Mitsubishi J2M "Jack"
 
Topics:
Raiden colors
Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
Jack and George - Naked?
Jack prototype question
Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
Raiden Propellor
J2M3 "Jack"
Oblique 20mm in Jack
J2M Question  
J2M3 - Production numbers  
Raiden Help  
J2M3 Jack references (New)
 
Raiden colors
 
Posted By: Mark Ronan <mailto:mkrn@zdnetmail.com?subject=Raiden colors>
Date: Tuesday, 25 July 2000, at 1:01 p.m.
 
Instructions for Hasegawa's 1/48th J2M3 (type 21) call for "Mitsubishi Cockpit Color" for cockpit surfaces. Is this color a fairly dark green? (Anyone have an idea about what FS color would approximate this interior color?) Lastly, is it more likely that gear doors and wheel wells would be coated with aotake color rather than Mitsubishi IJN gray?
Thanks in advance for any answers that may come this way.
MR
 
Re: Raiden colors
 
Posted By: John Dillon <mailto:john.dillon@wachovia.com?subject=Re: Raiden colors>
Date: Friday, 28 July 2000, at 11:31 a.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden colors (Mark Ronan)
 
As far as the gear doors and wheel wells go, the Aeromaster "Defenders of the Empire" sheets for the Raiden imply that both the gray and aotake were used. I'd hardly claim that to be definitive though. Anyone else have some better information?
John
 
Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
 
Posted By: Yann MARCHAND mailto:yann.marchand@bnpparibas.com?subject=Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
Date: Tuesday, 1 August 2000, at 2:32 p.m.
 
Hello guys!
I've just started to build the Tamiya's kit and I'm looking for photos about the cockpit of this plane. Should you have any information about the seat in particular (can we see holes in the seat ...)please contact me ?
 
Re: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
 
Posted By: Charles Metz <mailto:c-metz@uchicago.edu?subject=Re: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)>
Date: Wednesday, 2 August 2000, at 2:36 p.m.
 
In Response To: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack) (Yann MARCHAND)
 
Yann,
By far the best single source of published information on the J2M cockpit is:
------: 'I.J.N. Interceptor Fighter Raiden (J2M Series)' (Model Art Special Issue series, No. 470; Model Art [Japan], 1996; in Japanese; 180 pages; US$34.95)
COCKPIT DETAIL: J2M3 (p. 13, 14, 87-91, 93, 116, 117, 141, 142)
WHEEL WELL DETAIL: J2M3 (p. 144, 147)
MISCELLANEOUS DETAIL: J2M2/J2M3 canopy (p. 84-86), engine (p. 63-65) & engine installation (p. 65-68), fuel tanks (p. 73-77, 79), landing gear (p. 94-99); J2M3 (p. 13-18, 134-150); J2M4 supercharger (p. 44, 46)
MULTI-VIEW DRAWINGS: J2M2 (p. 56-62), J2M3 (p. 105-108)
GENERIC CAMOUFLAGE PATTERNS: J2M3 (p. 5, 170)
GENERIC MARKING PATTERNS: J2M1 prototype (p. 169), J2M3 (p. 5)
SPECIFIC MARKING PROFILES: J2M1 prototype (p. 3), J2M2 prototype (p. 3), J2M2 (p. 4, 8), J2M3 (p. 3, 6-11, 19-21), J2M6 (p. 8).
This excellent book is listed on HobbyLink Japan's on-line catalog page at (http://216.167.50.224/cgi-local/manmenu2.cgi?manufacture=MDA) for 2600 Yen (US$23.80 at today's exchange rate) plus postage.
Charles Metz
 
Jack and George - Naked?
 
Posted By: Bill Leyh <mailto:hawk81@pacbell.net?subject=Jack and George - Naked?>
Date: Sunday, 2 July 2000, at 2:44 p.m.
 
Hello all,
I've read several accounts of US fighter pilots encountering J2Ms and N1Ks in natural metal finish (no camo paint top or bottom). I understand that misidentification was a big problem for US. However, in at least one case, post-war research by Henry Sakaida identified the Japanese planes (described as being natural metal by the US pilots) as being Georges.
Looking through the FAOWs on these aircraft I only find one photo showing an NMF plane (Jack). Have any of you come across more examples of NMF late-war IJN fighters? It could make for an interesting modeling subject.
TIA and regards,
Bill
 
Re: Jack and George - Naked?
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <mailto:dave@j-aircraft.com?subject=Re: Jack and George - Naked?>
Date: Sunday, 9 July 2000, at 11:19 a.m.
 
In Response To: Jack and George - Naked? (Bill Leyh)
 
Hi Bill,
It's my understanding that the NMF Jacks never flew in combat. The US had at least one that they flew on a test flight, but the engine seized on it and they ended up blowing it up.
-Dave
 
Re: Thanks Guys *PIC*
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <mailto:dave@j-aircraft.com?subject=Re: Thanks Guys *PIC*>
Date: Monday, 10 July 2000, at 7:23 a.m.
 
In Response To: Thanks Guys (Bill Leyh)
 
Hi Bill,
If you want to do a NMF, just do it in US markings. There are also several George photos in US markings and NMF.
-Dave
 
Re: Thanks Guys
 
Posted By: Tim Hortman <mailto:thortman@epix.net?subject=Re: Thanks Guys>
Date: Monday, 10 July 2000, at 6:30 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Thanks Guys *PIC* (Dave Pluth)
 
Hey Dave,
Is the Jack yours? If so where did you come up with the TAIU tail code markings? I've started one of the Tamiya N1K1 kits that I would like to do in a very similar scheme.
 
Thanks,
Tim
 
Re: NMF On Jack
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: NMF On Jack>
Date: Monday, 10 July 2000, at 5:42 a.m.
 
