This BETTY was flight-tested as Foreign Equipment Test number T2-2205. Yamamoto’s weapon of choice was the torpedo, and the Betty was first and foremost a torpedo bomber, carrying a single 1,890-pound Type 91 tin fish—the world’s most accurate and power­ful aerial torpedo right up until the end of the war. Few would know it by its official designation, the Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber. On October 23, 1939, the Japanese G4M, named the “Betty” bomber by the Allies, made its maiden flight. Hier findet ihr eine arme Irre, die gerne über ihre Fails lacht und eher ruhigen Gemütes ist. The admiral’s own noted punctuality doomed him, for the two G4Ms carrying him and his aides intersected perfectly with 16 P-38 Lightnings sent on a precise mission to intercept him over Bougainville, and Yamamoto died in the very airplane that he had helped create. One Betty on a bomb run against Lexington had an engine shot entirely off its mounts, by Lieutenant Butch O’Hare of ORD fame, and then did its best to crash into the carrier. The rocket planes were heavy—more than 4,700 pounds—so the overloaded Bettys carrying them were particularly vulnerable to fighter interception. Honjo gave the Betty a full complement of guns in waist, dorsal-turret, nose and tail positions, and the roomy fuselage was intended to give the airplane’s seven-man crew (later reduced to five when it became increasingly difficult to recruit aircrew) space to move around during long flights and to fill multiple positions. Air Force Academy via Jack Fellows, Mitsubishi’s G4M bomber went by many names, but perhaps the most appropriate would have been “flaming coffin.”. A member of the three-man intelligence team that picked the names thus immortalized a one-night stand. Lieutenant Den Sudo emerges from the cockpit of his Mitsubishi G6M1-L—a “wingtip escort” heavy fighter variant of the G4M1 “Betty” bomber converted to a transport—at Ie Shima on August 19, 1945. The next time the Mitsubishi bombers attacked Allied ships, on Febru­ary 20, 1942, they were after the U.S. carrier Lexington and its task force. The Airacomet was the first jet aircraft in U.S. service, and this example, s/n 12-108777, is believed to be the tenth airframe in the production run. Within 20 minutes, Hellcats had shot down all 18 bombers. Only one U.S. ship, the destroyer Mannert L. Abele, was ever sunk by an Ohka, and it cost six out of the eight attacking Bettys. Travel Photo by Dan Collier. Betsy's Biscuit Bomber to participate in DAKS Over Normandyin 2019 Maybe all the remaining relatives of those slave labourers, denied even the dignity of a bullet, could crowd fund the static restoration of a Betty, and gift it to the Yakusuni shrine, to stand in memory, invariably, of brave pilots and common loss, but under the paint let the story be allowed of … To re-balance the bomber, dihedral was added to the horizontal stabilizer. In total, eighteen Betty bombers were shot down and two others crash landed, including this bomber. The Betty design would work. The firm changed the wing to a single-spar configuration and installed self-sealing fuel tanks with a capacity about one-third less than earlier versions. One of the best-known Betty carcasses was on display for years at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, Calif. Please ensure your details are valid and try again. It worked for a while, but increasingly inexperienced G4M crews and the chaos of night attacks rendered even these desperate measures ineffective. This is probably why the wreck of the Betty Bomber is one of the most popular small dives in the Lagoon. Click on any of the below pictures for full resolution. For the Betty, however, it was all downhill from there. He beat his affluent opponents like borrowed mules, then used his considerable winnings to finance a summer of travel around the United States, learning as much as he could about the overconfident gunslinger he would outdraw at Pearl Harbor two decades later. The atomic bombs put an end to this sideshow. Mitsubishi said the bomber would need four engines to accomplish that, but the IJNAS insisted on a twin-engine configuration. The end had arrived for the Japanese and the BETTY bomber. The Rikko was Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s idea, abetted by the young, air-minded naval officers in his orbit. It carried a huge explosive charge, and bore large wooden tailfins that stabilized it in flight and broke away when the torpedo entered the water. This maintained the internal fuel capacity but adversely affected the airplane’s aerodynamics. Navy crews suffered 4,300 fatalities and 5,400 casualties, or seven percent of all crew