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  D3A2 Model 22 Val Manufacture Number 3041 Tail 1-2-204
IJN
1st Carrier Division
Zuikaku

Aircraft History
Built by Aichi during late October or early November 1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the 1st Carrier Division to Zuikaku. Tail 1-2-204.

Mission History
On April 7, 1943 took off as part of Operation I-Go Sakusen on a dive bombing mission against American shipping in Tulagi Harbor off Tulagi. Over the target, shot down by an American fighter and crashed on the the northwest coast of Florida Island (Nggela Sule).

Wreckage
This crash site was surveyed by American intelligence that noted the manufacture number 3041 and tail number 1-2-204. It was deemed to have been shot down by an American fighter based on .50 caliber strikes found on the aircraft. Possibly, this Val was shot down by F4F Wildcat 12084 piloted by 1st Lt. James E. Swett.

A total of three Vals went down on Florida Island (Nggela Sule). Afterwards, all three were investigated including this aircraft, D3A2 Val 3018 and D3A2 Val 3014. One of the dive bombers that crashed on land was investigated and two rolls of exposed 35mm film were found. These contained numerous views of the new Type 99 model 22 dive bomber and allowed the Allies to make a detailed visual comparison with the earlier version.

References
"Serial Number & Production Sequence D3A2 Carrier Bombers" by Jim Long
X Attack of I-Operation by Richard Dunn page 39, 44

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
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