Sunday, September 04, 2016

Green Cross Bettys

An interesting group of pictures are at      Live
of the Green Cross Bettys used to fly a group of Japanese on August 17, 1945 to IeJima in preparation for the Japanese surrender.  These photos are elsewhere so just google Green Cross Bettys.  IeJima is off the coast of Okinawa in the East China Sea.  When I was stationed north of Okinawa in the 1960s the ship we would take from Naha port to the island would pass between IeJima and the Okinawa main land.  It was nothing special.  It was however where Ernie Pyle the news paper journalist from WW2 was shot and killed. 

Since Japan had not surrender and many in the Japanese military thought everyone should fight to the death the Japanese Air Force ordered the planes to be shot down, if found.  They flew a northeast route over the ocean to avoid their own air force. 

From IeJima, the Japanese were transferred to C-54s to fly to the Philippines to meet with General Mcarthur to develop the surrender terms.

The two green Cross Bettys (Mitsubishi G4M ) were painted entirely in white and a green cross was painted over the Hinomaru (meatball) design on the aircraft.  This was so our Military would not shoot them down. 

The Betty was officially known as the Type-1 land-based attack aircraft, but to its Japanese Navy crews, it was known as the Hamaki (Cigar), the reason for which is obvious in this photograph We can clearly see that the Bettys traditional armament nose, tail, waist and dorsal guns have been removed as demanded by the Americans.

The actual for use in war model is above

The following are the two radio messages sent to the Japanese on the morning of 15 August 1945, which set in motion the eventual unconditional surrender:

At 0930 hours:

I have been designated as the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, the United States, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and empowered to arrange directly with the Japanese authorities for the cessation of hostilities at the earliest practicable date.

It is desired that a radio station in the Tokyo area be officially designated for continuous use in handling radio communications between this headquarters and your headquarters. Your reply to this message should give all signs, frequencies, and station designations.

It is desired that the radio communications with my headquarters in Manila be handled in English text. Pending designation by you of a station in the Tokyo area for use as above indicated, stations JUM, repeat JUM, on frequency 13,705, repeat 13,705, kilocycles, will be used for this purpose; and WTA, repeat WTA, Manila, will reply on 15,965, repeat 15,965, kilocycles.

Upon receipt of this message acknowledge. MACARTHUR

Just 22 minutes later, MacArthur gave the very specific instructions of how the Japanese were to prove their peaceful intentions.

At 0952 hours:
Pursuant to the acceptance of the terms of surrender of the Allied Powers by the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Imperial Government, and the Japanese Imperial Headquarters, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers hereby directs the immediate cessation of hostilities by the Japanese forces. The Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers is to be notified at once of the effective date and hour of such cessation of hostilities, whereupon the Allied forces will be directed to cease hostilities.

The Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers further directs the Japanese Imperial Government to send to his headquarters at Manila, Philippine Islands, a competent representative empowered to receive in the name of the Emperor of Japan, the Japanese Imperial Government, and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters certain requirements for carrying into effect the terms of surrender. The above representative will present to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers upon his arrival a document authenticated by the Emperor of Japan, empowering him to receive the requirements of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers.

The representative will be accompanied by competent advisers representing the Japanese Army, the Japanese Navy, and Japanese Air Forces. The latter adviser will be one thoroughly familiar with airdrome facilities in the Tokyo area.

Procedure for transport of the above party under safe-conduct is prescribed as follows: The party will travel in a Japanese airplane to an airdrome on the island of Ie Shima, from which point they will be transported to Manila, Philippine Islands, in a United States airplane. They will be returned to Japan in the same manner. The party will employ an unarmed airplane, type Zero, model 22, L2, D3.

Such airplane will be painted all white and will bear upon the side of its fuselage and the top and bottom of each wing green crosses easily recognizable at 500 yards. The airplane will be capable of in-flight voice communications, in English, on a frequency of 6,970 kilocycles.

The airplane will proceed to an airdrome on the island of Ie Shima, identified by two white crosses prominently displayed in the center of the runway. The exact date and hour this airplane will depart from Sata Misaki, on the southern tip of Kyushu, the route and altitude of the flight, and estimated time of arrival in Ie Shima will be broadcast six hours in advance, in English, from Tokyo on a frequency of 16,125 kilocycles. Acknowledgment by radio from this headquarters of the receipt of such broadcast is required prior to take-off of the airplane. Weather permitting, the airplane will depart from Sata Misaki between the hours of 0800 and 1100 Tokyo time on the seventeenth day of August 1945. In communications regarding this flight, the code designation “Bataan” will be employed.

The airplane will approach Ie Shima on able course of 180 degrees and circle landing field at 1,000 feet or below the cloud layer until joined by an escort of United States Army P-38’s which will lead it to able landing. Such escort may join the airplane prior to arrival at Ie Shima. MACARTHUR

The two Green Cross Bettys would stay until the delegation returned the next day from Manila. During that time a group of airmen, sailors, and Seabees gathered for a victory photograph like no other, on top of the first Betty to land. The baffed-out Bettys were in rough shape compared to the C-54s the delegation used to get to Manila and we can see pools of oil and fuel beneath this one. Photo via

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