casualties incurred during the entire Pacific war. The aircraft was probably based at Oppama Air Field near Yokosuka, Japan, but no record of the unit or service history is known. The Rikko assignment went straight to Mitsu­bishi, which had already paid its bomber-building dues with the G2M and G3M. Chantilly, VA 20151 The NASM G4M Model 34 BETTY is not complete but it is the best-preserved example of this famous aircraft in the world. As a public health precaution, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the Museum in DC are temporarily closed. The old-timers in the Imperial Japanese Navy were battleship queens, and it was thanks to them that Japan constructed two expensive but supremely useless super-battleships, Yamato and Musashi, both sunk before their crews even knew the way to the wardroom. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. He took over work on the Betty after returning from a fact-finding trip to the U.S. in 1938. One highly regarded Japanese book about Bettys in combat is titled Wings of Flame. Whatever you're shopping for, we've got it. The lunar module represents one of humanity’s greatest achievements: landing people on another heavenly body. Though the Betty was initially laid out by engineer Joji Hattori, the lead designer was Kiro Honjo, a good friend of Zero fighter designer Jiro Horikoshi. Four days later, two BETTY bombers landed at Ie Shima Island. Front-line combat units operated many variants and subvariants with different engines and armament packages. Rather than pull all-nighters, he spent a lot of time in Cambridge playing poker. Afterwards, both wings were removed and placed near the fuselage, possibly in an attempt to repair the bomber or for spare parts. To meet the requirements, a Mitsubishi design team led by Kiro Honjo crafted an airplane called the G4M with fuel tanks in the wings that were not resistant to explosion when punctured during combat. Mitsubishi also learned that the heavy cannons compromised the Betty’s handling. The deal with Santa Monica somehow got derailed and the hulk was instead acquired by Ed Mahoney, who put in on display in Chino—a wrecked fuselage, inboard wings, engines and nacelle—as a jungle diorama. Homeward bound, the Bettys were appropriately snakebit. Order food online at Betty Bombers, Savannah with Tripadvisor: See 315 unbiased reviews of Betty Bombers, ranked #66 on Tripadvisor among 813 restaurants in Savannah. Their next stop was the Philippines where the Allied delegation, led by General Douglas MacArthur, would witness the Japanese officials signing the surrender agreement. Two of the crew were killed during the attack. The Allies called it the BETTY but to the men that flew the airplane, it was popularly, but unofficially, the 'Hamaki,' Japanese for cigar, in honor of the airplane's rotund, cigar-shaped fuselage. Whether his engineering team found it aesthetically pleasing is open to question. In 1936 Japan renounced the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, which had stipulated that the capital-ship-building ratio between the U.S., Britain and Japan should be 5:5:3. These tanks were much lighter in weight than explosion-proof (also called 'self-sealing') gas tanks. These photos of this submarine were taken by Dan Collier from his last visit to Guam. Frederick Hill Collection/U.S. In November 2015, billionaire Paul Allen bought the wreck for his Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum in Seattle. Mitsubishi tried again to reduce the bomber's tendency to burn. Although the G4M now had a more potent sting, Honjo again sacrificed crew protection to the Navy's demands for great range. One ran off the runway during takeoff from Ie Shima and damaged its landing gear; the other ran out of fuel and ditched short of its destination in Japan. Members of the Japanese delegation debark from their aircraft and prepare to board a C-54 for a flight to Manila, where they will receive instructions concerning the surrender and American occupation. Crewmen on the destroyer USS Ellet observe the wreckage of a Betty that crashed during an attack off Guadalcanal on August 8, 1942. A G4M1 and a G6M1-L, whitewashed and given green-cross insignia, carried a group of Japanese officers assigned the job of arranging the details of surrender negotiations. (Perhaps something is lost—or gained—in translation.) Damaged, this Betty reached Nuguria Atoll and ditched off Nugava Island at 4:25pm local time. But none of this mattered, because the Betty had a fatal flaw, and Kiro Honjo knew it. guns in the nose, atop the mid-fuselage behind the cockpit, and on both sides of the fuselage behind the wing. This version was called