By Osamu Tagaya
The Aichi variety ninety nine provider Bomber (D3A) - code named 'Val' via Allied intelligence - used to be the mainstay of the Imperial eastern Navy's provider dive-bomber strength from 1941 to 1943. It sank extra Allied warship tonnage than the other Axis plane in the course of global battle II (1939-1945). whereas the Val's participation within the significant provider battles has been largely coated in different English language resources, info of its operations have bought scant consciousness in English. This publication explores the Val's wrestle operations. color illustrations and images supplement the improvement of dive-bombing tools within the IJN.
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Additional info for Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42
Nonetheless, a difference of only one or two days in the schedule of either side might well have triggered the first carrier-versus-carrier battle in history barely two weeks after Pearl Harbor. But that was not to be. On 20 December Japanese intelligence mistakenly interpreted a liaison flight to Wake by a single PBY to be a transfer there of an entire squadron, prompting an urgent request from South Seas Force to move the carrier strike up by one day if possible. Soryu and Hiryu cranked up to 30 knots and plunged ahead, reaching a point 350 miles from Wake on the 21st.
Mission accomplished, 2nd Koku Sentai headed home. 23 December was also the day that the main body of Kido Butai reached Japan. On the 17th (the day after 2nd Koku Sentai had split off toward Wake) the seas subsided sufficiently for Nagumo’s carriers to resume flight operations for the first time since 8 December. Type 99 patrols kept a lookout for enemy submarines, mistaking whales for US submersibles on more than one occasion. Following the successful conclusion of the Wake Island operation, 2nd Koku Sentai returned home on the 29th.
The No 3 aeroplane of FPO 2/c Hideyasu Kuwabara (FPO 3/c Kenji Maruyama/pilot) from this shotai also failed to return. Japanese sources credit anti-aircraft fire from Helena with its demise, but it was possibly downed at a later point in the withdrawal. The third shotai split up to bomb widely separated targets. The leading aircraft of FPO 1/c Noboru Asakura (pilot) and FPO 1/c Kanetsugu Funasaki (observer/commander) claimed a hit on the battleship USS California (BB-44), moored off the southern end of ‘Battleship Row’, while the two wingmen splashed their bombs off the port quarter of the destroyer tender USS Dobbin (AD-3) anchored north of Ford Island.