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  Type 89B Otsu Yi-Go Medium Tank (Kieta)  
IJA
4th Southsea Garrison Unit
38th Independent
Mixed Brigade

Click For Enlargement
PNG Museum 1985

Click For Enlargement

Josh McDade 1999

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2005

Tank History
Built by Mitsubishi built between 1931-1939. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as Type 89B Otsu Yi-Go serial number unknown. Assigned to the 4th South Sea Garrison Unit formed at Wakayama on June 26, 1943.

Wartime History
This tank was transported from Japan via Truk to Rabaul then loaded aboard the Bunsan Maru as one of four tanks unloaded at Tarlena on northwest Bougainville in September 1943. After the American landing at Torokina on November 1, 1943 this tank was carefully concealed. In July 1944, the tanks were assigned to the 38th Independent Mixed Brigade.

Wreckage
This tank remained at Watego Plantation (unsure of spelling) 'in situ' until the early 1980s. Purchased by the Kieta Lions Club from land owner Oscar Bond for a pig and a ceremony to release its spirit. The land owner did not want to sell the gun barrel, and kept it.

Display
During the middle 1980s, transported to the Kieta Memorial Park by Bob Strong aboard a Rabaul stevedores low loader and transported to Kieta and installed on two concrete pads at the Kieta Memorial Park. When unveiled, painted tan with a Japanese flag on the sides of the hull. The exterior has little structural damage and minimal shrapnel damage. The track protectors appear to have been removed, leaving both metal tracks exposed. The main gun is missing and replaced with a faux gun barrel. Inside, the engine is removed.

References
Senshi Sosho Vol. 58, Page 164-165
Thanks to Steven Turner and Akira “Taki” Takizawa for additional information
After The Battle Issue 147 "The Japanese Tanks of Bougainville" by Justin Taylan

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Last Updated
May 30, 2019

 

Tech Info
Type 89
Yi-Go

Photos
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