the G4M Model 34. The two rearmost and outermost Nells were, no surprise, found to suffer the highest casualties from opposing fighters. The Japanese more genially nicknamed the Betty “Hamaki” (cigar), and many sources have assumed this was a reference to the airplane’s flammability when struck by enemy fire. The Mitsubishis were large, ponderous targets and needed to follow stable courses during torpedo runs. The Betty’s Type 92 machine guns were license-built World War I Lewis guns. The U.S. Army Air Forces would later try the same thing with its YB-40s, which were B-17s carrying 18 or even more .50-caliber guns, flying as formation escorts. Visit us in Washington, DC and Chantilly, VA to explore hundreds of the world’s most significant objects in aviation and space history. The white-painted airplane carried officials charged with … As a result of these modifications, the fuselage was shortened and the center-of-gravity shifted forward. The decision not to incorporate the heavier, safer fuel tanks was necessary to meet the Navy's range requirements. FS2004 FSX Mitsubishi G4M1 Betty bomber Codenamed Betty by the Allies, the Mitsubishi G4M long-range medium bomber remained in service with the Japanese navy from the first to the last day of the war. Like its stablemate, Mitsubishi's Zero Fighter (see NASM collection for two examples), the Hamaki soldiered on long after it became obsolete, even dangerous, to fly wherever Allied interceptors prowled. Used to deliver a varied payload, ranging from single torpedo to multiple bombs. Washington, DC 20560 Sorry, there was a problem. The British had assembled a Singapore-based task force around the battlecruiser Repulse and the battleship Prince of Wales, with which they intended to protect their Southeast Asian territories. Our scientists are involved in current research focused on the Martian climate and geology. The Betty was the product of excellent engineering pushed to the limit and then slightly beyond, to meet requirements created not by aviators but by military bureaucrats. The BETTY was so prone to ignite that the Allies nicknamed it the 'flying lighter.'. The Japanese built more of them than any other bomber during World War II. The D3A was the primary dive-bomber for … Add his or her name to the Museum’s Wall of Honor. The DC-4E design proved to be so bad that the company started over again, producing the successful DC-4 airliner. Bettys flew on the opening day of WWII, and they helped close out the war as well. Like the Mitsubishi Zero Fighter (also in the NASM collection), the Hamaki soldiered on long after it became obsolete, even dangerous, to fly wherever Allied interceptors prowled. The Betty Bomber. Share your story and read what others have to say. We teamed up in 2010 to bring our 30+ combined years of experience and artistry to the Savannah restaurant scene with Butterhead Greens Café. Hand held and operating through a 20-degree arc, it required a pursuing fighter to voluntarily position itself within the cannon’s tiny field of fire, though this limitation was removed in later versions of the Betty. None of this mattered during the Sino-Japanese campaign, when Bettys were escorted by the new, long-range A6M2 Zero. They would disgorge hundreds of commandos dressed in USAAF uniforms. 202-633-2214, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway The aircraft was operated by the 105th Naval Base Air Unit. Kagamigahara was 48 km (30 miles) to the north. Yamamoto was a smart guy, even though he only got a C+ for his two years of Eng­lish studies at Harvard from 1919 to 1921. Of 23 Bettys that set out from Rabaul that day, only five returned. In July 1937, the new Mitsubishi G3M bomber (Allied codename NELL) went into service in China. This Betty was abandoned at the edge of the runway at Babo Airfield. Other Betty bombers witness the Betty ditch and noted the location as "Sugaaba Island". There are currently no complete examples of the Betty in preservation in the world save for a rather fragile, belly-landed example (G4M1 Model 1 1 m/n 1280) recov ered by Bruce Fenstermaker from Babo Airfield in Indonesia during 1991. This feature originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of Aviation History. In August 1942, during the Guadalcanal campaign and this time escorted by fighters, 18 out of 23 attacking Bettys were shot down—the single worst G4M loss during the entire campaign. [ September 21, 2020 ] CAF Dixie Wing to Feature PT-17 Stearman/N2S Kaydet Aircraft Restoration [ September 18, 2020 ] New WWII ... Home Betty’s Biscuit Bomber Betty’s Biscuit Bomber. One specially detailed Betty crew was even assigned to seize a Superfortress and fly it