In Response To: Thanks Guys (Bill Leyh)
 
Bill
Take a look at FAOW No.61 p.p.2-3. I believe a similar photo appears in "Dead Birds and Meatballs." In the event, what is depicted is a recently delivered J2M Jack which has not been completely painted. In the haste to deliver it to a defense unit it was left in NMF. The dark green surround to the white outlined hinomaru was to permit less skilled labor finish the camouflage without "slopping" the paint on the outline. Notice too that the rudder fabric has been finished in camouflage scheme (as, I am sure were the ailerons and elevators).
I am fairly sure some of these birds may have seen action in the closing days of the war. I have not seen any evidence of similarly finished N1K Georges.
Jim Lansdale
 
Re: Jack and George - Naked?
 
Posted By: Rob Graham <mailto:reishikisenguy@aol.com?subject=Re: Jack and George - Naked?>
Date: Sunday, 9 July 2000, at 9:28 a.m.
 
In Response To: Jack and George - Naked? (Bill Leyh)
 
Bill:
Let's not forget the many photos of the N1K1-Js that had lost most of their paint due to weathering. I wonder if this may have accounted for at least some of this. I've seen a couple of these NMF Jacks as well, but don't recall seeing any NMF Georges.
--Rob
 
Jack prototype question
 
Posted By: Mike Driskill <mailto:kyofu@aol.com?subject=Jack prototype question>
Date: Tuesday, 15 August 2000, at 10:14 a.m.
 
In the excellent Model Art on the J2M Raiden, there are several photos of two J2M2 developmental prototypes at Yokosuka in 1943/44.
These machines appear to be in original prototype orange finish (backed up by a painting in the MA camo section), but are armed and bear the tail codes Yo C-104 and Yo C-106.
Does "Yo C" indicate an operational squadron or service test unit? I know that 302nd Air Group Jacks at Yokosuka were marked "Yo-D", for instance. Were these machines used on operations? An orange Jack sure would liven up a collection of JNAF interceptors!
 
Re: Jack prototype question
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: Jack prototype question>
Date: Tuesday, 15 August 2000, at 12:46 p.m.
 
In Response To: Jack prototype question (Mike Driskill)
 
Mike
I collaborated with Shigeru NOHARA in the production of MA No.470 (see credits top of page 3). NOHARA-san and I have a difference of opinion based on our interpretations of the series of photos taken of the Mitsubishi J2M Jacks pictured on pages 29, 31, and 32. It is very speculative to interpret b/w photos for color. We do know that (utilizing panchrome film) the trainer/experimental color and gray-green (hairyokushoku) render the same tonal qualities in b/w photographs. My reasoning was that the Mitsubishi aircraft company did not paint the prototype A6M Zero in the experimental color and, therefore, I did not see any particular reason they would change their policy with the J2M prototype. The Yokosuka based J2Ms are carrying the code of the 301 ku, indicating quasi combat operations. I seriously doubt a combat unit would continue to fly an aircraft in the highly visible experimental colors. NOHARA-san split the difference of our opinion by rendering in his art work the experimental plane in "gray" and the quasi operational test models in experimental colors (see page 3). I still strongly believe, but have no more factual proof than these b/w photos and the knowledge of the established Mitsubishi practice, that these J2M Jacks were painted in semi-gloss gray-green (hairyokushoku).
I hope this speculation has not clouded this topic and I would welcome any considered rebuttal.
Jim Lansdale
 
Re: Jack prototype question
 
Posted By: Mike Driskill <mailto:kyofu@aol.com?subject=Re: Jack prototype question>
Date: Tuesday, 15 August 2000, at 3:34 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Jack prototype question (James F. Lansdale
 
Jim,
Thanks much for your reply! Your reasoning makes imminent sense to me, it's hard to believe an orange aircraft would be used in anger. Actually, from a modeling point of view, my objective is simply to find an operational Jack that breaks the monotony of the typical green-over-gray scheme. Overall gray-green serves that purpose just as well as orange!
If memory serves (book not in front of me), the early prototype in Yokosuka Arsenal test markings does not have white hinomaru surrounds, while the two 301 Group machines do. Could this be an indicator of the base color? Perhaps white was needed to visually separate red from orange at a distance, while the red-over-gray contrast would be sufficient without the surround. This reasoning would argue in favor of the different colors as selected for the MA.
 
Re: Jack prototype question
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: Jack prototype question>
Date: Wednesday, 16 August 2000, at 6:31 a.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Jack prototype question (Mike Driskill)
 
Hi Mike
You write, "the early prototype in Yokosuka Arsenal test markings does not have white hinomaru surrounds, while the two 301 Group machines do. Could this be an indicator of the base color?"
Good observation. However, the application of the white surround to the fuselage hinomaru, while not indicating a base color, could be Mitsubishi's conformity to the directive of October 1942 to make the hinomaru more conspicuous on Japanese home-based aircraft. A point for the NOHARA-san interpretation of the experimental color scheme is that the photo on page 32 of MA No.470 does not seem to reveal the presence of "yellow" IFF l/e stripes.
You also wrote, "Perhaps white was needed to visually separate red from orange at a distance, while the red-over-gray contrast would be sufficient without the surround." If the purpose of the white outline was to discriminate the red of the hinomaru from an experimental color in this case, why is the fuselage hinomaru outlined and not the ones on the lower wing surfaces (see photo on page 31)?
In the event, as I stated in my previous posting, this is speculation and only my opinion. As it has been said many times before by many wise modelers on this board, do your model based on your aesthetic sense and best research, then let the "color police" ticket you!!! (;>)
 
IHTH
Jim Lansdale
 
Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
 
Posted By: Yann MARCHAND <mailto:yann.marchand@bnpparibas.com?subject=Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)>
Date: Tuesday, 1 August 2000, at 2:32 p.m.
 
