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|Pilot Ensign Yobishi Kagawa (KIA)
Observer PO2c Toshiyuki Moriyama (KIA)
Crashed October 16, 1942
Finding none, the formation instead bombed a tanker unloading off the north coast of Guadalcanal. The dive bombers claimed four direct hits causing a fire and four near misses. During the attack, three Vals were shot down over the target area and observed to crash including one shot down by an F4F Wildcat. Returning, the formation encountered bad weather. When this Val failed to return it was reported as missing when the five surviving Vals landed at Kahili Airfield at 9:30pm.
Jim Long adds:
Plate from bomb rack:
Plate from dive brake:
Plate from 74-Liter Gas Tank
Plate from a 3-Liter tank
There were 15 enclosures, including eight photos and translations of battery marking, landing gear shock absorber nameplate, tail wheel shock absorber nameplate, a safety switch marking, engine nameplate, Kinsei Engine Model 44 w/diagram of vacuum pump, gas tank nameplate, Dive brake nameplate, magneto nameplate, and two other nameplates.
I call your attention to the four serial numbers on the four nameplates from Val 11 #3122. Two of them have the airframe manufacture number and two do not. If the Allied inspectors of this wreck had recovered only the nameplate with #3111 on it, they might well have assumed back in September 1942 that the airframe's manufacture number was #3111, and they would have been wrong. Later on the Allied crash inspectors knew better than to assume that all nameplates on a particular airframe carried the airframe manufacture number, but early in the war they didn't understand why the various nameplates had different numbers. They assumed at that early time that the Japanese were cannibalizing parts from disabled planes to keep other planes flying.
That did happen to some extent, but not nearly as much as might be assumed, and cannibalization was not the main reason for the abundance of numbers. The main reasons were (1) that component parts were numbered in the same way as the whole airplanes were numbered, and (2) all of the numbers looked the same, whether they were for components or for whole airplanes, and (3) production line personnel were under no pressure to assure that all serial numbers on an individual airframe matched.
When an assembler working on airframe #3122 drew the the 74-liter fuel tank, he didn't look to see what the serial number of it was. He didn't care that the tank had #3124 on it; all he wanted was a tank that was completed, inspected, and ready to be installed. That is how tank #3124 wound up on airplane #3122, instead of on airplane #3124. Airplane #3124 might well have had fuel tank #3122 on it. Such was the dynamic and hectic scene at the assembly building. The only airplanes that might have had all of the nameplates on each of them carrying the same numbers as the airframes, themselves, were the early machines: the prototype and a few of the other experimental planes . . . and perhaps the first few production planes."
8 44' S
158 13' E
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