Monday 17 December 2012

Aichi E16A "Zuiun" (Paul) - #1 - Translations

From FAOW 47 (Bunrindo, 1994)
Aichi E16A "Zuiun"
P.8 - Reconnaissance Seaplane "Zuiun" (E16A)
Top: 634 Navy Kokutai 1944
Middle left side: Yokosuka Ku 1944
Middle right side: Upper, under surfaces painting pattern
Bottom: Kitaura Navy Ku 1941-1945
P.71 - Reconnaissance Seaplane "Zuiun"
Upper: In 1944, the Kaigun Koku Gizutsu-sho (Navy Aviation Technical Arsenal) received the early production "Zuiun" Model 11, "KO- A23". Overall painting was gray or prototype orange yellow. The front float strut has the dive brakes in open position. This plane’s triangular deep cut at the back seat window’s rear edge was changed later on production aircraft.
Lower: Floating in Kasumigaura, a "Zuiun" Model 11 belonging to the Yokosuka Ku marked "YO-53". One of the early production machines has a standard back seat rear window but it doesn’t have holes on the dive brakes of the front float strut. Although there were seaplanes facilities in Yokosuka base, later in the war, many other types of aircraft were stationed there, so the lack of space required the relocation of seaplanes like the "Zuiun" or the Type 0 Recconnaissance Seaplane to Kasumigaura.
P.72 - Upper and lower: A half-finished "Zuiun" Model 11 at the factory of Aichi Kokuki. It shows the complicated character of this plane, which apart from the large main floats, it had good overall shape not unlike a fighter aircraft. The decision of the IJNAF to adopt a seaplane at a time, August 1943, when daytime operations by seaplanes were impossible shows the superficial way of thinking of the Navy.
P.73 - Upper: Photo of a "Zuiun" Model 11, belonging to the 634 Ku taken at the moment of launching from the catapult of the carrier battleship "Hyuga" in the Setonai Sea, on June 23, 1944. In order to supplement the losses of regular fighters, there was a plan the carrier battleships "Ise" and "Hyuga" to carry 14 and 8 "Zuiun" respectively (plus eight for "Ise" and 14 for "Hyuga" Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei"). The 634 Ku was created for this reason. This photo was taken during the first time training took place on both ships. But, in the end, both battleships didn’t see action carrying the aircraft, so the 634 Ku converted to a land based seaplane unit.
Lower: This photo was taken on September 1944 over the Setonai sea during hard training, after "Hyuga" and "Ise" decommissioned the aircraft and the 634 Ku became a land-based unit, before advancing to the Philippines. While in general "Zuiun" photos are rare, there is no other showing that many planes together. The tail number of the aircraft in the foreground is "634-78" (white).
P.74 - Top: A "Zuiun" Model 11with the tail number "634-77", belonging to the 634 Ku, is standing in front of a hangar of the Kure seaplane base. Although difficult to see from the angle of this photo, in another photo taken from a more to the left angle, we can see that this plane doesn’t have the usual round, long shaped, five openings at the dive brakes but has instead many small and big round shaped openings.
Middle: Photo taken in October 1944, at the Cavite naval base of Luzon island in the Philippines, of a "Zuiun" Model 11 with the markings "634-87", belonging to the 634 Ku after its advance there. That unit was active mainly against strategic points of the U.S. forces on Leyte island, Mindoro island etc., performing night bombing missions. These missions with difficult visual confirmation of the target and small numbers of participating planes in the sorties, didn't have any significant results. 
Lower: A "Zuiun" Model 11, marked "801-120" belonging to the 302 Reconnaissance Hikotai of the 801 Ku, is seen standing by the sand beach of the Genkai base of the island of Kyushu, early 1945. When the War started, the Yokohama Ku was equipped with Type 2 Flying Boats (Kawanishi H8K "Emily"). On November 1, 1942 the unit was renamed 801 Ku and from the main base in the mainland, detachment units were dispatched to various places for patrol, reconnaissance missions etc. On November 1944, a 2-seat seaplane reconnaissance unit, on January 1945 a field attack unit, on February of the same year a fleet reconnaissance unit, were deployed in succession, reaching a total number of almost 100 planes, making it a really big Kokutai.
The "Zuiun" unit was deployed for night bombing during the Okinawa fighting.
P75 - Photo taken near the end of the War in June-July 1945, of "Zuiun" Model 11s belonging to the 302 Reconnaissance Hikotai, lying on the Sakurajima seaplane base of Kagoshima, getting ready for the decisive battle of the mainland. The photo at the top shows seapllanes being refueled on the beach and the lower photo shows seaplanes during engine trial runs while being heavily camouflaged. The 302 Reconnaissance was organized towards the end of 1944, equipped with "Zuiun" and type 0 Reconnaissance Seaplanes and advanced to Ibusuki, Hakata and Kagoshima on Kyushu island, to participate in the battle for Okinawa. The end of the war, found the unit in Sakurajima base.
P76 - Upper: A "Zuiun" Model 11 belonging to the Yokosuka Ku, marked "YO-218" is seen in Kasumigaura seaplane base. The wing loading of 142.8 kg/m2, was a good point of this type, with good taking-off and landing ability. To improve the air combat performance, double throttle flaps were adopte as well as "small" and combat flaps. On the wing root a fillet was installed to secure a steady air flow. The projections on the wing undersides, are attachments for small bombs.
Lower Photo: A "Zuiun" belonging to the Kitaura Ku, return to it's base, close to Kasumigaura East in Ibaraki prefecture. In April 1942, the Kitaura detachment unit became independent from the Kasumigaura Ku and becoming a Kokutai was charged with pilot training until it was disbanded, in May 1945. During the battle for Okinawa, the 1 Kaitai (?) Kamikaze special attack unit was organized, with Sub-Lieutenant Miyamura Seichi and 18 others. Immediately after that, the unit was disbanded. 
NOTE: in MA 458 (IJN Kamikaze units) although the operations and aircraft of the Kaitai are mentioned, there is no reference to "Zuiun" seaplanes.
P77 - A "Zuiun" Model 11, marked "634-16", originally belonging to the 634 Ku, captured by the U.S. forces in the Philippines was transported to the States for evaluation. Apart from the rear part of the engine, it is in generally good condition. In the top photo, we can see the plane’s side shape, the front strut of the float and the double throttle flap for example. In the lower photo, we can see the way the wing folded. To move the seaplane around it was placed on the trolley of an Aichi M6A "Seiran". Although the U.S. force’s official evaluation is not known, I believe the plane’s overall performance and tactical value was not that satisfactory to them. 