Hello guys!
I've just started to build the Tamiya's kit and I'm looking for photos about the cockpit of this plane.
Should you have any information about the seat in particular (can we see holes in the seat ...)please contact me ?
 
Re: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)
 
Posted By: Charles Metz <mailto:c-metz@uchicago.edu?subject=Re: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack)>
Date: Wednesday, 2 August 2000, at 2:36 p.m.
 
In Response To: Mitsubishi J2M3 RAIDEN (Jack) (Yann MARCHAND)
 
Yann,
By far the best single source of published information on the J2M cockpit is:
------: 'I.J.N. Interceptor Fighter Raiden (J2M Series)' (Model Art Special Issue series, No. 470; Model Art [Japan], 1996; in Japanese; 180 pages; US$34.95)
COCKPIT DETAIL: J2M3 (p. 13, 14, 87-91, 93, 116, 117, 141, 142)
WHEEL WELL DETAIL: J2M3 (p. 144, 147)
MISCELLANEOUS DETAIL: J2M2/J2M3 canopy (p. 84-86), engine (p. 63-65) & engine installation (p. 65-68), fuel tanks (p. 73-77, 79), landing gear (p. 94-99); J2M3 (p. 13-18, 134-150); J2M4 supercharger (p. 44, 46)
MULTI-VIEW DRAWINGS: J2M2 (p. 56-62), J2M3 (p. 105-108)
GENERIC CAMOUFLAGE PATTERNS: J2M3 (p. 5, 170)
GENERIC MARKING PATTERNS: J2M1 prototype (p. 169), J2M3 (p. 5)
SPECIFIC MARKING PROFILES: J2M1 prototype (p. 3), J2M2 prototype (p. 3), J2M2 (p. 4, 8), J2M3 (p. 3, 6-11, 19-21), J2M6 (p. 8).
This excellent book is listed on HobbyLink Japan's on-line catalog page at (http://216.167.50.224/cgi-local/manmenu2.cgi?manufacture=MDA) for 2600 Yen (US$23.80 at today's exchange rate) plus postage.
 
Charles Metz
 
Raiden Propellor
 
Posted By: Paul Hargreaves <mailto:m.earth@internet.co.nz?subject=Raiden Propellor>
Date: Monday, 7 August 2000, at 9:22 p.m.
 
Hi
I'm building Hasegawa's J2M3 Raiden (302nd Flying Group), and the kit has 2 optional propellers, but no guidance as to which to fit. Is it part M1 Standard or L1 High performance, or does it matter.
TIA
 
Re: Raiden Propellor
 
Posted By: Wayne Little <mailto:walittle@senet.com.au?subject=Re: Raiden Propellor>
Date: Wednesday, 9 August 2000, at 5:17 a.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden Propellor (Paul Hargreaves)
 
Paul which actual aircraft code are you using -1183? or other. I was going to use the high performance blades on 1183 as the photo does not show clearly which is used. Famous Aircraft of the World profile shows standard, Model Art profile shows High performance. 1198 is H/P 1164 appears to be H/P so I'm going with H/P on 4 digit code.
This is a thin line to tread as I'll bet other 4 digit Raidens had standard props as well, comes down to your call unless someone else has other photo's.
Regards Wayne Little
 
Re: Raiden Propellor
 
Posted By: Cruiser K <mailto:cruiserk@wans.net?subject=Re: Raiden Propellor>
Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2000, at 8:58 p.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden Propellor (Paul Hargreaves)
 
It matters if the Standard is 3 bladed and the high performance is 4 bladed if this is the case go with the 4 bladed prop because this is the prop most often seen on J2M3 Raidens in old WWII photos. If both are 4 bladed then I can't really say for certain.
 
Re: Raiden Propellor
 
Posted By: cruiser-k
Date: Thursday, 10 August 2000, at 7:49 a.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Raiden Propellor (Paul Hargreaves)
 
Yeah Paul,
I agree. If both are 4-bladed then go with high performance option. I am sure that the reason you gave
high altitude B-29 interception should justify it. Do you know which J2M-3 Raiden you will be building? Tail Code, Pilot, Air group. You may be able to find a book about the history of the J-2M3 that may break it down for you in more detail, about different models and propeller types. However since both were included in kit. Then I don't see how you could go wrong either way.
 
Re: Raiden Propellor
 
Posted By: Rob Graham <mailto:reishikisenguy@aol.com?subject=Re: Raiden Propellor>
Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2000, at 10:02 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Raiden Propellor (Cruiser K)
 
"CruiserK" (and Paul):
My documentation shows the only Raiden that had a 3-bladed prop was the J2M1, and the J2M2 and later was all the same 4-bladed prop, a VDM 3.3-meter unit.
--Rob
 
J2M3 "Jack"
 
Posted By: Tony Feredo <mailto:aferedo@ibahn.net?subject=J2M3 'Jack'>
Date: Saturday, 26 August 2000, at 11:01 a.m.
 
Hi All,
I am building a Hasegawa 1/48 "Jack" and maybe you can help me with the ff:
- were the control surfaces of the "Jack" fabric covered?
- on the "Jack(s)" that was captured in the Philippines, what units were they originally from? Any pictures or drawings of markings, colors, etc. which I can base? Was it a J2M3 or was it (or was there) an earlier model.
Thanks and looking forward to your responses...
Tony
 
Re: J2M3 "Jack"
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: J2M3 'Jack'>
Date: Sunday, 27 August 2000, at 6:52 a.m.
 
