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

Click For Enlargement
A. Cowan 2002

Click For Enlargement
Rod Pearce 2010

Pilot  Possible crews
Gunner  Possible crews

Crashed  December 15-31, 1943


Aircraft History
Built by Aichi. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned 582 Kokutai or 552 Kokutai. No known tail number or markings. The tail hook component dataplate is serial number 3669.

Wartime History
This aircraft crashed into the sea killing both crew members on impact. 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).

Wreckage
This aircraft was known to local fisherman as an airplane wreck in the area. During 2001, discovered by Mark Reichman and his sons Jared and Micah in 7m of murky water.

Rod Pearce adds:
"About 20 years ago, a local told me about this wreck. I searched for it for about 2 days and could not find it. A missionary person there, Mark Reichman who was a keen diver found it and we dove it."

During 2010, a team from the Japanese Government Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare chartered MV Barbarian. At the site, the remains of the crew were recovered and personel effects including a pistol. Afterwards, the remains were returned to Japan.

References
Kodochosho, 552 Kōkūtai, December 17-31, 1942
Kodochosho, 582 Kōkūtai, December 15-31, 1942
After The Battle Number 133 "Aichi D3A 'Val' Recovery
Thanks to Rod Pearce and Mark Reichman for additional information

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

Tech Info
Val

SCUBA
7m

Photos
Photo Archive

Research Discovery
by Rod Pearce

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  Pacific Wrecks Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to bringing home those Missing In Action (MIA) and leveraging new technologies in the study of World War II Pacific and the Korean War.  
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