Original Japanese WWII Mitsubishi G4M Betty Hull Fragment from U.S. Operation Vengeance - Admiral Yamamoto
Original Item: One of a Kind. Operation Vengeance was the name given to the American military operation to kill Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy on April 18, 1943, during the Solomon Islands campaign in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, was killed on Bougainville Island when his transport bomber aircraft was shot down by United States Army Air Forces fighter aircraft operating from Kukum Field on Guadalcanal.
The mission of the U.S. aircraft was specifically to kill Yamamoto and was based on United States Navy intelligence on Yamamoto's itinerary in the Solomon Islands area. The death of Yamamoto reportedly damaged the morale of Japanese naval personnel, raised the morale of the Allied forces, and was intended as revenge by U.S. leaders, who blamed Yamamoto for the attack on Pearl Harbor that initiated the war between Imperial Japan and the United States.
The U.S. pilots claimed to have shot down three twin-engined bombers and two fighters during the mission, but Japanese sources show only two bombers were shot down. There is a controversy over which pilot shot down Yamamoto's plane, but most modern historians credit Lieutenant Rex T. Barber.
What we have here is an authentic piece of the aluminum hull of the Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bomber that Admiral Yamamoto was flying in, which crashed on Bougainville Island in what is today Papua New Guinea. A Japanese team had found the crash site the day after the attack on April 19, 1943, and recovered Yamamoto's body from the Jungle area.
The plane however was left there, and part of it remains in Bougainville to this day. Some large pieces and components are now in museums around the world. However pieces are also sought by souvenir hunters, and this is one such souvenir, sold on the private market.
The fragment, which measures about 2" x 1 1/2", is from a seam section, and still has the rivet holes, as well as some of the original paint. It is mounted on the front of a very nice display board, which features 2016 artwork by Ron Cole, which signed and numbered 27/30. The artwork shows the bomber carrying Yamamoto going down in flames, while other aircraft are seen circling. The framed picture measures 13" x 10".
An excellent display piece, perfect for any pacific war collection!
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