In Response To: J2M3 "Jack" (Tony Feredo)
 
Hi Tony
You wrote:
"on the "Jack(s)" that was captured in the Philippines, what units were they originally from?"
This particular Jack was a J2M3 s/n3008 and was captured under the trees at "DEWEY BLVD STRIP, Manila, 20 Feb 45," (JAMPM Report No.74 Appendix A). The same report lists Mitsubishi J2M3 s/n3013 as having been captured at Nichols Field, Manila on the same date.
Jack s/n3008 was attached to the 201 kokutai and was used to help defend the area. As Cruiser stated, it may have been flown by pilots from 332 kokutai, but this particular aircraft had previously been attached to the 381 kokutai S-602 hikotai with the previous unit code being overpainted. According to one intelligence report the previous code was [81-124], but it carried none when captured.
Larry HICKEY reported that;
"381 Kokutai was intended to be fully equipped with the Raiden when Hikotai 602 moved to Balikpapan in March-April, 1944, to defend the oil fields there."(Navy-Message Board, J-Aircraft.com posting by Larry HICKEY, 23 January 2000, "Raiden Colors")
It is highly likely that Jack [81-124] had hurriedly been transferred to the Philippines for their defense. For a side view of what this Jack might have looked like prior to overpainting the code, see MA No.470 for the NOHARA-san rendering on page 3. Note also, on the next page, that not all Raidens had brown spinners as seen in this color photograph.
IHTH
Jim Lansdale
 
Re: J2M3 "Jack"
 
Posted By: Cruiser K <mailto:cruiserk@wans.net?subject=Re: J2M3 'Jack'>
Date: Sunday, 27 August 2000, at 12:18 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: J2M3 "Jack" (James F. Lansdale)
 
Excellent report Jim. After your post I was able to look up
Air Group 381 (In Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in WWII) and found out as posted by you that it was to be fully equipped with Raidens and were stationed near the Philippines area. I guess what threw me off was the July 1994 article in Air Power Magazine "Behind Enemy Lines" A story about the Tactical Air Intelligence Unit in the Southwest Pacific. The article list several black and white photos of this particular Raiden in US Markings and tail code S-12 being evaluated. Under one of the black and white photos of S-12 is a statement "This earlier J2M3 version was one of the few that reached the Philippines, where it was tested after its capture at Clark Field". After looking at a Map of Philippine area there appears to be a good distance between Manila, and Clark Field(Where the magazine stated that the Raiden was captured). This is what I based my possible link to Air Group 332 on, based on the statement in the magazine that the Raiden was found at Clark and based on the fact that Air Group 332 was deployed to Clark Field. Thanks for clearing this up for both of us, because my comments about what unit the Raiden belonged to was a guess at best.
Sincerely,
Cruiser K
 
Re: J2M3 "Jack"
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: J2M3 'Jack'>
Date: Sunday, 27 August 2000, at 6:57 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: J2M3 "Jack" (Cruiser K)
 
Thank you Cruiser.
I had not checked IZAWA and I appreciate the confirmation to Larry's report on the activities of 381 kokutai.
Incidentally, I know J2M3 Jack s/n3008 [TAIU S-12] was destroyed when an errant bomber plowed into it at Clark. Does anyone know the fate of J2M3 s/n3013 also captured in the Philippines? Is this the Jack presently at the Planes of Fame Museum?
Jim Lansdale
 
Re: J2M3 "Jack"
 
Posted By: Cruiser K <mailto:cruiserk@wans.net?subject=Re: J2M3 'Jack'>
Date: Saturday, 26 August 2000, at 10:43 p.m.
 
In Response To: J2M3 "Jack" (Tony Feredo)
 
I can answer at least one of the questions. The captured Jack that was repainted or refinished in natural metal and carried Tactical Air Intelligence Markings of S12 was a J2M3. And was one of several captured at Clark Airfield in the Philippines. It is possible but I am not certain that the captured Raidens belonged to Air Group 332 that was deployed to Clark Field in the Philippines and consisted of Zeroes, Raidens and Gekkoes. This Air Group because of attrition was integrated into Air Group 201. (This was the only mention that I could find in the book Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units of Raidens being deployed to Clark field). As far as the original markings and paint scheme
I couldn't find any information. Air Group 332 Raidens were painted typical Dark Green over Light Gray with top of cowling and fuselage painted black quite possibly for antiglare purposes. Propeller hub spinner was painted brown with yellow IFF stripes and white Unit markigs 32-.
 
Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Deniz Karacay <mailto:denizkaracay@yahoo.com?subject=Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Friday, 3 November 2000, at 8:02 p.m.
 
I have seen a drawing of a oblique mounted 20mm on a Raiden in one of the old wings magazine. It says it was a field modification. Anybody have photos?
 
Re: Oblique guns
 
Posted By: Ted Bradstreet <mailto:tbstreet@uninets.net?subject=Re: Oblique guns>
Date: Thursday, 9 November 2000, at 3:41 p.m.
 
In Response To: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
OK, I have to get in on this thread. Several points:
1. The IJN actually began using oblique guns in the Gekko in 1941, BEFORE the Luftwaffe, with some success in night interception of allied medium bombers.
2. There was at least one Suisei ace using the oblique, belt fed 20mm 99-shiki 2-gou 4 gata against B-29's. Somewhere I have the full poop. The Suisei was the most effective oblique-gun fighter conversion because it was stressed for combat maneuvers. The attack mode was not flying up and along under the B-29, but diving under it from head on or nearly head on and then angling away to stay outside the B-29 cone of fire. The airspeed gained in the dive was then used to zoom back above the bomber formation.
3. Oblique guns in single-seat fighters were not successful and mostly limited to the 302 Ku. They tended to be mounted portside and angled to port, rather than centerline and angled up only. Pretty hard to hit much.
4. Obliqe guns were used in daylight interception until the P-51 made it unsafe.
5. There are a number of photos of 302 Ku Raidens with the gun muzzle protruding from the wing fillet portside below the cockpit, as in the references others have provided. I have never seen a Raiden with anything sticking up out of its spine behind the cockpit.
There was at least one 302 Ku Raiden armed with a 30 mm 2-shiki, I believe as an oblique gun, but I don't know the exact configuration. I have thought it was vertical-obligue over the pilot's left shoulder, but I have not found good confirmation. P-51's did it in. If there are pictures of a Raiden with gun(s) sticking up behind the cockpit, I sure want to see them!
 
