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  J1N1-Sa Irving Manufacture Number 7334 Tail ヨ-102
IJN
Yokosuka Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2001

Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2008

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 2 Land Based Reconnaissance Aircraft Gekko / J1N1-Sa Irving manufacture number 7334. This Irving was equipped with radar.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Yokosuka Kōkūtai (Yokosuka Air Group) based at Yokosuka Airfield. Tail code ヨ-102. The exact wartime history of this aircraft is unknown. At the end of the Pacific War, surrendered intact at Yokosuka Airfield.

During September 1945, one of four intact Irvings surrendered to American forces (three were surrendered at Atsugi Airfield plus this one at Yokosuka Airfield). In U.S. custody, designated Foreign Equipment number 3031 (FE 3031) and later designated T2-N700. Afterwards, loaded aboard USS Barnes (CVE-20) with other captured aircraft and departs November 3, 1945 bound for the United States for technical evaluation.

Postwar
On December 8, 1945 assigned to Langley Field, Virginia. On January 23, 1946 transported to Air Material Depot at Middletown, PA and had the engine overhauled and oxygen system replaced and some flight instruments removed for U.S. instruments. These repairs were completed by April 9, 1946.

During June 1946, the U.S. Navy transfered this aircraft to the U.S. Army. On June 15, 1946 flown on a flight test for 35 minutes and made another flight test and was flown to Park Ridge, Illinois for storage. Afterwards, acquired by the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), and moved to the NASM Garber Restoration Facility where it was stored outdoors until 1974 when buildings became available.

Restoration
On September 7, 1979 this aircraft was selected for full restoration at the NASM Garber Restoration Facility as the second Japanese aircraft (following the restoration of A6M5 Zero 4340) restored by the NASM, largely due to the exhaustive efforts of then curator, Robert C. Mikesh. The restoration was completed on December 14, 1983 following 17,000 hours of restoration and is the only restored Irving in the world.

Display
Since 2003, this Irving is displayed at NASMS Udvar-Hazy Center.

References
Moonlight Interceptor tells the story of this aircraft and restoration
NASM - Collections - Objects - Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko (Moonlight) IRVING

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Last Updated
November 15, 2021

 

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