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Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal

Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal

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had many names, each depending on the period of its existence, and the circumstances at that time. Many of the names were acronyms that were derived from its military name or designation, which changed from time to time. The arsenal was sometimes known as "Kūgi-shō" (a contraction of "Kōkū Gijutsu-shō"). The name Yokosuka prevailed however, even though it referred to the Arsenal's location at Yokosuka, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

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History


The air arsenal's roots go back to 1869 when the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 (IJN) established a naval arsenal at Yokosuka, about 13 miles south of Yokohama
Yokohama
is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu...

 on Tokyo Bay
Tokyo Bay
is a bay in the southern Kantō region of Japan. Its old name was .-Geography:Tokyo Bay is surrounded by the Bōsō Peninsula to the east and the Miura Peninsula to the west. In a narrow sense, Tokyo Bay is the area north of the straight line formed by the on the Miura Peninsula on one end and on...

. The arsenal provided ship building, repair and replenishment to the Japanese Navy. It was also a storage depot where munitions and other assorted supplies were brought as they were purchased.

When a number of foreign aircraft were purchased for evaluation, the Navy brought them to the arsenal for processing. The arsenal assembled the aircraft from their shipping boxes, and when assembled, they were flown by the pilots who had been sent abroad for flying lessons and evaluate the aircraft flown.

Modifications to these aircraft were done as weaknesses were found, or when an improvement was incorporated. To facilitate this work, the IJN established the Aeroplane Factory, Ordnance Department at the arsenal's torpedo factory in May 1913.

The next year, the first acronym was used was Yokosho, a contraction of "Yokosuka Kaigun Kōshō" (Yokosuka Naval Arsenal). The arsenal was renamed "Kaigun Kōkū Shiken-sho" (Naval Establishment for Aeronautical Research) in December 1919. The name "Kaigun Gijutsu Kenkyūsho" (Naval Technical Research Institute) was assigned by April, 1923, when the arsenal was moved to Tsukiji
Tsukiji
Tsukiji is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, the site of the Tsukiji fish market. Literally meaning "reclaimed land," it lies near the Sumida River on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay in the 18th century, during the Edo period....

 with several other Naval support units. The entire Tsukiji facility was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake
1923 Great Kanto earthquake
The struck the Kantō plain on the Japanese main island of Honshū at 11:58:44 am JST on September 1, 1923. Varied accounts hold that the duration of the earthquake was between 4 and 10 minutes...

. Several names were used when the navy began establishment of the arsenal. Research was started again in 1924 when several aircraft were evaluated. Under the command of the newly formed Naval Air Headquarters, the Kaigun Kokusho (Naval Air Arsenal) was formed at Yokosuka on 1 April, 1932. A large amount of draftsmen and Designers were transferred from the Hiro Naval Arsenal
Hiro Naval Arsenal
The Hiro Naval Arsenal at Kure was a production facility for seaplanes, flying boats, and aero engines for the Imperial Japanese Navy before and during World War II...

, ending aircraft production there.

The war years


During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the arsenal was responsible for the design of several IJN aircraft, although the arsenal itself did not manufacture more than a few prototypes of the aircraft it designed. Its designs were mass produced by companies such as Aichi Kokuki
Aichi Kokuki
was a Japanese aircraft manufacturer which produced several designs for the Imperial Japanese Navy.The company was established in 1898 in Nagoya as Aichi Tokei Denki Seizo Co., Ltd. . Aircraft production started in 1920, and the company relied initially on technical assistance from Heinkel, which...

, Watanabe Tekkōjo steel foundry, renamed in 1943 to (Kyushu Armaments), and the Hiro Naval Arsenal
Hiro Naval Arsenal
The Hiro Naval Arsenal at Kure was a production facility for seaplanes, flying boats, and aero engines for the Imperial Japanese Navy before and during World War II...

 (Hiro Kaigun Kōshō, which is often abbreviated as Hirosho).) Aircraft designed by the arsenal are usually designated by the manufacturer's letter "Y" for "Yokosuka".

An example of the above is the Yokosuka D4Y1
Yokosuka D4Y
The D4Y Navy Type 2 Carrier Dive bomber was operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. Its Allied reporting name was "Judy". The D4Y was one of the fastest dive-bombers of the war, and only the delays in its development hindered its service, while its predecessor, the slower fixed gear Aichi D3A...

 Carrier Attack Bomber (Suisei (Comet) Model 11 which was mainly produced by Aichi. The D4Y1 and later models were produced by Dai-Jūichi Kaigun Kōkū-shō (11th Naval Arsenal) at Hiro
Hiro
Hiro may refer to:* Hiroo, Hokkaido, a town in Japan* Hiro Naval Arsenal at Kure, Hiroshima* Hiroshima, a city in Japan* Hiro , a Canadian short film-People:* Hiro Yamagata , Japanese painter/artist...

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