In the period between the First and Second world wars, aviation was developing rapidly. After analyzing the experience of the last war, countries with long Maritime borders, much attention was paid to the development of seaplanes, for which there was no need to build expensive airports. The logical consequence of this concept was the emergence of a seaplane fighter. Many countries have conducted experiments in this direction, but Japan brought the case to the end, mass-produced gidrostroitel, and is widely used in the fighting.
Japan was a necessary source of materials: oil, iron ore, rubber, coal, etc. to Get them through trade she failed, so there was only one way — to seize by force. The easiest way was to get them on the Islands South-West Pacific, but progress there would inevitably have led to war with the United States, England and Holland, had there colonies. And if during the war in China (1937) army aviation Japan quickly seized control of the air, the Imperial Navy had to act in other circumstances — in the vast Pacific ocean. Planning amphibious operations, the command of the Imperial Navy took into account that future opponents already have airfields on all the major Islands of the region and will fiercely protect them. So a landing was to be carried out on smaller Islands, which were easier to capture. Then they were converted into forward bases for further advance. If possible, they were to build airfields. But until they were not, it was necessary to carry out air cover landed units, while they are fixed on the shore and build (if possible) airfield. Carrier aviation for this could not be enough. In addition, it was necessary to patrol the waters around the already occupied Islands and to protect them from the attacks of Navy and air force of the enemy.
Based on these considerations Marine air headquarters (Koku Hombu Kaigun) in September 1940 was given the job “15-Shi” on the design of a single seaplane fighter, designed for use on small Islands and atolls, and also on Board Gidroaviasalon.
The task was given to the firm “Kawanishi”, which proposed the project “Experimental seaplane fighter 15 Shi “Kofu (N1К1)”. The group of designers under the leadership of Toshiharu Baba decided to use a powerful 1460 HP engine of the firm “Mitsubishi”, coaxial two-bladed propellers. The aircraft promised a great performance, but creating it was not a simple task. A big problem arose with the gearbox, and only after a year and a half coaxial propellers was abandoned in favor of a conventional three-bladed. In may 1942 he flew the first prototype, and then built eight more experienced and 88 mass-produced cars that took part in the fighting. Americans have a seaplane called “Rex”.
But now the rapidly approaching war before the attack on pearl Harbor (7 December 1941) was ten months, and “Kawanishi” fought over rotor setup, and have not even submitted a draft design. To insure that Marine air staff issued a corrected assignment “Chi 16”, which provided for the establishment of gidrostroitel on the basis adopted by the and proven carrier-based fighter А6М2 Model 11 (the famous “zero”). As the firm “Mitsubishi”, Creator of “zero”, was fully loaded with aircraft production for the Navy, the order was transferred to the company “Nakajima Hickok KK” of the city of OTA, where “zero” was produced under license.
In February 1941, two engineers — and Niitaka Tajima — began work on the project, dubbed A5-1. The main problem lies in the design of floats and ways to install them. On the original plane was made necessary alterations associated with the installation. First of all, it touched the chassis — main strut, tail wheel and landing a hook was removed, and the openings sewed up the aluminum, removed and the system of their release and cleaning. Was also removed drop tank. This somewhat eased the aircraft, although it was insufficient to compensate for the weight of the floats appeared. The oil cooler from the lower part of the engine compartment was removed and transferred to the main pole float that has improved conditions of ventilation and cooling of the engine — previously the air from the oil cooler did in the engine compartment. Modified and keel. Its area has increased (though slightly) and the rudder (PH) was continued to the bottom of the fuselage. In the rear bottom made comb — to increase stability.
The rest of the fuselage remained the same. It consisted of three compartments. The first of these is the engine “Nakajima Sakae 12” (At-35-12) takeoff power HP 953 It was a 14-cylinder two-row air-cooled star. The engine was equipped with a blower, located below the impeller which was rotated from the multiplier (increasing momentum) associated with the shaft of the motor. The engine was mounted on Motorama, welded steel pipes, which, in turn, was attached to the power frame fire bulkhead. She separated the engine compartment from the cabin. The nacelle was movable leaf, which was regulated cooling of the engine, and in their closed position, the cooling air is removed through a narrow slit made at the level of the leading edge of the wing. Between the uprights of the motor on the fire wall is attached to the oil tank with a capacity of 60 L. the Aircraft had a three-bladed propeller “Sumitomo” with a diameter of 2.9 m, with a variable pitch (250 — 450), further development of the licensed CS screw 40B company “Hamilton Standard”.
