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  Ki-46-II Dinah Manufacture Number 2783  
JAAF
? Sentai

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RNZAF August 18, 1945

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Brian Bennett 1981

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Dotokua plant during the end of December 1943. Assigned to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) to an unknown Sentai.

Wartime History
Operated from Rabaul. During August 1945, this Dinah was one of the last flyable aircraft remaining at Rabaul.

After Japan's surrender on August 15, 1945, this aircraft was painted in surrender markings: overall white with green crosses. When the Australian Army occupied Rabaul, the Japanese requested permission to surrender their remaining aircraft to the Air Force. Their request was granted and Japanese pilots were allowed to fly the aircraft to the nearest Allied airfield.

On September 18, 1945 took off from Vunakanau Airfield piloted by Captain Nario Iwanaga. The formation included three fighters piloted by P.O. Gensaku Aoki, P. O. Yoshio Otsuki and P. O. Yasushi Shimbo flying A6M5 Zero 4043, A6M3 Zero 3479 and A6M5 Zero 4444. The Japanese aircraft were escorted by sixteen RAAF fighters to Jacquinot Bay Airfield. After landing, the pilots saluted, made a report then were flown back to Rabaul aboard a RNZAF Catalina.

Wreckage
This aircraft was abandoned at Jacquinot Bay Airfield. The wings and center section abandoned at Jacquinot Bay. The remains of this aircraft and a B5N Kate were taken from the airfield area down to the shore and were displayed near the District Office.

Brian Bennett adds:
"The Ki-46 consisted of the fuselage less the tail group, the two main planes, I don't recall if the main carts were still attached. These wrecks I also tried to get something done about them years ago."

Recovery
During the middle of 2003, this Dinah was recovered along with B5N2 Kate by Bruno Carnovale and Ian Whitney of '75 Squadron' and barged to Lae where it was put in a container for export to Melbourne Australia.

Instead, the container was impounded by the PNG Museum and their ownership disputed in court. Reportedly, the case was resolved in a local court case ending in 2005 and the container was exported to Australia. This recovery was cited as an illegal recovery in the PNG Government Public Accounts Committee Report in 2006.

Later, transported to New Zealand and placed into storage and offered for sale. Today, this Kate is reportedly in New Zealand and being offered for sale.

References
The Siege of Rabaul page 86 - 89
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 20 (center)
Thanks to Charles Darby and Brian Bennett for additional information
Production figures of the Mitsubishi Ki.46 by Jim Long

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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