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USN February 20, 1942
|Pilot WO Kenzo Watanabe (KIA)
Co-Pilot PO3c Minoru ? (KIA)
Observer Lt. Commander Takuzo Ito (KIA) C.O. 4th Ku Hikotaicho
Observer Lt. Saburo ? (KIA)
Radio PO ? Akiba (KIA)
Radio PO1c ?-ichi Murata (KIA)
Mechanic PO1c Sukenobu Ietani (KIA)
Mechanic PO3c ? Hagio (KIA)
Crashed February 20, 1942 at 5:12pm
Leading the 1st Chutai of eight bombers, the formation sighted Task Force 11, but were intercepted by F4F Wildcat piloted by Lt. Edward 'Butch' O'Hare from VF-3 who made a firing pass, hitting this bomber's left engine and causing it to flame, explode and break off the engine mount and fall out of formation.
Gaining control at low altitude, the bomber salvoed both bombs and attempted to crash into the USS Lexington CV-2. As the damaged bomber approached, it was hit by anti-aircraft fire from the carrier and screening destroyers USS Bagley DD-386 and USS Aylwin DD-355. A sailor aboard the carrier recorded cine film of the bomber's final moments before crashing at 5:12pm.
This Betty crashed roughly 1,400m ahead of USS Lexington CV-2 and 200 yards off the starboard quarter of USS Bagley DD-386. The entire crew was killed during the attack or when it crashed into the sea.
In total, eighteen Betty bombers were shot down and two others crash landed, including this bomber. A total of 88 Japanese airmen were Missing In Action / Killed In Action on this mission. Also lost was G4M1 Betty Tail F-348 commanded by Ito.
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