The Nakajima Ki 27 "Nate" at the Tachiarai Peace Memorial Museum
Photo courtesy John O'Reilly text by Johan Myhrman
While flying a Ki 27 Otsu over Kyushu, pilot Watanabe started to experience serious engine problems. Things got worse and he was eventually forced to make a water emergency landing some 600 meters of Gannosu. Watanabe made a successful landing and survived the crash but would later go on to fly a Kamikaze mission in the end of the war. The Ki 27 however, sank to the bottom.
Watanabe's Ki 27 was found in 1997 and recovered still showing faint Hinomarus. The plane was quickly cleaned up and restored (unfortunately so quickly that little investigation of original colors and applications seems to have been done) and later displayed at the Tachiarai Peace Memorial Museum at Miwa in Fukuoka prefecture. The recovery and restoration was filmed as a documentary and aired on Japanese TV.
A picture from Japan Times showing the Nate being recovered from the water
The main exhibition in the small Tachiarai Peace Memorial Museum is of course the Nate. There are also several photographs displayed together with the airplane showing the recovery and restoration. The plane is left unpainted, except for the cockpit. Decayed control surfaces have been restored and new paneling has been added where needed.
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