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