Formerly with the RAF Museum, a Japanese kamikaze craft has been loaned to a museum in the US
The Tucson, Arizona-based Pima Air and Space Museum has taken delivery of the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka (‘Cherry Blossom’) Model 11 previously on display at the RAF Museum Midlands in Cosford, Shropshire. Developed by Japan in late 1944 as a human-guided bomb for anti-ship kamikaze missions, the on loan Ohka will join Pima’s trainer Model 43 K-1 variant of the munition already on display.
During the conflict, the Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka was predominantly targeted against US ships invading Okinawa. When released from an airborne mothership, the Ohka could be effective through its high speed in the dive. American forces were not slow to recognise the danger and quickly developed ‘defensive rings’ extending outward to intercept the Mitsubishi G4M/Ohka combination aircraft before the suicide mission could be launched. The Japanese had relatively little success with the weapon, and the allies nicknamed it ‘Baka’- meaning ‘foolish’ or ‘idiotic’ in Japanese.