KAWANISHI H8K1 "EMILY" FLYING BOAT                                                                                                                                                            UNDERWATER IMAGES

"Emily" was the Allied code name for the Kawanishi H8K1 Flying Boat. The aircraft was used throughout the war by the Imperial Japanese Navy and  was quite successful, due its very long range (exceeding the U.S. B-29 Superfortress) and combat survivability.  "The Flying Porcupine" was extremely difficult to shoot down, as it was one of the few Japanese designs to utilize self-sealing fuel tanks and internal fire extinguishers.  The first action the "Emily" saw in WW II, occurred when two launched from bases in the Marshall Islands and bombed Oahu, Hawaii in 1942.  Only 165 aircraft were built.

The history of this particular wreck is quite fascinating.  The Commanding Officer of the Fourth Fleet, his Chief of Staff and other senior Japanese Naval Officers, were returning from meetings in Palau.  While enroute back to Truk, the "Emily" was ambushed by US fighters and repeatedly attacked.  Despite heavy damage and casualties, the pilot managed to escape the fighters and return to Truk.  Unfortunately, the aircraft was so "shot up" that the pilot lost control while attempting to land in the lagoon and the aircraft crashed and sank.  The pilot, decorated for his actions, survived as did the Admiral and his Chief of Staff. 

This Truk aircraft wreck is broken into three sections from its crash near Dublon Island.   She now lies in 50 fsw.

Kawanishi H8K1 Flying Boat: Crew 16; Wingspan:124 ft 8 in.; Length: 92 ft 3.5 in.; Height: 30 ft; MATOW:68,343 lbs.; Engines: 4 -Mitsubishi Kasei 12; 1850 HP each; Speed: 474 mph; Ceiling 28,880 ft; Range 4500 NM. Armament: 3 x 7.7mm machine guns, 5 x 20mm cannon, bombs or torpedoes.

 

                                          

                                                                  Courtesy-Capt. Lance Higgs S.S. Thorfinn                                   

                                                                                MORE TRUK LAGOON "GHOST FLEET"