|Pilot Sea1c Katsuro Nagatomo (survived, POW, suicide August 5, 1944)
Crashed February 28, 1942
They tested their guns on the wreck of the SS Pruth, then strafed Australian PBY Catalinas moored at Napa Napa, sinking two: A24-3 and A24-6. Nagatoma's Zero was hit by fire from a 7.7mm lewis machine gun emplaced above Napa Napa, causing it to crash into Bootless Bay.
Prisoner Of War
In Australia, he spent six months recovering from his wounds in at RAAF hospital at Laverton near Melbourne. While hospitalized, he was interrogated for an hour during seven sessions over seven days. During these interogations, he was "not inclined to be helpful" and responded to some questions with "scornful contempt". While recovering, he became friends with the nurse caring for him who he described as "a mature and understanding woman" and a chaplin at the hospital. Due to these relationships, his attitude changed and he freely answered technical questions.
Later, he was transfered to Redholme Manson in South Yarra, Victoria during the springtime and was given unrestricted use of the grounds and answered questions from the intelligence material section. He was asked to make a propaganda broadcast stating that Japanese prisoners were being fairly treated, which he declined, and requested to join other prisoners"to suffer with them". His request was initially declined and he remained at Redholme Manson, in hopes of further cooperation. At one time, Nagatomo even offered to become an orderly at the hospital.
Eight months after being discharge from the hospital, he was interned at Corwa POW Camp arriving May 22, 1943. Nagatomo participated in the "Cowra Breakout" attempted during the early morning of August 5, 1944. Attempting to escape, he was hit by a gun shot wound to the left side of the chest, killing him. Afterwards, his remains were buried at Corwa at grave 21125.
On March 1, 1942 a 'fishing expedition' including RAAF Lt. Collet, RAN Captain Benjamin and four natives from Rabaul from the auxiliary ship Leander went to the crash site in Bootless Bay, and recovered additional pieces, including one 20mm cannon serial number 1339 (or 1389). Afterwards, returned to Port Moresby. Likely these pieces were later sent to Australia for technical evaluation (details unknown).
Today, SCUBA divers in Bootless Bay report the presence of a wreck in murky water. Photographic evidence or confirmation is yet to be produced by a diver.