Arawasi contest #8

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufe" pt. 6 Aleutians 452th Kokutai

On November 1st, 1942 the 5th Kokutai changed name for the third time to 452 Kokutai.
At that time Nakajima was able to produce only twelve "Rufe" seaplanes per month.
The Izawa entries are indicated with the letter I- in the beginning, the Kodochosho with the letter K-.

November 6
Kimikawa Maru ferried three reconnaissance seaplanes and six "Rufe" to Attu which were to fly the next day to Kiska. But due to heavy rain and strong wind all aircraft were damaged.
In the book “Air War Pacific: Chronology: America’s Air War Against Japan in East Asia and the Pacific, 1941 – 1945Eric Hammel has the following entry for this day: “November 7, 1942 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: In the first tactical mission following a week of harrowing storms, an Eleventh Air Force weather plane over Attu strafes two A6M2-Ns that appear to have been washed into a creek bed, no doubt by the 80 mile per hour winds common during the storms.”
The 9/11/1942 G-2 report mentions: Six Japanese Zero-type planes and 1 seaplane (biplane) observed November 7 in W arm of Holtz Bay, Attu (3 on beach, 4 in creek bed; two of latter were damaged). Enemy rifle fire directed from this vicinity against our planes.
The 12/11/1942 G-2 report also mentions: There was no enemy air activity during the period [October 28~November 11] in the Aleutian area, and no effective enemy aircraft are believed to be present. Our planes sighted 7 storm-battered float-type seaplanes on November 7 in Holtz Bay, Attu Island. They were strafed and set on fire by our planes on November 9....Canvas-covered supplies, believed abandoned by the enemy, remain on the beach at Holtz Bay, Attu Island;     

I located two photos of these "Rufe" on Attu. The first from Wikipedia:

The other from here:
The caption says: B-24 bombing photo of Holtz Bay, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska, 7 Nov 1942; note A6M2-N floatplanes
Also note that all aircraft are in overall gray paint.

November 10
Attack by P-38s, all planes on Attu destroyed.
Hammel: “November 9, 1942 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Two 28th Composite Bombardment Group B-26s and four XI Fighter Command P-38s attack but do not hit a cargo ship at Kiska; and one B-17 and four P-38s attacking Attu Airdrome and base facilities claim the destruction of eight moored A6M2-Ns.
  The Eleventh Air Force will be grounded by bad weather for most of the rest of November and a large part of December.”

December 25
Kimikawa Maru brought seven "Rufe" to Attu. Three pilots also arrived as reinforcements.

December 26
K- One B-24 is spotted and four "Rufe" take off from Attu but the enemy aircraft was too fast and escaped in the clouds. "Rufe" pilots: Nagase, Naoi, Sasaki Giichi, Osa Misao.
The publication “Combat Chronology 1941 - 1945”, Compiled by Kit C. Carter, Robert Mueller (Center for Air Force History Washington, DC 1991), (hereafter CC) has the following on the day: “12/25/42 Eleventh AF - A-24 takes photos of Kiska and Attu and unsuccessfully bombs 6 barges between Gertrude Cove and Kiska Harbor. The B-24 then sights 8 float Zeros. 3 unsuccessfully attempt to attack the HB.”
The 27/12/1942 report entitled "Japanese Naval Activities" (hereafter JNA) issued by the Navy Department, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington has the following: On December 25, our weather plane contacted 8 zero float planes on the surface of Holtz Bay. 7 enemy planes took off and 3 exchanged shots with our tail gunner at 400 yard range, without damage.
The 27/12/1942 G-2 report mentions: On December 25, eight Zero-type float planes were seen to take off near beach on W arm of Holtz Bay, Attu Island.

