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5th Naval Air Wing
Built by Kawanishi at Konan Plant in Kobe completed March 1943. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 2 Flying Boat / H8K2 Emily manufacture number 426.
Assigned to the 802 Kōkūtai (802 Air Group) with tail code N1-26 until the unit was disbanded. On April 1, 1944 assigned to the 801 Kōkūtai (801 Air Group) on Saipan and was over painted with tail code 801-86 until that unit disbanded.
On April 25, 1945 assigned to the 5th Naval Air Wing "Kikusui Force", Takuma Kōkūtai (Takuma Air Group) with tail code T-31. During 1945, based a Takuma Seaplane Base and sustained minor damage during an air raid. This Emily survived until the end of the Pacific War when Japan officially surrendered in September 1945.
During September 1945, this Emily was surrendered to the U.S. and selected for or technical evaluation and was repaired by Japanese mechanics from the former Takuma Air Group. Once repaired, flown to Yokahama then disassembled and shipped from Japan to the United States.
After technical evaluation in Maryland and afterwards sent to Norfolk, Virginia. During the 1970s, installed at gate 4 at Norfolk Naval Base then placed in storage. Due to budgetary cuts, the aircraft was slated for disposal in 1976, unless an immediate plan for it was presented to take custody of it.
Bruce Sheppard adds:
"i first saw the Emily in 1964 when my Dad was stationed in Norfolk. It remained displayed at gate 4 through some of the 1970s, i believe the plan was to send it to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, before the Japanese wanted it back."
Return to Japan
In 1978, Ryoichi Sasagawa curator of the Tokyo Maritime Museum proposed to transport the aircraft to Japan for restoration and display. The US military agreed, and by an act from the U.S. House of Representatives and this Emily became the first war trophy ever returned.
Justin Taylan visited in January 2004:
At the end of January 2004 following 23 years displayed at the Tokyo
Maritime Museum, the Emily was shipped to the Kanoya Museum and placed on display outdoors and maintained by the Japanese Self-Defense Force (JSDF). The interior remains sealed and air conditioned for preservation.
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