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Amazing naval diorama – Kamikaze attack on USS Missouri, 11 April 1945

June 13, 2015 in Ships

The fabulous naval diorama of Operation Ten-Go (the last sortie of the Battleship Yamato) by @anthonyp Anthony Polychroniadis reminded me of anoter naval diorama seen in Telford last year which commemorated a moment from the same battle and only days apart from the sinking of the Japanese battleship.

Created by René Hieronymous from Austria, this massive 1/72 scene depicts a famous Kamikaze attack on the USS Missouri on April 11,1945, 10 days into the battle of Okinawa and four days after the sinking of the Yamato.

The very moment of the attack was originally captured on the famous photograph taken by the ship’s baker, Seamen Len Schmidt. The Zero, although fired on, crashed on Missouri’s starboard side, just below her main deck level. Although the attack was succesful, the shallow angle with which the Zero hit the side of the Mighty Mo had saved her. The starboard wing of the plane was thrown far forward, starting a gasoline fire at 5 in (127 mm) Gun Mount No. 3. The battleship suffered only superficial damage, and the fire was brought quickly under control.

Some time later, the remains of the Japanese pilot were recovered onboard the ship just aft of one of the 40 mm gun tubs. Captain Callaghan decided that the young Japanese pilot had shown extraoridnary determination and courage in the face of the ship’s AA defences and so should be given a military funeral. The following day he was buried at sea with military honors.

René Hieronymus is a hobby historian since many years and is specializing on the subject of the US Navy. He is a committed model builder, maintaining the same scale of 1:72 for all his models and dioramas.

His diorama is a faithful reproduction of the very moment when the historic photo was taken. Browsing carefully throgh this photo gallery, you might be able to spot the cameraman…

30 additional images. Click to enlarge

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15 responses to Amazing naval diorama – Kamikaze attack on USS Missouri, 11 April 1945

  1. I had followed this build on that “other site” for some months, but hadn’t seen many of these particular photographs. Thanks for posting it here. This is modeling at its’ finest. Rene is a true artisan and words cannot fully attest to his craftsmanship.

  2. I remember this one from the show (who wouldn’t!). I understood that it was going to a museum in Hawaii, but I may have that wrong. An absolutely memorable modelling achievement.

  3. I saw this one at Telford as well and I can confirm it is amazing “in the flesh” a myriad of details and easily on a par with the crashed B17 on a lowloader dio that some of you may remember.

    • I remember that B-17 on the flatbed, Neil…the pics of that masterpiece were outstanding!

    • I think the difference was that the B-17 dio was in the competition area, and although a deserving winner in its class, the Missouri seemed beyond all that. Remember that SyFy film where the approaching alien craft was so big that it created its own weather system as it entered the atmosphere? This is one of those. An unrivalled commitment to excellence.

  4. I remember this as well. It is a truly exceptional work and in a class of its own..

  5. If you ever get to Pearl Harbor the Missouri is a must see. I had the honor of reenlisting aboard her on my way home aboard USS Constellation after Iraqi Freedom. You can still see traces of damage from this incident.

  6. `ing ell, That is damn good.

  7. I have been following this whole process on another forum.
    And this is really a great diorama and work a WINER!


  8. I followed this build on another forum. The scratch building that went into this diorama is beyond comprehension!!! This is by far the best I have seen!!!!

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