Continuing the Zero theme Zegeye (Zbyszek Malicki) has very kindly shared these images of his Nakajima-built Model 21 special attacker built from the 1/72 Tamiya kit and representing the aircraft of Lt Noburo Miyatake of the 1st Shichisho-tai formed from the Genzan Ku in April 1945.
On 6 April 1945 Lt Miyatake led 11 Zeros from Kanoya airfield to attack US ships off Okinawa as part of a force of 43 special attackers from the 1st to 8th Shichisho-tai. Shichisho refers to being reborn seven times and to devoting every life to fighting the enemies of the Emperor. The idiom Shichisho Houkoku originated from a tale of the Samurai leader Masashige Kusonoki (1294-1336) when besieged by Shogunate forces on Chihaya mountain. Kusokoni and his brother fought against impossible odds, declaring their intent to be reborn seven times before killing themselves.
The attacks on 6 and 7 April, were the first of ten numbered Kikusui attacks in the Ten Go operation and involved 125 Army and 230 Navy kamikaze aircraft escorted by 344 other Army and Navy aircraft. A total of 26 USN ships were damaged or sunk during the two days.
With very special thanks to Zegeye for sharing these images of his excellent model and for his patience in awaiting their publication here.
Image credit: All photos © 2021 Zbyszek Malicki