Sunday 22 April 2012

Nakajima A2N Carrier Fighter - Hokoku #7

The donation ceremony for Hokoku #7 was scheduled to take place at Tokyo's Haneda airport on September 25, 1932. The previous day a Nakajima A2N carrier fighter was prepared and flown to Haneda to take part in the ceremony but during landing the wheel cover was damaged, so another airplane was flown in early the next day.
Although there was a little rain the ceremony started as scheduled at 10:00. Speeches by the attending dignitaries including Navy Minister Okada Keisuke were over by 11:30. It should be noted that the chief priest of Yasukuni shrine was also present offering prayer.
Navy Minister Okada in the middle of the photo during the donation ceremony.

Following this, Hokoku #7 with Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Funaki from Yokosuka Kokutai in the cockpit and seven other airplanes got ready for an exhibition flight. There were three Nakajima A1N carrier fighters from Yokosuka Kokutai with three Hirosho H1H and one Kawanishi H3K1 from Tateyama Kokutai. The exhibition flight including touch-and-go and mock air combat by the fighters as well as low passes from the flying boats was over at 12:00 after which the airplanes were prepared for a flight over Tokyo. During that flight 10,000 leaflets like the one below were dropped over Tokyo.

The whole ceremony was covered by radio Tokyo under the auspices of the Navy. Although there were no problems with the radio announcer, two of the three microphones used in the ceremony to broadcast the speeches did not work properly much to the chagrin of the Navy.
The amount for the donation of Hokoku #7 was collected by contributions made by teachers and students of 364 vocational schools from around Japan. 1,200 invitation cards were printed and sent to the principles of all donor schools. 5,800 postcards and photos including 800 larger size photos were also printed and handed to all those who attended the Sept 25 ceremony; the rest were used for promotion purposes. Last but not least 10,000 pamphlets were also printed giving details about the aircraft and the donors.
General view of the donation ceremony

On June 3, 1933 at 8:30 in the morning, pilot Shimizu of Tateyama Kokutai was flying Hokoku #7 during training. Unfortunately there was an engine problem and the airplane crashed near cape Taibusha, Chiba prefecture, killing the pilot.    

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