Sunday, 17 March 2019

Mitsubishi G4M "Betty", 752 Kokutai & more - video

This new video today dated November 17, 1943 features Japanese Navy units in the Kuril Islands (or as the Japanese call them "Chishima Islands"). The video starts by mentioning that US forces attacked the islands and the Japanese forces are defending the territory. The remains of one shot down US aircraft are shown. Then, from 00:42, the narration continues by mentioning that around the same time the enemy also attacked in the Southern front, in Rabaul and close to Bougainville Island but the "torpedo units" are counter-attacking them. Then the narration changes and mentions the intensive training of torpedo bombers.
The tail of one "Betty" bomber is visible and the marking is yellow "52-872" with two white stripes.

The aircraft belongs to the 752Ku which was organized on November 1, 1942 with "Zeros" and "Nells". On December 26 of the same year the fighter compliment joined the 701Ku and around that time changed from "Nells" to "Bettys" in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture. A part of the unit relocated to Rabaul in July 1943 and fought there suffering heavy losses until the end of August. Then returned to Chitose in Hokkaido to train, replenish and join the rest of the unit which until then was in Paramushir covering the evacuation of the Aleutians. 
This video was most probably shot during training of naval and land based units before their deployment to the South Pacific under the "Operation RO", the reinforcement of the Rabaul and New Britain from October 30 to November 13, 1943 . The cruiser we see from 00:42 until 01:30 is one of Takao Class cruisers (Atago, Chokai, Maya, Atago) all of which participated in the operation (note the three fore turrets on 01:27. The other cruiser class with the same turret arrangement, the Myokos, did not take part in the "RO operation"). The captain on the bridge looks like Aruga Kosaku, the captain of Chokai, who later commanded the battleship Yamato during its final mission.
The aircraft carrier we see at 02:27 is either Shokaku or Zuikaku both of which were assigned to attack the US forces during their attack in the Aleutians and then were part of the naval force in the "Ro Operation". The 752Ku was also assigned to the South Pacific first relocating to Roi-Namur Island in November 1943, taking part in the battles in the Gilberts and Marshalls.
Enjoy the "Jake" being catapulted, the "Kates" doing torpedo attacks and note also the two "Reikan" (Mitsubishi F1M "Pete") on 00:44.

1 comment:

InchHigh said...

Good stuff, thanks for sharing these!