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

Click For Enlargement
A. Cowan 2002

Click For Enlargement
Rod Pearce 2010

Pilot  Unknown (KIA, BR)
Gunner  Unknown (KIA, BR)

Crashed  December 15-31, 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Aichi. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to either the 582 Kōkūtai or 552 Kōkūtai. 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).

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.

Serial Number & Production Sequence D3A2 Carrier Bombers by Jim Long
Kodochosho, 552 Kōkūtai, December 17-31, 1942
Kodochosho, 582 Kōkūtai, December 15-31, 1942
After The Battle Number 133 "Aichi D3A 'Val' Recovery" by Rod Pearce
D3A2 Val crew members lost December 15-27, 1943 by Justin Taylan
Thanks to Rod Pearce and Mark Reichman for additional information

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Last Updated
December 27, 2018


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