Wednesday 19 September 2012

New Kugisho E14Y Glen Book!

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


noel said...

Hello Nick; Looks like a very interesting volume to look forward to. Thank you for the informative post. Cheers, noel

Bob Alford said...

Ryusuke said he was close to finishing this book - I'm glad it's now out and that the story of a little recognised aircraft is told.

Congratulations Ryusuke and thanks for posting this Nick.


Bob Alford

Ken Glass said...

Thanks for the notice, Nick.

Ken Glass

R. Vieira said...

Thanks Nick, I will get the book asap.


R. Aballe

Melissa said...

Looks great! I'm wondering, can you advise me on where to find visual reference of crew members attaching bombs to the wings? I'm researching about the bombing of the Oregon coast. This is the plane that was used! Also wondering about how they took the wings off to store in the submarine and how it attached to the catapult that launched it. If you have any advice, I greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Hi Melissa

I couldn't see your email in the comment so please contact me directly - look for 'Contact Straggler' on the right hand side bar of the blog which has a direct email link.

Kind regards

Andy Young said...

Hi Nick,

Another lovely-looking book that, sadly, I'll not be able to afford (or prioritise, with she-who-must-be-obeyed)!

Do you - or any other readers out there - have any views on the differing accounts of when and where the Glen was used?
I ask this because there are a lot of claims about the aircraft being used in the opening months of the Pacific War, but which would seem to contradict other accounts of the aircraft not being allocated to submarines until the second quarter of 1942 (see here for an interesting assessment: ).

It seems to me, that most online - and several print - references seem simply to re-state the same general lines about acceptance in either 1939, 1940 or 1941, and other witness claims regarding aircraft seen over allied ports in early-to-mid 1942. Overall, there seems to be little of what I'd consider primary source material (Japanese naval records or ship/aircraft logs, reports on wreckage found post-war, particularly in eastern Australian waters).


Straggler 脱走兵 said...

Hi Andy

Coincidentally this topic came up recently and I do have some answers to hand. Too complicated for a comment here but please drop me an email and I'll share what I know.