Accident Aichi D3A1 (Val) EI-239,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 202981
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Sunday 7 December 1941
Type:Aichi D3A1 (Val)
Owner/operator:Imperial Japanese Navy
Registration: EI-239
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Aircraft missing
Location:north of Oahu, HI (Oahu attack) -   Pacific Ocean
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Shokaku
Destination airport:
At 0600 hrs on 7 December 1941, 230 miles north of Oahu, the Japanese aircraft carries of the Kido Butai started to launch the aircraft of the first attack wave against Pearl Harbour. It comprised 183 aircraft: 89 B5N (49 configured as horizontal bombers, armed with armour-piercing 800 kg bombs, and 40 carrying torpedoes), 52 D3A (26 each of Zuikaku and Shokaku, all armed with a single 242 kg Type 98 Land Bomb for use against Oahu's airfields) and 43 A6M Zero escort fighters.

While Zuikaku D3A bomber Wheeler Field, those of Shokaku flew towards Pearl Harbor, 9 attacking the seaplane base of Ford Island and 17 Hickam Field, the USAAF main bomber base on Oahu, southeast of Pearl Harbor. The Shokaku dive-bombers destroyed numerous aircraft and seaplanes and even after the attack met in the air a SBD of the Enterprise and shot it down without loss, only four of them being hit by enemy fire.

But still they were to lose one of their own, but to navigational error rather than enemy action. 'EI-239', the last aircraft in Lt Fujita's chutai, lost its way during the return flight. It was flown by F1/c Kunio Iwatsuki (pilot) and F1/c Tetsusaburo Kumakura (observer/commander). At 1307 hrs, long after the rest of their formation had landed safely back aboard Shokaku, Kumakura radioed that they were about to ditch. Refusing to ask for bearings home for fear of revealing the Japanese fleet's position, the crew apologized instead for their error, which was about to result in the loss of one of His Imperial Majesty's aircraft. With a final "Tennoheika banzai!" ("Long live the emperor!"), the aircraft and its crew disappeared in the Pacific Ocean somewhere in the vicinity of 25° 28' N 157° 57' W. It was the only dive-bomber lost by the first attack wave.


1. “Osprey Combat Aircraft 63: Aichi 99 Kanbaju 'Val' Units 1937-1942” by Osamu Tagaya, ISBN 1-84176-581-3. ISBN 978-1-84176-912-7

Revision history:

15-Dec-2017 16:49 Laurent Rizzotti Added
30-Nov-2021 00:16 Ron Averes Updated [Operator, Departure airport]
05-Jun-2022 03:15 Ron Averes Updated [Aircraft type]
10-Jul-2022 22:25 Ron Averes Updated [Aircraft type]
13-Jun-2023 03:02 Ron Averes Updated [[Aircraft type]]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314