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  Ki-46-II Dinah Manufacture Number 1059  
JAAF
7th Hikoshida
70th Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo Chutai

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Stan Gajda 1980



Daniel Leahy 2013

Pilot  Lt. Kiyoshi Izuka (KIA)
Observer  Lt. Hisao Itoh (KIA)

Crashed  July 20, 1944


Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Dotokua plant. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Foce (JAAF). Painted overall dark green with yellow wing leading edges.

Waetime History
Assigned to the 70th Dokuritsu Dai Shijugo Chutai (70th Independent Squadron). This Dinah had no discernible marking on the tail. This aircraft was the last Japanese plane shot down over the Australian mainland and the only Japanese aircraft shot down over Western Australia.

Mission History
On July 20, 1944 took off from Koepang Airfield near Koepang on West Timor at 7:30am on a reconnaissance flight over Western Australia. Picked up by RAAF No 326 Radar Station at Cape Leveque and logged at 0835 hours.

Three Spitfires from RAAF 54 Squadron piloted by FLTLT Gossland and FLTLT Meakin and FSGT Knapp were placed on alert and placed on standby to scramble at 8:45am and climbed to intercept this Dinah at 27,000' over Truscott. Gossland made the first attack, striking the engines, port wing and fuselage. The "Dinah" dove steeply towards the water and Meakin followed, his rounds hitting the starboard wing off the aircraft.

Wreckage
The next day at low tide, the crash site was discovered by an American approximately 200 yards off shore from Truscott. Remains of the aircraft were loaded on to a barge on July 27 and transported to West Bay. No remains were found in the wreckage, the only remains were apparently several pieces of flesh. It is believed the remains were buried on the shore near the crash site.

Contemporary reports were misleading and even the combat report was misleading, stating the Dinah was shoot down at Drysdale. In 1979, the crash site was rediscovered by John Hardie who initially thought it was a P-38 Lightning. When Stan Gajda saw his photos, he identified it as this Dinah, and visited the site himself in July 1980.

Stan Gajda adds:
"I brought back a 13ft x 4ft piece of the port wing which included the rear engine fairing and the complete flap which was half extended. Inside in Kanji was the serial number and I presently can't find any record of it and neither does my article mention it. This section also had two .303 bullet holes in it showing the Spitfire was striking from a low rear position. There was a lot of good paint remaining which was an off-white color. All skin overlaps and joints were filled with a material like our modern plastic body filler. The inside of the flap was a pale yellow color. This piece is still held by the Western Australia Aviation Museum (WAAM)"

Afterwards, Stan Gajda sent some small pieces of the plane to the relatives of the crew members in Japan who were extremely grateful, they had not known what had to them after take off.

References
After The Battle Issue 39 by Stan Gajda
Japanese War Plane Wreck Find by Andrew Main August 15, 1980
Truscott by John Beasy and Carol Beasy
Thanks to Bob Alford for additional information

Contribute Information
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

Tech Info
Ki-46
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