The cockpit was located in the middle part of the fuselage between frames No. 2 (fire partition) and # 7. Cabin cushions were working and supported by the stringers. The main wing spars were attached to the frames No. 4 and 7. By the 7th the frame 80 by bolts with a diameter of 5 mm is attached to the tail section of the fuselage.
On the firewall equipped with two machine guns Type 97 caliber 7.7 mm (developed based on the British Vickers). Their aft came out into the cockpit that allowed the pilot to manually reload them in case of delays. The machine guns were belt feeding, with a stock of 500 rounds per gun. Empty cartridge cases and pieces of tape were removed earlier in the hole at the bottom of the fuselage. But now there was a pole float, so I had to arrange for a compartment to collect them and hatch to remove after the flight. On the dashboard was located reflex sight Type 98. The management plane was carried out using the knobs, pedals and control lever engine (ORE) with the machine screws on the left side of the cockpit. Under him was a pools radio station Type 96 Ku (range 90 km). On the left side was also oxygen device and some other mechanisms. On the starboard side housed the radio remote control and manual fuel pump. The pilot’s seat was dural (armor absent) and adjustable height. The parachute was placed on the Cup seats, but the pilots often did not take him for fear of capture after landing. Over the 8-meter frame towered protivokapotazhnoy headrest, designed to protect the pilot from overturning the car. This was true for basing on land or the deck, but for the seaplane he was hardly useful. Nevertheless headrest left.
On top of the cockpit was closed with a teardrop-shaped lantern, which provides an excellent overview that is somewhat spoiled numerous frames. The strength of the plexiglass, produced in Japan, was insufficient, which explains the openwork design light booths. The middle part of the flashlight moves back to provide boarding of the pilot. Transparent armor was absent.
The tail part of the fuselage had an oval cross-section and gradually eroding in the area of PH. Immediately behind the cab housed the air and oxygen cylinders, battery and radio.
The design was semi-monocoque, consisted of four spars, stringers, frames and the running of the dural covering.
Empennage of an airplane of classic design, consisted of a keel made together with the fuselage and stabilizer. Kiel had a spar and the front wall. Trim — dural. To the spar at three hinge joints was attached to the rudder horn with aerodynamic compensation that had duralumin frame and fabric covering. At the rear edge PH was placed a plate of the trimmer (turn down on the ground) and navigation fire. Stabilizer dvuhlonzheronnoe design, complemented by ribs and stringers, and an indoor duralumin covering. At the junction of the stabilizer and the fuselage closed zaletami. To the rear spar at three hinge joints was attached the elevators had duralumin frame and fabric covering. On the trailing edge were set the trimmers.
The wing has changed a little and consisted of two spars, thirty ribs and stringers. Trim — dural, running. In plan the wing was trapezoidal, with oval endings. The mechanism of folding wingtips, of course, removed. For technical reasons, the spar was impossible to make a whole, so he was stuck between the 12th and 13th ribs, with plates, angles, screws, and rivets. Between the spars, centroplane part, housed nepaterizovanny fuel tanks. In the fuselage roof of the tank was the floor of the cab. Their total capacity — 518 L. To the rear spar, on three hinges, is attached to the Aileron design is similar to the rudders. The hinge connecting the thrust of the Aileron and the Aileron lever, closed small duralumin Radome — not often seen design. Control ailerons — hard, and the other rudder cable. Closer to the fuselage housed the flaps. They were attached to the wing at the hinge shompolnye and had dural lining, reinforced wooden set. The flap was produced with the help of a hydraulic cylinder.
Gun — Type 99 Model 1 Mk3, caliber — 20 mm (Swedish license “Oerlikon”) — was located between ribs # 9 and 10. It was fed from a drum containing 60 rounds. Replacing the drum was carried through the opening on the lower surface of the wing.
