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G4M "Betty"

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Regular Price:: $217.95
Your Price:: $184.00
Item Number: 1219
The Allies called it the "Betty," but it's official designation was the Navy Type 1 Attack Bomber. The men who flew it called it "Hamaki," which is Japanese for cigar, in recognition of it's cigar shaped fuselage. The Japanese built more of them than any other bomber during World War II. They saw service throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Betty crews had a victorious first year of combat. They devastated Clark Field, Philippine Islands, on December 8, 1941, and participated in sinking the British battleships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse two days later. They ranged across the length and breadth of the Pacific theater, attacking targets from the Aleutians to Australia. Against limited fighter opposition, the lack of armor and self-sealing fuel tanks was no hindrance. The savings in airframe weight allowed the G4M to attack targets at unprecedented ranges. But as Allied fighter strength increased, the Betty began to reveal its fatal vulnerabilities. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, architect of the Pearl Harbor attack, died on April 18, 1943, along with his entire staff when U. S. Army Air Corps P-38 Lightnings intercepted and destroyed the two "Betty" bombers that carried them. Six escorting Zeros flew guard but in a matter of seconds, the Air Corps pilots shrugged off the escorting fighters and sent both Bettys crashing down in flames.

The U.S. Army Air Force introduced faster and more agile fighters that soon destroyed the Bettys. Even though it was obsolete, the Japanese were unable to introduce a replacement. Mitsubishi produced a total of 2,414 G4M airplanes but few remained when the war ended on August 15, 1945.

Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/48. Wingspan 20 1/2 inches, Length 16 1/2 inches.