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  D3A1 Model 11 Val  
12nd Kōkūtai
3rd Chutai

Pilot  S1C ? Harada (KIA)
Observer  S1C Satoshi Kuramochi (POW, survived)

Crashed  October 25, 1940

Aircraft History
Built by Aichi. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the 12th Kokutai, 3rd Chutai. When lost, this was the first combat loss of a Type 99 Dive Bomber (D3A1 Val).

Mission History
On October 25, 1940 took off from Hankow Airfield on a dive bombing mission against Chungking. This aircraft flew as the third Val in the 3rd Chutai. Over the target, damaged by anti-aircraft fire. The crew reported via their aerial telegraph that they were experiencing engine trouble, and soon afterwards began trailing white smoke. The Val waggled its wings in salute then crashed 15 nautical miles east of Chunking into a rice patty.

Osamu Tagaya adds:
"One of them was killed (I think Harada the pilot), the other (Kuramochi?) was captured and repatriated postwar. During interrogation, he apparently furnished the first info ever obtained by the Allies concerning the Zero fighter, which of course, had only just made its combat debut a month before."

Kodochosho, 12th Kōkūtai, September 25, 1940.
Thanks to Osamu Tagaya for additional information.

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018


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