IJA Secret Intelligence Team at Chofu

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Shinpachi, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Until August 15, 1945, there used to be the IJA's smallest but most powerful intelligence team located in the suburbs of Oume, a few kilometers to the north of Chofu airfield. It was formed of all young skillful communication engineers, well-experienced veteran pilots and a few Japanese-American English translators.

    Their main mission was to catch V-code transmitted from Boeing B-29 left the Mariana Islands and to foresee how many, when and where they would fly into the Japanese mainland.

    Some times the team cut in the communication exchanged between the allied forces, pretending an American soldier, to collect/leak false information or to let an isolated US aircraft to surrender. One or two armed reconnaissance Toryu and Dinah always assissted this mission.

    This team was officially called 101st Communication Team under the direct control of the headquarters of the 1st Air Force of IJA.

    All records and traces about this team were abandoned or erased or modified before the Allied Forces reached to the IJA headquarters at Ichigaya of Tokyo in late August 1945.

    However, a testimony of a radio crew Mr. Teruo Miyoshi who was engaged in the reconnaissance mission came up on the internet four years ago though I have known it recently. He thought that he had got old enought to unveil everything before he passes away.

    With any appropriate translation tool, you can check more details by yourselves at the following site -

    [email protected]ƒo[ˆê——

    I'm thinking to translate them too but the volume is so large that I can't promise when I can do it at this stage. So I introduce the site first.
    The attached Toryu(Ki-45kai) reconnaissance version image is my guess.
    Mr. Teruo Miyoshi has confirmed in his article it was painted in blue.

    Hope you ALL enjoy!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm...Interesting stuff....!
     
  3. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hi Wayne. Thank you for your comment.
    If you want to know any article perfectly, I will be happy to translate.
    Translating article by article at random might be the realistic way to translate all finally.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  5. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hi syscom3:)
    Thank you for your request of translation.
    That's what I want to do as I'm a B29 fan too.
    I will start with Article No.12 and hope your B29 veterans will be interested.

    *****************************************************

    Article No.12
    The First Encounters with B29
    ============================
    Author: Mr. Teruo Miyoshi


    It was around the period(*estimated in late 1944) when I was just accumulating the reconnaissance experiences as a radio crew and even encountered Grummans several times.

    On that day, nothing unusual happened. To hear the pilot Sergeant-major's voice "We home", I checked again the sea surface for the security with the binoculars. In the lower left, I had found a large aircraft heading to the south with black smoke trail.

    I told it to Sergeant-major tapping him on the shoulder. "OK" he said and turned our plane to be positioned 550yards away to the target's tail. Through the binoculars, to my surprise, I observed that the tail gun turret(*meaning the gunner's room possibly) which must have been located just under the rudder had gone somewhere. The rudder itself was also swinging and just about to drop anytime.


    "We'll get lower. Check the target well". Our plane dropped the altitude a little and I could see better a big hole on the position of the belly gun turret. The bomb bay doors kept open because the lock would have been broken.


    "We'll get higher". Our plane got a higher altitude and approached to the target a little closer.
    An enemy gunner recognized us. He rotated the gun turret toward us but he did not shoot.
    Through the binoculars, the gunner looked absent-minded, lost his fighting spirit anymore and was only gazing at us.


    "We'll get forward". Our plane increased the speed and positioned left-upper of the target.
    One third of the left cockpit was missing. Co-pilot was controlling the aircraft desperately.
    Left two engines stopped. Oil was burning and blowing black smoke.
    Judging from the total situation of damage, the super fortress seemed to have got some close flack hits.


    "Don't you shoot?" I asked.
    "I don't shoot a wounded deer. Look it well. This is the B29 which is called 'fortress in the sky'".
    I was impressed.
    I was impressed more with her efforts to keep flying than I myself had witnessed a real B29.


