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  D3A2 Model 22 Val Manufacture Number 1520  
IJN
582 Kōkūtai
or 552 Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
Mark Reichman 2007

Aircraft History
Built by Aichi and completed by the middle of December 1943. Uncoded serial number 517. At the factory, painted with dark green upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces.

Wartime History
Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 99 Carrier Bomber / Ku Ku Kamba (Kanbaku) / D3A Val. Assigned to either the 582 Kōkūtai or 552 Kōkūtai. No known tail code. This Val operated from Rabaul.

Mission History
Between December 15-31, 1943 this Val took off from Rabaul on a dive bombing mission against the U. S. Army beachhead at Arawe (Cape Merkus) or U. S. Navy vessels offshore. Over the target, shot down by anti-aircraft fire or U. S. fighters. During these raids, the Japanese lost a total of twenty Vals.

Wreckage
This Val crashed on land. During 2007, the tail wheel assembly and some wing structure remained at the crash site.

Mark Reichman adds:
"Not much there but the tail wheel and some wing structure.  By the time we got to the site, we only had 15 minutes to snap pictures as we had to hike back to a timber company road to meet a truck to take us back to the Pulie River.  We heard or other pieces in the area that may be parts of this plane."

References
Serial Number & Production Sequence D3A2 Carrier Bombers by Jim Long
Kodochosho, 552 Kōkūtai, December 17-31, 1942
Kodochosho, 582 Kōkūtai, December 15-31, 1942
D3A2 Val crew members lost December 15-27, 1943 by Justin Taylan
Thanks to Mark Reichman and Hiteoshi Toshi for additional information

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Last Updated
December 27, 2018

 

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