From Model Art #565 (Model Art, 2000)
P.13 - Aichi Reconnaissance Seaplane "Zuiun" (E16A)
Top: 634 Navy Ku, 1944, Kure base 
Middle: Standard painting of the plane´s upper and lower surfaces
Bottom: Yokosuka Ku, 1944, Kasumigaura
P.94 - Upper: same photo as of FAOW’s p.70. Caption almost the same.
P.95 - Upper: A just finished, early production "Zuiun" Model 11 at the Aichi Kokuki factory. On the front struts of the floats, the dive brakes don’t have openings yet. Lower: Almost same caption as of FAOW’s p.73 upper photo. Only extra, catapult: Kure system no.2 type 5
P.96 - Upper: Almost same caption as of FAOW’s p.74, top photo. 
Middle: Almost same caption as of "Broken Wings of the Samurai", p. 107 upper. Only additions, photo taken two months after the end of the War (Oct. 1945), "Zuiun" seaplanes were taken out of the lake and were scrapped/burned. 
Lower (captions for photos of p. 97): Almost same caption as of FAOW’s p. 77. Only addition, the four projections under the wing in the top photo were added by US forces for transport purposes. Photo taken in Sasebo, Kyushu. 

From Model Art #439 (Model Art, 1994)
Photo captions of pages 128, 129: same as of FAOW p. 73, 74. 
Since planes, generally, don’t fly on their own, here’s some information about "Zuiun" pilots.
Nakajima Hiroshi. Although a generally unknown air observer, Nakajima Hiroshi received the Tokubetsu Koro-sho (special distinguished service medal), flying with a "Zuiun". He saw active service especially during the battle of Philippines, after his 634 Ku advanced there, performing night bombing missions over Tacloban airfield, from base of Cavite. His pilot was Miyamoto Heijiro.
Miyamoto Heijiro. Born Dec. 10, 1921 at Hiroshima. Joined the Navy Academy in Dec. 1939, joined the Kasumigaura Ku in Jan. 1943 and finished training a year later. Before joining the 301 Hikotai of the newly organised 634 Ku, in July 1944 he trained with "Zuiun" at Yokosuka Ku. For night operations he trained at Kagoshima prefecture’s Ibusuki base. In October of the same year advanced to Cavite base to participate in the battle of the Philippines. 
His deeds (in short): 
Dec. 26, over San Jose north airfield, shot down an enemy night fighter, then spotted enemy PT boats, machine gunned four of them, then threw a flare to be spotted by friendly ships. Dec. 30, found enemy middle size transports, north of Ilin island, attacked one of them with his 250 kg. bomb, capsizing it. 
During the battle of Okinawa, March 29 1945, spotted one battleship, one cruiser, and seven destroyers. Hit the battleship with his two 60 kg. bombs. 
April 20, spotted two large size destroyers, sunk one of them with his 250 kg. bomb. May 20, South of Iejima, spotted destroyers protecting a group of transports, sunk one middle size transport. 
May 23, north of Iejima spotted a large force consisting of one group of two battleships and about 10 other ships and another group eight destroyers protecting 50 (fifty) other ships. Came under heavy A/A fire and his observer, Nakajima Hiroshi was injured. Nevertheless, he flew through the barrage, attacked and sunk a destroyer. He was recommended by the 634 Ku commander Emura but during patrol around the Okinawa area, June 26 1945, he didn’t return.
Combat record:
Nov 22, 23 - Tacloban night attack: 
Nov 25 - Manila East, Lamon bay, reconnaissance patrol of enemy fleet
Nov 26 - Leyte bay, enemy transport group attack
Nov 29 - Off Bohol east, Canigao straight north, PT boats attack
Dec 11, 12 - Leyte west beach, enemy unit attack
Dec 15 - Panay sea and around Panay island, enemy unit attack
Dec 21 - Off San Jose, attacked enemy ships
Dec 26 - Off San Jose, evening reconnaissance and north airfield attack
Dec 29, 30 & Jan 2- Off San Jose, enemy transport group attack
January 13 - Relocated from Kanakao to Taiwan East Harbor
January 26 & Feb 7 - Patrol South Taiwan during Nango operation.
March 27 - Relocated to Koniya
March 29 twice, 31, April 4, 7, 20, 28, 30, May 6, 9, 10, 13, 17, 20, 23 - Okinawa area, enemy fleet attack 
April 5 - Okierabujima area, enemy fleet attack 
April 7, 20, 28 - Okinawa area, enemy fleet attack 
April 28 - Nabejima south beach patrol
April 30, May 6, 7, 10, 13, 17, 20, 23 - Okinawa area, enemy fleet attack
June 11 - Relocated to Sakurajima
Failed to return on June 26

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