To front spar, between 17th and 18th ribs (which had to increase), is attached to a strut of the auxiliary float. To the lower surface of the wing, to force the rib No. 12, was suspended beam holder for a 60 kg (or 30 kg) bombs. Reset — the electric trigger. The wing was abundantly electrified — in addition to the usual navigation lights in the wingtips (red — left and green — right) on the upper surface of each wing were two front-line fire similar color. Why do they need? Apparently, it is an atavism left over from pre-war tactics, when the main tactical unit was considered a flight of three machines (SOTI) and a group of three links (.). The actions of the fighters in pairs, the Japanese moved in early 1943, By the time these lights were no longer needed.
The most noticeable difference between versions А6М2-N (such designation received gidrostroitel) from other variants of “zero” — the presence of floats: one large Central and two subsidiary under the wings. As the main float originally used a float from the seaplane Е8N1, but then it was modified by optimizing for А6М2. the Float was attached by using a rather massive pylon, suspended over the fire bulkhead. Pilon had the main spars of duralumin angles and internal brace pipe extending along the rear edge. Inside the pylon was placed: the oil cooler compartment for collecting spent cartridges from a machine gun and fuel line. Pilon had a significant take-out forward, due to the presence of the tank in the float. Two additional strut coming from the rear wing spar, gave the fastening of the float necessary rigidity. These racks were made of flattened aluminum tubes, inside of which stretched control cables, water wheel.
The main float was equipped with fuel tanks with a capacity of 325 l, compensating for the absence of the suspended tank under the fuselage. Naturally, the bottom had to install the fuel pump. The float on top had a rounded cross section, and bottom — moderate deadrise, with a redan (the ledge) in the middle. Inside the float is divided by watertight bulkheads into several isolated compartments. In case of flooding of any of them, the plane remained afloat for some time, sufficient for the salvation of the pilot. Equipment periodically examined the internal cavity of the float through the viewing hatches and, if necessary, removed accumulated there water through hand pumps. Rocking chairs and water rudder cable runs took place at the top of the back half of the float. Two auxiliary float mounted under the wings on the racks. Basic data of gidrostroitely А6М2-N “Ruth” is shown below.
The first of four prototypes was completed in late November 1941, and made its first flight on 8 December, the day of the Japanese attack on pearl Harbor. The flights showed that it is necessary to modify the shape of the float to achieve the necessary stability on the water and in the air. All four prototypes were intensively tested until March 1942 it Was found that due to the increased weight and increased resistance maximum speed was reduced to 440 km/h at an altitude of 5000 m.
On the original aircraft, it was 520 km/h But the plane was able to maintain excellent handling and good maneuverability. As the allies at that time were bombers and scouts, able to reach such a speed, А6М2-N could quite cope with their task, and had to adopt as an interim solution, until then, until it is ready gidrostroitel N1К1 “kou Fu” promises significantly better performance data. It was assumed that the staff who have mastered А6М2-N, and then easily switch to “kou Fu”. But when brought to the condition N1К1, Japan had actually lost the war, so temporary (А6М2-N) proved to be the primary. When adopting this fighter has got a “long” name: “Seaplane fighter Type 2 Model 11”. The allies gave it the symbol “Ruth.” (One of the good female characters in the Bible.)
Series production began in April 1942, and the rate of release initially was 12 aircraft per month in the future, the pace increased to 15 — 20 cars a month the Only modernization of the “Ruth” was to install a longer spinner. How many aircraft were produced in this version unknown but I’d guess about a hundred. Release А6М2-N ceased in September 1943, when it became clear that the aircraft is significantly behind in the flight data, the needs of the time. At the time it was built 327 serial Gidrostroiteley and 4 of the prototype. Released gidrostroitely distributed between the Aleutian and Solomon Islands and training units in Japan. They were armed with Kajima Kokutai, Otsu Kokutai, Sasebo Kokutai, Toko and Yokohama Kokutai Kokutai and “kokutai” under the numbers: 5, 14, 36, 452, 801, 902 and 934. They were also used on Board Gidroaviasalon “Kamikawa Maru” and “Chieda” (Chiyoda). Kokutai tactical unit in the aviation of Japan. To find the equivalent in Russian language not just as part of Kakuta could go from 12 to 200 aircraft. The scatter is very large — in our terms from squadron to division, so let Kokutai conditional term “Air group”.
