Mitsubishi G3M “Nell“, 1935-1945
“By nightfall on Friday the 8th, the Japanese goodwill tour had reached Chicago but did not spend the weekend there as originally intended. Saturday morning they took to the air again, winging toward Newark, New Jersey.
“The Japanese world fliers left their airplane at Newark Municipal Hangar and checked into the Hotel Commodore [in New York City] for several days. Sightseeing throughout the region included trips across the Hudson to Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the Bronx Zoo, the Aquarium at the Battery and of course New York’s World’s Fair of 1939, particularly the Aviation Pavilion.
“Scheduled departure on Tuesday the 12th was postponed for twenty-four hours. The reason for the delay was not rain or mechanical problems, but a baseball game. The Japanese wanted to see Joe DiMaggio in action at Yankee Stadium.”
– Around-the-World Flights: A History, Patrick M. Stinson, 2011
“A second major Japanese achievement was recorded in 1939 when, once again, the world appears to have been taken completely by surprise as the result of another record-breaking flight. This was a good-will circumnavigation of the globe undertaken by Nippon (J-BACI), a civil transport version of the twin-engined Mitsubishi G3M2 monoplane bomber that had already made its presence felt in China.
“Departing Tokyo on 26 August, the flight should have included a European leg, but this had to be abandoned due to the outbreak of war; instead Nippon flew across the USA and onto South America before a crossing of the Atlantic that saw it taking in Senegal and Morocco. In total, the flight was completed in fifty-five days, with Nippon arriving back in Tokyo on 20 October having flown 32,862 miles in 194 flying hours.”
– Air Wars 1920-1939: The Development and Evolution of Fighter Tactics, by Philip MacDougall, 2017