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|Pilot WO Ochiai (KIA)
Crew ? (KIA)
Observer PO1 Toshio Yoshida (survived)
Ditched March 11, 1945
This P1Y ditched off of Rumung near dark, after one of the engines stopped. The Japanese garrison mistook the airplane for American, and two of the crew were accidentally shot and the commander was injured. The survivor was PO1 Toshio Yoshida (Otsu 17), the observer.
At 1852, the sun set. Only two P1Ys, instead of the original 24 bombers, reached Ulithi, both well after dark. The Gingas approached Ulithi at high altitude. They dropped tin foil chaff to deceive the American’s radars. then dove and flew in low over the water. The two Gingas flew into Ulithi's anchorage undetected. They wanted one of the large fast carriers. The pilot of the first Ginga radioed "Successful attack!” before crashing. No alert had been sounded. The islets and ships were all well lit, the ships' crews relaxed and movies were being shown.
At 2007, a P1Y slammed into the starboard side of the USS Randolph (CV-15) anchored off Sorlen Islet. The bomber hit aft just below the flight deck, but had so little fuel left in its tanks that it did not burst into flames. The explosion of its bomb destroyed planes in the vicinity of the flight and hangar decks. The RANDOLPH was badly damaged and 26 men were killed and another 105 wounded. The other Ginga mistook Sorlen Islet for another aircraft carrier and plowed into it. The RANDOLPH was repaired locally and returned to action in early April 1945. She served as flagship of Task Force 58 during the latter part of the Okinawa campaign.
Results of the twenty-four P1Ys that took off on the "tokko" (suicide) mission to Ulithi:
5 P1Ys aborted the attack
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