|Pilot Pilot (KIA)
Gunner Gunner (KIA)
Crashed December 15-31, 1943
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.
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.
Kodochosho, 552 Kōkūtai, December 17-31, 1942
Kodochosho, 582 Kōkūtai, December 15-31, 1942
After The Battle Number 133 "Aichi D3A 'Val' Recovery
Aichi D3A2 Val losses and air crews by Justin Taylan
Thanks to Rod Pearce and Mark Reichman for additional information
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October 31, 2018