Quotes - D3A

Early in 1943, dive bomber units started receiving the new Type 99 dive bombers called model 22. There were not much difference in the airframe, but it had a more powerful engine and was faster than the model 11. We started testing the new planes immediately.

I was ordered to carry out a fuel consumption test with a 250kg (550lb) bomb. I flew for one hour at 5,000 meters as specified, and came back to the base on Takeshima (Truk). It was then that I was struck with a strange idea.

"Can this thing, with the more powerful motor, be looped with the bombload?"

I knew that the unit commander was watching from below, but I could not resist the temptation to put my idea into practice, and decided that this was going to be a part of the testing today.

"Here we go!" I put the plane in a dive, and pushed the throttle lever forward to full throttle. The plane collected airspeed as it dove, and hit 180 knots. This is the normal speed where we start loop maneuvers but I went further and waited until speed came up to 220 knots.

"Now" I pulled back gradually and started the loop. The engine was screaming at full throttle. The airframe seemed to withstand the terrific G. The plane was climbing, drawing a vertical circle. I looked at the wings and on both wings, the outer panels developed small waves on the surface from the stress of the loop. The G effect to my body was not as bad as it would be pulling out of a dive bombing run. Eventaully I was on the top of the loop, fully inverted, and began to see the horizon. Speed was 80 knots.

"It's okay now" I thought. The bomb was still hanging on the belly of the plane which was now going into a dive, drawing a full loop.

"I did it!" I yelled. I was probably the only fool who ever looped a Type 99 with a 250kg bomb.

Kunio Kosemoto, Chief Petty Officer
Gekito Kanbakutai , Kunio Kosemoto ISBN4-257-17258-4

The dive bombers we received at Yokosuka-ku were nine factory-fresh Type 99 Mark 2 Carrier Dive Bombers (D3A2 also known as Type 99 Model 22) . In the back seat of the Mark 2 bombers was the dive angle indicator which was new to us. In October 1942, front-line carriers were still equipped with Mark 1 bombers and still did not carry these Mark 2's. We were told that the Mark 2's were faster than the older plane by about 10 knots, and we felt very good, feeling like we received a totally new plane.

Meirei Ikka Idetatsu-ha , Kiyoshi Matsunami ISBN4-7698-2094-1

"1500!" yelled PO2 Takano. At around this altitude, machine gun fire from enemy AA positions as well as the target ship swarmed into my sight like red ice candies.

"Altitude 1000". AA fire is more intense and my sight was filled with the battleship and the ice candies. I could even hear the close ones fly past my plane.

"800!" I aimed at the bridge. The battleship was ever so large.

"600" "Get ready"

"450!" "Bombs away!" I yanked the ejection cable with my left hand. My #25 (250kg bomb) was released without a sound. At the same time, I pulled back at the stick with all my might in the midst of black smoke and AAfire. I banked slightly to the left and charged on. I almost blacked out from the G. As I recovered my sight, I heard PO2 Takano scream "A direct hit! Banzai!"

Kunio Kosemoto, Soryu dive bomber unit, Pearl Harbor December 8th, 1941
Gekito Kanbakutai , Kunio Kosemoto ISBN4-257-17258-4

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