Monday, August 6, 2007

Additional Data

The photos show two types of Japanese flying boats used in WWII> The 'Emily' seen directly at right has a tail cone gunners position completely different than that found at the "B-29" wreck site. However, the nose gun bears similarities. No little windows just behind it as are found on the wreckage however, and the shape appears to be different also.

Two other details about the H8K Emily of interest are that based on the 'possible identification' of a crashed version on a Saipan runway just after the US invasion (photo at upper right) it may be correct that there were 1 or more Emilys on Saipan. Also you will notice from the color photo (top left) and the bottom right photo that the propellor spinner does not appear to be the same as that found on the wreck.One other possible positive attribute is that the Emilys had a single nose cannon as does the wreckage (if the gunnery position found at the wreck site is indeed from the nose and not the tail). Some possibility but not a certain identification.

The other flying boat type shown is the H6K-3 "Mavis" (2 middle photos). The Mavis is also a 4 engine flying boat but has no similarity to the wreckage found at the muisnamed "B-29" dive site. Ruled out.

I have looked at quite a few other types and have not found an exact match yet. I'll keep searching. Meanwhile, if you have any information about this, please leave a comment and let me know.

I'll also be looking at some US planes in the theater at the time for a possible match. The remarkable thing about the wreck is that there is almost nothing left of the fuselage to identify it. There is not even enough wreckage around the site to have been a fuselage. Perhaps some of it was carted off in past times. As I said, if you have any info, please post it. Thanks.


Brian said...

I also heard in the past years the plane wreck could possibly be a land based bomber and not a seaplane/bomber. Some say it could be a Nakajima G5N Shinzan "Liza". I have some info somewhere about this and will try to locate it.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks, Brian. I will dig around also. I'm even wondering if it could be a US craft. I have searched it pretty thoroughly for anything written, plaques, identifying numbers etc and come up blank.

Please post anything else you have or can find. Thanks.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Well, Brian I looked at the G5N Liz and none of the glass gun positions match. I also looked at it's bigger cousin the G8N Renzan Mountain Range (Rita). Same problem, glass does not match - not even close. Although the prop spinner looks pretty close on the G8N.

This poser may take awile, but I'm sure we can solve it with some more searching.

Brian said...

Here are two very interesting web site pages.
This is a japanese aviation magazine.

This has info on purloined US air technology.

Another thing, in addition to the US style ceramic electrical fuses (brass ends, white ceramic, green numbers)
The air foil shape of the wings and wing tips always reminded me of 1930's and 40's British and US air foil technology.
If you will be looking onsite for the electrical fuses, They were found halfway along and in front of the right wing sitting in a mass of metal and wires.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks, Brian, I'll go dive the site and try to find the fuses to get numbers from.

I will also try to read the remaing guages on the flight deck. I think they are pretty well covered with growth but I may be able to discern language used.

BTW I've ruled out the B-17 and even the B-24, both of which were here in the Pacific theater, as having the wrong shaped glass gun positions and spinners too. Not many other 4 engine US military units that are common to the era.

Thanks also for the url leads.

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Brian I think I will get some good detail pics while diving there so we can compare with on line stuff. We might find a match on some unexpected area.

The site with the photo of the canon tail cone does not look like I remember it.

scubatripp said...

Bruce try contacting Toshi from MSC dive shop beside the old stingray shop. He told me a few months ago what they thought this plane was.
He was at our meeting last week but I have not talked to him to find out if he will be there this week.
Once the identity is known for sure this needs to be a full on story here and in Japan. If I recall correctly He said it was a Japanese plane.


Bruce A. Bateman said...

Thanks for the tip Mike, I'll follow up. Several people have said they know but the real key here is positive photographic evidence. I'm hoping to have that soon. Hopefully Toshi can help.