    I tried to catch her emergency signal but could not synchronize well.
    "Check the sea surface well. Submarine will appear. Check the other B29s too"
    Looking around with the binoculars, I found an object in the sea which looked like a submarine. It was following the B29 at the periscope depth.


    "The submarine floats up" Sergeant-major said.
    Soon I could observe one submarine came up suddenly in a steep angle.
    Flying around the B29, we kept observing the submarine too.
    The deck hatch opened. Sailors came out, uncovered the anti-aircraft gun, aimed at us and seemed waiting for the next order. The bridge hatch opened. A few persons alike officers appeared and were beginning to observe us through their binoculars.


    The B29 was trying to ditch at the almost sea-level altitude but if it ditched holizontally, judging from her damage situation, the total cockpit would be blown out by the impact. I instantly thought that bringing the nose upward a little would be the best way to protect the cockpit, though the fuselage would be broken into two parts instead.

    I wondered which way Co-pilot would choose.
    He ditched holizontally at last.


    As I had been afraid, the cockpit was already missing, water rushed into the fuselage through the bomb bay and the hole where the cockpit had existed earlier. The big aircraft was sinking rapidly. Co-pilot, sacrificing himself, would have tried to save other crews. A rescue boat was observed approaching to the ditched B29 but, viewing from the sky, its speed looked very slow. I prayed "Hurry. Hurry" in my mind forgetting my own position. Yes, I was just forgetting the war at that moment as if I had been watching a movie.


    "Check the submarine's gun". To hear the voice, I returned to myself.
    Some B29 crews seemed rescued narrowly before the big aircraft sunk to disappear. Flying around, I found a person on the bridge showing his salute to us. I happened to salute too automatically.
    Our plane flew above the submarine and waved the main wings to say good-bye. Looking back, I could still see a person standing on the bridge. He seemed saying Thank You.


    "Anything happened today?" Sergeant-major asked.
    "Nothing. It was clear today. That's all".


    When I was transmitting telegram "This is ----. Reconnaissance no unusual. We home. (time)" to the headquarters, I heard Sergeant-major murmured . "Painful". I could feel all the brutality and emptiness of the war in this one word -

    "Painful".


    /End of Article No.12
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Very interesting.... Chivalry ??? Or just being civilized for the moment ?

    Charles
     
  7. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Hi ccheese.
    A hard question has come at first!

    I believe that 50percent was 'Chivalry' but the rest 50percent was Sergeant-major's judgment because their mission was reconnaissance. They had to avoid unnecessary fights.

    On this point, a professional soldier might say '100percent judgment'.

    As far as I have read articles, this team was formed of ten at most military soldiers with three at least civilian employees who were Japanese-Americans. The author was seventeen(!) years old then and a corporal.

    In the mission, the ability and skill was said prior to the rank and age.
    So, they communicated freely and frankly each other unlike other military sections. It was unbelievable for me at first because my father who used to be an IJA ordinary soldier was saying "Military life was HELL!".
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Great post Shin, hope to see more of it.
     
  9. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thank you timshatz for your interest.
    Next will be coming up in a few days!
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Shinpachi.

    Have you ever been to the Imperial War Museum at Yasakuni?

    Ive been to Japan on numerous occasions.

    Also, do you know where your father served? Was he stationed away from Japan?
     
  11. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    HI, syscom3. I'm glad to hear from you again.

    I also happy to know you have visited my country many times.
    Very expert.

    No, I haven't ever been to the Imperial War Museum at Yasukuni though
    I had visited the Yasukuni Shrine several times when I was living in Tokyo
    in 1970s.

    My father was nineteen years old and served any infantry regiment in Chiba Prefecture nearby Tokyo during 1944-1945.

    Without exception, he didn't talk much about the war.
    His generation had no good memory in the war.
    One thing he told me was he witnessed Ki-61 Hien shot down by B29 in the high sky. Pilot jumped out but his parachute didn't open and crashed on the ground. This seems a shocking incident for a teenager...