December 31
I- Two "Rufe" seaplanes fought against one B-25, seven P-38s and one PBY. CPO Nagase and PO2c Naoi shared one B-25 shot down and the PBY was forced to make emergency landing. WO Nakamachi, PO1c Sasaki Giichi, PO2c Naito and one more pilot took off and fought against nine P-38, shooting down one. Two "Rufe" seaplanes attacked the landed PBY and destroyed it. Five "Rufe" seaplanes also attacked another PBY which trailed black smoke but was not shot down.
K- Two "Rufe" seaplanes on patrol over Kiska. An enemy force of one B-25, seven P-38 and one PBY-2 is spotted flying at an altitude of 200 meters near Segula Island. One B-25 is shot down, the PBY crash landed and the seaplanes fought against the enemy fighter group inflicting heavy damage. The two Japanese pilots were: Nagase and Naoi. Together they spent 20mmX240, 7.7mmX1200 and got two bullet holes as souvenirs.
Later on the same day four more "Rufe" seaplanes take off and locate an enemy force of nine P-38s at an altitude of 300 meters. During the aerial battles one P-38 is shot down and all the rest receive damage. The Japanese pilots were: Nakamachi Kunichugu, Osa, Sasaki and Naito. They spent 20mmX270, 7.7mmX1100, receiving three bullet holes which they used to grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Again on the same day the PBY is located alighting at Segula Island, is strafed and set on fire.
Four "Rufe" seaplanes take off yet again, find the PBY crew swimming towards the island and strafe them. The pilots were: Sasaki, Naito, Nagase and Naoi.
One last time Nagase, Osa, Naoi, Sasaki and Naito take off on patrol, locate one PBY west of Segula Island, attack but the enemy aircraft escape in the clouds trailing black smoke.   
Hammel: “December 30, 1942 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 28th Composite Bombardment Group B-25s and 343d Fighter Group P-38s mount a low-level attack against two ships and three submarines in Kiska harbor. A 343d Fighter Group P-38 pilot downs one of four A6M2-Ns that engage the attack force near Kiska at 1145 hours, but two other P-38s are downed, as is one B-25. A Patrol Wing 4 PBY later reports that it has picked up several survivors, but it fails to return to its base.
  In a second attack against Kiska, five 28th Composite Bombardment Group B-24s, four B-25s, and four B-26s, attack the ships once again, claiming direct hits on both surface vessels.”

CC: “12/30/42 Eleventh AF - B-25’s and 14 P-38’s approach Kiska Harbor at minimum altitude for a bombing and strafing attack. 2 ships and 3 submarines, newly arrived, are covered by Zeros. 4 of them engage the approaching P-38’s in a dogfight. 2 P-38’s are shot down and 4 Zeros are scored as probable. The B-25’s meanwhile attack the ships with unobserved results. One B-25 is shot down off Little Kiska. A PBY picks up survivors, but fails to return. Kiska Harbor is then attacked once more by 5 B-24’s, 4 B-25’s, and 4 B-26’s. They claim 2 hits on both vessels observing explosions on the smaller ship. A B-24 photographs Amchitka. Weather rcn of Near Is is canceled due to weather. Aerial rcn observes for first time Japanese use of smoke screen at Kiska Harbor.”
The 1/1/1943 JNA report has the following: At 1030 X December 30, 14 P-38's and 3 B-25's discovered 2 recently arrived enemy AK's or AP's and 3 probable midget subs in Kiska Harbor. Our fighter attack was intercepted by 4 float Zeros, and two P-38's were shot down, and 1 Zero crashed in the water. One B-25 was shot down, while the other two unloaded bombs on the enemy ships. The results were unobserved. At 1447 X the same day, a U.S. force of 5 heavy and 7 medium bombers struck again at the enemy ships, and 3 direct hits were scored on one and 2 on the other. One float Zero intercepted but all our planes returned safely although some minor damage and casualties were sustained. A Catalina on a rescue mission landed in the vicinity of the crashed B-25, but has not returned to its base.    
The 2/1/1942 G-2 report mentions: Two enemy cargo vessels were heavily damaged in Kiska Harbor attack by U.S. bombers on December 30. Three submarines were sighted in the harbor. ine hostile Zero float fighters engaged our fighters. One enemy Zero fighter was shot down.
The 3/1/1942 G-2 report mentions: A later report indicates a total of 12 enemy Zero float fighters in Kiska Harbor area attack of December 31.
Conclusion: The Japanese claimed one B-25 (confirmed), one PBY (confirmed) in the first battle and one more P-38 (confirmed) later the same day, without any loses. The US forces claim one "Rufe" shot down (unconfirmed) and four probable (unconfirmed) while admitting losing one B-25 and two P-38s, plus losing the PBY.

