By Osamu Tagaya
The Aichi kind ninety nine service Bomber (D3A) - code named 'Val' via Allied intelligence - was once the mainstay of the Imperial jap Navy's provider dive-bomber strength from 1941 to 1943. It sank extra Allied warship tonnage than the other Axis plane in the course of global conflict II (1939-1945). whereas the Val's participation within the significant service battles has been generally lined in different English language resources, info of its operations have got scant recognition in English. This publication explores the Val's strive against operations. color illustrations and pictures supplement the improvement of dive-bombing tools within the IJN.
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Extra resources for Aichi 99 Kanbaku 'Val' Units: 1937-42
The Japanese went ashore at Rabaul on the 23rd against minimal opposition. All four carriers contributed small patrols of dive-bombers and fighters, providing continuous air cover over the landing area in shifts. The sole loss was a Kaga Zero-sen and its pilot, downed by ground fire while strafing Vunakanau airfield. The carriers of 1st Koku Sentai returned to Truk on 27 January. 5th Koku Sentai joined it on the 29th, but Shokaku departed later that same day, bound for drydock in Yokosuka, Japan.
Although Japan had now achieved its main objectives, the war was far from over. In support of forthcoming operations to invade Burma and the Andaman Islands, Imperial Headquarters and Combined Fleet had formally decided on 14 February to undertake an operation to seek out and destroy the Royal Navy in the Indian Ocean, code-named Operation C. Consequently, on 3 March, Adm Yamamoto decided to order 5th Koku Sentai to rejoin Kido Butai with an effective date of the 5th. Once again, however, US carrier activity upset his schedule.
Two RAAF Catalinas were also shot down. On 22 January 1st Koku Sentai returned to Rabaul with 46 aircraft, taking out the gun batteries on Praed Point. Akagi sent 18 Type 97s while Kaga sent 16 Type 99s. Each carrier provided six Zero-sens. Two kanbaku ditched on return to Kaga, but both crews were rescued. The Japanese went ashore at Rabaul on the 23rd against minimal opposition. All four carriers contributed small patrols of dive-bombers and fighters, providing continuous air cover over the landing area in shifts.