    OK I will continue translation.
    Please look forward to it.
    Thank you for your interest again!
     
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    G'day Shinpachi, great post mate and many thanks for taking the time to translate for us. Looking forward to more of your posts.
    BTW, does all this stuff relate to homeland defence or is there anything concerning the Japanese point of view in New Guinea?
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome Wildcat.
    I'm glad you enjoy.

    The 101st Communication Team was engaged in the protection of the homeland only. They covered as distant as the Mariana Islands including Iwo Jima but not New Guinea.

    Sergeant-major(Mr.Takenaka) had been an Oscar(Ki-43) pilot in New Guinea and its nearby battlefields before he joined the 101st Team. His age was 27-28 in 1945 so he would have been there for a couple of years at least. He said in the story that his skill and experience as a fighter pilot was performed in the daily dog-fights there. He seemed having enough knowlege about the Allied Forces aircrafts too. He became a flight instructor after he left the 101st Team in May or June 1945 and was said missing in Okinawa when the war was over.

    I can't recall anymore descriptions about New Guinea at the moment.
    I may find anything, I will let you know soon.

    Good day Wildcat!
     
  14. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    No worries mate, thanks for the reply. I look forward to your future posts. :)
     
  15. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Dear ALL, Here is Article No.37.
    Please enjoy:)

    *************************************

    Article No.37

    SPY
    ===
    Author: Mr.Teruo Miyoshi

    It was late spring of 1945 when the cherry blossoms season was almost over.
    In those days, ordinary citizens were threatened by a range of daily air raids and enjoying the cherry blossoms was little affordable.


    Search order was issued -
    [The enemy task force is heading to the north at 440miles offshore the Boso Peninsula. Search its scale. ]


    Before take-off, I checked the communication room and knew that staff didn't catch the radio wave yet any from the U.S.military. I asked Communication Sergeant to inform us, if he was successful to catch the V-codes and to deciphere other communications, of the outline of the B29s numbers and their junction with the Grummans immediately. The V-code was always dispatched from B29 to identify herself before making formation and Grummans would fly to escort the B29s.


    Even based on our past experiences only, we were able to estimate the junction like "near the coordinate ---" but if we were successful to catch their radio communications, it would help us to specify the precise point. We had already clarified what the value of "coordinate" which U.S.military was using meant almost precisely. Therefore today's mission was very important in order to measure our performance and to check whether it would be reliable or not in the future.


    After take-off, I transmitted message to the base "Use A3(*communication by voice) of ---KHz longwave. Send in broadcast style. We use ---KHz shortwave".

    "How about we transfer the captured American messages as they are to you immediately?" the base replied.
    "You are knowing I'm not good at English. Who are you?"
    "I'm Sergeant ----. I've just made fun of you. Now the mission starts. OK?"
    "Oh, Sergeant. Sorry. When the base sends Japanese translation, voice of a cold staff is not welcome. Over "

    (Note by the author) Voice of a cold staff sounds unclear as the +/- amplitude(swing) of audible frequency is so large.


    Sergeant had arranged two private soldiers who were in charge of translation and a communication soldier who was to send our plane the translation. The base communication room would now look as if it had been changed to a perfect SPY Team. Sergeant would be very busy.


    Even when such communications were going on between our plane and the base, my Sergeant-major was silent and single-minded to continue the maritime reconnaissance.


    "Visible! Enemy task force of a few ships. Two aircraft carriers are included" I shouted.
    I immediately reported the situation to the base, but the junction with the B-29s was unknown yet.
    We could still estimate the general junction by considering both the distance between the Mariana Islands and the Japaese mainland and the flight range of the carrier-based escort fighters but this time the 'general' made no sense because we had to verify if the value of "coordinates" would coincide with the point that we predicted. I was much tensed up.


    Our plane was circling on the clouds so as not to be seen from the enemy ships but they would have already captured us on the radar screen.


