The Aichi D3A (Allied code name "Val") was a World War II dive bomber produced by the Aichi company in Japan. It was the primary carrier-borne dive bomber in the Imperial Japanese Navy in the early stages of the war, and participated in almost all actions, including Pearl Harbor.
Aichi D3A in Days of Infamy[edit | edit source]
The D3A was used with great effect in the raids on Pearl Harbor and against American carriers during the opening days of the invasion of Hawaii. The D3A proved decisive in winning the battle for Hawaii as the dive bomber supported the Imperial Japanese Army, helping clear out American strongpoints and artillery positions.
The Aichis were also decisive in the Japanese success against the first US attempt to retake Hawaii, but by the spring of 1943, the Aichis had become obsolescent. During the Second Battle of the North Pacific the D3As were largely devoid of proper air cover and were all shot down, without doing significant damage to the US fleet.
Aichi D3A in The War That Came Early[edit | edit source]
The Val was the most effective dive bomber the Japanese Navy had when they opened up the war in the Pacific in January 1941. It reminded many US Marines and sailors of the German Stuka and proved to be just as deadly.
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