back to Japan. The Japanese called them “wingtip escorts,” assumedly so-named from their position in the main formation, and they were gunned up with extra 20mm cannons in place of light machine guns. They were painted in special 'surrender markings,' white overall with green crosses replacing the Japanese Hinomaru or red "meatball" national insignia. Navy leaders hoped that by increasing the number of defensive cannons, the G6M1 could become a heavy escort fighter for other bombers but this diversion failed to live up to expectations, and the Navy ordered the G4M1 into production. Recognize your favorite air or space enthusiast. Operationally, BETTY crews achieved much in their first year of combat. Two major portions survive: the nose including the entire flight deck, and ten feet of the fuselage. The official Japanese surrender delegation had boarded these two BETTYs in Kyushu. Only two months later, the Navy issued a specification to Mitsubishi for a NELL replacement. (U.S. Navy). The Japanese built more of them than any other bomber during World War II. Douglas couldn’t have played its hand better if it had tried. It was recovered from New Guinea in 1991 by warbird salvager Bruce Fenstermaker, in a joint venture with the Santa Monica Museum of Flying. This is part 1 of a phorogrammetry project on the Betty Bomber plane wreck in Truk Lagoon with an emphasis on reconstructing the sections that have been destroyed… Betty Bomber - Virtual Reconstruction - Part 1 on Vimeo It is estimated that by the end of the war, 5,000 pilots had died making Tokko attacks and the damage they wrought was severe. This Betty was on display for many years at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. The capacity dropped because of the material inserted in the tank to block leaking fuel when gunfire perforated the tank. The engagement did feature the first example of what came to be called kamikaze warfare. At that time, the requirements were unprecedented for a twin-engine, land-based attack bomber: flying at a top speed of 398 kph (247 mph) and an altitude of 3,000 m (9,845 ft), the new bomber had to fly a distance of 4,722 km (2,933 miles) without a torpedo or equivalent weight in bombs. Imperial Japanese Airways did in fact purchase the DC-4E in late 1939 and immediately handed it over to Naka­jima, which was ordered to produce a four-engine heavy bomber, the G5N, based on the Douglas design. More than 100 Bettys were lost over Guadalcanal. B-25J-35-NC SN 45-8835 "Betty's Dream" ... she underwent restoration work. Some ships never knew they had been attacked, since the Ohkas glided into the Pacific before even coming within sight. See our COVID-19 message. In 1994 restoration was started to create Betty’s Dream. If you get a chance, stop by Planes of Fame and take a look for yourself, it is worth the trip! Mitsubishi produced a total of 2,414 G4M airplanes but few remained when the war ended on August 15, 1945. The Mitsubishi G4M was a medium bomber similar in role and configuration to the North American B-25 Mitchell, Heinkel He 111 and the Vickers Wellington. Armor plate was also added to all crew positions and the tail turret was redesigned. Grilled Hamburger, seasoned, hand-packed & grilled Make it a Classic with Bacon or Cheese +$1.50 – Choice of American, Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Blue, or Spicy Queso The Blackout $14 A Blackened Burger, topped with Blue Cheese, Grilled Onion and Bacon The Mustang $13 The day of big-gun ships was over, though the world’s navies didn’t yet know it. This aircraft, coded '302,' was the last flyable bomber left at Rabaul by the end of WWII. It is based at the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa, Arizona. Get the best deals on betty boop jackets & coats and save up to 70% off at Poshmark now! Both the YB-40 and the G6M1 were failures because they were too heavy to keep up with companion bombers that had dropped their ordnance. Striking distance meant 20 miles or less, thanks to the Ohka’s tiny load of rocket fuel, and Betty pilots too often pulled the release handle early. Honjo had studied bomber design at the Junkers works in Germany, and was responsible for the G3M. When you walk up to the Betty site the first thing you see is the huge tail standing like an enormous monolith at the site. He incorporated 7.7 mm (.30 cal.) (His friend Horikoshi seems to have taken the technique to heart in designing the Zero.) Drum-fed from an archaic 47-round pancake magazine atop the gun, the Lewis had a long history of aviation use. It missed, but it has been written that the entire corps of Rikko pilots, aware that they were riding fiery mounts, had agreed to