The many and diverse floatplanes of the Imperial Japanese Navy continue to hold a fascination for aircraft enthusiasts and modellers. Technical data is hard to come by and often conflicting. The identification and movements of units is much argued over. Of all the types in use the diminutive Kugisho (sometimes called Yokosuka) E14Y "Glen", carried aboard submarines as a spotter aircraft, is one of the most intriguing. It was the only Japanese aircraft to drop bombs on the continental USA and it also overflew ports in South Africa. In April 1942 the Imperial Japanese Navy's 8th Submarine Squadron commanded by Vice-Admiral Ishikazi deployed submarines I-10, I-18, I-20 and I-30 to conduct operations along the East African coast and South African coastline. These were large I-15 class boats equipped with hangars to carry Type A midget submarines and the I-10 carried a "Glen" floatplane to conduct dawn and dusk overflights of ports. On 29 April 1942 this particular "Glen" spotted a Queen Elizabeth class battleship and tanker at anchor in Diego Suarez, information that resulted in the launch of midget subs from I-18 and I-20 and an attack that badly damaged HMS Ramillies (subsequently in dry dock for almost a year) and sank the tanker.
Now a new book scheduled for release on 15 November by MMP promises to lift the lid on "Glen". It is authored by Ryusuke Ishiguro and Tadeusz Januszewski, the team that brought us the excellent and authoritative 'Japanese Special Attack Aircraft & Flying Bombs' from the same publisher. In the 144 pages of the book they have assembled all the available photos and included many color illustrations of the E14Y, together with a special article by Dan Farnham about the discovered aircraft in Kwajalein Atoll with many color photos.
The E14Y is a popular modelling subject and the best known kit in 1/72nd scale is the Fujimi gem (above) which comes complete with a submarine launching ramp for display. The new book will assist in correcting the kit's most glaring error of a flat undersurface with incorrectly shaped and sized observation window. The Fujimi "Glen" somewhat eclipsed an earlier limited run release by MPM and previous vacforms in this scale by various manufacturers such as Eagles Talon and Airframe. A+V Models offers a 1/72nd scale resin kit of the first prototype E14Y. There is also a Wings 48 vacform to 1/48th scale but I'm not aware of any other mainstream injection molded kits in this scale despite its obvious potential as a subject and I hope that this new book might stimulate manufacturers to consider 1/48th or 1/32nd kits. The Nichimo 1/200th scale I-19 submarine kit came with a "Glen" mini-kit and there is an excellent build review here. This new MMP book and a selection of "Glen" kits offers the prospect of a very enjoyable winter modelling project. Anyone for a 1/72nd scale I-10?
The MPM limited-run kit
The A+V Models resin kit of the prototype E14Y
Nichimo's 1/200th I-19 Sub kit came complete with "Glen"!
Image credits: Book cover © 2012 MMP Books courtesy of Ryusuke Ishiguro; Photo via Defence Media Network; Box art & kit images © 2012 Fujimi, A+V Models, Nichimo