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P00022.002

Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P00022.002
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white
Physical description Black & white

Description

MELVILLE ISLAND, NT. 1942-02-27. THE JAPANESE MITSUBISHI ZERO B11-1 AIRCRAFT FROM THE JAPANESE IMPERIAL NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIER HIRYUI FLOWN BY SERGEANT HAJIME TOYOSHIMA, WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FIRST AIR RAID ON DARWIN. DURING THE RAID ON DARWIN HIS PLANE WAS DAMAGED AND HE MADE A CRASH LANDING ON MELVILLE ISLAND. HE WAS DISARMED AND CAPTURED BY ABORIGINES WHO THEN TOOK HIM TO BATHURST ISLAND AND HANDED HIM OVER TO SERGEANT LESLIE J. POWELL, 23 FIELD COMPANY, ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ENGINEERS, WHO USING TOYOSHIMA'S SERVICE PISTOL ESCORTED HIM INTO CAPTIVITY. TOYOSHIMA WAS THE FIRST JAPANESE PRISONER OF WAR. POWELL HAD BEEN SENT TO MAINTAIN DEMOLITION INSTALLATIONS ON THE ISLAND AND WAS UNARMED. TOYOSHIMA WAS LATER TO DIE IN THE BREAKOUT OF JAPANESE PRISONERS FROM THE COWRA POW CAMP ON THE NIGHT 1944-08-04/05. THE BUGLE HE BLEW TO SIGNAL ITS START IS HELD IN THE AWM COLLECTION. HE POSED AS TADAO MINAMI, CLAIMING TO BE A SERGEANT PILOT FLYING FROM AMBON TO DARWIN, AND UNDER THIS NAME WAS ALLOCATED THE FIRST NUMBER (PWJ 910.1) FOR A JAPANESE POW CAPTURED ON AUSTRALIAN SOIL. HIS WAS THE FIRST INTACT ZERO CAPTURED BY THE ALLIES.