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Wreckage of a Japanese D3A Navy Type 99 'Val' aircraft that crashed into the USS Curtiss' starboard forward crane during the Pearl Harbor raid, 7 Dec 1941, photo 1 of 2

Caption     Wreckage of a Japanese D3A Navy Type 99 'Val' aircraft that crashed into the USS Curtiss' starboard forward crane during the Pearl Harbor raid, 7 Dec 1941, photo 1 of 2 ww2dbase
Photographer    Unknown
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   19-N-26295
More on...   
D3A   Main article  Photos  
Attack on Pearl Harbor   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Pearl Harbor Navy Base and Ford Island Naval Air Station   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Photos in Series See all photos in this series
Photos on Same Day 7 Dec 1941
Photos at Same Place Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
Added By C. Peter Chen

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (740 by 590 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Dec 2010 01:30:52 PM

Wreckage of one of the fifteen D3A1s shot down during the attack on Pearl Harbor killing both crewman.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
1 Jan 2012 05:06:54 PM

Have a photograph of the "Val" dive-bomber
A1-225, from the Carrier Akagi that was hit by anti-aircraft fire, during the second wave attack with the right wing on fire and
was moments away from crashing into the seaplane tender USS Curtiss.

Twenty men were killed and others wounded in the attack. The Curtiss took near misses and one bomb hitting her top midship superstructure and causing damage to the engine room, the Curtiss was repaird within a month of the attack.

USS Curtiss served in the Pacific in various
duties, during the Okinawa campaign, she was hit by a kamikaze and suffered damage and the loss of thirtyfive KIA and twentyone wounded. She was decommissioned in 1957 and taken off naval ships register in 1963 later scrapped in 1972.

Did you know...
The Aichi D3A "Val" was the first Japanese
aircraft to drop its bombs against American
targets over Pearl Harbor 12/7/41

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3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
2 Jan 2012 06:12:35 PM

The Aichi D3A "Val" was really obsolete at the start of the Pacific war. It was a 1936 design and first used in China and Indochina
During the first ten months of the Pacific war, the "Val" sank more Allied ships than any other Japanese aircraft.


The D3A lacked armor for the crew, and fuel tank protection it carried five unprotected
fuel tanks in the wings, two in each wing, one tank under the pilots seat and a small tank located in the starboard wing holding
100 octane fuel used for takeoff, and a oil tank behind the engine.

Japanese aircraft were designed from combat experience over China, attacking a weaker nation and maintaining control of the air.
The D3A had three 7.7mm machine guns for defense or attack the "Val" did have good maneuverability and good stability in a dive, it was built light but strong in its construction. In a dogfight against enemy fighters it posed no threat but needed fighter cover for protection.

In 1942 an improved model D3A2 saw service
Howerer, by 1943 it was also outclassed by
newer Allied combat aircraft, and was an easy target.


Last improvment in the D3A, was the Yokosuka
D3Y it was built from wood and was designed as a two-seat bomber and trainer. The design was based on the D3A "Val" dive bomber.
The wings were not elliptical as in the older design, but were now straight and tapered, the fuselage was longer for better stability.
The D3Y was to be armed w/2x20mm cannons in
the engine cowling and 1x800kg/1760lb bomb. Five aircraft were built before the end of the war.


Like most Japanese combat aircraft the "Val"
ended its service days as a Kamikaze aircraft
Did you know...
It took two years for the Imperial Japanese Navy to train a carrier pilot. Pilots had
combat experience and hundreds of flying hrs.
before war with the United States.
After the Battle of Midway June 1942, and the following Naval battles, the Imperial
Navy lost most of its veteran crews and with
mounting losses, the Japanese couldn't keep
pace with training replacement pilots those
that followed would never have been selected or finish flight training before the Pacific war.


The Japanese created a system that selected only the very, very best for flight schools
as losses mounted, the very best and the best
student pilots, were not there to fill the
losses. Those that washed out of flight training wasn't due to poor flying skills or academics, but due to the intense training
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
3 Jan 2012 07:59:34 PM


The Aichi D3A "Val" was armed with 2x7.7mm
forward firing Type 97 machine guns, fired by the pilot, with about 53 seconds firing time.


The rear gunner had 1x7.7mm Type 92 machine gun. A cutaway drawing, of the Val, showns three magazines for the Type 92 that are stored on the port side so I can assume that three more magazines are stored on the starboard side plus one magazine on the Type 92 machine gun.
How many magazines were taken into combat is unknown, I guess its up to the gunner what he's comfortable with.
Any type of automatic weapon, eats up a lot of lead, and fast! and in the heat of battle who's counting rounds. The Type 92 machine gun was fed by a 47 or 97 round magazine this weapon was based on the British Lewis machine gun.


"Val" carried 1x250kg/551lb bomb under the fuselage, and underwing racks 2x60kg/132lb
bombs. D3A pilots were highly trained in the
art of dive bombing.

I thank the editor/ww2db for allowing me to
post the information, that I have collected over the past 35 years covering the military history of WWII.
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
12 Jan 2012 03:03:36 PM


The Aichi Type 99 "Val" dive-bomber that
crashed into the USS Curtiss, after taking hits from anti-aircraft fire, could have been
the Shotai or lead plane, in a three plane flight.
The lead pilot selected the target, and the other two planes followed, dropping their bombs. One "Val" dove into the topside crane and exploded another bomb was a near miss off the stern, and the last bomb hit the superstructure.
The ship took two 250kg/500lb bomb hits and one near miss plus the exploding "Val".
The Curtiss was also a target of a midget sub one torpedo was fired, but missed the ship.
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
7 Sep 2015 05:29:04 PM


What's left of a Val dive bomber after impact left little to recognize as an aircraft. I couldn't even tell you if its a fuselage or what.
The Duraluminum skin just crumpled, I don't know the thickness (gauge) of the aircraft's skin the leading edge of the wings and stabilizers would be much thicker to withstand dives and pullouts.
The rest of the aircraft must have just completely
disintegrated upon impact of fire...finding the remains of the crew must have been horrible
The Val like all other Japanese aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbor lacked both crew and fuel protection, built as light as possible but still able to take loads and stress of flight.
It would be interesting to see a computer type program that would show what happened to the Zeros, Kates and Vals during impact.

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