The Yokosuka E14Y Navy Type 0 Submarine-borne Reconnaissance Seaplane 'Glen' was a tiny reconnaissance aircraft that was also the only hostile aircraft to drop bombs on the American mainland during the Second World War.
The E14Y was developed in response to a 12-Shi specification for an aircraft to replace the Watanabe E9W1. Watanabe also produced a new design, the E14W1.The new aircraft had to be small, and easy to dismantle so it could be stored in a small hanger carried on a submarine.
The E14Y was a low wing monoplane with twin floats. The floats, their support struts and the wings could all be removed for storage. The original design had a low tail that didn't need to be removed, but this inadequate, and a new tail with a removable tip had to be produced. The aircraft had a welded steel-tube fuselage and mixed wood and metal wings. The wings were fabric covered, the fuselage had a mix of wood, fabric and light alloy. It was powered by a Hitachi Tempu 12-cylinder air-cooled radial engine and could carry 132lb of bombs with a crew of two, or more with a single crewman.
The prototype was completed in 1939 and took part in trials against the E14W1. The Yokosuka design won the contest, but the arsenal rarely produced its own aircraft. In this case Watanabe was given the contract, so still benefited from the contest. The company built 125 aircraft between 1941 and 1943. Originally it was given the designation Navy Type 0 Submarine-borne Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 1-1. It later became the Navy Type 0 Small Reconnaissance Seaplane Model 11.
The E14Y took part in a number of dramatic operations. On 17 December an aircraft from the submarine I-5 carried out a reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor to survey the battle damage. Some time later the aircraft from I-9 also flew over Pearl Harbor.
The most famous use of the E14Y came in June 1942 when the aircraft from I-25, flown by Warrant Officer Fujita, carried out two air raids against the US mainland. Flying alone to increase his bomb load he dropped four 168lb incendiary bombs over woodland in Oregon, in the hope of starting a forest fire.
During the first two years of the Pacific War the E14Y was able to operate in some safely across a vast area, from Madagascar in the west to New Zealand and Australian in the south-east up to the Aleutians. From 1943 onwards, as the availability of radar increased, the E14Y became increasingly vulnerable and the reconnaissance missions ended.
Engine: Hitachi Tempu 12 12-cylinder radial engine
Span: 36ft 1in
Height: 12ft 6in
Empty weight: 2,459lb
Maximum take-off weight: 3,533lb
Max speed: 153mph
Climb Rate: 10min 11sec to 9,845ft
Service ceiling: 17,780ft
Range: 548 miles
Armament: One 7.7mm machine gun in observer's position
Bomb load: 132lb