Re: Oblique guns
 
Posted By: Ryan Boerema <mailto:ryann1k2j@aol.com?subject=Re: Oblique guns>
Date: Thursday, 9 November 2000, at 11:20 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique guns (Ted Bradstreet)
 
Are you sure about that, Mr. Bradstreet? Robert Mikesh and Osamu Tagaya, in the Smithsonian's book on the Irving, state that the first successful night interception with an oblique weapon-mounted J1N1 was the night of May 20/21, 1943 -- albeit "this radical armament concept was first aired by (Comdr. Yasuna) Kozono at a planning meeting at Yokosuka on November 20 (1942)." They do admit, however, that "this method was tried during the First World War (Nieuports and SE5s come to mind), and again in World War II as German night fighter pilots were beginning to test upward-firing gun installations, unknown to the Japanese," but they make no mention of it being proposed or practiced in 1941.
Peter Hinchliffe's "The Other Battle" attributes German usage in WWII (with his own tip of the hat to its usage in WWI) to Oberleutnant Rudolf Schoenert, of 4/NJG2, who first experimented with it, unsuccessfully, on a Do-17 in the second half of 1941. He suggested its usage to Kammhuber but was "shot down" by opposition from Helmut Lent, Werner Streib, and others. In July '42 he took the opportunity of being awarded the Ritterkreuz to resuggest its usage and was given the OK -- although he did not register his first kill until "about May, 1943" -- so we don't know whether a Japanese pilot, SFPO Shigetoshi Kudo in an Irving, or Schoenert in a Dornier 217, gained the first "schrage musik" victory. (It could also have been Hauptmann Wittgenstein of IV/NJG 5 who, somewhat informally, installed a couple of MG FFs in March 1943 and "used them successfully against the Russians." No victory dates given.
Finally, I was, somewhere, given to understand the spine mounted 20mm in the Raiden was mounted in the exact position as the forward slanted radio mast and, indeed, had the radio wires attached thereunto. I'll be damned however if I can find any documentation to tell me where I got this idea. Maybe some fever dream.
Anyway, I hope this confuses matters further....
 
Re: Take-back on the 1941 night-fighter
 
Posted By: Ted Bradstreet <mailto:tbstreet@uninets.net?subject=Re: Take-back on the 1941 night-fighter>
Date: Friday, 10 November 2000, at 2:19 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique guns (Ryan Boerema)
 
Thanks for the detailed correction on that one. The Irving wasn't even ready in 1941 for such applications, of course -- 1943 is right on backchecking my sources and notes. I don't know where that 1941 date came from. My apologies to all, especially Tony!
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Mike Namba <mailto:miknamba@pol.net?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Saturday, 4 November 2000, at 11:00 p.m.
 
In Response To: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
In the book "Zero" by Okumiya, he refers to a raiden that was field modified to carry a 20 mm cannon mounted obliquely behind the pilot. I want to build a 1/72 Hasegawa Raiden with this modification but wonder if that means that the antennae had been removed (it too was also mounted behind the pilot) to make room for the cannon?
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Deniz Karacay <mailto:denizkaracay@yahoo.com?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Sunday, 5 November 2000, at 8:17 p.m.
 
In Response To:  (Mike Namba)
 
In the drawing, I have (no photo), the antenna is present and I realized that there are two cannons behind the cocpit. Lookinf at the layout, there is more than enough space for radio because the breeches of the guns were closer to tail.
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Elephtheriou George <mailto:elgeorge@otenet.gr?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Friday, 3 November 2000, at 11:23 p.m.
 
In Response To: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
Hi Deniz,
actually I'm building a model of this plane these days. The old Hasegawa 1/72. Fuselage halves are defformed and don't fit. Is it just my kit?
There is a photo in FAOW 61 p.28 (YOD-1183), a color profile of it in p.7 and the same stuf in MA 470.
Are you going to build something?
Domo
George
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Deniz Karacay <mailto:denizkaracay@yahoo.com?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Saturday, 4 November 2000, at 4:27 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Elephtheriou George)
 
No, I am building anything right now. Just curiosity. This oblique cannon is a rathr strange idea for Pacific theatre. If one tried to shoot down a B29 from below, not only the bullets had to deal with Isaac Newton, but also the fighter had to deal with at least four Brownings which should have mades it rather difficult.
Any confirmed successes of this configuration you know?
Though it was an excellent idea for German nigtfighters.
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Elephtheriou George <mailto:elgeorge@otenet.gr?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Saturday, 4 November 2000, at 6:03 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
Deniz,
although it sounds strange, don't forget the success pilots with planes like Gekko had. Unfortunately I know of no success with planes with this mounting or night Zeros (with oblique cannons), Ginkas or Suiseis. I have to dig a little about this.
May I reverse the question a bit? Do we know of any kills of belly machine gunners?
Appart from this, the cannon instalation on the Raiden is really very strange. I would expect it to be mounted behind the cockpit, as usual.
Domo,
George
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack-refernce
 
