creighton reports:
"I visited Masahet Island, where I had heard there was a downed Japanese plane. If the story is right I think the plane was either shot down or had serious engine trouble and the pilot was trying to dump fuel, as the local elder remembers seeing fuel streaming from the plane.

The locals told me that it was a twin engine plane. The rest of wreckage was not very accessible. Prior to the crash fuel was seen to be streaming from the plane which was also on fire. One of the crew bailed out but did not survive. The locals buried 5 crew members, the unmarked grave site is within a local cemetery. The tail plane measured approx. 6 m in length. The rear wheel at the tail was not retractable.

I think this plane was approaching Masahet from the south (according to the locals it was coming from Tanga, approximately 40 km's southeast of Masahet. It may have actually come from Namatanai, approximately 40 km's southwest of Lihir Group and Masahet where there was a Japanese airbase.

In approaching Masahet from the south there is absolutely no place to set down, even if the plane was a seaplane, as this side of the island is very exposed to the sea and it may have been too rough to set down. The north side is relatively protected. If the pilot of the plane was attempting to put the plane down then he probably would have tried for the north side (the leeward side). Mashet is an elevated limestone reef approximately 200 to 300 m above sea level. I think the pilot managed to clear the the highest point of the island (just) and the plane stalled on the north side, and hit a huge fig tree which sits upon a very large knoll of limestone. The plane split in two. The forward section remains on top of the knoll feature. The aft sections what I have seen.

I saw some numbers on a piece of wreckage on the tail section although I thought it was just a "part number". According to the locals the plane had a number "10" painted on it. All the paint work has long gone either from the fire 2w or with time."

References
Thanks to Brian Bennett for suggested identification.

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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