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Misawa Kōkūtai / 705 Kōkūtai
Imperial Japanese Navy Kokutai

The Misawa Kōkūtai was formed at Misawa Airfield in Japan operating the Type 1 Attack Bomber / Mitsubishi G4M1 "Betty".

Wartime History
During 1942, operated from operating from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul. During 1942 until 1943, conducted long range bombing missions against Allied targets in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

On September 6, 1942 nine G4M1 Bettys took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul escorted by 30 A6M2 Zeros from the Tainan Kokutai, 2nd Kokutai and 6th Kokutai attack Rabi (Milne Bay). Despite bad weather, they bombed through dense clouds without seeing the target and departed without enemy fighter opposition.

On September 8, 1942 nine G4M1 took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul covered by nine A6M2 of 6th Kokutai bomb Rabi (Milne Bay).

On September 10, 1942 eleven G4M1 Betty bombers took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on a bombing mission against Guadalcanal. Over the target, intercepted by F4F Wildcats from VMF-223. Damaged force landed was G4M1 Betty 1365 and the crew were taken prisoner and the bomber was salvaged by U. S. Army Technical Air Intelligence Unit (ATIU).

On October 2, 1942 nine G4M1 Betty bombers acting as decoys took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul at 9:10am while 36 A6M2 Zeros took off on a sweep bound for Guadalcanal. By 10:00am all the Bettys plus eight Zeros from the Tainan Kokotai and one Zero from 6th Kokutai aborted the mission due to engine trouble.

On November 1, 1942 the Misawa Kōkūtai was re-designated 705 Kōkūtai (26 Koku Sentai).

On November 12, 1942 seven G4M1 Betty bombers from the 705 Kōkūtai plus other from the 703 Kōkūtai and 707 Kōkūtai took off from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul escorted by A6M2 Zeros on a torpedo mission against American shipping off Guadalcanal. The bomber force suffered 14 out of 19 shot down with the loss of ten crews.

In December 1942, G4M1 Betty 5749 Tail 336 force landed at Munda Airfield on New Georgia.

On March 22, 1943 five G4M1 Bettys took off from Buka Airfield on a patrol mission and return safely.

On April 18, 1943 two 705 Kokutai bombers: G4M1 Betty 2656 Tail 323 and G4M1 Betty Tail 326 were used to transport Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief of the Combined Japanese Fleet and his senior staff on a flight bound for Ballale Airfield. Knowledge of his flight was gleamed from a coded Japanese message sent on April 13, 1943 which American intelligence intercepted and had broken their Naval code. Decoded, the message outlined Yamamoto's itinerary and timetable and

Over southern Bougainville, both bombers were in intercepted and shot down by P-38 Lightinings from the 339th Fighter Squadron on the "Yamamoto Mission".

On May 13, 1943 seven G4M1 Bettys took off from Buka Airfield on a night mission to bomb Guadalcanal. Over the target, intercepted by P-38 Lightning piloted by Lt. William E. Smith from the 12 Fighter Squadron who claimed an aerial victory over a Betty at 7:46pm and claimed a Betty probable at 7:47pm.

Sometime in 1943, G4M1 Betty 1570 Tail 377 crashed on Guadalcanal. In July 1943, the crash site was investigated by Allied air intelligence July 1943 and recovered documents.

On September 5, 1943 withdrawn from Rabaul northward to Tinian Island. On November 11, 1943 began operating from Taroa Airfield. In November 1943 to Padang Airfield on Sumatra Island. During December 1943, the unit's bombers participated in a bombing mission against Calcutta in India.

Markings and Tail Codes
The 705 Kokutai used different tail codes at various dates. Stripes on the tail divide the flights into the various hiko chutai/buntai. These varied in width and location by time period. The wider stripes indicate the early period when the 705 Ku was based at Rabaul.

Tail Code 'H-XXX' (three digits) used during 1942
Tail Code 'T1-XXX' (three digits) used during middle 1943
Tail Code 'XXX' (three digits)
Tail Code 'U-XXX' (three digits)

Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, September 6, 1942
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, September 8, 1942
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, September 10, 1942
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, October 2, 1942
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, November 12, 1942
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, March 22, 1943
Kodochosho, 705 Kōkūtai, May 13, 1942

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