The Japanese Betty bomber on Ie Shima, the first part of the Surrender of Japan and Aviation History.
G-4m3 Betty Bomber Aviation History
|from the 34th fighter Squadron Yearbook.|
This is a fantastic story of the Japanese Surrender and a big part of Aviation History and World History as well.
There was an interesting story about the Japanese surrender which involved the Japanese Betty Bombers. The surrender wasn't just the emperor waving a white flag and calling it quits. And it wasn't just the signing of the surrender papers on the USS Missouri. There was a long story behind the Japanese surrender and a big part of aviation history.
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There was an interesting
story about the Japanese surrender which involved the
The surrender wasn't just the emperor waving a white flag and calling it
quits. It wasn't just the signing of the surrender papers on the
There was a long story behind the Japanese surrender and a big part of aviation
history. As a webmaster,
I'm just going to tell it the way I remember reading about it so here it
is, please forgive me for any mistakes.
When Emperor Hirohito decided for the Japanese to surrender after the dropping of the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he was not a popular man. The Japanese honor dictated that the Japanese should fight to the very last person and never give up. Hirohito knew that the people have suffered badly and that most everyone would die if the war continued and he saw fit to end the war and end this great suffering. The Japanese generals in charge of the armies thought differently than this. They wanted to continue the war to the very end, to the very last man, for the honor of Japan.
This is where the Betty bombers came in. They were painted white and had large green crosses painted on them. They were to fly to the island of Ie Shima to bring the surrender delegation and the surrender papers to the Allied forces there. But it wasn't just a normal flight. The few remaining Jap Zeros were scrambled and were ordered to shoot the Betty Bombers down. The Betty Bomber pilots knew that this would happen so they flew North East instead of South East which would have been the most direct course. Mean while the American forces sent up a squadron of B-25 Mitchell's and P-38 Lightning's to intercept the Japanese Betty Bombers and escort them safely to Ie Shima.
There were two Betty's flying on this mission and one of the members of the surrender delegation commented that he could see out of the holes in the Betty's side that were made from American cannon fire. He was watching and noticed a group of fighter aircraft approaching. Everyone's hearts were throbbing in fear as the fighters came closer. Then suddenly there was a sigh of relief, the fighters were the P-38 Lightings and were there for their protection.
The flight safely landed on the island of Ie Shima, however, one of the Betty's ran off of the runway and was damaged and unable to fly the remainder of the mission. The picture below shows the two Betty's sitting on the ramp with a guard standing with a machine gun. This was the most important flight of the war, but at the same time one of the least heard of.
Once the papers were signed they had to be flown back to Japan to be finalized. The one remaining Betty took off to complete the mission. After a number of hours the pilot noticed that they were not going to have enough fuel to make it back to the final base because of all of the bullet holes in the fuel tank were leaking too much fuel and the consumption would be too much. One of the members of the surrender delegation was an Olympic swimmer so he was given the documents in case they had to ditch the aircraft out to sea.
This is exactly what happened. The plane ran out of fuel but they were able to ditch the Betty Bomber in very shallow water. There was only one person hurt and knocked unconscious and that was the Olympic swimmer. The Japanese army was alerted to seek out and kill the surrender delegation so the delegation had to sneak back to Tokyo to deliver the orders back to the Emperor. The mission was obviously successful.
of the island of Ie Shima.
These photos compare the runways of 1940's Ie Shima to the photos of Ie Shima today. Ie Shima was the home to the 34th Fighter Squadron in World War 2.
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