    "The communication between the B29s and the task force has begun" the base announced.
    "B-29s ---miles south of the task force, altitude 30,000feet, direction ---, estimated junction 'coordinates' ---"
    It seemed successful to catch the "coordinates" which U.S.military defined for themselves.


    Thinking the passage of time, the carrier-based escort fighters would take off in ---minutes soon.
    Unlucky to us, the sky was getting clear and we had no clouds to hide.
    "Don't check the carrier-based fighters. Check the numbers and route of the B29s. I check the carrier-based fighters" said Sergeant-major.


    The carrier-based fighters were taking off one after another and began circling above us. Making up the formation of about ten fighters, they seemed waiting for the B29s.
    "Take care. One of the fighters has received attack-order" the base warned us.
    Enemy seemed to have catched our plane on the radar and issued the attack-order.



    Through the binoculars, one fighter on the rear-end of formation was observed leaving the formation.
    It would be attacking us but, fully loaded with 250kgx2(*500lb?x2) bombs plus gun bullets, it couldn't be accelerated.
    I had never seen such a slow Grumman before.


    "OK. Let's pull it around and tire" said Sergeant-major. We had ascended to the maximum altitude with full throttle.
    The fighter was chasing us desperately but the distance was not shorten.
    When the rest Grummans of formation were heading to the scheduled point("coordinates"), our Grumman was desperatively persistant. I guessed the pilot obeyed his order strictly but would be irritating himself now because he was unable to catch us.

    "Hey, why don't you stop chasing and chase your formation. or going to be lost in the sky?"
    When Sergeant-major murmured with bitter smile, the B29s formation had composedly appeared in the far and higher altitude.

    Approximately 50 or more.

    "Junction's 'coordinates' of B29s and carrier-based fighters is ----" the base announced.
    We ignored the Grumman and headed to the coordinates in a hurry.

    "Advise me if that Grumman gets closer to the shooting range. I'll opponent"
    Seregeant-major continued saying,
    "You may know.. the order within the formation is decided by ranks and experiences. Staying on the rear-end, he would be the newest comer and eager to distinguish himself a.s.a.p"


    The "coordinates" we aimed at had got closer.
    I reported the base the numbers of B29s and Grummans along with their flight direction and estimated "coordinates".
    Our base was successful to catch and decipher their attack target, junction and junction time.
    "We launch jamming from now. Change the frequency to ---KHz" the base announced.


    I plotted the U.S. military's "coordinates" value on the map. The error was less than 2miles which might be ignored in the sky. I told Sergeant-major "We have done it. It's perfect"
    "Well done. It's worth the hardships... By the way, how is he who was chasing us?"
    Looking back, I found no shadow of aircraft.


    "If he readlly wanted to carry out his attack-order precisely to shoot down my plane, he must have dropped all bombs and reduce the weight first. Remember those who are unable to judge situation properly are never useful in the battle field"


    /End of Article No.37

    ***********************************************

    Hoping American patriots have no wrong feeling about this article,
    Shinpachi
     
  16. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Good article. Good read.
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    I'm relieved, timshatz.
    Thank you.
     
  18. eddie_brunette

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    Very good, thank you. I never knew this. I presume the Grummans is F6F's, and I never knew they escorted the B29's, always tought it was the 51's

    edd
     
  19. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thank you eddie_brunette for your post.

    After the fall of Iwo-jima in March 1945, P-51 joined escort but I've ever heard their flight range was limited between Tokyo and Iwo-jima though I do not know this was true or not.

    I was born in Sendai city which was located in the northern district of Japan. about 300km(200miles) far from Tokyo.

    My mother witnessed 'Grumman' not P-51 in 1945. She called it 'Kansaiki' meaning 'Carrier based aircraft'.

    I believe P-51 was unable to cover this area.
     
  20. eddie_brunette

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    Makes sense, the P51's was stationed at Iwo Jima (correct me if wrong).
     
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