In early June 1942, Japanese troops occupied two Islands of the Aleutian chain — Attu and Kiska. From a military point of view, it was a completely unnecessary operation, but the Islands belonged to the US, and Japanese propaganda stated that the leg of a Japanese soldier entered the territory of the enemy. It somehow raised the morale after the heavy defeat of midway (4…7 June 1942). The island was a bare rock, wind blown wet and often covered with damp mist. To build a normal airport there was impossible, so air cover was provided Gidroaviasalon “Kimikawa Maru”, armed seaplanes Aichi Е13А1. On 8 June, eight aircraft landed in the Gulf of Holtz Bay (Kiska island) to organize seaplane base Activity of the Japanese did not go unnoticed by the Americans, after all, captured the island was in range of planes from the base of Dutch Harbor (Fox island — the continuation of the Aleuts), which was based on 28 th composite air group, armed with bombers b-17 and b-24. Because at that time to dislodge the Japanese did not have the strength, the Americans began to bomb their single aircraft, whenever the weather allowed. After receiving reinforcements the raids increased. So, on June 11 mission flew five b-17 and b-24. Reflect the RAID anti-aircraft artillery. Losses, the opponents have not suffered. After four days in the area of operations profit Gidroaviasalon — “Kimikawa Maru” and light cruiser “Kiso”. On Board was a seaplane reconnaissance Е13А1 and 14 biplanes F1М2, too, but scouts can function as a “support fighter”. In any case, so it seemed to the Japanese command. The next day June 16) they tried to repel the next attack, but to no avail. “Support fighter” has shown its complete failure. After unloading, because of the danger of air raids, the ships went to O. Agatha. Instead, on the island of Kiska arrived 5 four-engine flying boats Н6К4, acting distant reconnaissance and transport aircraft.
By the time metropolis was finished testing А6М2-N, and the first six trucks with crews were taken on Board gidroaparatura “Cied” Chiyoda), which took them to the Aleuts.
2 July 1942 There fighters joined the Toko Kokutai, and three days later commenced air patrols over the Islands at the same time (July 5) held the first meeting with the enemy: a pair of “Rupa” tried to intercept a single reconnaissance b-24 “liberator”. The crew of b-24 timely notice of the enemy disappeared into the clouds and returned safely to base.
The initial success the Japanese had achieved 11 July, when six А6М2-N took off to intercept a group of bombers who carried out the next RAID. It consisted of four b-24 (of the newcomers 404 th bomber division), and seven b-17 (28th combined air group). The Americans were flying in small groups that forced the Japanese to spray forces. Part of fighters attacked the “liberators” and declared the damage to one of them (404-dB losses were not), and the rest jumped on the “flying fortress.” The result was shot down one b-17, the Americans acknowledged the loss.
4 Aug to O. Kiska came Gidroaviasalon “Kimikawa Maru” (KimikawaMaru), which brought six А6М2-N,six scouts Е13А1 and loads of supplies. The next day of the available and newly arrived aircraft were formed the 5th Air group, which included 12 “of rufa” and six Е13А1, under the command of captain Takahashi. It should be noted that officers in the Imperial air was very small. The overwhelming majority of pilots wore the title of the pilot-sailor (2, 1st class, chief, chief) or flight Sergeant (2, 1st article, the main or top chef). In turn, the 5th Kokutai became part of the larger Toko Kokutai already stationed on the island. Due to bad weather conditions and technical problems only half of the planes were combat-ready. During August, several times declared the anxiety, but to get the enemy aircraft could not.
7 Aug base in the Holtz Bay were fired upon by a group of American ships, causing one plane was destroyed and two damaged. Rising aircraft, including three А6М2-N, attacked the enemy, however, was unsuccessful, but the Americans managed to shoot down a seaplane in Board, adjusted the fire. Killed captain Yamada and Sergeant Sasaki.
In the following days there were several (unsuccessful) missions, one of which “Ruth” was found a new enemy — the American fighters from the 54th fighter division.
He was transferred to Dutch Harbor to escort bombers in response to the emergence of Japanese fighters. The actions of both sides was not effective, although the Japanese and declared the failure of one P-38. The main enemy of all the weather was bad.
In September, air operations quickened. So, on 6 September, the Japanese said about the damage of the scout “Catalina” and on 7 September, in repelling a RAID of three b-24, the Japanese said about the damage to two of them. Americans, in turn, has chalked up one of the downed А6М2-N. the Japanese recognized that one, “Ruth” was seriously damaged.
