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Japanese Model 95 Light Tank


Salvage Sailor

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Salvage Sailor

Aloha Everone,

 

These are photos of a Japanese Model 95 Light Tank abandoned at Kolonia, Ponape (Phonpei), Federated States of Micronesia, after the surrender of the island garrison at the end of WWII. I came across it in 2003 while working on the island.

 

Model 95 Light Tank c.jpg

 

Model 95 Light Tank Specs.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

There were several of them found lined up in formation where they had been surrendered and left by the US Navy occupation forces. In 2003 they were found covered in jungle growth and some were pulled out and fully restored to working condition.

 

Model 95 Light Tank a.jpg

 

Model 95 Light Tank b.jpg

 

Model 95 Light Tank d.jpg

 

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Salvage Sailor

Interior Views - one of the Type 97 'tankettes' was restored by Stan Gajda and I spent an interesting day watching him drive it around Kolonia on a test run.

 

Model 95 Light Tank e.jpg

 

Model 95 Light Tank f.jpg

 

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I'm one of those people who has never thought about tanks having much of a role in the Pacific Islands War, but those little tanks look like they travel through narrow corridors.

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I'm one of those people who has never thought about tanks having much of a role in the Pacific Islands War, but those little tanks look like they travel through narrow corridors.

 

One of General Wainwright's fears that weighed on him with the surrender of Corregidor was the thought of these tanks entering the tunnel system.

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This is amazing. It would not surprise me if one or two of them had been bought for huge sums and taken back to Japan.

 

What I like about your photos is what I am assuming to be mostly original paint. It is rare to find any WWII vehicle with original camouflage remaining.

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These things were so small, I cannot imagine the claustrophobic feeling of being in one.

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Salvage Sailor

Thanks fellas,

 

I always keep my eye out for Japanese equipment and fortifications as well as US cast off equipment when I'm on the bypassed 'Island Hopping' sites. I got the first taste of this in the 1970's when I came across a crashed USN torpedo bomber jammed up on the shore of a tiny islet in the Caroline islands. A week later when we pulled up to the pier of an island in the Marianas there was a Model 95 sitting on the pier. Since then I've seen many a Japanese bunker and AA gun emplacement throughout the islands.

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I'm officially jealous! Thanks for sharing.

 

My main interest is war in the Pacific. Any time you feel like posting island pics and stories I'm interested.

 

Best, Rod

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I'm one of those people who has never thought about tanks having much of a role in the Pacific Islands War, but those little tanks look like they travel through narrow corridors.

My Dad was in a designated Army anti-tank company on Saipan and Okinawa. But I don't remember him saying they ever fought any Japanese tanks. I do recall him saying they fought as infantry or infantry support.

Mikie

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It's interesting that these things haven't rusted away by now.

 

I'd love to see more pics and stories about what you found out there too.

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  • 1 month later...

I'd like to add to this thread. Here is a tank of many colors... another Type 95, this one parked outside of the US Army of the Pacific museum at Ft. DeRussy, Waikiki, Oahu.

 

My photos date from sometime between 1984 and 1989. At the time I thought it was pretty impressive that it still had its "original" paint. Looking at these photos now, I wonder if these aren't various shades of US military paint.

 

This one is missing a good part of the exhaust on the rear right side. It is also missing the rear turret mounted machine gun.

AA 1.jpg

AA 2.jpg

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From: https://www.pacificwrecks.com/tank/type95-ha-go/derussy.html

 

"Pacific Wrecks

 

Type 95 Ha Go Light Tank

 

Makin Tank Detachment of 3rd Special Base Force

 

Wartime History
This tank was one of three tanks of the Makin Tank Detachment of 3rd Special Base Force commanded by Lt.j.g. Seizo Ishikawa. One of the three tanks was destroyed in combat, the other two were emplaced in ravetments and abandoned without being used in combat.

Capture
During the November 20-24 battle of Makin Island, this tank was captured by the US Army 27th Infantry Division. Later, it was transported back to Hawaii, either for technical evaluation and as a 'war prize' and later abandoned at Fort Shafter.

Display
In the middle 1970's it was taken to Fort DeRussy / US Army Museum of Hawaii by Warren Sessler for external restoration and display outdoors.

Previously, it was painted in a two tone color scheme, with 'rising sun' flag on the side of the turret. Sometime between 1993 and the present, it was repainted overall green color scheme. In 2006 it was repainted in a two tone color scheme (yellow and green).

References
Thanks to Warren Sessler for additional information."

 

Additional photos of the same tank from:

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=fort+derussy+tank&client=firefox-b-1-ab&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjH38mCopHfAhXFxYMKHfx6B54Q_AUIDigB&biw=1207&bih=601#imgdii=-h-PISxDUTgJRM:&imgrc=IKuN3o1I0-by2M:

 

https://www.tripadvisor.ie/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g60982-d154266-i102450162-US_Army_Museum_of_Hawaii-Honolulu_Oahu_Hawaii.html#102450162"><!--url{6}-->
This photo of US Army Museum of Hawaii is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Tank 3.jpg

Tank 4.jpg

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Salvage Sailor

Same Type 95 Ha Go at Fort DeRussy all spiffed up after restoration in 2003

 

She's gone through several camo paint schemes over the decades on display outside of the U.S. Army Museum

Type 95 Fort DeRussy.jpg

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