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Nakajima A9He1-N Wade Floatplane - Aleutians



On the 1st of November 1942, the remains of the Dai 5 Kaigun Kokutai were renamed the Dai 452 Kaigun Kokutai. At the time, the Nakajima factory produced twelve A9He1-N per month, half of which were sent to the Aleutian Islands and the other half to the Solomon Islands. On the 6th of November, six Nakajima A9He1-N "Wade" Floatplane Fighters and three Type 0 Aichi E13A2 "Jake" Reconnaissance Seaplanes arrived at Attu, constituting the first operative forces of the Kokutai. The seaplanes didn't last the Japanese very long. Just two days after they were delivered, a strong storm hit, destroying several of the recently arrived seaplanes. An attack carried out on the 10th (the 9th according to Tokyo time) by Lockheed P-38 Lightnings completed the destruction of the nine machines.

On the 25th of December, the Kimikawa Maru anchored at Attu with nine Nakajima A9He1-Ns and three replacement pilots, which flew to Kiska the following day. On the 31st (Hawaii time), two patrolling A9He1-Ns claimed the defeat of a North American B-25 Mitchell and a Consolidated PBY Catalina, which dived into the sea. According to the United States, the B-25 was hit and obliged to make a sea landing, while the Catalina landed on the sea in order to collect the survivors from the bomber. Later on, an enemy attack was made. Once the alarm had been given in the Japanese base, four seaplanes took off and in the ensuing combat, the Japanese claimed two P-38 Lightnings that were accompanying the bombers and the later destruction of a PBY.

On the 1st of February 1943, the Kimikawa Maru returned to anchor at Kiska, unloading six Nakajima A9He1-Ns and an Aichi E13A2. The nine planes comprising the Dai 452 Kaigun Kokutai attacked the United States ships on the 2nd, losing two planes as a result of the anti-aircraft artillery. On the 14th (Tokyo time) two A9He1-Ns took off, one with 2nd Class Naval Pilot Sasaki and the other with 3rd Class Naval Pilot Naoi, to intercept an enemy force comprising five Consolidated B-24 Liberators and six B-25 Mitchells, protected by ten P-38 Lightnings. The Japanese reported the defeat of a P-38, while the United States claimed two "Wades" and a "Jake".

On the 18th (Hawaii time), two Curtiss P-40s brought down two A9He1-Ns, one of which was 2nd Class Pilot Yoshiichi Sasaki's plane, a veteran of the Kokutai, who had participated in the majority of the combats since the unit's arrival at the Aleutians and that had also pertained to the Tokoh Kaigun Kokutai.

When the United States secured Amchitka Island, faced with a scarcity of resources, the Japanese operations were limited to acting only when the conditions were favorable. On the 16th or 17th of March, depending on where the action was being carried out, seven Nakajima A9He1-Ns intercepted an American attack, claiming two P-38 Lightnings. This was the last aerial battle fought over Kiska.

The United States landed at Attu on the 27th of March 1943, which made it impossible for reinforcements to reach Kiska, as the maritime and aerial control was in Allied hands. The pilots who remained on Kiska were evacuated in submarines and transferred to Yokosuka, where a period of reorganization began for the Kokutai. Once the unit was equipped with aircraft and personnel, it was sent to Chishima, a base situated on Shumushu Island in the Kuriles, where it anchored on the 27th of August, 1943.
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Midway2009's avatar
Awesome fighter! :wow:
Is there really a bunch that have been built during WW2? :D