B5N2 torpedo bomber wreckage sitting atop Indispensable Reef as it was found on 9 Jun 1942; she was lost during the Battle of Coral Sea

Caption     B5N2 torpedo bomber wreckage sitting atop Indispensable Reef as it was found on 9 Jun 1942; she was lost during the Battle of Coral Sea ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   80-G-7661
More on...   
B5N   Main article  Photos  
Battle of Coral Sea   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 9 Jun 1942
Added By C. Peter Chen

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
2 May 2009 10:04:49 PM

This aircraft had tail EI-306 and was one of two “Kate” bombers forced to land on the Middle Reef of the three Indispensible Reefs. Both aircraft had their cockpit areas burned out by their crews and both airframes were removed for study by seaplane tender USS Tangier. The Indispensible Reefs in the NE Coral Sea were used as refueling locations where Japanese submarines refueled scout float planes.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
5 Nov 2011 03:28:58 PM

Mr. Stubblebine:


The Japanese used French Frigate Shoals Atoll
about thirty or forty acres, in area as a refueling station for seaplanes, by submarine
Its about halfway between Midway Island and
In 1942 the Japanese attempted to attack Pearl Harbor again, this time using Kawanishi
four-engine H8K Emily Flying Boats to refuel at French Frigate Shoals.

The bombing attack on Oahu Island was three months after the first Pearl Harbor attack,
was disappointing due to heavy cloud cover over the target with bombs falling short of the Harbor by miles.


When the Japanese tried to do this again, after the Battle of Midway in June 1942, they found the US Navy built a Naval Station and the plan was cancelled.

Suggested Reading:

The Second Attack On Pearl Harbor
Steve Horn
Published by Naval Institute Press(2005)
Annapolis, MD
ISBN 1-59114-388-8

3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
18 Nov 2011 07:27:22 PM


The Kawanishi H8K was the largest and best Japanese flying boats of WWII. The Allies
code named her "Emily" the aircraft was a
long-range four-engine machine armed with
5x20mm cannons and 5x7.7mm machine guns she could also carry 2x800kg/1,764lb torpedos,
or 1000kg/2,205lb of bombs or depth charges.

Emily had a crew of ten, she could carry
twenty-nine passengers or sixty-four troops
her range was 7200km/4,474 miles.
At the end of WWII four H8Ks survived one was turned over to the US Navy, the others used as parts to make one airworthy, the work was done by the Japanese, ferried to US forces aircraft was shipped to the USA for testing from 1946 to 1947.
Aircraft was later returned to Japan in 1979
of the one hundred and sixty seven built between 1941 to 1945 one has survived and is now on display at Kanoya Air Base in Japan.
The pilot who made the ferry flight to US forces later became an Admiral in the JMSDF.
Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force

one hundred and sixty seven were built between 1941 to 1945.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
31 Jul 2012 07:42:02 PM

MORE ABOUT KATES E1-306 & E1-302:

Nakajma B5N(Kates)were assigned to Shokaku Air Group, a/c E1-306 has white vertical stripe on fuselage and horizontal stripe below tail number, camouflage color appears dark green.

Two B5Ns were launched E1-306 & E1-302 at the start of the Battle of Coral Sea.
a/c took off in search of US ships, both kates spotted the Oilier USS Neosho and its escort the Destroyer USS Sims.Kates loitered in area too long, ran low on fuel, unable to return to Shokaku, both a/c flew to area called Indispensable reef and ditched, both crews survived and made attempt to destroy a/c cockpit area was burned, crews were later rescued by Japanese Dstroyer Ariaka.

Aircraft were later spotted by PBY Catalina
flying boat. Personnal were detailed to inspect and remove aircraft, information was later sent on to ATIU-SWPA.

Air Technical Intelligence Unit-South West Pacific Area.

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