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Akimoto Tamotsu and Koitabashi Hiroshi flying their D3A carrier dive bomber (foreground) returning to carrier Shokaku after attacking USS Enterprise during Battle of the Eastern Solomons, 24 Aug 1942

Caption     Akimoto Tamotsu and Koitabashi Hiroshi flying their D3A carrier dive bomber (foreground) returning to carrier Shokaku after attacking USS Enterprise during Battle of the Eastern Solomons, 24 Aug 1942 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseAustralian War Memorial via Wikimedia Commons
Link to Source    Link
Identification Code   P02886.001
More on...   
D3A   Main article  Photos  
Solomon Islands Campaign   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos on Same Day 24 Aug 1942
Photos at Same Place Pacific Ocean
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  This work is believed to be in the public domain.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Jun 2015 06:11:05 PM


Tight formation photograph of Aichi D3A1 Vals
At wars start, the Imperial Navy had very highly trained dive bomber pilots their training and tactics sank a large number of allied ships.


Photo shows the pilots optical sight mounted in front of the windscreen. The optical sight was a tube w/magnification cross-hair reticle this added the pilot in his attack. Most pilots dived at a 60 degree angle.
The dive bombing sight was manufactured by Oigee Nihon-Kogaku this company was the predecessor of today's Nikon Optics of Japan.

Before WWII many countries in the world built
aviation instruments, engines and other related equipment under license or improved on them.
Weapons load was 1 x 350kg/550lb bomb and
2 x 60kg/130lb bombs under each wing. The D3A
was armed w/2 x 7.7mm type 97 machine guns
fired by the pilot w/500 rounds per gun.
The gunner was armed with 1 x 7.7mm type 92 machine gun w/6 x 97 round magazines of ammo
holding 582 rounds.

Surviving D3A1's and D3A2's were modified into dual-control trainers. The Val ended its service life like most other Japanese aircraft used in the Kamikaze role against allied naval forces.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
28 Jun 2015 03:59:36 PM


Above file photograph is taken from a Japanese film, shot from another Val Dive Bomber.
You can watch this short film on YOU TUBE:
Click to VAL D3A. Last time I watched it the short film was still available.


Pilot has been issued the winter model, type 30, flying helmet lined w/fur and goggles issued from 1939 -1945, silk scarf. Some pilots wore mufflers made from wool worn around the neck.
Flying suit wool material dark brown in color with gloves and boots. Float vest dark brown color made from cloth material w/sewn tube like chambers filled with kapok, flight harness and type 97 parachute.
You can see the gunner hunkered down in the back. Weapon is the air-cooled 7.7mm type 92 machine gun.

Not all Japanese aircrew were issued side arms those that did, were armed w/semi-auto Nambu pistols or revolvers. Carrying of swords not all navy pilots carried them some aircraft had little room for them in the cockpit.

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