Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42 (Combat Aircraft) by Osamu Tagaya

By Osamu Tagaya

The Aichi kind ninety nine provider Bomber (D3A) - code named 'Val' through Allied intelligence - was once 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 airplane in the course of international struggle II (1939-1945). whereas the Val's participation within the significant service battles has been extensively lined in different English language assets, information of its operations have got scant awareness in English. This e-book explores the Val's strive against operations. color illustrations and pictures supplement the advance of dive-bombing tools within the IJN.

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Extra resources for Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42 (Combat Aircraft)

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Kobayashi’s two orphaned wingmen dove on the destroyer USS Helm (DD-388) outside the harbour, inflicting slight damage with near misses. Observer/commander of the No 3 machine, FPO 3/c Akira Okura, was badly wounded by flak from Helm, however. Akagi’s dive-bombers approached the harbour from the southeast at an altitude of 3500 m and began a shallow descent as they crossed Honolulu. The bombs of the leader, Lt Takehiko Chihaya (with FPO 1/c Kiyoto Furuta as pilot), and of both his wingmen splashed near the oiler Neosho, which was now headed into Southeast Loch.

After sunrise, Yamaguchi’s carriers put a succession of five attack waves over Wake with no losses. Soryu provided the first strike from 0716 hrs to 0745 hrs, consisting of six Type 99s and six Zero-sens. Hiryu followed with six more dive-bombers and six Zero-sens from 0800 hrs to 0850 hrs, while other kanbaku flew anti-submarine patrols in surrounding waters. The last three strikes were flown by Type 97s. All resistance on the atoll ceased by 1400 hrs, and the last air strike was recovered by 1415 hrs.

But the very next day, as if in mockery of Combined Fleet’s decision, Enterprise and USS Yorktown (CV-5) hit the Marshalls. Akagi, Kaga and Zuikaku, still at Truk following Operation R, went after them, but the 1060-mile distance to the Marshalls was too great and the raiders escaped. With pursuit cancelled during the evening of 2 February, the three Japanese carriers headed for Palau, joining 2nd Koku Sentai there on the 8th. That day, Combined Fleet issued formal orders assigning Kido Butai to Kondo’s Southern Force.

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