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 Marushin Model # S010 - Mitsubishi J2M3 Jack - 302Ku 2nd Divisional Officer Lt. Susumu Ito, 302nd Kokotai, Atsugi, Tokyo defense zone Honshu & Kanoya Kyushu, April to August 1945

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PostSubject: Marushin Model # S010 - Mitsubishi J2M3 Jack - 302Ku 2nd Divisional Officer Lt. Susumu Ito, 302nd Kokotai, Atsugi, Tokyo defense zone Honshu & Kanoya Kyushu, April to August 1945    Sat Feb 18 2017, 21:39

Mitsubishi J2M3-21 Raiden "Jack"
Producer Marushin
Model Number -S010
2nd Divisional Officer Lt. Susumu Ito, 302nd Kokotai, Atsugi, Tokyo defense zone Honshu & Kanoya Kyushu, April to August 1945    

Marushin die cast are impressive pieces of of metal. Very little plastic, solid, great panel lines but completely bereft of cockpit detail. They need to be assembled but this as a rule is easily done. Saves on box storage space. Other that the Willow I encountered few snags that were not worked through with very basic modeling skills and a small screwdriver and swiss army knife. The canopies are snap in arrangements but a drop of clear elmers glue holds them in place. Some owners have used 1.48 plastic model cockpit interiors and created astonishing detail to flesh out their Marushins, but I personally have never attempted this. The landing gear is also sparse on detail but not so noticeable. Cannon, machine guns and pitot tubes are metal rods and should be painted. The rods can take a bit of filing down to place within the wings. Still this is more than worth the effort. In the case of the Jake the cockpit floor screw openings that allow you to mate the wings to the fuselage were not completely open due to a bit of flash and the screws were a bit short.  I used a  drill bit slightly larger than the screw to take away the flash and make a slight countersink in the cockpit floor metal.   That did the trick.  The wings and fuselage match up well.  I've never heard of anyone else having this issue but it was minor IMO.

While this aircraft 157  is listed as the mount of Susumu Ito  on sites like the Motor Pool,there is one photo  in this posting, of Ito in front of 152 with his 5 kill markings.  It is possible he flew 157 & 152  or that Marushin's team made a mistake in tail markings.    

A new book to be released in mid April of 2016  J2M Raiden and N1K1/2 Shiden/Shiden-Kai Aces Aircraft of the Aces 129 Author: Yasuho Izawa, Tony Holmes may shed some light on this .  Regardless, the JM23 it is one of their better efforts.  

J2M3 Model 21 Specifications
• Crew: one, pilot
• Length: 9.70 m (32 ft 8 in)
• Wingspan: 10.80 m (35 ft 5 in)
• Height: 3.81 m (13 ft 0 in)
• Wing area: 20 m² (216 ft²)
• Empty weight: 2,839 kg (6,259 lb)
• Loaded weight: 3,211 kg (7,080 lb)
• Powerplant: 1 × Mitsubishi MK4R-A Kasei 23a 14-cylinder two-row radial engine, 1,379 kW (1,850 hp)

• Maximum speed: 655 km/h (355kn or 407 mph)
• Range: 560 km (302 nmi, 348 mi)
• Service ceiling: 11,430 m (37,500 ft)
• Rate of climb: 1402 m/min (4,600 ft/min)
• Wing loading: 174 kg/m² (35 lb/ft²)
• Power/mass: 0.42 kW/kg (0.26 hp/lb)

• Guns: 4 × 20 mm (Type 99 cannon]]:
2 x Type 99-2 cannon in inboard wing stations with 190 rpg and 2 x 20mm Type 99-1 cannon in outboard wing stations with 210 rpg. In a few models two upward-aimed, oblique-firing (aimed at seventy degrees) 20 mm cannons, mounted in the German Schräge Musik style, were fitted behind the cockpit

2 × 60 kg (132 lb) bombs or 2 × 200 L (53 US gal) drop tanks.

The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden ("Thunderbolt") was a single-engine land-based fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in World War II. The Allied reporting name was "Jack".  Sadaaki Akamatsu Yoshihiro Aoki, Susumu Ito and Susumu Ishihara all claimed significant scores in the Raiden. The J2M was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, creator of the A6M Zero, to meet the 14-Shi (14th year of the Showa reign, or 1939) official specification. It was to be a strictly local-defense interceptor, intended to counter the threat of high-altitude bomber raids, and thus relied on speed, climb performance, pilot protection and armament at the expense of maneuverability.  That would have been of great value to the Japanese Navy if its combat debut hadn’t been delayed until 1944.

