Delivered: October 23, 1944
When the war had turned against Japan, the Kamikaze was born. The Ohka or Cherry Blossom, was cheap, easy to produce and effective. It was carried to combat by Mitsubishi G4M “Bettys” to within 20 miles of the target and dropped.
The nose was a warhead of up to 2,646 lbs. The rocket propelled bomb would dive to its doom. The Ohka could achieve dive speeds of up to 750 mph.
Due to the nature of their missions, the Ohka did not have any landing gear. The sacrifice of the pilot that appealed to the Japanese psyche, however, was a concept that made little sense to Americans, the Ohka was given the nickname “baka” bomb meaning “fool.”
Most Ohka’s were destroyed on the ground or in route with the vulnerable Betty, less than 60 saw combat. In later models, the warhead was reduced to allow for greater range of up to 173 miles.
The Ohka’s first success was April 1945 damaging the battleship West Virginia. This Ohka Model 11 was recovered from Okinawa.