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PLEASE HELP IDENTIFY THIS SHIP

Discussion in 'Ships & Shipborne Weaponry' started by B25D_Lady_Godiva, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. B25D_Lady_Godiva

    B25D_Lady_Godiva New Member

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    My grandfather flew a B-25D Mitchell named "Lady Godiva" (S/N 41-30778) with the 7th Air Force, 41 Bomb Group, 396th Bomb Squadron in the Central Pacific during World War II. My grandfather completed 50 combat missions in the B-25.

    On 30 January 1944, on a mission to Wotje Island, my grandfather attacked and sunk a Japanese ship (picture attached taken from tail gunner position of my grandfather's B-25) in the waters off Wotje Island. The mission report said, "125 - 150 ft AK hit by 500lb GP bomb from A/P 778. AP 809 observed bomb burst from A/P 778 to make a direct hit into hull of AK. The first bomb was short and the third and fourth bombs went over the AK."

    I have been trying to identify what type of ship this was and I think it is a Wa-1 or Wa-2 minesweeper, but I am not sure. I would appreciate any help in identifying this ship. What does "AK" mean in the mission report?
     

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  2. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    AK is a hull classification denoting cargo ship.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Without looking closely, It does look like a Wa-1 or Wa-2.

    However, the equal height masts give me pause, the after mast should be shorter.
     
  4. Owen

    Owen O

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  5. Idefnd4u

    Idefnd4u New Member

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  6. B25D_Lady_Godiva

    B25D_Lady_Godiva New Member

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    Thank you very much for the information everyone. The ship certainly looks like a No.1 Class Auxiliary Minelayer or Minesweeper. However, two things in my photo of the ship are different: the what looks to be like a cannon on the top of the bridge and the rectangular masts (maybe?) on the bow and stern. Could be a modification of some sort? Also, I went to the database of ships sunk in January 1944 and none of the ships sunk on 30 January 1944 are minelayers/minesweepers. The only ships sunk on 30 January 1944 in the Marshall Islands were two No. 1 Class Auxiliary Submarine Chaser, but the photos that I have seen of this type of ship looks nothing like the one in my photo. The mission report said it was an "AK", which I now know means cargo ship (thank you USMCPrice), but the ship in my photo certainly does not look like a cargo ship. So, I guess I'm going with the No. 1 Class Auxiliary Minesweeper until proven otherwise as the pictures of this ship look very similar to the ship in my photo.

    Thanks again everyone. Just a little info on me, I am a retired U.S. Marine and I live in Hiroshima, Japan.
     
  7. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Welcome aboard Devil...
     
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  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The ships forum over on j-aircraft has some people that really get into photo interp especially of IJN vessels. Good chance they can actually id the ship. The combined fleet page does have TROMs for the various IJN minesweepers so you might want to look there as well.
     
  10. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    A minor correction to the information on that web page. The '41' in the serial number does not represent the year of manufacture, but the fiscal year in which the serial number block was contracted and allocated. The first B-25D was delivered in February '42. The 22 June 43 acceptance date of 41-30778 would be days after the aircraft was completed.

    If it was assigned to the 396th Squadron right after acceptance, my father may have crossed paths with this aircraft as he transferred out of the 396th on 10 August and was subsequently assigned to replacement crew training in B-24's.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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  14. B25D_Lady_Godiva

    B25D_Lady_Godiva New Member

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    Thank you EVERYONE for the additional links and information, it is greatly appreciated.

    To mcoffee - thank you for the correct information on the serial number and manufacture dates of the aircraft.
     
  15. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    holy cow, did the bomb in the picture hit?
     
  16. B25D_Lady_Godiva

    B25D_Lady_Godiva New Member

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    Apparently so, the mission report says it did. Very lucky hit.
     

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