Posted By: Hiroyuki Takeuchi
Date: Tuesday, 7 November 2000, at 5:42 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
For reference, see FAOW No.61 on page 28 bottom and the two bottom photos on page 37. The left photo on p37 shows the muzzle, the right one shows the additional gunsight mounted sideways on the windshield. The mounting angle of the gun is 10 degrees up and 30 degrees to the left.
Correction about the accident I mentioned. That happened on a Zero with similar installation.
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack-refernce
 
Posted By: Deniz Karacay <mailto:denizkaracay@yahoo.com?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack-refernce>
Date: Tuesday, 7 November 2000, at 6:34 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack-refernce (Hiroyuki Takeuchi)
 
Joern kindly send me that photo. It was a very interesting installation. Oblique cannon installation had some point and success but this was really absurd. The sighting device should have contained a Intel Pentium II processor to calculate the speed of the aircraft, target, deflection. :-))
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Hiroyuki Takeuchi
Date: Tuesday, 7 November 2000, at 1:01 a.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
The oblique guns were first used against B-17s and B-24s in the Solomons with much success in night interceptions.
Kozono, the commanding officer of the 302AG was the originator of the idea and he was totally obsessed with the nanme-ju (oblique cannon). He forced his single seat fighters to be equipped with this armament despite protests from pilots.
Raidens had a 20mm cannon installed behind the pilot with the muzzle protruding on the left side of the fuselage beneath the canopy to fire up and to the left side of the airplane. I am without my books now, but I believe there is a color illustration of the plane with the muzzle protruding sideways over the left wing, as well a photo on which the illustration is based in either FAOW or the Model Art Raiden special issue.
Kozono insisted that this will become an effective weapon even for day fighters in fighter to fighter combat because one can shoot at the enemy while trying to turn inside each other. Pilots protested as nonsese, and after a maintenance crew walking on the wing root was blown into pieces by an accident, the guns were finally removed from Raidens.
Some Zeros continued to carry oblique cannons for night fighting (no one would want to fly Raidens at night).
This is what I gather from various Japanese sources.
 
Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack
 
Posted By: Tony Williams <mailto:autogun@globalnet.co.uk?subject=Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack>
Date: Sunday, 5 November 2000, at 2:40 a.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Deniz Karacay)
 
The following extract is taken from my book, "Rapid Fire" (details on my website):
"It is worth noting that the Japanese took an early interest in upward-firing gun mountings for night fighters and put these into service in 1942/3, in parallel with the German Schräge Musik system. The later prevalence of this type of mounting probably had much to do with the height and speed performance of the B-29, which many Japanese fighters had difficulty in intercepting.
Unlike German practice, aircraft so equipped included single-engined fighters such as versions of the IJNís A6M (Zeke) - one 20mm Type 99-1, C6N (Myrt) - two Type 99-2 or one 30mm Type 5, D4Y (Judy) - one Type 99-2, and J2M (Jack) - two Type 99-1, as well as the IJAís Ki-84 (Frank) - three 20mm Ho-5. Twin-engined naval aircraft with upward-firing guns included the J1N1 (Irving) - two Type 99, and P1Y1 (Frances) - four Type 99, while the Army aircraft were the Ki-45 (Nick) - two 20mm Ho-5, Ki-46 (Dinah) - one 37mm Ho-204, and Ki-102 (Randy) - two Ho-5. The J1N1-S (Irving) actually had four obliquely mounted 20mm cannon in the fuselage - two firing upwards, two downwards.
Complete information about which models of Type 99 were used in upward-firing installations is not available. The most common weapon was probably the Type 99-1 Model 3, which was fitted with a 100-round drum, but the belt-fed Model 4 and the Type 99-2 were used where there was space for them.
Perhaps the most remarkable armament fit belonged to the twin-engined Kawasaki Ki-45-Kai-C (Nick), which reportedly mounted one forward-firing 37mm Ho-203 (with a 15-round belt feed) in the nose, a forward firing Ho-3 in a ventral tunnel, two upward-firing Ho-5 inside the cockpit - and an RCMG for the observer! Other reports state that the Ho-3 was in practice removed when the Ho-5s were fitted.
The Navy also experimented with obliquely mounted guns for ground attack. The P1Y (Frances) was fitted with up to seventeen downward-firing Type 99 guns in the bomb bay, twelve angled forwards, five rearwards. Thirty of these aircraft were being prepared for attacking B-29 bases and for sweeping landing craft during amphibious assaults, but the war ended before they could see service."
I don't pretend to know everything about this subject and would welcome further information.
 
http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~autogun/
 
Oblique gun aircraft/Type 5
 
Posted By: Ted Bradstreet <mailto:tbstreet@uninets.net?subject=Oblique gun aircraft/Type 5>
Date: Friday, 10 November 2000, at 2:51 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Oblique 20mm in Jack (Tony Williams)
 
In addition to the C6N1-S, the 30 mm Type 5 was used singly as an upward-oblique mount in the D4Y2-S, J1N1-S, and P1Y2-S, all but the D4Y2-S fully confirmed by combat reports and/or photos. The fully-confirmed aircraft are all 302 Ku.
I have never encountered reports of a J2M with TWO oblique Type 99-1 guns. I'd be interested in knowing your source.
I have been given to understand that the downward-oblique guns in the Irving were ineffective and removed in service/omitted from later production. There are several pictures from the Atsugi boneyards of Irvings with the belly guns still in place, however, so I don't know how general removal of the belly guns may have been.
J2M Question
 
Posted By: David Fleming <mailto:dave.fleming@dial.pipex.com?subject=J2M Question>
Date: Monday, 22 January 2001, at 4:43 a.m.
 
Beginners Question :
What were the visual differences between the J2M2 and J2M3/3a ?
Anyone like to guess which mark the two flown by the ATAIU-SEA ?
 