13 September the Americans used a new tactic. Kiska small height attacked by 14 b-24. A little late for the evaluation of the strike was sent to one “liberator” accompanied by two fighter aircraft P-38. They meet up three А6М2-N, which, after a short battle said about the probable loss of one P-38. The Americans, for their part, claimed that the fighters were damaged b-24, and “lightning” was damaged by fire from the ground. To your account they recorded one shot down, “Ruth”, although the Japanese deny it — all the planes returned to base.
The next day, the RAID was repeated. It was attended by 14 b-24 accompanied by 14 P-38 14 R-39P. It was the first massive RAID on the island of Kiska. Anxiety announced later (as the enemy was at low altitude), and by the time when the four А6М2-N began to run, the bombs were already falling on the base as a result of the RAID was sunk two trawlers, and a third damaged. Planes take off attacked “lightning”, and then he joined the attack of the Airacobra. Only due to the good maneuverability of the elders of Jusici Sasaki and Minoru of Miyazawa managed to evade fire and gain altitude. The other two pilots were lucky they were shot down. The Japanese entered the battle, in which the plane Sasaki was damaged and made an emergency landing on water Sasaki tried to get on base in the water, with the engine running, but the float was punctured and was taking on water. The plane sank, but the pilot was rescued with approaching boats.
After the return of Sazaki said that he managed to shoot down three P-38 and one Р411 (so he identified R-39). Miyazawa claimed to have shot down one P-38 for sure and one maybe. The Americans have confirmed the loss of two P-38. But, according to them, they collided in the air when chased by one of the “rufa” (apparently, art Sasaki). Both pilots — the commander of the 54th ID, major Thomas Jackson and senior Lieutenant Dave Blood — dead. The Japanese claimed that “lightning” had one of the flying А6М2-N. Americans Only announced the destruction of five fighters in the air and one biplane on the water. Anyway, after this fight the Japanese left one is defective А6М2-N.
In this regard, from Yokosuka arrived the familiar “Kimikawa Maru”, with a reinforcement of five А6М2-N and two Е13А1. He began to unload on September 24. The appearance of a large ship was noticed by the Americans and the next day held two plaque. The first was one In 17 and nine b-24s, escorted by 11 P-39 and 17 canadian P-40 of the 111 th battalion of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Additionally, one scout In-24 spent taking pictures to monitor the results of impact. By the time the Japanese were not prepared to fly all planes, so that the intercept took off only two “Ruth”. Returned to the base only the captain Yamada, who announced the loss of one P-39 (the Americans have not confirmed). His wingman was missing. The victory claimed by Colonel John Chenault and major Kenneth Bremer, announced the destruction of А6М2-N.
The afternoon RAID was repeated with three bombers and 17 P-40. Was damaged two prepared for takeoff А6М2-N, although the Americans announced the defeat of five aircraft. In just one day the allies reported about the destruction of the radar installation many fires in the camp and the sinking of two submarines! The Japanese lost 150 people.
On September 27 two independent departures “Ruth” damaged two reconnaissance B-24 and the MOAT. The next day, in two waves, the base attacked by nine bombers and 17 fighters. Upon reflection foreman plaque Sasaki knocked “Cobra” R-39 above the Harbor of Kyska, although he lost his wingman, and he got numerous holes in the plane. The Americans also claimed that they are in the air, shot down five planes, and CBT. Arthur rice— just two pieces. In the fighting strength of the 5th Kokutai was reduced to one serviceable А6М2-N, and Air group completely lost the fight. This is due not only to the influence of the enemy — approximately 35 А6М2-N were destroyed or severely damaged by frequent violent storms that raged in those latitudes. In these circumstances, the Japanese failed to weaken the capacity of 28 th mixed air group. The Americans fared no better in the period from June to October, they lost 72 aircraft, of which only nine from enemy fire. Others — due to accidents in bad weather, or the storms on the ground. In General, for both sides, the main enemy was a bad climate: storms, sudden cold wind and fog.
By early October, the fighter strength of the Japanese has risen to four А6М2-N, due to the repair of damaged machines. October 1, they took off to intercept seven b-24, failing to damage one of them. October 3, pair of Sasaki and Otazu had a fight with the fighters P-38, knocking one of them for sure and probably damaging the second. Two other pilot in the same flight damaged one b-24. One of the Japanese fighters were damaged.