January 1, 1943
I- Five "Rufe" on patrol located and fought against six P-38s. Yamada and Nakamachi shot down one P-38 each.
K- An enemy force of six B-24 is located but they escaped in the clouds. Later the same day a force of six P-38s is also located and during the battles Yamada from the 1st Shotai  and Nakamachi from the 2nd Shotai claim one P-38 shot down each. The 1st Shotai comprised of Yamada, Nagase and Naoi, the 2nd Shotai of Nakamachi and Osa. The Japanese pilots spent 20mmX200 and 7.7mmX830.
Hammel: “December 31, 1942 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Six 28th Composite Bombardment Group B-24s and nine 343d Fighter Group P-38s claim direct hits on two cargo ships in Kiska harbor, and two 343d Fighter Group P-38 pilots down an A6M2-N over Kiska at 1430 hours.”
CC: “12/31/42 Eleventh AF - 6 B-24’s, covered by 9 P-38’s, attack Kiska Harbor, hitting 2 cargo vessels. 1 of 6 intercepting ftrs is probably shot down. 1 B-25 searching for a Navy aircraft missing since the previous day also flies rcn over Semisopochnoi, Segula, Little Sitkin, Gareloi, and Amchitka.”
Conclusion: The Japanese claimed two P-38s (unconfirmed) admitting no loses; the US forces claimed one "Rufe" (unconfirmed) also admitting no loses. The five "Rufe" claimed the fought against six P-38s; the nine P-38s claimed they fought against six "Rufe".
The 1/8/1943 JNA report has the following: Our air reconnaissance over Kiska January 1 reported 6 floar Zeros on the beach and 6 float Zeros in the air.

January 12
Hammel has the following entry: “January 12, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Covered by a small force of Eleventh Air Force aircraft, a small U.S. Army ground force lands without opposition at Amchitka Island. The reinforced 813th Engineer Aviation Battalion immediately starts work on a new advance airfield.”

January 24
Two "Rufe" found five transport ships with escorting cruisers at Constantine Harbor on Amchitka. They attacked with 60kg bombs. Continued attacks on January 25, 26 and 28.
Hammel: “January 24, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 28th Composite Bombardment Group bombers dispatched against Kiska are thwarted by bad weather over the target.
  Japanese aircraft open a series of minor attacks against the U.S. ground forces occupying and constructing an airfield on Amchitka Island. In this first attack, two IJN aircraft are able to bomb Amchitka harbor before the arrival of six XI Fighter Command P-38s from Adak Airdrome.”
CC: “1/24/43 Eleventh AF - 6 HBs and 6 MBs attempt attack on Kiska. MBs abort over Semisopochnoi. HBs circle Kiska until weather closes in. 2 aircraft bomb Amchitka harbor area before US interceptors, 6 P-38’s and 1 B-24, arrive. 2 P-38’s return due to mechanical troubles. The others fly negative search over Kiska.”

January 25
K- Sasaki Giichi and Morita Hiroshi bombed enemy ships at Constantine Harbor inflicting heavy damage on one transport. Together the spent: 60kgX4, 20mmX70, 7.7mmX50 receiving three bullet holes for better air conditioning.
“January 25, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 28th Composite Bombardment Group bombers dispatched to Kiska abort in the face of bad weather.
  Two A6M2-Ns bomb and strafe Amchitka Island.”
CC: “1/25/43 Eleventh AF - P-38’s are dispatched too late to engage 2 float-planes bombing Amchitka. Rcn is flown over Kiska, Buldir, Semichis, Attu, and Agattu. 1 B-24 and 4 P-38’s fly 2 patrol missions over Amchitka. An attack mission to Kiska is turned back by weather. B-25’s unsuccessfully search for missing aircraft.”
The 26/1/1942 G-2 report mentions: Shipping in Constantine Harbor, Amchitka, was attacked for the second successive day, on January 25, by 2 enemy seaplanes; no hits nor casualties were reported. On both January 24 and January 25, the enemy employed radio jamming tactics before and during the attacks.
The 28/1/1942 G-2 report mentions: On January 25, there were apparently two separate enemy attacks on shipping at Amchitka. It is now reported that in the first attack, one of the planes, after releasing its bombs, made a strafing attack inland near Makarius Bay, with no damage. The second attack, directed only against shipping, resulted in no damage.
 
