Yokosuka MXY-7 OHKA – Japanese Rocket-Powered Kamikaze aircraft
The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka, which name means “Cherry Blossom”, was more of a manned flying bomb than an aircraft. It was flown toward its target carried under a Japanese bomber like the Mitsubishi G4M2, known to the Allied as “Betty”. After release the pilot was on a kamikaze flight towards its target. The Ohka had great speeds but a limited range, 650 km/h in level flight and higher than 900 km/h in a dive but only a maximum flight distance of 37 km. It was powered by three solid fuel rockets and carried 1200 kilogram of explosives.
Since the pilot was killed fulfilling his orders, and it was a last resort self-defense action; the US Navy named the Ohka “Baka” which means “fool”.
The Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka first flew in March 1944 and was moderate successful. Destroyer Mannert L. Abele was hit, broke in two and sunk, a few other ships were damaged, two beyond repair at the cost of 74 pilots and their Ohka missiles (bombers with their crews not added to this number). 56 Ohka were destroyed still attached to the bombers.
A few models were tested but the Model 11 was the only one which saw action during the war in the Pacific. The German equivalent of the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka was the Fieseler Fi 103R – Reichenberg, also a manned surface to air missile based on the V1 cruise missile.
This Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka model 11 was photographed at the Royal Airforce Museum Cosford in England.