Aviation of World War II
E14Y Glen. Combat Use.
The seaplane EI4Y1 made its first sortie on reconnaissance at Pearl Harbor on December 17, 1941. The purpose of the flight was to photograph the results of the attack by Admiral Nagumo's carrier-based aircraft on December 7, 1941. The seaplane was launched from the catapult of the I-7 submarine and disappeared. This was probably the first American encounter with a seaplane, which received their code designation Glen.
The next flight of the E14Y1 took place on January 1, 1942 in the Oahu area. This time the flight was completed successfully, and the car returned to the boat. Despite the presence of radar stations in the area, the Americans could not detect the aircraft, and its appearance came as a complete surprise to them.
In early January 1942, the submarine I-25 was successfully operating in Australian waters, also carrying an E14Y1. On February 17, 1942, he made a reconnaissance flight over Sydney Harbor, and on February 26, E14Y1 photographed the Australian port of Melbourne. Five days later, on March 1, a floatplane from I-25 made reconnaissance flights over Hobart in Tasmania. On March 8, the same submarine approached Wellington, New Zealand, and four days later, an E14Y1 flew out to reconnoiter and photograph Auckland. Returning back to Japan, the submarine I-25 carried out reconnaissance of Suva in Fiji.
Rich intelligence on the location of the US Navy, collected by the I-25 boat using the E14Y1 seaplane, was later used by the Japanese naval command in planning underwater attacks.
In accordance with the fleet development plan, the Japanese formed the 8th submarine squadron under the command of Admiral Sazaki. The squadron's area of operation was to be Australian waters. The squadron included boats I-2-1, I-22, I-24, I-27 and I-29. The carrier of the seaplane was only the boat I-21, and all the rest had two-seat small submarines on board.
On the evening of May 29, 1942, the E14Y1 seaplane left the aircraft-carrying submarine and performed a reconnaissance flight over Sydney Harbor. The information received was immediately transmitted on board the submarines. At 4:30 a.m., the pilot spotted two American ships Chicago and Perkins, on which he managed to point four small submarines. However, the attack failed - the Americans were able to detect and sink them.
The 4th Submarine Squadron operated in the Indian Ocean and included the submarines I-10 and I-30 - carriers of E14Y1 seaplanes. On May 2, 1942, an E14Y1 from I-10 made a reconnaissance flight over Durban, and a few days later over Port Elizabeth. In the meantime, an E14Y1 from I-30 carried out similar flights over the ports of Zanzibar, Aden, Djibouti and French Somalia, but none of the ports showed interest for an attack.
Soon, both submarines, together with a third ship carrying two small submarines, approached Madagascar, where the Allies landed in the Gulf of Diego Suarez to liberate the island from the French troops of the Vichy government. On May 29 at 10.30 am, an E14Y1 seaplane took off from I-10 to reconnoiter the coast of Madagascar. The next day, using the results of aerial reconnaissance, two Japanese small submarines headed for the island to block the port of Tuamasina. Japanese submarines sank a tanker and seriously damaged the British battleship Ramilles, which had to be towed to Durban for repairs. One Japanese small submarine did not return from the mission. .
Meanwhile, the 1st squadron of submarines, which included boats I-9, I-15, I-17, I-19. and I-26. as well as the already mentioned I-25, headed for the Aleutian Islands. The task of E14Y1 was coastal reconnaissance. Bad weather made this task difficult. However, the E14Y1 still started from deck I-25 in the Kodiak area. During the reconnaissance flight, the crew managed to determine the location of the enemy cruiser and even attack it.
In June 1942, the 1st squadron participated in operations to capture the islands of Attu and Kiska by Japanese troops, after which it returned to Japan.
On August 15, 1942, I-25, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Meiji Tagami, with E14Y1 on board, left the port of Yokosuku and by early September arrived on the US West Coast near Cape Blanco, Oregon.
The mission of E14Y1 (Pilot Fujita and Observer Okuda) was to drop 76kg incendiary bombs on forested areas of Oregon. Incendiary bombs were filled with a special incendiary mixture, which, when ignited, gave a temperature of more than 1500 degrees over an area of 100 square meters. For four days, bad weather prevented the flight. Only on September 9 the sky cleared up, and Fujita and his partner began to prepare for takeoff. Early in the morning, both aviators placed small family gifts in special wooden boxes in case they were unable to return to the boat, and took their seats in the cockpit. The submarine became against the wind, and the catapult lifted the seaplane into the air, which headed for Cape Blanco.
The plane sank from the coastline to a depth of 11 - 15 km, where the crew dropped bombs on the forest. On the way back, the Japanese pilots found two transport ships that had to be bypassed to avoid detection.
After landing, the seaplane was quickly dismantled. When the technical crew was already laying the seaplane in the hangar, a US Coast Guard A-29 Hudson patrol plane flew over the submarine, taking off from an air base located near Tokom. To avoid an attack by an anti-submarine aircraft, the Japanese submarine immediately sank to a depth of 70 meters. After some time, the first bomb explosion was heard at a depth of 25 meters, and a little later two more at a depth of 30 meters.
Although the attack by the anti-submarine aircraft did not cause serious damage to the submarine, causing only a minor disruption to the electrical system and a temporary disruption of radio communications, the captain of I-25 decided to be more careful. Therefore, the next flight was decided to be carried out on the night of September 29th. This time the area east of Port Orford was attacked. There were no problems on the route to the target, but when returning, the crew had difficulty locating their submarine, which was waiting for the plane at a distance of 30 miles from the coast. After a dramatic search for the boat along the oil trail, the pilots managed to locate the submarine when the last drops of fuel remained in the tanks.
These two raids caused very little damage - mainly due to prolonged rainfall in the areas chosen for the bombardment. However, these attacks were of historical significance, since during their course there was the only bombing of the United States by an enemy combat aircraft in the entire Second World War.
On the way back, on October 4, 1942, I-25 torpedoed the American tanker Camden, and two days later she sank another, the Lam Dohery.
On September 3, 1943, I-25's story ended at the bottom of the ocean in the Solomon Islands when she was sunk by the USS Patterson. Seaplane observer E14Y1. who attacked the coast of the United States, died in October 1944 in the Formosa region during an attack on an American aircraft carrier. The only participant in the attack on the US coast who survived the war was the pilot Fujita. Twenty years after the end of the war, Fujita and his wife moved to the United States, where the couple settled in Oregon, where the pilot had once dropped his bombs.
On July 6, 1943, the I-8 submarine with the E14Y1 aircraft on board left the port of Panang (Sumatra) and headed for the shores of Europe. On September 6, she entered the French port of Brest. Courier mail and some other cargo were unloaded from the boat. On the way back, the Japanese loaded various samples of new military equipment, including missiles and radars. In order to fully utilize the volume of the boat, the E14YI seaplane was left on the shore, where it was destroyed as a result of Allied bombing.
Since the end of 1943, after the Allies began to actively use the radar, the use of E14Y1 seaplanes for reconnaissance has lost its relevance. Submarines could not afford to stay on the surface for a long time without the possibility of being detected by the enemy. In the same year, the mass production of the E14Y1 also ended.