Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nakajima B5N "Kate" remains - Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

Perhaps you remember our February posting (here) about the first Pacific War victory of IJNAF ace pilot Iwamoto Tetsuzo during the Easter Sunday Raid against Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena, a diver from Sri Lanka, shared with us a few photos from a Nakajima B5N "Kate" crash site during the attack on Trincomalee Harbour on April 9, 1942.
Wiki mentions: "According to eye witness Michael Tomlinson (author of The Most Dangerous Moment and RAF Station Intelligence Officer at Ratmalana and later at China Bay in Trincomalee), one Japanese pilot deliberately crashed his plane into one of the giant fuel tanks just north of China Bay aerodrome. Inside the aircraft were three Japanese — Shigenori Watanabe, Tokya Goto, and Sutomu Toshira. After carefully circling the area they plunged unerringly into the tank igniting their own funeral pyre. The resulting fire lasted seven days. Parts of the aircraft's engine and the flattened remains of the fuel storage tank have been placed in a barbed wire enclosure 1 ½ km from the turn off at the 4th mile post on the Trincomalee-Habarana Road."
All photos by Mr. Dharshana Jayawardena except when noted otherwise. 

The sign at the crash site
Aircraft remains
Photo by: Jayesh Nanayakkara, Sri Lanka

 And the fuel tank remains

Mr. Jayawardena is one of the contributing divers to the "Dive Sri Lanka" website with many interesting ship-wreck and beautiful underwater photos.
On THIS page there are photos of aircraft wrecks but the identity of the plane(s) is not clear. British or Japanese? Can our readers proficient in non-Japanese aircraft types offer their help?

Also, Mr. Jayawardena explained: A few days ago I dived a site where a fisherman had found a piece of aluminum and thought it was a plane and informed me. At 42m I found a wing, two tires and part of the engine with the propeller.
HERE is the video Mr. Jayawardena shot.
What type of aircraft do you think this is?
We are particularly thankful to Mr. Jayawardena and Mr. Nanayakkara for their contribution to our blog.

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