TIA
david
 
Re: J2M Question
 
Posted By: Cruiser K <mailto:cruiserK@wans.net?subject=Re: J2M Question>
Date: Monday, 22 January 2001, at 9:45 p.m.
 
In Response To: J2M Question (David Fleming)
 
Hey David,
From what I have read. The only difference between the J2M2
and J2M3/3A is that the J2M2 was armed with 2 -7.7 mm guns above the fuselage and 2 wing mounted type 99 cannon. Whereas J2M3 was armed with Four cannon two type 99 and two fast firing type 99-II all mounted in the wing. The J2M3a had 4 type 99 II all in wing. ATAIU-SEA J2M photo is called out as J2M2.
 
Cruiser K
J2M3 - Production numbers
 
Posted By: Jomo Stewart <mailto:Silo_FT@hotmail.com?subject=J2M3 - Production numbers>
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2001, at 9:49 a.m.
 
Hello. Does any one know how many J2M3's were produced, and of that number, how many were J2M3a's??
 
Re: J2M3 - Production numbers
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: J2M3 - Production numbers>
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2001, at 2:52 p.m.
 
In Response To: J2M3 - Production numbers (Jomo Stewart)
 
Jomo
Approximately 308 J2M3s were produced by Mitsubishi (s/nos 3001-3308 +/-)
Another 128 J2M3s were produced by the KOZA Kaigun Kokusho under contract (s/nos 13001-13128).
Source: USSBS Studies, Pacific War; Report Nos.16 and 34
 
IHTH
Jim Lansdale
 
Re: J2M3 - Production numbers
 
Posted By: Jomo Stewart <mailto:Silo_FT@hotmail.com?subject=Re: J2M3 - Production numbers>
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2001, at 3:25 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: J2M3 - Production numbers (James F. Lansdale)
 
Jim, I am bit confused. If 308 were made by Mitsubishi, and 128 were made by Koza, what was the total production run of the J2M series??
The figure I hear quoted often is 476 total J2Ms produced. I also read there were about 155 J2M2's. Are these figures incorrect?
 
Re: J2M3 - Production numbers
 
Posted By: James F. Lansdale <mailto:LRAJIM@aol.com?subject=Re: J2M3 - Production numbers>
Date: Wednesday, 7 March 2001, at 3:56 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: J2M3 - Production numbers (Jomo Stewart)
 
Jomo
You asked specifically for the J2M3 model!
The total production break-down is as follows:
J2M1 = 8 (9 less proto No.4 for J2M2 development)
J2M2 =131 +/-
J2M3 =307 +/- (Mitsubishi)
J2M3 =128 (Koza KK)
J2M4 = 2
J2M5 = 43
J2M6 = 2
Grand Total= 621 of all models
Source: USSBS Pacific War, Reports Nos.16 & 34
 
IHTH
Jim Lansdale
 
Raiden Help
 
Posted By: Tom Matlosz <mailto:slayer1@bellsouth.net?subject=Raiden Help>
Date: Monday, 2 April 2001, at 6:12 p.m.
 
Gang,
I'm starting a new project for which I have little to no information. Can you help me out with FS specs for the Raiden. Need cockpit color, upper green, lower gray, ID yellow and prop spinner rust. Did Mitsubishi still use aotake on the Raiden or were wheel wells painted same as the underside?
Thanks, this will get me started on a Raiden for Ron Werneth.
By the way, Ron has made quite a few contacts with veterans from the Three Hundred and Second Kokutai. He was recently invited to and attended their annual memorial service. Look for some very interesting reading from Ron in a year or two. He's having a ball in Japan!
 
Tom Matlosz
 
Try this....
 
Posted By: Dan Salamone <mailto:heroncreek@qwest.net?subject=Try this....>
Date: Monday, 2 April 2001, at 9:51 p.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden Help (Tom Matlosz)
 
Hi Tom,
Below is a link to my Raiden article at Hyperscale. One thing I would change now is the cockpit color, it should be "Mitsubishi green" rather than the color I used. FWIW, I used the same colors for the camouflage as called for in Model Art #510.
 
I hope this helps,
Dan
 
Raiden model article
 
Re: Raiden Help
 
Posted By: Bill Leyh <>
Date: Monday, 2 April 2001, at 9:38 p.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden Help (Tom Matlosz)
 
Tom,
The color photo of Raidens at Atsugi at the end of the war published in the Raiden FAOW looks like an RAF Dark Green/FS34079-ish color over a yellowish, greenish-gray (not unlike hairyokushoku) with orange-yellow wing leading-edge I.D. bands.
 
Bill
 
Re: Raiden Help
 
Posted By: Dave Pluth <mailto:dave@j-aircraft.com?subject=Re: Raiden Help>
Date: Monday, 2 April 2001, at 8:48 p.m.
 
In Response To: Raiden Help (Tom Matlosz)
 
Hi Tom,
Here's what I remember offhand about the Raiden, someone can correct me if I'm wrong here. The cockpit would be Mitsubishi interior green (a bit darker than US interior green). Upper green, you can use Mitsubishi Green from Aeromaster or IJN green from Pollyscale. I would stay away from the MMII Japanese colors. Wheel well would be aotake or underside color (or non color). I think the underside is actually natural metal and was not painted. The yellow, I use a chrome yellow, it looks nice.
Hope this helps. Again, I'm sure I'll be corrected on this one, but this is from memory.
 
-Dave
 
Re: Raiden Help
 
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <mailto:pchalmers@carolina.rr.com?subject=Re: Raiden Help>
Date: Tuesday, 3 April 2001, at 4:18 p.m.
 
