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billom
09-14-2008, 10:55 PM
:cool:Howdy all,

Just happened on the site searching for info on WW II Japanese aircraft. I recently returned from Papua New Guinea and while there, was guided to a little know crash site of a Japanese aircraft. I would like to identify it if possible from my frequently faulty memory. Anyone care to help?? Give a shout if so, and I will provide what info I have. Regards to all.

Jeff Osborne
09-18-2008, 02:55 AM
There is a good website that collect this info, pacificwrecks.com. They've been around for some time and manage & share the info for those of like interests.

alfiechan
09-18-2008, 06:38 AM
Hi there!
I live in Japan and I think I can help you with this. I am also the Chief Japanese researcher for pacificwrecks.com so please let me know what I can do!
alfiechan

billom
09-19-2008, 01:13 AM
Good day Alfiechan,
Thanks for your reply, and interest. The information I have follows. The crash site is on a steep, nearly inaccessable slope above the present day village of Isurava, PNG. I would thereby tentitively conclude it was involved in the 1942 battle(s) of Isurava. The crash is scattered over a relatively small area, but it hit hard, and judging from the prop (variable pitch, three blade), it hit while under power. Judging from the still standing (dead) trees, and depth of the immediate impact area, it came in at a very steep angle, say 60 degrees. No weapons, ammunition nor human remains were noted.

The debris was ripped into smaller pieces, but the rising sun was notable on a number of surfaces. The wings nor fusalage were painted. The inside surfaces of various aluminum components were colored (painted?), a gloss blue/green. Several painted stripes were noted on some surfaces (red seems right). on three different pieces of debris, english numerials were noted as appose to Japanese script. The engine was an air cooled radical, of unknown number of cylinders. Shards of glass were noted on the ground. A honeycombed air cooler (probably oil) was on site. Three hardpoint attachment components were found, one being longer than the other two. Wing reinforcement was noted that suggests (to me), the wings were foldable. Two pieces found were found, which were unique to my experiences. One was patrially buried on impact, the second was loose on the ground. The are composed of heavy metal with lighter metal fairing attached, one end being circular and about 15" in diameter, with what appeared to be a heavy coiled spring inside. My first guess was landing gear struts, although they resemble none I have seen previously. Among the debris was a large bottle that at first I thought was a torpedo, but on researching the model 91 topedos of that date, they weighed far to much to have been the cylinder in question. I suspect, therefore, is was a simple compressed air/nitrogen bottle (the bottom was blown/broken off the bottle). As noted above, no machine guns/canons or other weapons were found nor were mounting locations in wing remains noted. No flight control surfaces were found, which suggested to me those surfaces may have been fabric in construction, and have since rotted away. One small scrap about a foot long of burlap was found tightly immeshed with other wreckage. Two red fuel caps (about 3" in diameter) were found on what appeared to be wing surfaces.

This crash site was discovered by a hunter and to my knowledge, not many from outside PNG are aware of the site.

Lastly, no subsequent fire nor explosion were apparant.

Lets start with that, and see if it gives us anything at all to begin with.

Best regards,

Billom