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|Crew Matsutare Okanura
Engineer Keis Okkjesimi
Crew Tomido Olasogi
Crew Nasa Tusi Yusito
Passenger Admiral Mineichi Koga, C in C Combined Fleet (KIA in crash)
Passenger Vice Admiral Fukodomei, C in C land & sea forces in Makassar
Passenger Yoji Yamamoto, Marine officer traveling to Makassar
Passenger Ushikisa Inanishi
Crashed March 31, 1944
Built by Kawanishi at Konan Plant in Kobe. At the factory, painted with green upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 2 Flying Boat / H8K2 Emily manufacture number unknown. Assigned to an unknown Kōkūtai (Air Group). No known markings or tail code.
On March 30, 1944 took off from Palau on a flight bound for Davao on Mindanao. Aboard was passeger Admiral Mineichi Koga. Flying into a typhoon, the seaplane crashed into the sea off Cebu on March 31, 1944 around 2:00am.
Fates of the Crew
Ater the crash, the survivors floated in the sea and towed the dead body of Admiral Mineichi Koga. They attempted to swim towards Cebu.
Meanwhile, Filipinos at at Barrio Balud and Sangat in San Fernando on Cebu heard a crash and explosion. Afterwards, several Filipinos including Ricardo Bolo, Edilberto Bolo and Valeriano Paradero, plus others used canoes to paddle out to investigate and found the crash site roughly three kilometers and found survivors swimming towards shore towing a body. Spotting the Filipinos, twelve survivors clung to their canoes as they paddled back to Cebu. Ashore all were bound as prisoners and one tried to resisit capture.
Independently, two Japanese swam to barrio Sangat and made contact wit hthe mayor who was pro-Japanese and were taken to Tina-an in Naga to the Japanese garrison.
Recovery of Remains
The group had dragged a dead, burned body to shore, laid it on the beach and chanted "Koga". As dawn was approaching, the Japanese were taken inland by the Filipinos and the body abandoned on the beach. Later, unburied body was eaten by dogs (later, his bones were recovered by Japanese soldiers). The same Japanese who attempted to resist attacked one of the Filipinos, who killed him.
Japanese soldiers searched for any survivors and the whereabouts of documents aboard the plane. They terrorizing civilians at Sangat, torturing and killing, and offering rewards. Seven different Japanese patrols drove inland towards the guerilla headquarters at Tabunan. The Japanese dropped propaganda leaflets demanding the return of the documents and prisoners, and even released a guerilla prisoner.
On April 8, Cushing reported by SWPA HQ that he had ten prisoners and was being pressured by the Japanese. The next day he identified the prisoners, stating they had "General Furomei" (Fukodomei) and other high level officers and documents including maps. Japanese forces were approaching and pressuring the guerillas, and were within rifle range and bombed by a seaplane. Since the guerillas suffered casualties, two of the prisoners were summary executed with a bladed weapon, to avoid giving away their position to the nearby Japanese.
The Japanese held over a hundred Filipino civilians as ransom and continued to persecute others. Since they had not yet heard back from SWPA HQ, the guerillas decided to negotiate with the Japanese, and had the prisoners write a message to the Japanese, saying they would hand over the prisoners in exchange for an end to the attacks on civilians, but also attempted to stall for time.
At noon on April 10, the prisoners were released to the Japanese. That afternoon, SWPA HQ radioed that the prisoners should be held at all costs and evacuated by submarine and taken to Australia. Getting this message, Cushing wept openly, and said he should have kept the prisoners. Later, he was severely reprimanded for this mistake.
Japanese entered his village on April 3 and forced the civilians to the church and searched houses for the box. The next day, they returned and continued searching. Gantuangko feared being caught and turned the files over to guerillas, who eventually delivered them to Cushing at Tabunan. Back at the village, the Japanese continued to threaten civilians searching for the documents. Gantuangko fled to Pangangan Island off Bohol. Tipped off to his involvement, Japanese reportedly murdering as many as 70 civilians on Pangangan.
The Japanese offered a reward of 50,000 Pesos for the documents and continued to drop leaflets until at least May 17, demanding the "robbed documents". Now known to be of great value, the documents were smuggled in two empty mortar tubes and sent to Tolong, Negros and removed by submarine.
Studied by US Army G-2, the documents were part of Plan "Sho" or "Z", revealing Leyte was lightly defended. On October 20, Army planners changed the planned the initial amphibious invasion in the Philippines from the proposed landing at Cotabato Bay on southern Mindanao to Leyte instead.
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November 20, 2021
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