IXO Models IXJ008010 Imperial Japanese Navy Kawanishi H8K2 'Emily' Maritime Patrol Aircraft - Dai 802 Kaigun Kokutai, Shortland Naval Base, Solomon Islands, October 1943 (1:144 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
The Kawanishi H8K (Nishiki Daitei, Nishiki Taitei) was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allied reporting name for the type was Emily.
At the same time as the type's predecessor, the Kawanishi H6K was going into service in 1938, the Navy ordered the development of a larger, longer-range patrol aircraft. The result was a large, shoulder wing design that is widely regarded as the best flying boat of the war. Despite this, development was troublesome, with the prototype displaying terrible handling on the water. Further prototypes considerably refined the hull design.
The improved H8K2 variant soon appeared, and its extremely heavy defensive armament earned it deep respect among Allied aircrews, as well as the nickname of "flying porcupine". The H8K2 was an upgrade over the H8K1 by having more powerful engines, slightly revised armament, and an increase in fuel capacity. This was to be the definitive variant, with 112 produced.
Nearly 40 examples of a dedicated transport version, the H8K2-L, were also built, capable of carrying 62 troops. This aircraft was also known as Seiku ("Clear Sky"). They dispensed with the side defensive blisters, ventral defensive hatch, and dorsal turret. To increase the available space within the aircraft, its hull tanks were removed, thus reducing its range capabilities.
The H8K entered production in 1941 and first saw operational use on the night of March 4th, 1942 in an attempt at a second raid on Pearl Harbor. Since the target lay out of range for the flying boats, this audacious plan involved a refuelling by submarine en route. As it happened, the raid could not be carried out because of problems caused by bad weather. H8K2 were used on a wide range of patrol, reconnaissance, bombing, and transport missions throughout the Pacific war.
Pictured here is a 1:144 scale replica of a Kawanishi H8K2 'Emily' maritime patrol aircraft that was attached to the Dai 802 Kaigun Kokutai, then deployed to Shortland Naval Base, Solomon Islands, during October 1943. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 11 inches
Length: 7 inches
Release Date: October 2009
Historical Account: "Under a Glowing Red Sun" - The Solomon Islands campaign was a major campaign of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign began with Japanese landings and occupation of several areas in the British Solomon Islands and Bougainville, in the Territory of New Guinea, during the first six months of 1942. The Japanese occupied these locations and began the construction of several naval and air bases with the goals of protecting the flank of the Japanese offensive in New Guinea, establishing a security barrier for the major Japanese base at Rabaul on New Britain, and providing bases for interdicting supply lines between the Allied powers of the United States and Australia and New Zealand.
The Allies, in order to defend their communication and supply lines in the South Pacific, support their counteroffensive in New Guinea, and isolate the Japanese base at Rabaul, counterattacked the Japanese in the Solomons with landings on Guadalcanal and surrounding islands in August 1942. These landings initiated a series of combined-arms battles between the two adversaries, beginning with the Guadalcanal campaign and continuing with several battles in the central and northern Solomons, on and around New Georgia.
The Allies created a combined air formation, Cactus Air Force, establishing air superiority during the daylight hours. The Japanese then resorted to nightly resupply missions which they called "Rat Transportation" (and the Allies called "the Tokyo Express") through New Georgia Sound ("The Slot"). Many pitched battles were fought trying to stop Japanese supplies from getting through. So many ships were lost by both sides that the area became known as "Ironbottom Sound".
Allied success in the Solomon Islands campaign prevented the Japanese from cutting Australia and New Zealand off from the U.S. Operation Cartwheel - the Allied grand strategy for the Solomons and New Guinea campaigns - launched on June 30th, 1943, isolated and neutralized Rabaul and destroyed much of Japan's sea and air supremacy. This opened the way for Allied forces to recapture the Philippines and cut off Japan from its crucial resource areas in the Netherlands East Indies.
The Solomons campaign culminated in the often bitter fighting of the Bougainville campaign (1943-'45), which continued until the end of the war. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)