The J2M was a sleek, but stubby craft with its over-sized Mitsubishi Kasei engine buried behind a long cowling, cooled by an intake fan and connected to the propeller with an extension shaft. The specification called for a cannon armed single-seat interceptor, with a top speed of 373mph at 19,685ft, that would take no more than 5 minutes 30 seconds to reach 6,000m, with an endurance of only 45 minutes, and that would have armor plating behind the pilot's seat. This contrasted with the Zero, where maneuverability and range were seen as more important than protection.  Pilot visibility was poor.

Work on the J2M actually began in October 1938, when Mitsubishi and the Japanese Navy began to discuss the idea of producing a land-based interceptor to work alongside the more maneuverable carrier-borne fighters. At this time Mitsubishi were developing the A6M Zero, and so work on the new concept was slow. Its official 14-Shi specification didn't appear until September 1939, and the first prototype wasn't ready until 1942

Jiro Horikoshi, head of the design team that worked on the J2M, was restricted in his choice of engines. Eventually he decided to use the 1,430hp Mitsubishi Kasei, a fourteen-cylinder radial, even though most of the best fighters of 1939-40 used inline engines. This engine had a large frontal area, and in an attempt to reduce drag it was connected to the propeller via an extension shaft. An air driven fan directed cooling air onto the engine, and the entire setup was contained within a tapered cowling. The engine was thus much further back within the fuselage than on most radial engine aircraft, and the nose was much more streamlined.

Work on the J2M progressed slowly, with most effort going on the A6M Zero. The prototype wasn't completed until February 1942, and it didn't make its maiden flight until 20 March 1942. At this stage the aircraft was disappointing. Its performance wasn't as good as expected, the sloped windscreen reduced visibility, the landing gear was problematic and the Kasei 13 engine and extension shaft unreliable.

Most of the problems were solved on the J2M2. The Kasei 13 engine was replaced with a Kasei 23a, which had the fan cooling system built in. This allowed the cowling to be reduced in length, improving visibility. This was the first Japanese engine to use water-methanol injection, which provided a performance boost, but caused some delays.  

Production of the J2M was as slow as its development had been. Only fourteen had been completed by March 1943. It wasn't issued to an operational unit until the late summer of 1943, and only 141 aircraft were produced between March 1943 and March 1944. Consequently, in June of 1944 the Japanese Navy decided to adopt the Kawanishi N1K1-J Shiden (Allied code name George) as its primary interceptor aircraft. Production of the Raiden was permitted to continue at a reduced pace until the A7M Reppu (Hurricane) could be placed in production. The Reppu never made it into series production.

Eventually six units were equipped with the J2M. A small number reached the Philippines, where they made an unsuccessful combat debut during 1944. The J2M was more successful as a bomber destroyer over Japan, where its climb rate, pilot protection and 20mm armament came into its own. A number of aircraft were given the obliquely mounted 20mm cannon tested on the J2M4, similar to the 'jazz music' installation used by the Germans.  

The J2M3 was somewhat heavier than the J2M2 owing to its better armament, and the J2M3 could no longer attain the performance called for in the original specification.  . In addition, its protracted teething troubles and poor mechanical reliability had resulted in slow deliveries and in low availability.  The landing speed was about 1.3 times of the Zero giving novice pilots some trouble.

However, within weeks of the Japanese Navy's decision to phase out the Raiden, the B-29 Superfortress begin to appear. Since the J2M3 had a good high-altitude performance and an effective armament, it was judged to be a potent B-29 interceptor and its production priority was reinstated.


The first J2M3s appeared in October 1943 but deliveries to combat units started at the beginning of February 1944.Eventually six units were equipped with the J2M.  The Raiden made its combat debut unsuccessfully in June 1944 during the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Not surprisingly the handful of  J2Ms operating from Guam and Saipan and the small number of aircraft  deployed to the Philippines were wiped out. Later, some J2Ms were based on Korean  airfields for defense of these areas and fighting against Soviet Naval Aviation units.


