A Tachikawa Ki-54 trainer has been pulled out of Lake Towada where it had been resting for more than 69 years thanks to the efforts of the volunteers of Aomori-ken Koku Kyokai (Aviation Association of Aomori Prefecture).
The plane made an emergency landing on September 27, 1943 due to engine trouble on her way to Hachinohe airfield, Aomori prefecture, from Noshiro airfield, Akita prefecture. There were four passengers. One was saved by a fisherman but the other three were lost. Their bodies were not found in the wreck.
The plane was first discovered two years ago by a marine research company but the first effort for recovery was unsuccessful because half of one of the wings was buried in the mud. During the second successful recovery the plane was split in three, main wing, nose around the cockpit and rear fuselage but all in all the recovery team is confident it will be successfully restored.
The 38th Sentai was organised in April 1943 from the 1st Chutai of the 3rd Sentai. From March 1942 until June the 3rd Sentai was based in Hachinohe airfield and then relocated to Hokkaido.
A last set of photos, from HERE. The aircraft will be moved next week to Misawa Aviation and Science Museum pending restoration. We hope to visit it for a very close inspection and we will definitely keep you informed through our blog.
Notice the interior color!
Notice the "blue" color of the flaps.
Source here. Note the interior green and possibly the dark brown primer in the windows.
Photos below, coutresy of Mr. Oota Hiroyuki, from HERE.
One of the two Hitachi Ha-13Ko engines.
Tail marking: 38th Sentai