4 Oct three serviceable “Ruth” reflect RAID five “liberators” and six fighter escort. The Japanese said about the probable destruction of one P-38. Their losses amounted to two А6М2-N. the results of these two days, the allies declared the destruction of the three fighters А6М2-N and six scouts Е13А1.
November 1 has been changed the numbers of all units. Now 5th Kokutai became known as the 452 th Kokutai. And the next day is already known to us, “Kimikawa Maru” brought to the island the next batch of planes: five А6М2-N and three — Е13А1. Fighting under a new number did not start very well — a violent storm has damaged all the planes, and their destruction did the rest arrived on 9 November “lightning”. The personnel of the Air group 452 again began to await the replenishment of the material.
At that time the rate of production of aircraft was 16…22 cars in a month, of which 1/3 was sent to the Aleuts and 1/3 in the Solomon Islands, and the other training units. The Aleuts of plane missing for a few days of fighting, followed by another request for the Deposit. 25 Dec “Kimikawa Maru” brought the money supply, eight fighters, “Ruth” and the three new pilots.
30 Dec pair of patrolling А6М2-N attacked a group of b-25 (77th bomber squadron), accompanied by 14 P-38. The Japanese managed to shoot down one b-25, although the Americans took the loss on account of anti-aircraft fire. When the water of the village flying boat DITCH “Catalina” to pick up the crew of the downed Mitchell attacked her following four “Ruth”, which managed to sink her. “Lightning”, trying to cover the rescue operation, also went to two of them shot down. This is one of the few days when the odds were clearly on the side of the Japanese.
The next day, the five А6М2-N reflect the next attack the b-24 and P-38. The Japanese have announced the damage to two aircraft.
In early 1943, the situation for the Japanese worsened, as the Americans began to build an airfield on the island Amchitka, located just 160 km from the Japanese base on Kiska island. Now distance to the goal for Americans was reduced four times. Japanese scouts Е13А1 pretty soon found the beginning of the construction, but lousy weather is not allowed to retaliate. Only on January 24, the commander of the 452 nd Kokutai Lieutenant commander Hiroshi Morita, accompanied by an experienced Sergeant Sasaki flew on bombing ground targets. They dropped four 60 kg bombs (all they had) built, then fired their guns and returned home. The effect of the RAID was zero. Such raids, repeated 25, 26 and January 28. On January 26, when the plaque was attended by five “rufa”, was a relative success on the ground killed three Americans. Of course, this could not stop the construction of the airfield.
On 1 February on the island of Kiska came back “Kimikawa Maru”, carrying 7 fighter and one scout. This helped to revive military work: 2 February bombing flew nine А6М2-N. the Effect was negative — two planes were shot down by antiaircraft fire.
14 Feb pair consisting of the elders Sasaki and Naoi intercepted enemy connection of 5 V-24 6-25, accompanied by 10 “lightning”. The Japanese managed to shoot down one “Mitchell”, which fell on the island of Adak. In addition, announced the destruction of one P-38. The Americans, for their part, announced the defeat as many as four “Rupa”, and one fighter brought in by a crew of Lieutenant Kendall Shepard, shot down over the island of Adak, and captain George Laval (54 se) even claimed two shot down.
On 19 February, during a RAID on O. Amchitka directly over the strip was intercepted both participated in the RAID А6М2-N. the Speed of the P-40 was quickly shot both aircraft. Victories: the commander of the 18th Fighter squadron major Katon Larsen and Lieutenant Emil Groan. For the Japanese it was a heavy loss, as one of the “rufa” was piloted by Chief flight petty officer Sasaki. Since then, the pilots 452 th Kokutai engage in dogfights only in exceptional cases.
In early March, the Americans stepped up air raids in anticipation of an imminent invasion. “Ruth” rose to intercept periodically. March 10, the sea was delivered another group of six А6М2-N. Three of them joined the battle on 15 March, trying to catch the scout “liberator”, but was driven away the escort fighters P-40.
