is believed this aircraft was constructed in March 1943, at Kawanishi
(near Osaka). The aircraft's initial assignment
was to the 802nd Kōkūtai with tail number N1-26.
After the 802nd Kōkūtai was disbanded, this aircraft became
part of the 801st Kōkūtai based at Saipan on
April 1, 1944, where
tail markings were over painted to 801-86. When the 801st disbanded,
it became part of the 5th Naval Air Wing "Kikusui Force", Takuma
Air Group, with tail number T-31 beginning on April 25, 1945. It sustained
minor damage in an air raid, and ended the war as one of three surviving
Emilys at Takuma Air Base.
Post War Technical Evaluation
In September 1945, it was selected for technical evaluation,
and repaired by veterans of the Takuma Air Group, and flown to Yokahama,
for disassembled and transport back to the United States. It was evaluated
in Maryland, and went into long term storage.
Bruce Sheppard adds:
"i first saw the Emily in 1964 when my Dad was stationed in Norfolk. It remained displayed at gate 4 through some of the 1970s, i believe the plan was to send it to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, before the Japanese wanted it back."
to Japan & Restoration
After shipment to America, and was in storage for decades,
and never examined. Due to budgetary cuts, the aircraft was slated for
disposal in 1976, unless an immediate plan for it was presented. In 1978,
Ryoichi Sasagawa curator of the Tokyo
Maritime Museum proposed to transport the aircraft to Japan for restoration
and by an act of US House of Representatives, and this Emily became the
first war trophy ever returned.
Shipped to Japan in 1979, it was restored and unveiled
on July 21, 1980. It is permanently displayed outdoors,
to the side of the Tokyo
Maritime Museum. The interior is sealed with protective coating,
and not open to visitors.
Justin Taylan visited in January 2004:
"I visited the Emily in January 2004, just before its move. Even
enormous, and the multi-level museum and nearby subway station allow for excellent
nearly every angle."
After 23 years at the Tokyo Maritime Museum, the Emily was shipped at the end of January 2004 to the Kanoya Museum, where it became a JSDF possession is displayed outdoors at the museum. The interior remains sealed and air conditioned for preservation.
Tom Burchill, visited in March
"Seeing this airplane was a nice surprise for me
as I had been in Tokyo on a earlier occasions and had not had
an opportunity to visit the Maritime Museum. While
the Kanoya Museum is off the beaten track for the average tourist, it is befitting
that this great aircraft was moved to its new venue which I feel
is more appropriate from a historical perspective. With the Chiran Kamikaze Museum located across Kagoshima Bay, this move will
southern Kyushu a mecca for students of the Pacific war."
Aero Detail 31: H8K Emily Type 2 Flying Boat is the definitive book on
this single airplane, covering photos of its restoration, color plates
and other details.
Are you a relative or associated with any person mentioned?
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
January 9, 2018