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4th South Sea Garrison Unit
June 16, 1945
Built by Mitsubishi built between 1934-1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) as Type 89B Otsu Yi-Go serial number unknown. Assigned to the 4th South Sea Garrison Unit formed at Wakayama on June 26, 1943.
This tank was transported from Japan via Truk to Rabaul then loaded aboard the Bunsan Maru as one of four tanks unloaded at Tarlena on northwest Bougainville in September 1943. After the American landing at Torokina on November 1, 1943 this tank was carefully concealed. In July 1944, the tanks were assigned to the 38th Independent Mixed Brigade.
During June 1945 dig in near Chabai in the Soraken Peninsula area of northwest Bougainville. Likely, the Japanese dug in this tank to prevent it from being spotted from the air and intended to use it as a fixed defense against any advance by the Australian Army.
On June 14, 1945 this tank was located by a patrol from the Australian Army, 11th Infantry Brigade, 26th Infantry Regiment, C Company. When found, the tank was in good mechanical order but was missing a generator. The tank's Type 90 57mm main gun and ammunition was removed and found on the ground nearby. Possibly, the Japanese intended to remove the gun for use elsewhere or servicing.
On June 16, 1945 the tank was inspected by Brig J. R. Stevenson, Commander 11th Infantry Brigade who was photographed standing on the tread. Afterwards, the fate of this tank is unknown and was likely abandoned in situ or otherwise disappeared.
26th Infantry Battalion War Diary June 14, 1945 (AWM 52/8/3/64/21 March-June 1945, folio 86)
"At 1230L a patrol located an enemy tank at 326708, the tank was dug in and in good mechanical condition except for a missing generator. The tanks was a type similar to that found at Ruri Bay (medium tank model 89 B (1929)). The 57 mm gun and ammunition is on the ground beside the tank." . This photograph shows the front glacis plate, which on the Type 89 tank was almost vertical."
WW2 Nominal Roll - John Rowlstone Stevenson 2950028 (NX49)
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