January 26
K- Morita and Sasaki bomb again enemy ships at Constantine Harbor. One enemy transport set on fire. They spent: 60kgX4, 20mmX110, 7.7mmX150.
“January 26, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: All Eleventh Air Force aircraft are grounded by bad weather, but two UN aircraft strafe the harbor at Amchitka.”

CC: “1/26/43 Eleventh AF - All missions canceled due to weather. 2 enemy airplanes strafe Constantine Harbor.”
The 28/1/1942 G-2 report again mentions: On January 26, two enemy planes flew over Amchitka without attacking.  

January 28
K- Morita and Sasaki pay again a bombing visit to Constantine Harbor but with unknown results due to fog. They dropped four 60kg bombs and spent 20mmX120, 7.7mmX300. They also got a bullet hole which they repaired with Tamiya putty.
CC: “1/27/43 Eleventh AF - Negative weather rcn sortie over Kiska. 4 P-38’s fly protective patrol over Amchitka. Upon their departure, 3 Japanese aircraft appear and unsuccessfully bomb shipping but cause 3 casualties.”
The 29/1/1942 G-2 report mentions: On January 28, three enemy fighters attacked shipping and shore installations at Amchitka. This attack on January 28 is the third since our occupation of Amchitka. Two bombs were directed at shipping in the harbor. Five or 6 additional bombs were dropped ashore over a wide area. One of the planes made a strafing run after dropping its bomb load.

February 1
I- Kimikawa Maru ferried six "Rufe" and one "Jake" to Kiska.
K- Sasaki and Nakamachi didn't forget to attack enemy ships at Constantine Harbor dropping four 60kg bombs with unknown results.
CC: “1/31/43 Eleventh AF - Weather and photo rcn aircraft flies twice over Kiska. During first mission near Attu the airplane is jumped by 6 ftrs which it eludes. 4 B-17’s, 2 B-24’s, 6 B-25’s, 4 P-38’s, and 4 P-40’s then attempt attack on Kiska. P-40’s turn back with mechanical troubles. The other aircraft find Kiska closed in and abort mission. 2 patrol missions, each by 1 B-25 and 4 P-38’s, fly over Amchitka. 2 enemy float-planes bomb Constantine Harbor without results.”
The 1/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: On January 31, six Zeros were sighted at Attu Island.

February 2
I- Eight "Rufe" and one "Jake" attacked Amchitka island. Two "Rufe" shot down by a/a fire. Dead pilots CPO Okawa and PO2c Naito.
K- Eight "Rufe" and one "Jake" bombed you-know-where inflicting heavy damage to various ships dropping twenty 60kg bombs. The Japanese pilots were: Yamada, Sasaki, Nakamachi, Osa, Nagase, Naoi, Okawa Kaiji and Naito Hitoshi. The last two pilots failed to return. The "Jake" crew were: pilot Tominaga, observer Okano and communications Sawabe. 
Hammel: “February 1, 1943 ALEUTAN ISLANDS: Eleventh Air Force aircraft are grounded by bad weather, but IJN aircraft bomb and strafe Amchitka harbor.”
CC: “2/1/43 Eleventh AF - All missions canceled due to weather. Enemy aircraft bomb and strafe Amchitka harbor and shipping without inflicting damage.”
The 5/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: Nine enemy planes participated in the February 1 attack on Amchitka. All were single-motor low-wing monoplanes. Three were single-float and 6 double-float.
While the number of aircraft is correct, notice how off is the number of "Rufe" and "Jake" seaplanes. And how about this report dated 3/2/1943: On February 1, eight to 10 enemy float-type fighters were observed over Amchitka for 10 minutes, but no strafing or bombing action was attempted. and this one dated 2/2/1943: On February 1, two enemy single-engine float monoplanes ineffectively bombed shipping at Amchitka. But continues to give interesting information regarding the six "Rufe" seaplanes delivered first in Attu then flown to Kiska. The six enemy planes sighted at Attu on January 31 are Zero-type float planes. On the same date, these 6 fighters were sighted headed towards Kiska. Later, on January 31, three enemy planes were observed at Kiska Bay.
 
