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B-24 bombing photo of Holtz Bay, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska, 7 Nov 1942; note A6M2-N floatplanes

Caption   B-24 bombing photo of Holtz Bay, Attu Island, Aleutian Islands, US Territory of Alaska, 7 Nov 1942; note A6M2-N floatplanes ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Army
More on...   
A6M Zero   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 7 Nov 1942
Photos at Same Place Attu, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Added By David Stubblebine
Added Date 5 Jan 2011

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (3,541 by 3,201 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
21 Dec 2010 09:30:20 PM

The Mitsubishi A6M2-N floatplanes (US code named “Rufe”) were the floatplane version of the A6M “Zero”.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
10 Sep 2011 08:25:43 PM

Nakajima built A6M2-N "Rufe" Mitsubishi did not build this version. Photograph shows fighters of the 452nd Air Corps at Holtz Bay.
The Rufes arrived aboard the Kamikawa Maru around June 1942.
The "Rufe" still outperformed its opposition until the arrival of new and improved Allied fighters. The aircraft saw action during the
Aleutian campaign, operated in the Southwest
Pacific, Korea, Japanese Home Islands flying from Lake,Biwa north of Kyoto, and other locations within the Japanese Home Islands.

Total production, 327 aircraft built between 1941 to 1943. The Rufe was armed with
2x7.7mm machineguns w/500rpg, 2x20mm cannon
w/60rpg and 2x66lb (30kg) bombs.
3. Commenter identity confirmed David Stubblebine says:
10 Sep 2011 09:41:01 PM

Bill is quite correct: the A6M2-N “Rufe” was based on the Mitsubishi A6M Zero but this variant was built by Nakajima.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Nov 2011 09:04:34 AM

Mr. Stubblebine thank you for your supporting comment.

Nakajima dropped its proposal, for the new fighter, but Mitsubishi developed the A6M but only built 3,879 Zeros, the rest of the production was assigned to Nakajima, who built 6,215 A6Ms.
Nakajima also developed the A6M2-N "Rufe" Floatplane fighter, and both the A6M2-K and A6M5-K Trainers, production was also contracted out to Sasebo and Hitachi.

5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 Dec 2011 02:31:33 PM


The Japanese A6M2-N Rufe was the only enemy
aircraft that operated on US soil or water during WWII.
The Rufe flew missions during the invasion of the Aleutians in June, 1942 flew against USAAF B-24, B-17, P-40, P-39 and P-38s, the RCAF also supplied the P-40 in the theater of operations.

The Rufe was in short supply, and there was never enough on strength. Production of the Rufe by Nakajima was delivering about twelve Rufe floatplanes per month six going to the
Aleutians, and six going to the Solomons.


The A6M2-N held its own in dogfights with
Allied aircraft the floatplane was still a difficult target and a dangerous enemy.
The central float and two outboard floats created drag and reduced its top speed to 270mph and maneuverability was slightly less than its carrier and land-based sister, the
A6M2-Model 21, Zero.


The Aleutian weather was an enemy against both the Allies and Japanese the weather played havoc with both men and equipment the
cold, damp fog, snow, icy rain along high winds made life difficult, much less fight a war.
At the end of World War II the French Navy operated eight A6M2-Ns in French Indo-China
with 8S Escadrille, Aeronavale. At the end
of French service the aircraft were scrapped.


An unrestored A6M2-N Rufe is located at the
Pacific War Museum located in Fredricksburg,
Texas USA.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Dec 2011 09:53:57 AM


Very few Americans know that the Japanese bombed the U.S. Mainland during WWII.
In 1942 The Japanese Submarine I-25 launched its Yokosuka two-seat E14Y "Glen" floatplane to bomb the State of Oregon.
The pilot cruised at an altitude of 8,000ft. and flew 50 miles inland dropping incendiary bombs on Oregon forests, the Japanese were not aware of rains, that had dampened the forest before the attack.


Another bombing attempt was made the "Glen"
once again, flew over the Oregon forest and dropped its bombs, but did no damage or start the planned forest fires.
This was the only bombing attack on the U.S. during WWII. Japanese submarines did torpedo ships along the Pacific coast, and attack
targets along the Santa Barbara coast.


In 1962 the Japanes pilot who bombed the Oregon forest, Chief Warrant Officer Nobuo Fujita returned invited to be the town of
Brookings Grand Marshal's for their annual festival. Fujita even flew once again over the Oregon forest, this time in a small private plane.
Today a Memorial Plaque is located at the site of the 1942 Brookings, Oregon bombing. Nobuo Fujita died at age 85 in Japan.
7. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Dec 2011 07:03:13 PM


The Yokosuka E14Y was a submarine-based two-seat, single-engine, twin-float seaplane built, by the Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal 126 were built between 1941 to 1943.
Stored aboard submarines in a water-tight hanger, the wings, stabilizers, rudder and floats were assembled by crewmen, and was ready for action, the plane was catapulted off the submarine.
The E14Y was built from welded steel tubing and wood the fuselage and wings were covered by fabric and alloy metal.
Powered by 1xHitachi 12-cylinder air-cooled radial engine of 340hp, maximum speed was
153mph, crew pilot and 1x7.7mm machine gun for the observer, range 548miles.


During the war, the plane flew missions over
New Zealand, Australia, State of Oregon and
near San Francisco, California USA, Panama Canal, Pacific Operations and the Aleutian Islands.
Ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a
reconnaissance mission was flown to report on US Naval forces, and another mission was flown on January 1942 over Pearl Harbor.

Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Nobuo Fujita and his Observer Petty Officer Shoji Okuda were the only axis airmen, who flew a bombing mission against the United States during WWII.
Nobuo Fajita was drafted into the Imperial
Japanese Navy in 1932, he qualified for flight training and was assigned to submarine
reconnaissance seaplanes. Served aboard the
subs I-23 and I-25 later he became a flight instructor during the war. The submarine I-25
was reported missing and presumed lost with all hands in 1943.
Seventeen years after the war in 1962, he was invited to the City of Brookings, Oregon
he made four different trips to visit the city.
Nobuo Fajita died on September 30, 1997 age 85. In 2008 drvers found two E14Y "Glen"
seaplanes in the cargo hold of the Japanese
ship Akibasau Maru, the ship was sunk in 1944
sofar, no plans are made, to salvage the seaplanes.

Its my intention to bring historical fact, and lesser known information to ww2db that cover the events of World War II.
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Dec 2011 03:19:22 PM

The Japanese Navy operated seaplane tenders that ferried Nakajima A6M2-N "Rufes" and Aichi E13A1 "Jake" two-seat reconnaissance seaplanes to Kiska in 1942. The Yokosuka
E14Y, "Glen" operated from submarines, in the area,for long-range patrol the Kawanishi H6K "Mavis" four-engine flying boat also operated in the Aleutians.

An airstrip was built for land-based arcraft on Attu and Kiska, but it never became operational.
Other seaplanes that operated from Heavy and Light Cruisers were Nakajima E8N "Dave" and Kawanishi E7K "Alf" both seaplanes were single-engine biplanes.
Additional aircraft were carrier-based the
air groups were Mitsubishi A6M2-21 "Zeke"/ Zero Fighters, Aichi D3A "Val" Dive bombers and Nakajima B5N "Kate" Torpedo bombers.

The Japanese did attempt to bomb Kiska, with Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers flying from the Kuriles when US Forces invaded the island. The Japanese found themselves at a disadvantage once the US built an airfield on Adak putting Kiska within range of fighters and bombers.
Attu was a staging area for the Japanese supplies, personnel and aircraft would move on to Kiska, when the US invaded Attu this cut off Kiska and by this time there were no longer Japanese floatplanes operating in the Aleutians. The Japanese lost aircraft to weather, aircraft lacked hangers and were damaged during high winds and rough sea they were kept in the open and took its toll on the machines. Other losses were through bombing, accidents, dogfights, lack of spare
parts, fuel and maintenance.
9. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
24 Dec 2011 01:37:48 PM

Kamikawa Maru and her sister Kimikawa Maru, those names do become confusing were among the ships that supplied seaplanes and other equipment to Japanese forces operating in the Aleutians.

The Kamikawa Maru would off-loaded fast as possible, both her Aichi E13A1 "Jake" and Mitsubishi F1M2 "Pete" seaplanes, cargo, personnel and equipment at Kiska Harbor.

Aircraft would start air patrols intercept US aircraft, by this time, the US started bombing the Harbor forcing ships to leave.
The Japanese flew 360 sorties, claimed about fourteen Allied aircraft and one probable
the Japanese lost nine pilots.
The Kimikawa Maru spent the next thirteen
months supplying bases on Kiska and Attu, the
air strength was made up of Nakajima A6M2-N
"Rufe" floatplane fighters and single-engine patrol and reconnaissance seaplanes listed above.

Japan and the United States fought for more than a year over a few small worthless islands, that became a strategic campaign with weather so bad, it cost both sides ten
times the number in causalities, aircraft and equipment. It was a battle just to stay alive and survive the Aleutians.
It was the first theater-wide victory for the United States over Japan, the battle for Attu was the US Army's first amphibious invasion. The Aleutian campaign being the second most costly battle in the entire Pacific theater.

"Politicians talk of courage, but its the brave who die, the soldiers"

In the early 1970s I started my adventure to Dutch Harbor, Alaska left Los Angeles on a PSA Boeing 727 to San Francisco connection to Washington State fly Alaska Airways DC-9 to Dutch Harbor. The fun part of the trip, was all the takeoffs and landings.
10. Bill says:
1 Oct 2013 08:55:04 PM


Before WWII, Japan felt that any expansion of its empire would cover most of the Pacific ocean.
The Imperial navy converted a number of civilian cargo ships into seaplane tenders, gun positions were added, along w/aircraft catapults, hangers and a track system to move and mount its aircraft ready for launch.


Was a one time civilian cargo ship operated by the Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Line and impressed into the navy. Civilian colors were removed and was now painted off white and gray camouflage she spent the first 6-months of WWII on patrol in the North Pacific.
Her mission, was to launch reconnaissance flights over both U.S. and Russian territory.


Kimikawa Maru was part of the Aleutian operation
along with the Kamikawa Maru one of two seaplane tenders transporting aircraft both land-based and seaplanes, equipment, fuel, supplies, troops and building materials.
June 8, 1942 Japanese troops occupied Kiska and Attu Is. and for the next 13-months Kimikawa Maru
supported the Imperial Army.


After Attu Is. was retaken, by US Forces and by July 1943 the Japanese left Kiska as well the war in the Aleutians was brutal with heavy loss of life to both sides as well as equipment.
After returning to Japan, the Kimikawa Maru was later transferred to the South Pacific, her luck ran out on October 23,1944 she was sunk by 4-torpedoes from the US Submarine USS Sawfish, and went down in three minutes!


Was another civilian cargo ship that was operated by the Kawasaki Kisen K.K. Line and impressed by the Imperial Navy and converted into a seaplane tender. She was sunk by torpedoes from the U.S.
Submarine USS Scamp on May 29, 1943

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Attu, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Lat/Long 52.9140, 173.1569
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