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  Ki-49-I Helen Manufacture Number 174  
JAAF
61st Sentai
1st Chutai

Pilot  Captain Katsuhiro Ohta (KIA, BR)
Crew  Warrant Officer Katumi Nakahara (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Major Hiroshi Tuchiya (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Major Nasakatu Shinagawa (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Major Harukichi Jitukawa (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Major Naburo Hayakawa (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Kaichiro Hariya (KIA, BR)
Crew  Sergeant Haruyuki Kadota (KIA, BR)
Crashed  June 20, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima. Delivered to the Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) as Type 100 Heavy Bomber (Ki-49-I Helen) manufacture number 174.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 61st Sentai, 1st Chutai. No known markings.

Mission History
On June 20, 1943 took off piloted by Captain Katsuhiro Ohta on a bombing mission against Darwin. Over the target, this bomber was shot down and crashed near Koolpinyah near Darwin.

Wreckage
After the crash, the crash site of this bomber was investigated by Allied Technical Intelligence Unit (ATIU) that located the manufacture number.

Richard Dunn adds:
"No. 174 (according to Allied crash intel) was the one found near Darwin. There were 129 model I's built. Assuming they started with 101 that would make No. 174 a Model I. Of course if they started at 001 it wouldn't be. The Allied crash report stated it had the 1450 hp engines (which would make it a model II). Now to confuse matters even more I have found evidence of additional a/c with three digit serial numbers. A captured doc references a Ki-49 330. Allied crash intel also found documents regarding other 300 series a/c (assumed they were model I's because they didn't model I production was only 129 machines. Maybe some data plates left off the 3--- before the other digits. Conundrum."

Recovery of Remains
The remains of the crew were recovered and buried.

Memorials
The remains of the crew were permanently buried at Cowra Japanese War Cemetery at graves B04-02 to B04-09. It is unclear if these are individual graves or a collective grave (group burial) that spans those graves.

References
Nakajima Ki-49 Serial Numbers by Jim Long for production data
Darwin's Air War (Revised Edition) page 79
Rikai Means Understanding by W. W. Appleton pages 12-13.
The Empire Strikes South by Lewis, T pages 105-112, 198
Thanks to Richard Dunn and Daniel Leahy for additional information

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Last Updated
June 29, 2019

 

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