February 5
I- Fought against a mixed force of B-24 and B-25. Four "Rufe" and one "Jake" also attack Amchitka Island.
K- "Rufe" pilots Nagase and Osa take off at 04:50, find one B-24 which escaped in the clouds. Returned at 05:25.
Later the same day an enemy force of five B-25 and four B-17 is located, five "Rufe" take off at 08:05 but the enemy escaped. Pilots: Nakamachi, Osa, Nagase, Naoi, Sasaki returned at 08:25.
Sasaki took-off again at 12:15 and located a submarine which he strafed.
Four "Rufe" and one "Jake" take off at 01:30 to attack enemy positions at Constantine Harbor. They dropped twelve 60kg bombs with unknown results. "Rufe" pilots: Yamada, Nagase, Nakamachi, Naoi. "Jake" crew: pilot Fujii, observer Shimizu, communications Matsuyama.
Hammel: “February 4, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Three 28th Composite Bombardment Group B-17s, three B-24s, three B-25s, four 343d Fighter Group P-38s, and eight P-40s attack the Kiska submarine base, a cargo ship, and the main encampment, and the P-40s strafe ground targets. Definite signs of a new IJN fighter strip are discovered.
  Five IJN bombers attack Amchitka.”

CC: “2/4/43 Eleventh AF - The weather rcn plane over Kiska, jumped by 3 ftrs, shoots 1 down. It is followed by 3 B-17’s, 3 B-24’s, 3 B-25’s, 4 P-38’s, and 8 P-40’s. The B-24’s blast North Head submarine base, and score near misses on cargo ship. The B-25’s hit vicinity of Main Camp area. 3 of 5 float-planes which intercept are shot down. The P-40’s strafe Kiska ground installation and sight a ftr strip SW of Salmon Lagoon.
2 Amchitka ftr patrols are flown. The first also strafes gun emplacements on Vega Pt. 5 enemy bmrs strike Amchitka.”

The 7/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: Four of the five enemy planes participating in the February 4 attack on Amchitka are believed to be NAGOYA ZERO fighters, and the fifth an AICHI 99 dive bomber.
Really curious how a "Jake" could be mistaken for a "Val".
The 6/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: The February 5 attack on Amchitka was made by 5 float monoplanes. No damage resulted. A reconnaissance plane over Kiska on February 4 was attacked by 3 enemy fighters, 1 of which is believed destroyed. On February 4 our planes bombed the Main Camp, North Head, and submarine base areas on Kiska, and a small new cargo vessel E of Trout Lagoon. Five enemy fighters intercepted and 3 enemy planes were shot down.
 
February 14
I- Battle against 17 B-25 and P-39. Sasaki and Naoi shared one P-39 shot down. Three "Rufe" and three "Jake" also attacked Amchitka island.
K- Two "Jake" seaplanes take off on patrol at 05:30. At 07:00 one of the two aircraft is lost. The other aircraft returned at 08:00 without locating enemy forces. The pilot of the lost "Jake" was PO1c Murai, observer WO Sato, communications PO2c Kijima. The crew of the second "Jake" were, pilot WO Suzuki, observer PO1c Mihara and communications WO Miki.
Three "Rufe" take-off at 06:45, spotted enemy aircraft, tried to follow but enemy escaped in the clouds. "Rufe" pilots: Nakamachi, Osa and Nagase returned at 07:40.
Two "Rufe" took off again at 06:45, found an enemy force of 17 aircraft. One enemy plane shot down by Sasaki and Naoi. They used 20mmX120, 7.7mmX440 and returned at 07:40.
Four "Rufe" and three "Jake" take off at 12:40 to bomb enemy installations and ships at Constantine Bay with unknown results. They dropped 60kgX18 and used 20mmX240,7.7mmX800. "Rufe" pilots were: Nagase, Naoi, Sasaki and Osa. "Jake" crew: pilots Tominaga, Kato and Mukai, observers Totsu, Koiwai, Ika (?), communications Uehara, Sasaki and Kamata.   
Hammel: “February 13, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: 28th Composite Bombardment Group heavy and medium bombers attack Kiska, where 54th Fighter Squadron P-38 pilots down three A6M2-Ns between 1150 hours and noon.”
“February 14, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Seven A6M2-Ns attack the anchorage at Amchitka.”

