1/72 Fujimi D3A Val dive bomber
This model is marked as the aircraft of the commander of the dive bomber squadron on the IJN Hiryu, LT Kobayashi Michio. He led the Hiryu’s first attack of 18 Val’s & 6 Zeros that launched at about 1045. After allowing his fighter escort to go after SBD’s returning to the USS Enterprise, at around 1200 he sighted the USS Yorktown. His unescorted bombers were attacked by approximately 16 Wildcats. 7 Val’s were shot down and LT Kobayashi was forced to jettison his bomb. Of the 11 remaining only 7 made drops on the Yorktown but achieved 3 hits and at least one damaging near miss that left the Yorktown dead in the water. LT Kobayashi was loitering near the Yorktown sending back strike reports, when he was shot down, probably by 2 fighters from the Enterprise sent to reinforce the Yorktown’s CAP.
Of the 18 Val’s dispatched only 5 returned to the Hiryu.