Misawa Kōkūtai (Misawa Air Group)
Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Kokutai (Air Group)
The Misawa Kōkūtai was formed at Misawa Airfield in Japan operating the Type 1 Attack Bomber / G4M1 Betty. On November 1, 1942 redesignated 705 Kōkūtai (705 Air Group).
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 escorted by nine A6M2 Zeros from the 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 Marine Fighting Squadron 223 (VMF-223). Damaged force landed is G4M1 Betty 1365 with the crew taken prisoner and the bomber later 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 redesignated 705 Kōkūtai (705 Air Group).
Markings and Tail Codes
The Misawa 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 based at Rabaul.
Tail Code 'H-XXX' (three digits) used during 1942.
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