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4th South Sea Garrison Unit
June 16, 1945
Built by Mitsubishi built between 1931-1939. 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 early June 1945, this tank was 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 approaching Australian Army forces.
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.
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