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  G4M1 Model 11 Betty Manufacture Number 5414 Tail T-359
IJN
753 Kōkūtai

Former Assignments
Takao Kokutai

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ATIS December 1, 1942
Pilot  Kiyoshi Akamatsu (KIA)
Co-Pilot  Saburo Takahashi (KIA)
Observer  Kaku Yoned (KIA)
Observer  Tadashi Wada (KIA)
Observer  Mitsuo Takano (KIA)
Observer  Takeshi Nomiguchi (KIA)
Radio  Houichi Fukuya (KIA)
Radio  Ietomi Hachigou (KIA)
Maintenance  Naoyuki Fujise (KIA)
Crashed  November 24, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works on September 5, 1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 1 Attack Bomber / G4M1 Model 11 Betty manufacture number 5414.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Takao Kōkūtai (Takao Air Group). On November 1, 1942 redesignaed 753 Kōkūtai (753 Air Group) with tail code T-359.

Mission History
On November 23, 1942 at 11:33pm took off from Koepang Airfield on Timor piloted by Kiyoshi Akamatsu as one of fifteen G4M1 Betty bombers on a night bombing mission over Darwin. On November 24, 1942 at 3:39am the bombers were flying at an altitude of 22,500' in a "V" formation as they approached the target area. At 3:40am, intercepted by P-40E Kittyhawk A29-113 piloted by Richard C. "Dick" Cresswell.

After a brief combat, this bomber was hit in the right engine causing a fire and crashed. This was the first Japanese aircraft shot down by an Australian pilot over the Australian mainland. The other bombers returned to Koepang Airfield by 6:30am.

Wreckage
This bomber crashed near Koopinyah Station to the east of Darwin. The entire crew was killed in the crash. The cockpit and center section were burned in the crash. The tail was crumpled and engines torn off on impact. Soon afterwards, the crash site was located soon afterwards and Air Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) who inspected and photographed the wreckage. During December 1-2, 1942 another visit was made to search for the right engine, tail gun and any material initially missed.

Display
A seat from this aircraft was recovered from the crash site and other artifacts. One seat (AWM REL/02407) is displayed at Australian War Memorial (AWM) in the aircraft hall. Also, a small dataplate tag with manufacture number 5414 (AWM REL30194) is part of the AWM Collection.

References
Kodochosho Takao Kokutai November 23-24,1942
Air'Tell Research Report "G4M Serial Numbers" by Jim Long
Darwin's Air War (Revised Edition) page 79
An Analysis of P-40E A29-113 "In a 1981 letter to the RAAF Meteorological Service, Dick Cresswell stated the kill occurred at about 0130 on 24 November 1942"
Australian War Memorial Collection Database - REL/02407 (seat)
Australian War Memorial Collection Database - REL30194 (dataplate)
Thanks to Minoru Kamada and Yoji Sakaida for additional information

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Last Updated
November 14, 2021

Tech Info
Betty

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