CC: “2/13/43 Eleventh AF - Weather rcn is flown over Kiska, Attu, Agattu, the Semichis, and Buldir I. 5 HBs, 6 MBs, and 10 P-38’s bomb and strafe Kiska tgts including Camp area, landing strip, and shipping. Of 5 float-type ftrs which attack, P-38’s shoot down 3. 4 P-38’s and 1 B-25 fly patrol mission over Amchitka and Little Kiska. A B-25 shoots down a floatplane.”
“2/14/43 Eleventh AF - Weather rcn airplane turns back due to weather, as does morning patrol of 1 B-25 and 4 P-38’s flying over Amchitka. Other missions from Adak are also called off. 7 enemy float-type planes bomb and strafe Constantine Harbor area without effect.”
The 16/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: On February 13, enemy positions at Kiska were heavily bombed, and the fighter-strip area was also strafed. Enemy losses in this action were 4 single-float fighters and 1 twin-float, double-seater scout plane. On February 14, seven enemy planes made ineffective attacks on shipping at Amchitka.
Conclusion: The Japanese claim one US fighter shot down (unconfirmed), the US forces claim three or four "Rufe" shot down (all unconfirmed) plus one "Jake" (also unconfirmed).

February 16
I- Amchitka attack unknown results
K- From 04:50 three "Jake" seaplanes take off on patrol and to search for the downed "Jake" of February 14. One "Jake" located an enemy force of one Cruiser and four Destroyers. All aircraft returned by 08:57. Two more "Jake" take off at 09:30 and 09:40, located enemy forces and returned at 14:30 and 14:40.
At 12:45 four "Rufe" and three "Jake" take off to bomb Amchitka Island. One of the "Jake" seaplanes had to return to base due to engine problem. The rest bombed enemy installations and the airfield in Amchitka. "All the bullets hit their target". They dropped 16 60kg bombs and returned at 13:35. "Rufe" pilots: Nakamachi, Nagase, Osa, Naoi. "Jake" crew: pilots Tominaga, Suzuki (returned), Mukai; observers Totsu, Kubota, Ika (?) and communications: Sawabe, Miki, Kamata.   
Hammel: “February 15, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Six A6M2-Ns attack the Amchitka Airdrome runway.”
“February 16, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Eleventh Air Force bombers and fighters dispatched to attack Kiska are thwarted by bad weather.
  Japanese aircraft conduct what turns out to be their final nuisance raid against the U.S. installation on Amchitka Island, following which eight P-40s and a cargo plane land at the newly operational Amchitka Airdrome.”
CC: “2/15/43 Eleventh AF - Weather rcn B-24 is soon called off due to weather. All other missions canceled. 6 float-type enemy aircraft bomb and strafe Amchitka, hitting runway and inflicting casualties.”
The 17/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: On February 16, the enemy attacked Amchitka with 4 single-float and 2 twin float planes, causing very slight damage.

February 19
I- Reconnaissance over Amchitka island. WO Nakamachi and PO1c Sasaki Giichi killed. The latter's score was four enemy aircraft shot down, one probable and five shared.
Few planes operational. Supply difficult. Fight whenever possible.
K- Two "Rufe" take off at 13:15 on a reconnaissance mission over Amchitka Island. The two pilots, Nakamachi and Sasaki didn't return. 
Hammel: “February 18, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: P-40 pilots from the Seventh Air Force's 18th Fighter Squadron, on loan to the Eleventh Air Force, down two A6M2-Ns over Amchitka at 1900 hours.”
CC: “2/18/43 Eleventh AF - Weather rcn B-24 determines 3 ships at Attu to be friendly. P-40’s on local patrol over Amchitka encounter and shoot down 2 ftrs.”
THIS blog has an excellent account of the events on that day and how the two Japanese pilots were shot down. Thank you Laurent Chambon for the link.

