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 #33 - PEARL HARBOR raid - Akagi's dive bombers

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Sidnei E. Maneta
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PostSubject: #33 - PEARL HARBOR raid - Akagi's dive bombers   Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:59 am



AI-201 was flown by a hikotaicho. The crew were PO1c Kiyoto Furuta (pilot) and Lt. Takehiko Chihaya (gunner/radioman).
Note the three red hikotaicho horizontal stripes. During second wave attack, 18 Val dive-bombers of the Akagi unit
target the tanker USS Neosho during her sortie, the floating dry dock (USS Shaw), the northwest side of Ford Island
(USS Raleigh, USS Tangier and USS Curtiss) and the battleship USS Maryland at Battleship Row. The first squadron
of 9 planes led by Lt. Chihaya. Four Kanbaku hit USS Shaw (three bombs struck the ship and one near hit) at 9:10
and started a fire that caused a might explosion at 9:30. Four Kanbaku attacked USS Neosho during her sortie to
Southeast loch and one Kanbaku attacked USS Maryland at Battleship Row.
INFO CREDIT: book Pearl Harbor, 1941 - the day of infamy, by Carl Smith,
and additional research by David Aiken - Osprey publishing.


AI-202 was flown by a wingman: PO3c Sakae Kogo (pilot).
On December 7, 1941, Lt. Takehiko Chihaya (first squadron) and Lt. Zenji Abe (second squadron) were leaders of
Akagi's dive bombers force with 18 Aichi D3A1, divided in 6 shotai (3 planes unit): 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 26th and 27th.
Four Akagi's D3A1 were shot down during the attack.
INFO CREDIT: David Aiken + book Pearl Harbor, 1941, by Carl Smith, Osprey publishing + http://www.navweaps.com/index_oob/OOB_WWII_Pacific/OOB_WWII_Pearl_Harbor.htm


AI-203 was flown by a wingman. F1c Takashi Ono (pilot). Note the "3" has a round top, not a FLAT top.
Number style depended on which maintenance unit was responsible. Aircraft in a unit may have different style numbers
if the aircraft changed maintenance units. INFO CREDIT: David Aiken.


AI-203 Fujimi's box-art


AI-205 was flown by a wingman. Crew unknown.


AI-206 was flown by a wingman. Crew unknown.


AI-207 was flown by a shotaicho. The crew were PO1c Yoshiharu Tanaka (pilot) and Lt JG Keizo Obuchi
(radioman/gunner). Note the black shotaicho horizontal stripe.


AI-208 was flown by a wingman.


AI-210 was flown by a buntaicho. The crew were Lt. Zenji Abe (pilot) and PO Chiaki Saito (radioman/gunner).
Note the two red buntaicho horizontal stripes. Three Kanbaku attacked USS Raleigh. One attacked USS Tangier
which crashed on USS Curtiss. Lt. Zenji Abe's interview states: "I could see indistinct, black anti-aircraft bursts,
flashes of exploding shells and tracers flying all around us... Because of heavy American defensive fire,
the dive-bombing attacks lacked coordination and were somewhat disorganized. Abe's target was the light cruiser Raleigh...
With the aircraft plummeting, Abe's rear seater -- Petty Officer Chiaki Saito -- called out the altitude as they dived, 800, 600...
Yoi (Ready)... Te! (Fire!). Abe pulled back hard on the bomb release and the control column. Just before his aircraft came level,
he nearly blacked out from the G forces. Peering to the rear, Saito screamed through the voice tube, Atarimashita! (It hit!)".


AI-210's pilot Zenji Abe photo #1
Lieutenant Zenji Abe at the deck of the Japanese aircraft carrier Akagi that was approaching to Pearl Harbor.
Akagi's second squadron of 9 planes were led by buntaicho Lt. Abe. His observer was excitedly calling out the results of
their bombing: "Formation leader short. Second plane short. Third plane hit! Adjustment correct. Second echelon successful!"
I was later able to identify our target as an Omaha - class light cruiser - USS Raleigh. The bomb struck Raleigh's stern
and passed completely through the ship, detonating on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. Although flooding on board the cruiser
grew worse, the crew managed to save it from sinking.
INFO CREDIT: To see his attack testimony go to:
http://www.historynet.com/lieutenant-zenji-abe-a-japanese-pilot-remembers.htm


AI-211 was flown by PO2c Gen Goto (pilot) and PO2c Michiji Utsugi (radioman/gunner). They were Zenji Abe's #2 wingmen.
This plane was attacked by George Welch and Utsugi hit Welch's P-40, then Ken Taylor attacked, wounded Utsugi and shot the
plane down into the ocean just south of the shore line, east of Barber's Point. This was Taylor's #2 kill of the day.