Primarily designed to defend against the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the lack of a turbocharger handicapped the aircraft at high altitude. However, its four-cannon armament supplied effective firepower and the use of dive and zoom tactics allowed it to score occasionally. Insufficient numbers and the American switch to night bombing in March 1945 limited its effectiveness.    A total of 476 aircraft were built

In February of 1945, an American technical intelligence team discovered a single Raiden abandoned among the trees alongside the Dewey Boulevard on the outskirts of Manila. It was disassembled and transferred to Clark Field, where it was repaired by the Technical Air Intelligence Command (TAIC) and test flown. Two captured J2Ms were U.S. Technical Air Intelligence Command (TAIC) tested using 92 octane fuel plus methanol, with the J2M2 (Jack11) achieving a speed of 655 km/h (407 mph) at 5,520 m (17,400 ft), and J2M3 (Jack21) achieving a speed of 671 km/h (417 mph) at 4,980 m (16,600 ft).  

This aircraft  below was captured at the end of the war in Japan and transported to the United States for technical evaluation. After evaluation, it was abandoned and given to a park in Los Angeles for use as a playground where it deteriorated.

It was later rescued by the efforts of Edward Maloney, and brought to the Planes of Fame Museum, in Chino California. It was restored to static display condition and painted in the markings of the 302nd. This is the only surviving Raiden in the world.

A senior test pilot attached to TAIC rated the Raiden as being the best Japanese fighter he had flown, offering good performance, good stability, good stalling characteristics, and good takeoff and landing qualities. It had a steep climbing angle and a rapid climb rate. Handling and control were good, but the ailerons became rather heavy at speeds above 325 mph (523 km/h). Stalling characteristics were exceptional. Even though there was relatively little stall warning, the recovery from the stall was extremely rapid, with very little altitude being lost. There was no tendency to spin, the aircraft being exceptionally stable. The maneuvering flaps were rated as being very effective. On the negative side, the brakes and rudder brake action were poor, the ailerons were heavy which made the maneuverability fall off at high speeds, the mechanical reliability was poor, and the range was short.

Link to a Utube video showing the J2M3  turn on your sound.;_ylt=AwrBT4SnSd5WJkMAKQZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0ZjJuODZkBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjE3OTJfMQRzZWMDcGl2cw--?p=J2M3+Raiden&fr=yfp-t-452&fr2=piv-web#id=1&vid=586e55aa0d9047eb98b382710e9e57fd&action=view

Variants   The different variants of the J2M demonstrate the complexities of the Japanese Navy's designation system

. The familiar letter/ number codes move up in sequence from the J2M1 prototype to the proposed J2M7, but the model numbers appear to move in the opposite direction (after the Model 11 J2M2 and Model 21 J2M3), from the Model 23 J2M7 to the Model 34 J2M4.
In the model number the first number is the airframe version, the second number the engine, so the J2M2 was the first airframe, first engine, the J2M3 the second airframe, first engine. The J2M4 is something of an anomaly, with the third version of the airframe but the fourth different engine, suggesting that plans were already in place for the third engine, which appeared on the J2M5. Presumably a second engine type was given a code, but not used on any aircraft that received a J2M designation.

Atsugi base

The Imperial Japanese Navy constructed the Atsugi base in 1938 to handle large, long-range planes. The 1,249 acres of Naval Air Facility Atsugi lies in the heart of the Kanto Plain on the main island of Japan, Honshu, about 16 km due west of Yokohama and about 36 km south-west of Tokyo.   Lack of money delayed completion. In 1943 the airdrome became a shore base for carrier planes.

Using local  civilians, military and korean slave labor, after six months, 12 immense caverns were finished  to serve as hidden barracks and hangars.    

Eventually it did house the Japanese 302 Naval Aviation Corps, one of Japan's most formidable fighter squadrons during World War II. Unit:302 Ku, ‘Tatsumaki’  translates to ( One punch)

Air Group 302 was established on March 1, 1944. The 302nd was the first air group given the chief mission of air defense of the mainland; it was assigned to defend the mainland “to the end.” It original complement was 48 interceptors and 24 night fighters.  The Atsugi Japanese Naval Air Group reached its peak compliment on February 20, 1944, with 72 fighters, 24 night fighters and 12 reconnaissance planes.  There were few true veterans.  Most of the pilots had been transferred from seaplane, flying boat and other units. Ito flew the Glen sub based recon plane.