February 21
K- At 09:10 four "Rufe" take off on patrol. Pilots Yamada, Nagase, Osa, Naoi. Found enemy and followed but the enemy escaped in the clouds. Returned at 09:45.
The 22/2/1943 G-2 report mentions: On February 20, enemy installations at Kiska suffered damage from U.S. bombing attack. Hits were observed on the fighter strip, and bombs were dropped in the main camp area, on North Head, and on Little Kiska Island. The enemy offered no air opposition, but 4 single-float Japanese fighters were observed W of Kiska during the action.

The 12/3/1943 G-2 report mentions: On March 9...Photographic reconnaissance revealed 11 single and 3 double float-type fighter planes near the aircraft hangar at Kiska Harbor.

March 11
K- At 05:55 eight "Rufe" take off to attack enemy forces; six B-24, six B-25, four P-38. They tried to catch the enemy aircraft but they escaped in a eastern direction. Pilots: Nagase, Osa, Hachigo, Endo, Hamaya, Naoi, Nagasako, Katsuki. Returned at 06:45.
At 09:05 nine "Rufe" took off for target practice. Enemy B-24 was located over Viga Island, was attacked and damaged but was not shot down. "Rufe" pilots: Nagase, Osa, Naoi, Hachigo, Endo, Hamaya, Iijima, Nagasako, Katsuki.
CC:3/10/43 Eleventh AF - Rcn airplane is attacked by 5 aircraft. Kiska attack mission is flown by 10 B-25’s, 6 B-24’s, 12 P-38’s (4 of them flying top cover), and 1 F-5A. 8 of the P-38’s strafe ground installations. The B-25’s bomb radar site and pound North Head, silencing AA fire. The B-24’s hit Main Camp area. 4 Amchitka-based P-40’s bomb submarine base.”
The 13/3/1943 G-2 report mentions: On March 11, five enemy single- and twin-float planes unsuccessfully attacked a U.S. heavy bomber over Kiska. The submarine base at Kiska was bombed, with one hit observed. Enemy AA and installations on North Head were apparently seriously damaged by the bombing of March 10. Photographs indicate the removal or destruction of the ramp and south hangar at Kiska Harbor. The fighter strip on Kiska is now estimated to be 2,000 feet in length.

CC:3/13/43 Eleventh AF - A B-24 on rcn returns early because of adverse weather. 12 P-40’s strike Kiska beach, camp and runway. Hits are observed on these tgts and among 14 parked airplanes. 8 P-38’s with 8 P-40’s flying top cover again take off for Kiska. Only 3 of the P-38’s reach the tgt and strafe aircraft on beach. Another sights a submarine SW of Rat I.”

March 16
K- Five "Rufe" seaplanes take off on patrol but NEC.
Later the same day at 07:20 three "Rufe" attacked one B-24 which escaped emitting black smoke. Pilots Nagasako, Katsuki, Hachigo. 
CC: “3/15/43 Eleventh AF - 6 B-25’s, with 4 P-38’s flying top cover, bomb North Head, hitting Main Camp and gun emplacements.
6 B-24’s with 4 P-38’s for top cover then bomb Main Camp. Revetments and hangar area are strafed by the P-38’s one of which is lost to AA. Next, 5 B-24’s and 16 P-38’s bomb and strafe Main Camp area and North Head. 4 P-40’s then unsuccessfully search for 3 enemy ftrs which had earlier attacked weather airplane. Main Camp is hit two more times, by 3 B-25’s and by 8 P-38’s.”

The 18/3/1943 G-2 report mentions: On March 15, three enemy float-planes unsuccessfully attacked a U.S. reconnaissance plane.