The next day, all good fighters and 7 pieces were scrambled to intercept approaching bombers: 13-24 16-25, escorted by 32 P-38 and 8 P-40. The result of the battle was shot down by “Mitchell” b-25 and damaged four b-24, and the escorts announced the victory over the two P-38. The Americans, in turn, announced one shot down for certain and two probable.
In mid-may – “Kimikawa Maru”, on Board of which were two А6М2-N and eight biplanes F1М2, was again on the way to the Aleutians In connection with the domination of the enemy in the air and fearing for the safety of the ship, the aircraft were supposed to release the water in 350…400 miles from Kiska island, and then to the base they had to get their own. But on 11 may, the Americans landed on the island of Attu, 300 miles West of Kiska island, thereby cutting off the communication with Japan. In this situation, “Kimikawa Maru” turned around, and the garrison on the island of Kiska were no longer receiving supplies from the metropolis. In this situation a Japanese air group could not assist the garrison O. Attu, and after two weeks of fighting he was defeated. Now turn to the standing O. Kiska. There was little choice: either to die in combat, or leave the island. It was decided to evacuate. The garrison were taken on submarines, and one of the last boats (1-7) took the aviation personnel (June 28). During the Aleutian campaign the Japanese lost 43 А6М2-N — 1/6 part of all produced aircraft of this type.
After the evacuation of staff 452 th Kokutai arrived in Yokosuka, where they received new aircraft, after which he was sent to the Kuril Islands, the base of Chishima on the island of Simochi (now Simushir (Russia)). The first fight at the new location took place on 12 August 1943 when a group of 10 А6М2-N together with 30 fighters from the 54th fighter regiment army repelled a RAID of six “liberators”, who went to PA – ramoser (now Russia). After the battle, the Japanese announced the destruction of two b-24 for certain and one probable. The Americans acknowledged the loss of two of the “liberators”, including the crew of the battalion commander major Frank Mess. To win that battle claimed the most successful pilot of Gidrostroiteley — chief flight Sergeant Kiomi Katsuki, which came in the 452 nd air group in July 1943, after relearning with biplane F1М2.
A month later, the Americans repeated the RAID, forces 8 b-24s and 12 b-12. They were opposed by 10 “rufa” 40 army fighter planes. The Americans lost three b-24s and seven b-25 (two shot down and five damaged, which got on the territory of the USSR and were interned). The surviving planes were damaged. The pilots of the two А6М2-N claimed the destruction of two of the “liberators” and the Sergeant Kiomi Katsuki — on-one “Mitchell”. After this fight 452 th Kokutai relocated to the island of Bettababy, and in late September, returned to Yokosuka, where it was disbanded on 1 October 1943 At this time the Air group had seventeen confirmed victories, six probable, the loss of eight “rufa” and six pilots in aerial combat and four fighters shot down by antiaircraft artillery. The most successful of the pilots was flight Sergeant chief Sasaki, who had on account of four personal victories, and five in the group.
1 —blinds cooling system of the engine;
2—landing flap in the released position;
4—access doors for inspection of the compartments of the floats;
5—hatch rocking water vehicles;
6—cover “cockpit” offices;
7—wheel of water;
8—fuel tank cap;
9—access hatch for servicing the fuel pump;
10—air outlet from the cooler;
14 is a harness belt;
16—lever to adjust chair height;
17—bomb caliber 60 kg;
18—Luke release liners;
19—receiver air pressure;
20—the dashboard of the pilot;
22 — erratic truck;
24—wheel truck erratically.
Gidrostroitel А6М2-N “Ruth”
1—engine Nakajima 1NК1В “Sakai” 12;
3,24—machine gun Type 97 caliber 7.7 mm;
4 – motor mount;
5—oil tank 60 l;
6 box cartridge;
7—the dashboard of the pilot;
8—antenna direction finder;
9—the radio antenna;
10 the rudder;
12 — wheel of water;
13 rocking water vehicles;
15—fuel tank capacity 325 l;
16—the fuel pump;
20 air cylinder;
21 —rocking of the control system;
23—sight Type 98;
28 – air navigation fire;
30 rocking Aileron;
31 —hatch rocking the Aileron;
34—cover a storage box;
35—the neck of the oil tank;
36 cannon Type 99 model 1-Kai, caliber 20 mm;
38—Luke eject spent cartridges;
39 – bomb caliber 60 kg;
40—a landing flap released;
41 —erratic truck;