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A destroyed Japanese B5N torpedo bomber, flown by Lieutenant Mimori Suzuki of carrier Kaga, being recovered by the Americans in US Territory of Hawaii, Dec 1941

Caption     A destroyed Japanese B5N torpedo bomber, flown by Lieutenant Mimori Suzuki of carrier Kaga, being recovered by the Americans in US Territory of Hawaii, Dec 1941 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
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Photos on Same Day 20 Dec 1941
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Jul 2011 11:42:40 AM

21 July 2011 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii


Excavation crews unearthed a skull at the bottom of Pearl Harbor, archaeologists suspect it maybe from the pilot or two other crewmen of the Kate torpedo bomber one of five lost during the raid. Did Lt. Suzuki and his crew, make a successful attack? the
Kates were armed with torpedos or bombs.

No other Japanese remains have been found since WWII. If the skull can be identified as that of one of the crew perhaps it will bring closure for any surviving family members.

Looks like the Kate's fuselage is compressed
the engine is missing and may have broke off in hitting the water, the wings and tail, are still intact.
I haven't seen any other photographs of the Kate I'm sure the Navy took more photos, of the crash, if so, they were never made public.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Jul 2011 02:55:59 PM


Nakajima B5N Type 97 Torpedo bomber (Kate)serial number AII-356 was assigned to
1st Koku Kantai, 1st Koku Sentai Carrier Kaga
photo shows the Kate being lifted out of the water, location Southeastern part of the Pearl Harbor bay.

Aircraft was lost to anti-aircraft fire were the crew killed from anti-aircraft fire or were they killed in the crash. During the
raid, thirty one crewmembers were KIA in the first attack wave.
The Carrier Kaga carried Eighteen Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighters, Twentseven Nakajima B5N
Torpedo bombers and Twentyseven Aichi D3A
Dive bombers.
If anyone has more information post it here at the ww2bd.


Aircraft was camouflaged in dark green with
black engine cowling and number 56 painted on lower lip. Propeller silver in color.
Black scalop curve design continued on each side of the fuselage to the cockpit.
Solid red sun markings in six positions on wings and fuselage, two vertical red strips on fuselage.
Aircraft number AII-356 on tail, with two
horizontal red strips. Torpedo had a black
warhead with silver body.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
22 Jul 2011 03:17:15 PM



Fifty B5N (Kates) armed w/800kg/1760lb armor piercing bombs.

Forty B5Ns armed w/Type 91 Torpedos.

Fifty four D3A (Val) dive bombers armed with
249kg/550lb general purpose bombs and 60kg
132lb bombs.

Forty five A6M Zeros for air cover and strafing.


Fifty four B5Ns armed w/249kg/550lb bombs and 60kg/132lb bombs.

Eighty one D3A (Val) dive bombers armed with
249kg/550lb and 60kg/132lb bombs.

Thirty six A6M Zero fighters used for air cover and strafing.


Several officers wanted a third strike against Pearl Harbor, and urged Nagumo to carry it out. Missed targets were dry docks,
fuel tank storage, maintenance facilities
However, the Japanese withdrew for several reasons.

The Americans were now on alert, and the anti-aircraft defense would improve.
2/3 of the attacking aircraft were lost in the 2nd attack wave, a 3rd wave attack would risk what was available to the fleet, for long range patrol and fighter CAP.

Third attack wave aircraft losses would be
unacceptable, given the fact that the US was now alert to further attacks.

Recovering returning aircraft get them aboard, refueled and armed this would take precious time and by the time the aircraft returned to the carriers it would be dark with the risk of US submarines in the area or
US aircraft following back and make attacks was to great.

Location of US Carriers were unknown and Nagumo was uncertain if the US had enough planes to carry out an attack against the fleet.
The mission of destroying the US fleet at Pearl Harbor had been carried out.

A third strike would have destroyed Pearl Harbor facilities, leaving the US fleet to withdraw to the West coast it would have taken about a year for the US to mount any operations in the Pacific.
It could have taken the US another two years to defeat Japan.

Yamamto later regretted Nagumo's decision to
withdraw, and it was a mistake not to order a third attack wave.

