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  L2D "Cedar Tree"  
Dai Nippon Airlines


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380th BG Aug 21, 1943
Pilot  Yoshio Yamada (Dai Nippon Airlines) (KIA)
Engineer  Tsutomu Yamagata (Dai Nippon Airlines)
Radio  Shigeharu Imano (Kon'no) (Dai Nippon Airlines)
Navigator  Minoru Takahashi (Dai Nippon Airlines)
Passenger  Lt. Hirohide Fushimi (WIA, died August 26, 1943)
Passenger  ? (others unknown)
Crashed  August 21, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Tabby-Showa/Nakajima as a L2D license-built version of Douglas DC-3. Owned and operated by Dai Nippon Airlines(Greater Japan Airlines). Nicknamed "Cedar Tree".

Wartime History
This L2D was being used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a contracted transport aircraft. All of the aircraft were civilian employees of Dai Nippon Airlines (Imperial Japanese Airways).

Aboard was passenger Hirohide Fushimi 伏見 博英 born October 5, 1912 as Prince Hirohide, the 4th son of Prince Fushimi Hiroyasu, he was the younger brother of Prince Fushimi Hiroyoshi, Prince Kachō Hirotada and Marquis Kachō Hironobu. In October 1932, he served as a member of the House of Peers in the Diet of Japan. On 1 April 1936, by order of Emperor Hirohito, he was allowed to establish his own household after renouncing his imperial title, and was named a count. He attended the Imperial Japanese Navy Academy 62nd class and rose to the rank of Lt. Commander.

Mission History
On August 21, 1943 this L2D was to make a flight from Kendari Airfield bound for Maccasar Airfield on Celebes. Before take off, passenger Lt. Hirohide Fushimi requested the flight be delayed for ten minutes to use the bathroom and as a result took off ten minutes late.

Over Bono Bay (Gulf of Boni), the transport was intercepted by B-24D "Juarez Whistle" 42-40496 of the 380th Bombardment Group, piloted by Captain Gus Cannery. The B-24 caught up with the transport engaged it with gunfire that set the left engine on fire and the right engine smoking. During the attack, the crew photographed this Tabby on fire and smoking over Bono Bay.

Damaged, this L2D made a controlled landing into Bono Bay. Pilot Yoshio Yamada was killed in the crash and passenger Lt. Hirohide Fushimi was wounded.

Fates of the Crew
After the crash, the survivors were rescued. On August 26, 1943, Lt. Kushimi died from the injuries he sustained.

The Japanese side of the photograph of the damaged Tabby was a mystery. Researcher Minoru Kamada was the first to identify the Japanese crew and reveal the rest of the story about this photograph.

Memorials
Fushimi is buried at Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo.

References
Thanks to Minoru Kamada for additional research and analysis

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019

 

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