Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works during late April 1943. Assigned to the 705 Kokutai. Tail number 336 with a white horizontal line. The fuselage Hinomaru were outlined with a white square.
During December 1942, this bomber force landed wheels up at Munda Airfield. During the landing, the left wingtip was bent upward but the aircraft landed intact. Afterwards, abandoned near the runway.
By August 5, 1943 the U. S. Army captured Munda Airfield and many Japanese aircraft, including this bomber. When captured, the fuselage showed ripples caused by nearby bomb blast during the bombing of the airfield. The perspex was missing and most of the fabric gone from the control surfaces and the circular fuselage door was missing. As one of the more intact wrecks, this Betty was heavily photographed by American personnel based in the area and pieces removed as souvenirs. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
Air'Tell Research Report "G4M Serial Numbers" by Jim Long
Setting Suns page 24, 33
Wartime sources report this aircraft force landed at Visu Viso Point (Visuviso Point / Bugmar Beach) on New Georgia
Osprey Combat Aircraft 22 - Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko 'Betty' Units of WWII photos, profile 13
Osamu Tagaya (via J-Aircraft) adds:
'I had assumed this was [Sup FPO Shuji] Sakurai's aircraft [that was badly shot up and force landed June 30, 1943] and identified it as such in my Osprey book on the Betty. However, if this was Sakurai's aircraft, it posed an anomaly as far as its markings were concerned, which represented the chutai marking and associated number block assignments before rather than after the December 1, 1942 reorganization. I was still confused by this at the time the Osprey book went to press, and my confusion shows in the captions I provided on pp. 72 and 73, as well as those in connection with Profile No. 13.
The confusion is compounded by an inaccuracy in the profile painting, which shows No. 336 with a cut-off tail gun canopy (page 53). This is an error I let slip by in giving Mark Styling my instructions for the painting. The photos on pp. 72 and 73 clearly show the old-style tail cone to be completely intact.
I now believe that No. 336 was not Sakurai's machine. Furthermore, I now believe it had no connection with the June 30, 1943 action, and that it was, in fact, lost much earlier in time. This would be consistent with the pre-December 1, 1942 marking system which the plane displays. Also, most Type 1 Rikko had cut-off tail cones by the spring of 1943.
Finally, a very valuable piece of evidence from captured and translated Japanese documents provided by Richard Dunn indicates that the five rikko lost by 705 Ku on June 30, 1943 were 310, 312 or 321 (a numeral transposition discrepancy in the sources), 358, 372 and 377. No. 336 does not appear on this list."
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October 23, 2019