seek out a target to crash into if their airplane was terminally damaged. The first G4M prototype left the factory in September 1939 and made the trek to Kagamigahara Airfield since Mitsubishi's Nagoya plant had no company airstrip. The savings in airframe weight allowed the G4M to attack targets at unprecedented ranges. The August 19, 1945, mission is often characterized as having “carried Japan’s surrender delegation,” but the officers aboard had no such function; the surrender was actually ratified on September 2. G3Ms attacked in large vee formations of 27 aircraft stacked in nine mini-vees of three aircraft each, a formation-flying nightmare. Against limited fighter opposition, the lack of armor and self-sealing fuel tanks was no hindrance. From my understanding, the Betty will be restored, but there is no current schedule for it. Judging by what Allen has done with other such acquisitions, it is possible that this Betty will someday fly again. Amid it all came one of the Betty’s most notorious flights: the mission to carry Admiral Yamamoto on an inspection tour of the Solomon Islands in April 1943. They ranged across the length and breadth of the Pacific Theater, attacking targets from the Aleutians to Australia. The G4M air wings eventually learned that daytime missions against well-defended U.S. ships would result in unacceptable losses. After 663 Bettys had been manufactured (some 2,400 would ultimately be built), Mitsubishi began to fireproof the wings by applying a thick self-sealing layer on the outside of the lower wing skins. Lieutenant Den Sudo emerges from the cockpit of his Mitsubishi G6M1-L—a “wingtip escort” heavy fighter variant of the G4M1 “Betty” bomber converted to a transport—at Ie Shima on August 19, 1945. They called the design the “snail,” sometimes translated as “slug.”. Betty crews carried no parachutes, since bailing out wasn’t an option. In order to achieve the G4M’s great range and performance, he was forced to equip it with the largest possible fuel tanks and to forego rubberized self-sealing protection for them. Its outstanding range literally revolutionized operational concepts in the Pacific. The first production G4M rolled off the line in April 1941. What did that historic mission mean to you? Now they revived the technique with night torpedo missions against U.S. ships that were essentially blind. Learn how aviation and spaceflight transformed the world. The tail gun was a 20mm cannon, though a relatively ineffective one. Find out what we’re discovering. Some sources claim that Japan bought the original Douglas DC-4 prototype, the unsuccessful triple-tail design called the DC-4E, to serve as a model for a four-engine G4M. History of B-25 Mitchell bomber SN 45-8835. Another BETTY variant became mother ship to the Kugisho Ohka kamikaze, or Tokko (special attack) aircraft (see NASM collection). More -. Nobody is sure how many torpedoes hit the two British battlewagons, but three days after Pearl Harbor, wave after wave of Nells and Bettys achieved at least nine Type 91 hits and possibly as many as 21. The fuselage was streamlined but rotund to allow space for a bomb bay within the wing center section and to allow the 7 to 9-man crew to move about. This extremely rare Bell YP-59A Airacomet is under restoration to flying condition. Their fate is unknown, though the cockpit and nose of one, plus the tailcone, ended up in storage at the National Air and Space Museum. Mitsubishi aircraft were delivered to combat units in natural metal and spray-painted with camouflage in the field…without the benefit of primer. In one stroke, it totally removed the Royal Navy from any effective role in the Pacific War. The NASM G4M Model 34 BETTY is not complete but it is the best-preserved example of this famous aircraft in the world. In the tail, he introduced a 20 mm cannon. Sans glass, the tail gun compartment is remarkably intact. (6m x 19.5m, 7000kg, 25m), For more information, visit the Smithsonian's, There are restrictions for re-using this media. Air­power proponent Billy Mitchell might have told them this was a dumb idea, having demonstrated in the early 1920s what bombers could do to capital ships. After the war, the USAAF was test-flying at least one Betty that had been captured in the Philippines, one of four or five flyable G4Ms that the U.S. liberated. This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. During 1944, this Betty was photographed by B-25 Mitchell from the 3rd Bomb Group during a low level strike against the airfield. For years it was assumed that the Japanese simply didn’t know how to make good paint, but the reason was even more basic. Japan's newest and most advanced bomber