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|Pilot LS Ishisugi (MIA / KIA)
Gunner PO1c Sakurai (MIA / KIA)
Crashed December 27, 1943
Built by Aichi. At the factory, painted with dark green upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 99 Carrier Bomber Model 22 / Ku Ku Kamba (Kanbaku) / D3A2 Val.
In late 1943, assigned to the 522 Kōkūtai. Tail code 52-???. Between November 14-17, 1943 arrived at Rabaul and operated in the area until December 5, 1943 when flown to Truk for rest and recuperation. On December 15, 1943 flown back to Rabaul in response to the Allied landing at Arawe (Cape Merkus).
On December 15, 1943 took off from Truk on a flight to Rabaul. On December 18, 1943 the unit moved to Keravat Airfield. Likely, this Val flew dive bombing missions between December 17-26, 1943 against Arawe (Cape Merkus) on West New Britain until lost.
On December 27, 1943 took off from Keravat Airfield near Rabaul piloted by LS Ishisugi with gunner PO1c Sakurai on a dive bombing mission against shipping off Arawe (Cape Merkus). The formation included eight D3A2 Vals from the 522 Kōkūtai (two aborted) plus nine D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kōkūtai escorted by 40+ Zeros. This Val was flying in 2nd Shotai, 4th position. Attacking PT-190 "Jack O' Diamonds" and PT-191 "Bambi" until intercepted by P-47s, this dive bomber was shot down. When this aircraft failed to return, listed as Missing In Action (MIA). Also lost were two D3A2 Vals from the 582 Kokutai.
At Close Quarters page 217 describes one of the three Val losses:
"[December 27, 1943 Aboard PT-100 TM3C Stephen P.] LeFebver scrambled back to his gun and opened fire on a plane off the port quarter, following it around to the starboard bow. The plane caught fire, and crashed ashore."
Serial Number & Production Sequence D3A2 Carrier Bombers by Jim Long
Kodochosho 552 Kōkūtai, December 27, 1943
At Close Quarters page 217
Aichi D3A2 Val possible crew members lost December 15-27, 1943 by Justin Taylan
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