March 17
I- Seven "Rufe" fought against a force of ten P-38s. Two P-38s shot down.
Last Kiska air battle.
K- Eight "Rufe" seaplanes take off at 04:45 after receiving report that enemy aircraft are approaching. Six B-24s, six B-25s and three P-38s are located but the enemy escaped before making contact. All "Rufe" returned at 05:25.
Later the same day, another report arrived that enemy is approaching and seven "Rufe" took off at 07:45. Ten P-38 were located and two were shot down. All "Rufe" seaplanes returned to base at 08:35. Pilots: Nagase, Osa, Naoi, Nagasako, Katsuki, Endo, Hamaya.
Hammel: “March 16, 1943 ALEUTIAN ISLANDS: Eleventh Air Force aircraft mount numerous small strikes against Kiska amounting to 13 B-24 sorties, 16 B-25 sorties, 32 P-38 sorties, and eight P-40 sorties. One B-25 is lost.”
CC: “3/16/43 Eleventh AF - 16 B-25’s, 13 B-24’s, 8 P-40’s and 32 P- 38’s (cover/escort) sorties are flown to Kiska in one weather rcn and 2 attack missions from Adak, and in 3 more missions from Amchitka. Tgts hit are North Head, Main Camp area, radar sites and submarine base. On last Amchitka mission 1 enemy floatplane is shot down with 2 more probables. 4 HBs are hit and 1 B-25 does not return.”
The 18/3/1943 G-2 report again mentions: Over a 10-hour period on March 15-16, the enemy suffered damage from 6 separate U.S. bombing and strafing missions over Kiska. Later on March 16, eight enemy planes attacked U.S. fighters S of Kiska, and 6 enemy planes are believed to have been shot down. On March 16-17, hits were scored in the Main Camp area, on the submarine base, and on radar installations in 3 U.S. attack missions. No enemy interception was attempted. Photographs taken March 17 reveal 8 single and 8 double float-planes on Kiska Harbor beach. 

March 27

Pilots escaped by submarine. Return to Yokosuka and reorganized with buntaicho LTJG Araki.

A news reel dated April 21 shows for a few seconds a "Rufe" and a "Jake" on Kiska island getting refuelled.


The narrator explains: “With the coming of spring white nights also arrive on Kiska. All the island is covered with tundra and nothing can be grown, not even a morsel of rice. On the colorless islands only small puppies bring some joy to the men between battles. The harsh conditions sttrengthen the spirit of our men to give their best. We have to send our prays to these hard fighting men. The men at the anti-aircraft posts have no momment to rest. During these ten months since the capture of the island, America felt the preassure on their mainland and were continuously forced into battle.The Americans are especially good at blind bombing which occur daily. Look! Another enemy aircraft has come. A twin-fuselage P-38 is clearly shot-down!”   

While Akimoto and Izawa record the tail marking of the 452Ku during the Aleutian campaign as "52-", Nohara Shigeru in Model Art #510, 1998, for the first time in print showed the marking to be "M1-" based on photos of destroyed "Rufe" and "Jake" seaplanes found by the US forces. Here are two such photo from here. Note the narrow white surround of the red fuselage hinomaru.
 
In combination with the photo on MA#510 which shows the same aircraft, the tail markings can be discerned to be "M1-112" and "M1-113" and Devlin Chouinard created artwork of them.
 
 
There are a few more photos or wrecked "Rufe" and "Jakes" floatplanes I found here, here and here.
 
 
 
 
The "Rufe" above was found on Attu so it is very probable she is one of those lost between November 6~10, 1942.
Below are a few very short but very interesting films from YouTube featuring "Rufe" and "Jake" floatplanes found on Kiska by US forces.
First clip from here.
 
Second from here.
 
Third and fourth clips are from here.
 
 
Fifth clip is from here.
 
And the last one from here.

The tails of two more "Rufe" seaplanes are visible and Devlin Chouinard created artwork.

 
According to the 4/9/1943 G-2 Monthly Intelligence Summary, the U.S. forces discovered that there were “more than 50 wrecked enemy planes on Kiska included reconnaissance, patrol bomber and similar types; the majority were float planes.”

3 comments:

D. Chouinard said...

Brutal conditions..... That the pilots were quite willing to go up and fight, outnumbered at times and against faster, better armed aircraft shows a good deal of resolve. Keeping everything running in the cold, wet, boggy conditions was always a problem for both sides.
I don't know what others think, but this is a very good series!

Anonymous said...

Both the pictures here and the in the links provided are fantastic. They really capture the conditions. If only they have saved enough pieces of a Jake or Rufe for somebody to restore one...

Wind Swords

D. Chouinard said...

A real, restored Jake or Rufe would be a real gem! Flying would be even better! Maybe someday there may be one or the other (both?!) on display? There is a long list I would like to see "in the flesh."
Now that I think about it, I think there is a full scale replica Jake in Japan?