“Surrender Bettys” at Ie Shima Color Photographs

After the surrender of Japan on 15AUG45 General Douglas MacArthur directed the Japanese to send a delegation to meet with him in Manila to make arrangements for the formal surrender ceremony and occupation.  The delegation was to fly first to Ie Shima where they would board an American C-54 Skymaster for the flight to Manila.  To avoid any confusion, the Japanese were given specific directions on how to mark their aircraft – they were to be painted white overall with green crosses in eight locations.  The American provided escorts of B-25 Mitchells from the 345th Bomb Group and top cover was flown by a dozen P-38 Lightnings of the 80th Fighter Squadron.

The Japanese delegation used two aircraft, a G6M1-L (transport variant) using the call sign “Bataan 1” and a G4M1 call sign “Bataan 2”.  These photographs show the Bettys’ arrival on Ie Shima on 17AUG45, which were the object of great curiosity and drew a large crowd.  After the meeting, the Japanese were flown back to Ie Shima on 20AUG45.  The return flight to Japan was eventful for both aircraft.  Bataan 2 slipped off the runway and required repairs, the crew dining with the Americans in the base chow hall.  Bataan 1 developed a fuel leak on the return trip and was forced to ditch on a beach on Honshu, the Japanese delegation survived and waded ashore to complete their journey.

For modelers, these photographs display several interesting details.  The white paint was applied in a thin layer by spray gun, close examination reveals the spray pattern and weak areas in the paint coverage.  There is evidence of larger green crosses under some of the final markings.  Already oil leakage can be seen under the engine nacelles.