Built by Aichi, completed during early November 1943. Uncoded serial number 487. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to either the 582 Kōkūtai or 552 Kōkūtai. No known tail code.
Took off from Rabaul on a dive bombing mission against Arawe. Likely shot down by anti-aircraft fire or American fighters and crashed between December 15-31, 1943 during Japanese air raids against
the U. S. Army
beachead and U. S. Navy vessels supporting the American landing at Arawe (Cape Merkus).
Eninge and pieces of wreckage are present. The manufacure number 3487 is visible at three locations in the wreckage.
Mark Reichman adds:
"To find any remains would be quiet a task as the plane is scattered all over an area of 75 feet radius. I told Rod about it hoping with that and the Val in the water the Japanese would want to come get the remains. The site is just a tourist attraction now but no tourist come here and when they do the locals are suspicious like I've said before. The locals do try to sell the aluminum but don't get near as much what they are hoping so that practice has stopped for now particularly when timber companies are paying out royalties. Propellers are popular though cause they are heavy. Fortunately, they are pretty hard to cut off but any that are broken off in the crash are carried away."
"Serial Number & Production Sequence D3A2 Carrier Bombers" by Jim Long, page B
Thanks to Mark Reichman for additional information
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December 27, 2018