made the trip, disassembled and stacked on five ox-drawn farm carts, over unpaved roads! The Betty was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service who’s crews nicknamed it Hamaki (Cigar) due to its stout profile. Two major portions survive: the nose including the entire flight deck, and ten feet of the fuselage. Mortimer J. Adler, American philosopher, educator and writer. She is now based at the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot, ND. Initial results were impressive, but the Navy shelved the bomber for a time in favor of a variant to be called the G6M1. The Type 91 was a remarkable torpedo that could be dropped at speeds in excess of 230 mph. John Von Neumann, Hungarian-born mathematician. It was a surprisingly agile aircraft with a long range. The Boeing B-29 Superfortress is an United States heavy bomber used by the United States Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, and by the United States Air Force during the Korean War.Of the 3,970 built, 26 survive in complete form today, 24 of which reside in the United States, and two of which are airworthy. Another hulk is in the collection of Australia’s Darwin Aviation Museum. Her first flight after restoration was in March of 1999. The Japanese might have thought that amusing, but they called the Mitsubishi G4M Rikko, truncating their phrase for “land-based attack bomber.” (The G4M’s predecessor, the Mitsubishi G3M “Nell,” was also called Rikko.). Later, the airplane was dismembered with a cutting torch but when and precisely why are not known. Honjo apparently also decided that an untapered fuselage ending in a large tail-gunner’s station made sense aerodynamically. Escorted by four RNZAF Vought F4U-1 Corsair fighters, it was flown to Jacquinot Bay on October 14,1945 by … The only Betty remnant in Japan is owned by a wealthy automotive importer/exporter, Nobuo Harada. Thank you. It was propelled by a tiny radial engine fueled by kerosene and compressed air, and had a surprisingly sophisticated automatic roll-control mechanism. Fifteen of the 17 unescorted Bettys were shot down. In 2011 it was operated by Fighter Hangar 1, now known as the Texas Flying Legends Museum. Betty’s Dream first flew in March of 1999 including it’s new bomb bay doors which were taken off while it was being used as a fire bomber. Evidently, only the pieces that survive today arrived at the storage facility at Park Ridge, Illinois, during the late 1940s. Not a single Betty survives as anything more than a battered, partial hulk—a situation unique among warbirds built in such numbers and active in so much combat. The rubber mat shaved about 6 mph from the G4M’s speed and reduced range by almost 200 miles. It was the first gun ever fired from an airplane, a Wright Model B Flyer, in 1912. Physically, the G4M’s salient feature was a fat but graceful fuselage quite unlike the tapering configuration of typical WWII medium bombers. Bomber crews flying the NELL were virtually incapable of defending themselves from concentrated fighter attacks, so Honjo paid special attention to this aspect of the G4M. (U.S. Navy). But as Allied fighter strength increased, the BETTY began to reveal its fatal vulnerabilities. Few would know it by its official designation, the Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber. It was brought to the United States aboard a U. S. Navy aircraft carrier along with 145 other Japanese aircraft selected for test and evaluation. The brainchild of Pearl Harbor planner Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, G4M1s fly in formation off the Japanese coast. The aircraft is quite an impressive sight, even in it's current state and well worth a look. The first Betty/Ohka strike, toward U.S. aircraft carriers off Kyushu in March 1945, consisted of 18 Bettys escorted by 30 Zeros. The “white Bettys” flew from Japan to Ie Shima, a small Okinawan island, where the Japanese were transferred to a C-54 and carried on to Manila to meet with Douglas MacArthur and his staff. Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, English astronomer who confirmed Einstein's theory of relativity. In the confusion, the Japanese troops were to destroy as many B-29s as possible and then head into the jungles to continue fighting as guerrillas. For the remainder of the war, the BETTY assembly line continued to run. From the first day of war until after the surrender, BETTY bombers saw service throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In fact it was another moniker based on its shape, chosen long before G4Ms began igniting frequently enough for Americans to call them Zippos. 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