What a nice surprise to find the only remaining JRS-1 on the planet in front of me. This particular aircraft was serving in the US Navy at Pearl Harbor and escaped being destroyed by the attack.
This type of aircraft flown as the civilian version was known as the S-43, a “Baby Clipper” used by Pan Am Airways and others for short haul missions to Cuba, Latin America, the inter-Hawaiian islands and other short hops. It was smaller than the S-42 and could accommodate up to 25 passengers however during its military service, carried depth charges and some cargo. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the ten undamaged JRS-1’s were launched in an effort to locate any enemy submarines or ships near Oahu. Initially not armed, the first missions included riflemen positioned on board near open windows and doors to shoot potential adversaries in case any were discovered. Later, these ten JRS-1 craft were armed with depth charges, one under each wing that could more effectively attack Japanese submarines. Thank you Smithsonian for being such an important part of saving our aviation heritage!