AI-211 aviation art #1
A bold attack on a strafing run - by Jack Matthews.
AVIATION ART CREDIT: Air Classics magazine, november 1993, volume 29, number 11, page 63. Research by David Aiken.


AI-211 aviation art # 2
2nd Lt. Kenneth Taylor's victory
AVIATION ART CREDIT: Tom Freeman, 1999. Note the dramatic scene of combat. The tail code AI-214 is incorrect.
David Aiken, Pearl Harbor historian, states that Goto's plane was AI-211, based on his research.


AI-218 was flown by a wingman at Pearl Harbor. The crew were PO3c Tokuji Iizuka (pilot) and PO2c Hiroshi Kawai (radioman/gunner). They had changed aircraft from their training D3A AI-208.


USS curtiss photo # 1
Akagi's Val crash on USS Curtiss
Photo # NH-96660 - USS Curtiss (AV-4) afire after she was hit by a crashing Japanese dive bomber.
At 0905 one of three planes pulling out of dive over Ford Island was hit by Curtiss, set afire, crashed into starboard side
against #1 crane. Plane disintegrated, gas tank exploded and the plane burned on the boat deck.
Crew of #3 gun was forced to abandon gun temporarily. - USS Curtiss, Action Report of Pearl Harbor Attack.
INFO CREDIT: Naval Historical Center Home Page - http://www.history.navy.mil


USS Curtiss photo # 2
One Second Wave's "Val" crashed on the USS Curtiss... not a "kamikaze" but a damaged plane who's pilot wanted
to bring some sort of meaning to his death by taking out the ship. INFO CREDIT: David Aiken.
This photo shows USS Curtiss (AV-4) burning after she was impacted on her starboard seaplane crane
by the crashing dive bomber.


USS Curtiss photo # 3
Photo #19-N-26302 - An officer and crewman with the wreckage of a Japanese Navy type 99 carrier bomber ("Val")
that crashed into the ship's forward crane, on the starboard side of the Boat Deck atop the hangar,
during the Pearl Harbor raid, 7 December 1941.This shows the tail of the aircraft, resting atop some of Curtiss' boats. Photographed on the ship's Boat Deck, 7 December 1941.
INFO CREDIT: Naval Historical Center Home Page - http://www.history.navy.mil
Mr. David Aiken, Pearl Harbor historian, states that Akagi D3A1s were painted M1. Relics from USS Curtiss confirm M1.
About tail code it was possibly "AI-225" or "AI-25x", from the carrier Akagi. The "25" comes from a drawing.


USS Curtiss photo # 4
Photo #19-N-26295 - Wreckage of a Japanese Navy type 99 carrier bomber ("Val") that crashed into the ship's
forward crane, on the starboard side of the Boat Deck atop the hangar, during the Pearl Harbor raid, 7 December 1941.
This was plane "AI-225" or "AI-25x", from the carrier Akagi. Photographed on the ship's Boat Deck, 7 December 1941.
INFO CREDIT: Naval Historical Center Home Page - http://www.history.navy.mil


AI-256 was flown by a wingman. F1c Isaku Mochizuki (pilot).


AI-256 box art #1
Dragon model kit #5054, scale 1/72.


D3A1 famous photo #1
Aichi D3A1 "Val" famous photo # 80-G-32908. Japanese Navy Type 99 Carrier Bomber "Val" in action during the attack.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives."
INFO CREDIT: Naval Historical Center Home Page - http://www.history.navy.mil


AI-260 was flown by a wingman. Crew unknown. After the attack, Akagi's planes strafe Ewa Marine Air Corps Station.
Later they flew to the rendezvous point - 20 miles west of Kaena Point at an altitude of 1000 meters. Flying around and
waited for the rest of the aircraft there. They waited for about a half-hour for all planes, but four Kanbaku didn't return.
14 planes of Akagi survived and they returned to Akagi. These dive-bombers had not been able to assess accurately the
damage to battleships because of smoke and fire, although one Omaha class cruiser (CL) was known hit.

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#33 - PEARL HARBOR raid - Akagi's dive bombers
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