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  Type 89B Otsu Yi-Go Medium Tank (No. 2)  
IJA
4th Southsea Garrison Unit
38th Independent
Mixed Brigade

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RNZAF March 3, 1945

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William Bartsch 2008

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Josh McDade 1999

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John Douglas 2008

Tank History
Built by Mitsubishi, Otsu model built between 1931-1939.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 4th South Sea Garrison Unit formed at Wakayama on June 26th 1943. Transported from Japan via Truk to Rabaul. One of four tanks transported aboard the Bunsan Maru to Tarlena during September 1943 and deployed in northern Bougainville. In July 1944, the tanks were assigned to the 38th Independent Mixed Brigade.

After the American landing at Torokina, the Japanese carefully concealed their tanks until early March 1945 then attempted to move them along the north coast road.

Spotted on March 3, 1945 at 10:50am by a pair of RNZAF 18 Squadron F4U Corsairs patrolling the Ruri Bay area. Without bombs, the pair strafed the tanks, and reported them, returinging with another F4U to drop 1,000 lbs bombs, and discovered a third tank. Later in the day, seven more aircraft from Piva bombed the tanks and left one on fire, and strafed the third tank which had not moved. It was hit and its ammunition exploded, 'completely wrecking it'.

During the morning of March 4, 1945 tanks in the jungle had been moved, but one of them was discovered by a Boomerang in the late afternoon, heavily camouflaged under trees. As soon as it was reported, three F4Us of 18 Squadron took off to bomb it. It was dark when they reached it, but the reconnaissance pilot marked the target with tracer fire.

The last tank was attacked on the morning of March 5, 1945. Attacked by nine 18 Squadron F4Us. Two of the bombs were almost direct hits and blew off the tank's turret and two doors.

Wreckage
This tank is located on the west side of the north coast road on the west of Ruri Bay, souh-east of Bonis.

References
Official History Royal New Zealand Air Force, page 299-300
Rust in Peace page 207
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 62 (upper)
Senshi Sosho Vol. 58, Page 164-165
Thanks to 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
February 4, 2018

 

Tech InfoType 89
Yi-Go

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