Half the damage done to B-29s attacking later in the war was inflicted by this group. Kamikaze pilots also trained at Atsugi.  

Aircraft based at Atsugi shot down more than 300 American bombers during the fire bombings of 1945. After Japan's surrender, many of Atsugi's pilots refused to follow Hirohito's order to lay down their arms, and took to the skies to drop leaflets on Tokyo and Yokohama urging locals to resist the Americans.

They had held the base captive for seven days.   Recon B-32s had been sent  over Tokyo on Aug. 16, to assess the situation with no activity but on the 18th a pair of Dominators over Tokyo ran into a hornet’s nest.

Repeated attacks by fighters from Atsugi and Yokosuka damaged both bombers, in the process severely wounding aerial photographer Staff Sergeant Joseph Lacharite and killing his assistant, Tony Marchione. These men were among the last to die in a war that was supposed to be over. Realizing that surrender was a reality the pilots took off in 33 planes for their final destination and the disarmament finally began.

Although surrounding towns were burned to the ground, Atsugi was barely touched by Allied bombing.  General Douglas MacArthur arrived at Atsugi on 30 August.

Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service 302 Units

• 256th November 1944 - December 1945
• 301st  February 1944 - July 1945
• 302nd   March 1945 - August 1945

• 332nd  August 1944 - August 1945
• 352nd  August 1944 - August 1945
• 381st  End 1943 - April 1945
• Yokosuka   Yatabe  Genzan   Chushi  

Web and my personal library research on Susumu Ito's  time with the 302 Air group turns up very little other than some links to him on model building sites that use his aircraft  markings for their decal sheets. Japanese Ace listings show 5 victories and association with unit 302 but nothing else.        However learning of the story of the 1942 Sydney recon mission  and the fact that the 302 unit drafted experienced men from sea plane units and one of the commanders was a sea plane pilot, I think it highly likely this is the same man.    If I'm wrong I will remove this portion of the post and use it when I build a Glen.

Susumu Ito's long  journey to unit:302 Ku, ‘Tatsumaki’   began in the darkness of Monday June 8, 1942, Lieutenant Susumu Ito, a zealous young flying officer, scrambled up into the dripping conning tower of the I-21, as soon as the sub,  carrying more than 100 men, surfaced in Stockton Bight.  

Picture: Pilot Susumu Ito in 2007 with a wartime photo of himself  the I-21 and his flight path over Sydney. .

It was a week after the Japanese midget submarine raid on Sydney Harbour and less than two hours after another Japanese submarine began shelling suburbs around Sydney Harbour. The I-21 had carried Susumu Ito’s ‘Yokosuka  E14Y tiny Glen’ float plane from Japan to Sydney in a specially constructed hanger on the deck of the submarine.

Ito had taken off from the mother sub before the midget submarine raid on Sydney and had conducted reconnaissance over the harbour without interception. But when he landed near the submarine in a rough sea, Ito’s aircraft flipped over and was badly damaged and had to be sunk by the submarine crew. Ito felt shamed and apologised to the sub’s captain submarine, Matsumura Kanji.

Ito, a strong swimmer, had almost drowned struggled in his jump suit loaded down with a pistol and many rounds of ammunition. Now off Newcastle, knowing that the six men who had manned the midget submarines at Sydney had been lost, the young flying officer was keen to see the enemy punished.

Gunners raced to the sub’s 5.5-inch deck gun and began firing the first of 34 rounds towards Newcastle, aiming at the shipyards at Carrington and at the steelworks at Kooragang Island. The Japanese knew Newcastle well as a vital industrial port.

Surprisingly Lt Ito survived the war.   Like most pilots he was not allowed to fly and opened a small fishing tackle shop with his wife post war to survive.  He later became a successful business man returning to Australia to visit the city of his 1942 over flight .  

If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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Marushin Model # S010 - Mitsubishi J2M3 Jack - 302Ku 2nd Divisional Officer Lt. Susumu Ito, 302nd Kokotai, Atsugi, Tokyo defense zone Honshu & Kanoya Kyushu, April to August 1945
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