Day before Bose plane crash, papers out

January 04, 2016 11:09
Day before Bose plane crash, papers out

A UK based website has released the documents relating to Subhash Chandrabose, just before his plane crashed, in August 1945.

The mystery of Bose’s death has taken a new turn after UK website released a few documents relating to the incident.

The latest documents on, launched by UK based independent journalist and Bose’s grandnephew Ashis Ray, traced his movements on the day before his plane crashed in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.

Bose’s arrival in Saigon

The documents found on the website stated that, on August 17, 1945, Bose departed Bangkok and arrived in Saigon before midday.

Several Indian and Japanese witnesses testified this to the 1956 Netaji Inquiry Committee headed by Major General Shah Nawaz Khan, among them S.A. Ayer and Debnath Das of the Provisional Government of Free India and Colonel Habib ur Rahman of the Indian National Army (INA) - both headed by Bose.

Upon the interrogation of the British military intelligence, Maj. Gen. Bhonsle, INA’s chief of staff, concurred that, Bose left Bangkok for Saigon on August 17, 1945, early morning.

In Saigon, though, in the immediate aftermath of Japan’s surrender in World War II a couple of days earlier, when this country’s military headquarters were in a state of confusion, no plane was available to carry Bose to North-East Asia, as was the plan.

Finally, General Isoda of Hikari Kikan, the liaison body between Japanese authorities and the PGFI and INA, conveyed to Bose that only 2 seats would be available on a plane heading for Tokyo.

Very few accompanied Bose

This meant a majority of his advisers and officers would not be able to accompany him. Colonel Pritam Singh of the INA told to the inquiry committee that, Bose was advised to accept the offer.

He selected his ADC Col. Rahman to accompany him. Before the flight took off, there was an overloaded issue in the aircraft, which resulted in Bose discarding a part of his baggage, containing books, clothes, etc.

Lt. Gen. Shidei, one among the Japanese passengers, was on board. Shidei was a distinguished officer, who was on his way to Manchuria in China, near the Soviet border to take command of the Japanese forces there.

“General Shidei was supposed to be an expert on Russian affairs in the Japanese Army and was considered to be a key man for negotiations with Russia. It was suggested that Netaji should accompany him to Manchuria,” Negishi, a Japanese interpreter attached to Bose’s headquarters, told the Shah Nawaz Committee.

Bose agreed to go to Manchuria

Later, allegedly, Bose agreed to go to Dairen, in Manchuria, with Gen. Shidei. Lt. Col. Shiro Nonogaki, an Air Staff Officer of the Japanese Army, who was also one of the passengers, independently corroborated to the Committee: “The plane was scheduled to carry General Shidei to Manchuria. Netaji agreed to go with him to Dairen in Manchuria.”

Plane, in which Bose was travelling, belonged to Japanese Air Force

The plane was a 97-2 (Sally) twin-engine heavy bomber belonging to the Japanese Air Force. The route charted for it was: Saigon-Heito-Taipei-Dairen-Tokyo.

Instead of going all the way to Taiwan, because of the delay in departure from Saigon, the pilot decided on an unscheduled halt for the night at Tourane on the Indo-China coast.

Along with Bose and Rahman, there are about 13 to 14 people on board, who are Japanese.   

Rahman described to the Committee: “Immediately behind the pilot was sitting Netaji, and nobody opposite to him, as the space was restricted by the petrol tanks. I was sitting immediately behind Netaji. The co-pilot’s seat occupied by Lt. Gen. Shidei was offered to Netaji, but he did not accept, as it was too small for him.”

Bose’s plane was overloaded!

When the plane took off at Saigon, it had to use the entire length of the runway to fly. That suggested clearly that the plane was overloaded.

When taking off at Saigon, the plane needed almost the entire length of the runway to get airborne. This suggested it was still overloaded.

It was because of that, after the plane arrived Tourane, the crew and other Japanese officers off-loaded.

The website stated that, “no fewer than 12 anti-aircraft machine-guns” and ammunition as well as other baggage, the Inquiry Committee noted, which reportedly reduced the weight by 600 kilos.”

In Tourane, Bose spent the night at a hotel, probably Hotel Morin. The remaining future revelations on the site, aim to lay the facts, behind the plane crash, the next day, that is believed to have killed Netaji, the website concluded.

By Phani Ch

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