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D3A1 carrier dive bomber in flight over Sand Island, Midway Atoll, 4 Jun 1942

Caption     D3A1 carrier dive bomber in flight over Sand Island, Midway Atoll, 4 Jun 1942 ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Navy
More on...   
D3A   Main article  Photos  
Battle of Midway and the Aleutian Islands   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Midway Bases   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 4 Jun 1942
Photos at Same Place Midway, US Pacific Islands
Added By C. Peter Chen
Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
20 Jul 2015 07:00:36 PM


At the start of the Pacific War, Japanese aircraft
were lightly built and lacked armor protection for crew and fuel tanks. Once Allied pilots started to use new tactics against these aircraft Japanese losses started to mount.
It was a master that could avoid being shot down and live to fight another day. Short bursts from the heavy US .50 Caliber machine gun round, would be enough to rip into the wings and fuselage, this would break up the aircraft or turn it into a flaming torch.


As the war continued most of Japan's veteran crews were killed or wounded in battle and replaced with men that in pre-war Naval Pilot Training, would have been rejected. This wasn't due to their lack of flying skill or the academic training needed, the Imperial Navy couldn't keep up with the losses and didn't have a second-line pool of trained pilots.
Veteran pilots that survived the air battles were later needed as flight instructors were far to few.

Everything was up front and only the very, very best were taken for pre-war pilot training. Did you know that during WWII Japan produced almost 80,000 aircraft, while the United States produced over 300,000 aircraft. Japan was out produced and was able to train pilots faster than Japan.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Oct 2016 07:02:35 PM


Looks like this Val is inverted
and trying to evade those .50 caliber rounds fired from a US fighter. Like most
Japanese aircraft, the Aichi D3A "Val" had no armor protection for the crew or fuel tanks.
Most US pilots used what is called deflection shooting, that is shooting just a head of the target, so the slugs meet the aircraft at the same time.
The lightly armed D3A "Val"
had 2 x 7.7mm machine guns for the pilot and 1 x 7.7mm for the rear gunner still not enough to duke it out with a fighter...

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Modern Day Location
WW2-Era Place Name Midway, US Pacific Islands
Lat/Long 28.2014, -177.3814
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