Fifty five Japanese aircrew were lost, nine
crewmen aboard the midget subs were lost, with one captured, Twenty nine aircraft lost
nine in the first wave, and Twenty in the second wave, with another Seventy four damaged by anti-aircraft fire.


This movie describes events leading up to the
Pearl Harbor attack. The film is meticulous in its approach, and tells of the attack from both the Japanese and American points of view, with attention to historical fact.
Available on VHS and DVD
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
23 Jul 2011 07:20:34 PM


The Kate had large folding wings that were hydraulically operated as well as hydraulic landing gear. It was a very clean low-wing monoplane with a long enclosed canopy, for the pilot, navigator/bombardier and radio operator gunner.

The fuselage was small at 33t. 9 1/2in. to fit on the Navy's carrier elevators later model Kates had the hydraulic wing folding system replaced by a manual one, for ease of

Kate lacked armor protection for the crew and fuel tanks, the Imperial Navy felt the added weight of armor would reduce its performance and it needed fighter protection against enemy fighter attack, to carry out its mission. The Kate continued to serve in a number of rolls, until replaced by the Nakajima B6N "Jill"
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
24 Jul 2011 09:12:26 AM

Aircraft AII-356 you can see the number 6
on the right wing. Kates had individual a/c
numbers painted in black, could have been used as a pre-war training aid for ground staff and to identify each of the squadron's pilots.
Numbers corresponeded with the last two digits of the tail number. AII-356 all Kate losses at Pearl Harbor were from the Kaga's Torpedo Group. Such markings continued to be used into 1942 at the Battle of Midway and Dutch Harbor.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
30 Dec 2011 07:22:36 PM


Correction to my last comment B5N, AII-356
PO2c Yoshiharu Machimoto (gunner/radioman)
body was recovered. Salvage diver found the body and cut him from the wreckage.

CPO Tsuneki Morita (navigator/observer and bombardier) body was still in the wreckage
when the Kate was raised, all the bodies were
badly decomposed after several days in the water. This part of the salvage operation, must have been very grisly. War is a dirty, filthy, rotten business.


Brave men died on December 7, 1941 on each side they were but the first of hundreds and hundreds of thousands, the survivors would live with the experience of that war, for the rest of their days.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Dec 2011 05:32:34 PM


"Kate" AII-356 ran into anti-aircraft fire
flying over the submarine pens, how many rounds/bullets hit the plane and crew is unknown, but one bullet hit the torpedo warhead, aircraft exploded killing the crew, instantly.
The skull found in the Pearl Harbor waters, on 21 July 2011, could belong to the pilot
Lt. Minori Suzuki.

The attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
is a historical fact. What happened that day
changed the lives of people in the USA, and throughout the world, WWII changed world history and is still with us today in films of those events, movies and documentaries.

There is no such thing as a clean war,people die violently,blown apart,disfigured,suffer burns,deep physical and psychological damage for the rest of their lives.
I've cleaned up this comment the best I can, I've seen what war dose to people and have experienced it, its a nasty,dirty,filthy business.

I thank the editor/ww2db for allowing me to
leave this comment.
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
8 Jan 2012 02:28:12 PM


After the Pearl Harbor raid salvage crews started operations to clear the damage.
Japanese aircraft were raised from the harbor
or cleared from their crash sites.
AII-256 was salvaged from the harbor after
removing the bodies of the crew, it was later shipped to Naval Aircraft Factory, located in Philadelphia, Penn. and on to Curtiss Aircraft, located in Buffalo, New York.
What technical information was gained from
the wreckage? the only thing you can see and recognize, is the wings, tail and landing gear the rest of the aircraft was a mangled wreck.


During WWII the wreckage along with other German and Japanese aircraft were part of a war bond drive and exhibt across the USA, to major cities what happened to the wreckage after WWII is unknown.
Most likely the wreckage was part of the great scrapping frenzy after WWII, and no one
paid any attention to it...
9. Anonymous says:
2 Aug 2019 03:32:23 PM

A small piece of AII-356 exists. It is marked with the serial number 3178.

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