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 #40 - DARWIN raid - February 19, 1942

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Sidnei E. Maneta
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Location : Osasco, São Paulo, Brasil

PostSubject: #40 - DARWIN raid - February 19, 1942   Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:53 pm



Attack plane (D3A1 "Val") takes off from Akagi, to attack Port Darwin on 19 February 1942.


AII-254 was flown by a shotaicho. The crew were PO1c Takezo Uchikado (pilot) and CPO Katsuyoshi Tsuru (radioman/gunner). Their target at Pearl Harbor was USS Maryland. This plane was shot down during the Darwin raid, 19 Feb 1942.


Tanker "British Motorist" photo #1
Tanker "British Motorist" on fire. USS Peary in the distance.


BII-124 pilot on 19 Feb 1942 was Itto (Hiko) Hei (Flyer First Class) Hajimi Toyoshima, but it NOT flown by Toyoshima
at Pearl Harbor. Toyoshima was not a Shotaicho, but was being trained to be Shotaicho. On 19 Feb 1942, his Shotaicho
did not fly and Toyoshima flew the Shotaicho plane. This plane was shot down during the Darwin raid.
INFO CREDIT: David Aiken.  


BII-124 photo #1
Toyoshima's A6M2 Reisen "Zero" laying where it crashed on Melville Island on 19 February 1942. The first Japanese
prisoner of war captured in Australia and in the South West Pacific war was Itto (Hiko) Hei (Flyer First Class) Hajimi Toyoshima,
a 22 year old pilot from the carrier Hiryu. He crash landed his damaged aircraft BII-124, on his return
back to his aircraft carrier after the first massive air strike on Darwin, on 19 February 1942, at Melville Island,
Northern Territory - Australia. INFO CREDIT: Garth O'Connell


BII-124 photo #2
After the capture of Toyoshima, the Tiwi people who found him were asked to show the location of the crashed Zero.
Here Corporal Charles Ellemore, an RAAF guard, is standing on the fuselage with some
of the men who captured Toyoshima. A local Tiwi (Aboriginal), Matthias Ulungura of Snake Bay settlement witnessed the crash
with other local people. Matthias and some other Tiwi's captured Toyoshima and took him to nearby Bathurst Island to Sergeant Leslie J Powell, of the 23rd Field Company Royal Australian Engineers. They used Toyoshima's own service pistol
to escort him to captivity. The unarmed Sgt Powell was on Bathurst Island to maintain demolition installations on the island.
INFO CREDIT: Garth O'Connell


BII-124 photo #3
Crash of Imperial Japanese 'Zero' fighter plane, and capture of the first Japanese Prisoner of War (POW). Upon his capture, Itto (Hiko) Hei (Flyer First Class) Hajimi Toyoshima gave his identity as Tadao Minami, he claimed to be an enlisted pilot flying from Ambon (Dutch East Indies - now Indonesia) to Darwin, it was under this name he was given the designation of PWJ 910.1, the first Japanese Prisoner of War in the Pacific War. Toyoshima was to later die in the infamous "Cowra Breakout", on the night of 4/5 August 1944. He led the mass escape and suicide attack by blowing on a bugle.
INFO CREDIT: Garth O'Connell


BII-124 photo #4
On 19 February 1942, an Imperial Japanese Navy A6M2 "Zero", Serial No. 5349, coded BII-124, was hit in the oil tank by a single .303" rifle bullet over Darwin Harbour during one of the largest Japanese bombing raids on Darwin. Toyoshima's severely damaged aircraft was the first intact Zero captured, and the first time the Allies could view up close the much feared Zero, which at that stage of the War - was sweeping all Allied aircraft before it with its superb handling characteristics.
INFO CREDIT: Garth O'Connell


BII-124 photo # 5
A6M2 Zero BII-124 crashed on Melville Island, on February 19, 1942. It's recovered for further investigation. This is one of the first Zeros captured by the Allies. The number "BII-1" of the complete Tail Number BII-124 is visible on the tail. Today, the center section of this same wreck is displayed at the Australian Aviation Heritage Center, near Darwin. This A6M2 was from the carrier Hiryu and used on the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The 'royal blue' stripes on the fuselage represent the 2nd carrier in the 2nd carrier division (1st Air Fleet), the stripe on the tail represents flight leader (shotaicho). INFO CREDIT: http://www.pacificghosts.com/aircraft/a6m/5349/wwii/bii-124-recovered.html


BII-216 was flown by a wingman, PO2c Kozo Ikeda (pilot) and PO3c Tatsuo Itazu (gunner/radioman). On 1st March, BII-216 attacked USS Pecos. It was hit by flak in the fuselage fuel tank and an internal leak caused petrol to collect inside the fuselage. After landing on carrier Hiryu, an exaust spark ignited the volatile liquid, engulfing the aeroplane in flames. Itazu and Ikeda scrambled out as soon as their tailhook caught a wire. BII-216 was pushed off the stern.
TAIL CODE and INFO CREDIT: book AICHI 99 KANBAKU 'VAL' UNITS 1937-42, by Osamu Tagaya, 2011, Osprey Publishing

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