Soon to be a Documentary Film Airing on American Public Television
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We follow a crew of explorers, led by Chicago restaurateur Richard Portillo, to Bougainville, New Guinea (northern Solomon Islands, Southwest Pacific) as they trek through dense jungle and deep mud to visit the remote site of the plane wreck of famed Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s crashed Betty Bomber.
Admiral Yamamoto is best known as the architect of the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and Japan’s failed battle at Midway in June of 1942. He was also openly opposed to a war with the United States from the outset.
Allied intelligence was able to decipher Japanese code and identify that Yamamoto’s plane was headed to Bougainville on April 18, 1943. His bomber was intercepted and shot down by American P-38 fighter planes.
The United States based explorers visited the crash site, guided by researchers, historians and local natives. While on Bougainville, for the first time ever, a gold tooth was found in the vicinity of Yamamoto’s bomber.
Could that tooth, found in the mud more than 70 years after the crash, belong to the famed Japanese admiral?
Trips to Bougainville, Hawaii and Japan hope to answer that question and reveal the much-debated facts of just what happened to Admiral Yamamoto’s Betty Bomber on April 18, 1943 and how American P-38 pilots were able to eliminate one of World War II’s most respected and strategically brilliant generals utilizing a secret code-breaking system.