In Response To: Re: Raiden Help (Dave Pluth)
 
Dave;
My perusal of imagery including a decent color pic, is that the Raiden did have painted lower surfaces. This is also the position of the authors of the ModelArt Special No.510, which specifies the underside color as "J3"
I think that this can be confirmed visually by examining the many photos of Raidens exhibiting heavily chipped / exfoliated upper paint - the bright aluminum is in distinct contrast to the underside color in all cases.
J2M3 Jack references
 
Posted By: Phil <mailto:dinghao1@attbi.com?subject=J2M3 Jack references>
Date: Tuesday, 20 August 2002, at 10:13 a.m.
 
I need some reference material on Jack. I have the Monogram publication on Japanese interiors, an 80's FAOW issue and Thorpe's work on IJNAF. Does anyone have the Maru Mechanic? I need scans of the cockpit and landing gear/bays.
Also, I can't seem to detect a landing light on any photos of the a/c. Could this be possible? It operated in daylight only?
 
A list of J2M3 detail references
 
Posted By: Charles Metz <mailto:c-metz@uchicago.edu?subject=A list of J2M3 detail references>
Date: Tuesday, 20 August 2002, at 9:22 p.m.
In Response To: J2M3 Jack references (Phil)
 
Phil,
Some J2M3 detail references are listed below. Of these, I recommend Model Art Special No. 470 and Volume 29 in Gakken's 'Pacific War' series. The former seems to be out of print, but the latter is listed in HobbyLink Japan's on-line catalog on the page that you can see by clicking the link below
Hoping this helps,
Charles Metz
------------------------------
J2M3 detail references
Mikesh: 'Japanese Aircraft Interiors 1940-1945' (Monogram Aviation Publications [USA], 2001; 328 pages) -- cockpit detail (p. 163-167)
Mikesh: 'Japanese Cockpit Interiors (Part 2)' (Monogram Close-Up series, No. 15; Monogram Aviation Publications [USA], 1977; 32 pages [out of print]) -- cockpit detail (p. 1-3)
Minoru: 'WWII Fighters (1)' (Design with Precision series, No. 1; Kantosha [Japan], 1994; in Japanese; 158 pages) -- multi-view drawings (p. 47-50)
Nohara: 'Imperial Japanese Navy Warplane [sic]' (Illustrated Warplane History series, No. 5; Green Arrow [Japan], 1996; in Japanese; 263 pages) -- cockpit detail (p. 181), engine & propellers (p. 179), underside of wing (p. 180)
------: 'Camoufrage [sic] & Markings of the Imperial Japanese Navy Fighters in W.W. II' (Model Art Special Issue series, No. 272; Model Art [Japan], 1986; in Japanese; 154 pages [availablity unknown]) -- cockpit detail (p. 70)
------: 'I.J.N. Interceptor Fighter Raiden (J2M Series)' (Model Art Special Issue series, No. 470; Model Art [Japan], 1996; in Japanese; 180 pages [availablity unknown]) -- canopy (p. 84-86), cockpit detail (p. 13, 14, 87-91, 93, 116, 117, 141, 142), engine (p. 63-65) & engine installation (p. 65-68), fuel tanks (p. 73-77, 79), landing gear (p. 94-99), multi-view drawings (p. 56-62), wheelwell detail (p. 144, 147), various other details (p. 13-18, 134-150)
------: 'Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden"' (Maru Mechanic series, No. 7; Maru [Japan], 1977; in Japanese; 42 pages [out of print]) -- cockpit detail (p. 21, 34, 35, 43), multi-view drawings (fold-out), wheelwell detail (p. 29, 33); COMMENT: Reprinted in No. Maru Mechanic 43
------: 'Navy Interceptor Fighter Raiden (exact title unknown [specified in Japanese])' (Pacific War series, No. 29; Gakken [Japan], 2000; in Japanese; 181 pages) -- ailerons (p. 38), canopy (p. 18-22, 165, 168), cockpit detail (p. 23-25, 51-54, 58, 169, 170), cowl (p. 27, 28), drop tank (p. 173), engine & engine bay (p. 29-31, 97-102, 134, 135, 137-142, 145), flaps (p. 37), guns (p. 34, 35, 111-114, 171, 172), landing gear (p. 40), multi-view drawings (p. 116-118), shell ejection chutes (p. 36), spinner (p. 32), structure (p. 166, 167), tail (p. 44, 45), tail wheel (p. 42, 43), wheelwell detail (p. 41, 46)
------: 'Navy Interceptor "Raiden"' (Famous Airplanes of the World (1) series, No. 150; Bunrin-Do [Japan], 1985; in Japanese; 56 pages [out of print]) -- cockpit detail (p. 42), engine (p. 22), multi-view drawings; COMMENT: First [previous] 'Famous Airplanes of the World' series [gray or blue covers]
 
Gakken book at HobbyLink Japan
 
Re: A list of J2M3 detail references
 
Posted By: Elephtheriou George <mailto:arawasi_g@hotmail.com?subject=Re: A list of J2M3 detail references>
Date: Wednesday, 21 August 2002, at 10:45 a.m.
 
In Response To: A list of J2M3 detail references (Charles Metz)
 
Metz san,
the following titles are out of print in Japan and can be found only in second hand bookshops or specialized Hobby shops (who sell rare and out of print titles):
MA272
MA470
Maru Mechanic 43
Also, the FAOW with the white cover.
Nevertheless, FAOW 61 of the current black/red series is available (from Hobby Link Japan too)...
Domo,
George
 
Re: J2 Jack references
 
Posted By: Jim Broshot <mailto:jbroshot@fidnet.com?subject=Re: J2M3 Jack references>
Date: Tuesday, 20 August 2002, at 6:07 p.m.
 
In Response To: J2M3 Jack references (Phil)
 
AIR ENTHUSIAST Vol. 1 No. 1 (June 1971), "The Asiatic Thunderbolt" has a cutaway drawing of the J2M3 Model 21.
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