BAKA ROCKET BOMB AT KADENA AIR BASE
The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka Shinjitai ("cherry blossom") was a rocket powered human-guided kamikaze attack plane used by Japan towards the end of World War II. It was given the nickname Baka (Japanese for "fool" or "idiot").
It was a manned flying bomb, with a 2646 lb warhead, that was usually carried underneath a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty", or Yokosuka P1Y Ginga "Frances". The bomber would fly to within range of its target; on release, the pilot would first glide towards the target and when close enough he would fire the Ohka's rocket engine and guide the missile towards the ship that he intended to destroy. Seven US ships were damaged or sunk by Ohka's throughout the war.
Length: 20 ft
Wingspan: 16 ft 8 in
Maximum speed: 500 mph
Range: 23 mi
The I-18 shown in the photos was captured at Yontan Air Field on day one of the invasion of Okinawa. It was dismantled and analyzed during the battle for Okinawa and then reassembled (minus rocket engines and warhead) and turned over to the 8th Air Force for display at their headquarters.
The photos from my collection show the I-18 under camouflage netting at Yontan Air Field, then at the 8th Air Force HQ tent compound located near the present day golf course at Kadena Air Base, then at the first 8th Air Force HQ building on Kadena AB. The I-18 eventually made it way to the US and is presently located at the Planes of Fame air museum at Chino, California.