By Osamu Tagaya
The Aichi variety ninety nine service Bomber (D3A) - code named 'Val' by way of Allied intelligence - was once the mainstay of the Imperial jap Navy's service dive-bomber strength from 1941 to 1943. It sank extra Allied warship tonnage than the other Axis plane in the course of international warfare II (1939-1945). whereas the Val's participation within the significant service battles has been greatly lined in different English language assets, information of its operations have bought scant consciousness in English. This booklet explores the Val's wrestle operations. color illustrations and pictures supplement the improvement of dive-bombing equipment within the IJN.
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Additional info for Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42
Itazu hastily ordered Kondo to reset his sights on the California to starboard. Having thus extended their dive, they barely managed to pull out in time, the metal skin on the wings of their Type 99 creasing in protest at the stress loads incurred. ‘We flashed past below the level of the main masts and saw a column of smoke and flame rise amidships behind the smoke stack’. The entire third shotai aimed for the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) moored inboard of the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37), which had already capsized following attacks by torpedo-bombers in the first wave.
Total Japanese losses came to four aircraft and three airmen – two Type 99s, a Zero-sen from Hiryu that crashed on Melville Island with its pilot subsequently captured and a Type 97 from Kaga that ditched near the task force with combat damage, the crew being rescued. The raiders departed shortly after 1030 hrs, leaving a scene of utter devastation behind them. During the return flight, the Japanese spotted a vessel 100 miles north of Darwin. After refuelling and rearming back aboard the carriers, nine dive-bombers each from Soryu and Hiryu, armed with 250 kg ordinary bombs, were sent to deal with it at 1436 hrs.
But the very next day, as if in mockery of Combined Fleet’s decision, Enterprise and USS Yorktown (CV-5) hit the Marshalls. Akagi, Kaga and Zuikaku, still at Truk following Operation R, went after them, but the 1060-mile distance to the Marshalls was too great and the raiders escaped. With pursuit cancelled during the evening of 2 February, the three Japanese carriers headed for Palau, joining 2nd Koku Sentai there on the 8th. That day, Combined Fleet issued formal orders assigning Kido Butai to Kondo’s Southern Force.
Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42 by Osamu Tagaya