E13A1 in flight
Role Reconnaissance floatplane
Manufacturer Aichi Kokuki KK
First flight mid-late 1939
Introduction 1941
Retired 1945
Primary users Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
Royal Thai Navy
Number built 1,418

The Aichi E13A (Allied reporting name: "Jake") was a long-range reconnaissance seaplane used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) from 1941 to 1945. Numerically the most important floatplane of the IJN, it could carry a crew of three and a bombload of 250 kg (550 lb). The Navy designation was "Navy Type Zero Reconnaissance Seaplane" (零式水上偵察機).

Operational history

In China, it operated from seaplane tenders and cruisers. Later, it was used as a scout for the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and was encountered in combat by the United States Navy during the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway. It was in service throughout the conflict, for coastal patrols, strikes against navigation, liaison, officer transports, castaway rescues, and other missions, along with some kamikaze missions in the last days of war. It also served on the super battleships Yamato and Musashi as catapult launched reconnaissance aircraft.

One Aichi E13A was operated by Nazi Germany alongside two Arado Ar 196s out of the base at Penang. The three aircraft formed the East Asia Naval Special Service to assist the German Monsun Gruppe as well as local Japanese naval operations.[1]

Eight examples were operated by the French Navy Air Force during the First Indochina War from 1945 until 1947,[2] while others were believed to be operated by the Naval Air Arm of the Royal Thai Navy before the war. One example (MSN 4326) was surrendered to New Zealand forces after the end of hostilities and was flown briefly by RNZAF personnel, but was not repaired after a float was damaged and subsequently sank at its moorings in Jacquinot Bay.[3]


An Aichi E13A, probably from Kamikawa Maru's air unit, possibly photographed at Deboyne Islands during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Prototypes and first production model, later designated Model 11.[4]


Trainer version with dual controls


Redesigned floats, improved radio equipment


Night-flying conversion


As E13A1a, with Air-Surface radar


Night-flying conversion of above


Anti-surface vessel version equipped with two downward-firing belly-mounted 20 mm Type 99 Mark II cannons in addition to bombs or depth charges



 Nazi Germany
 People's Republic of China

Surviving aircraft

The wrecks of a number of sunken aircraft are recorded. The wreckage of one aircraft is located on-land at an abandoned seaplane base at Lenger Island, off Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.[8]

One E13A was raised from where it sank and is displayed at the Kakamigahara Aerospace Museum, Kakamigahara, Gifu, Japan. However, it is reportedly in poor condition, lacking its engine, tail floats and one wing.[9]

Another Aichi, a model E13A1 (MSN 4116) was raised from the sea in 1992, close to Minamisatsuma (called Kaseda at the time), and is now on display at the Bansei Tokkō Peace Museum.[10][11][12][13]

Specifications (E13A1)

Aichi E13A1 drawing

Data from Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War[14]

General characteristics

810 kW (1,080 hp) at 2,000 m (6,600 ft)



Some aircraft fitted 2× 20mm Type 99-2 cannons in a downwards firing position in the belly

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Geerken, Horst H. (9 June 2017). Hitler's Asian Adventure. BoD – Books on Demand. pp. 375–376. ISBN 978-3-7386-3013-8.
  2. ^ Dorr and Bishop (1996), p. 234.
  3. ^ Homewood, Dave (ed.). "RNZAF Life in the Pacific". Wings Over Cambridge. Archived from the original on 2019-12-17.
  4. ^ Francillon (1979), p. 277.
  5. ^ Francillon (1979), p. 281.
  6. ^ Pelletier (1995), p. 23
  7. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings Thailand (THL), archived from the original on 25 January 2012, retrieved 30 August 2012
  8. ^ "Aichi E13A1 Jake". Pacific Wrecks. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  9. ^ "E13A1 Jake Manufacture Number ?". Pacific Wrecks. 2017-05-22. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  10. ^ "E13A1 Jake Manufacture Number 4116". Pacific Wrecks. 2023-03-13. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  11. ^ "It Was Like This When We Found It. (Aichi E13A)". Deviant Art. 2016-11-14. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  12. ^ "Aichi E13A". FlyTeam. 2023-05-06. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  13. ^ "Japanese Aviation History (to 1945)". J-Hangarspace. Retrieved 2023-07-25.
  14. ^ Francillon (1979), pp. 277-281.