The Legendary Betty pilot is alive!

Discussion in 'Stories' started by Shinpachi, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #1 Shinpachi, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
    Jun Takahashi 89 testified on TV today "We were ordered to drop torpedos 1,000 meters close to the target, so we had to fly as low as 5 meters above the sea surface. Why? Warship machineguns could not shoot us if we fly below the height of their deck."

    Only his Betty survived the mission.
    Wow!

    PB110606S.JPG takahashi.jpg Guadalcanal-Tulagi_Operation,_Mitsubishi_G4M.JPG
     
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  2. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    #2 razor1uk, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
    Sugoi! 8) :salute:
     
  3. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #3 Shinpachi, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
    Thanks Lewis!
    In his other interview,

    Q: What were you thinking about during the attack?
    A: Well..........................................
    That was still how bullets come.
    They begin to come from the front! Down the nose! Next from the right! Then from the left! .... like this.

    Once rushed into the target, we received a number of bullets like heavy rain. In my memory, 65 holes were counted on the airframe after back to the base.

    Q: How was it when you received hits?
    A: I heard big pounding sounds like 'Gan!', of course.

    screenshot.JPG
     
  4. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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  5. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks rochie.
    He continues from memory to memory -

    "Losing the war, I had no co-pilot as my crew for Betty was reduced to 5 from ordinary 8."

    "One day, we were chased by a P-38. We knew fighters were generally beginning to shoot at around 200 or 300 meters distance. So, when it approached in that distance, my tail gunner was to warn me with his alarm buzzer. I immediately drifted my Betty to repeat it three or four times diving slowly till the enemy gave up."

    "Basic was always to run away from the enemy fighter. If there was a cloud, I never hesitated to jump in. Once jumped in, I could not tell where we were at all but my navigator never failed to catch it though if he should have failed, that might have been our all ending."

    "When the enemy was a night fighter, we distributed a tube of aluminum foils in the air quickly. He had flown toward them."

    "There were always one or two bombers among us to return with any mechanical trouble every sortie.
    I had no experience of such trouble. I think that was simply I was lucky."

    screenshot02.JPG
     
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  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Great stuff, Shinpachi-san. There was so much dehumanizing in the Pacific by both sides, it is good to see the human side of it.
     
  7. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Eric. I only happened to come across the TV program today but my eyes had been rivetted on the screen.
    :shock:
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting stuff Shinpachi
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Very cool!
     
  10. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Big respect to Jun Takahashi and you Shinpachi-san for finding this
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's awesome! Thanks for posting!!!!!!!
     
  12. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Awesome news!
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks parsifal, FLYBOYJ, herman1rg, vB and Gnomey for reading.

    He was introduced as the oldest active pilot in Japan, so the interviewer Tetsuko Kuroyanagi 81( she is also the oldest active interviewer) spotted on what the secret is about his good health. He answered "I have nothing to do with debauch".
    That is what I have to take care too:)
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great info Shinpachi, thanks for sharing with us all.
     
  15. Vic Balshaw

    Vic Balshaw Well-Known Member

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    This is sensational stuff, thanks Shinpachi.
     
  16. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Excellent thread Shinpachi! I agree with Eric, it is always nice and interesting to hear from the human side. Thank you for posting sir.:thumbright:
     
  17. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks and you are welcome, Airframes, Vic Balshaw and Aaron:)

    I forgot to tell his rank.
    He ended the war as Master Sergeant.
     
  18. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #18 Shinpachi, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
    About Betty - the Type 1 Land Attacker,

    "Betty was unable to make feathering by standing the propeller pitch, that is, adjusting pitch to the maximum angle to reduce its drags. Therefore, once either engine of two stopped, it was hard for me to controll the plane. Landing looked almost impossible."

    "As the center of gravity was located in the middle of fuselage, Betty needed quite longer distance and time for take-off.
    To make it shorter by lifting the nose, all crew moved to the rear section during take-off as a weight. For landing, it was same."

    "Therefore, when we had had casualty aboard, it was hard to land well because not all crew could move. Someone advised me later to step fully on the brake and then release it immediately the main landing gear hit the ground. Then the tail landing gear would follow to touch on the ground."

    "Newer bombers like Peggy(Type 4 Heavy Bomber Hiryu) and Frances(P1Y Ginga) were taking off one after another quickly while I was struggling with my old Betty. I envied them."

    "By the way, I have ever met Betty designer Mr. Honjo in the postwar when I happened to be a flight instructor for JASDF.
    Mr. Honjo : 'What? Were you flying Betty? She was good, wasn't she? Wasn't she?'
    I could not answer well."

    "In my memory as a bomber pilot, Nell(Type 96 Land Attacker) was the best plane for me. She could be good even today. My best one in the postwar was Piper Super Cub."

    *********************************************************
    Maybe no more about Jun Takahashi at the moment.
    Thanks.
     
  19. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    #19 Aaron Brooks Wolters, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
    That's interesting that he likes the Piper Super Cub. But then a lot of folks do.
     
  20. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Aaron:) He may check this page later.
     
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