Wreckage of a D3A dive bomber in the Gilbert Islands, late 1943; US souvenir hunters were most likely the reason for the missing fuselage panels

Caption   Wreckage of a D3A dive bomber in the Gilbert Islands, late 1943; US souvenir hunters were most likely the reason for the missing fuselage panels ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation
Identification Code   1977.031.085.083
More on...   
D3A   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 13 May 2013

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (891 by 643 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the United States copyright law (United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105), in part, "[c]opyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government".

Did you enjoy this photograph or find this photograph helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this photograph with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
16 Mar 2013 05:27:16 PM

No ... Aichi Val 3Da
Yes A6M Cero
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
13 May 2013 09:09:09 AM



Aircraft is a stripped Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Looks to me like a A6M3, Model 32 (Hamp) During the Pacific war, GIs were souvenir hunters anything that was Japanese were taken.


Allied Air Intelligence had a difficult time trying to reach downed aircraft, before they were stripped to the bone.
The Zero above leaves very little for Allied Air Intelligence to work with, except to identify it as an A6M3, Model 32 (Hamp) on the other hand, the Zero could have been inspected by Air Intelligence, its personnel left, once out of sight the GIs went on a souvenir hunt. Looks like the Hamp was here for a long time
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 May 2013 05:31:39 PM


During the Pacific War Air Intelligence units recovered and gathered information on crashed or captured Japanese aircraft. Aircraft were studied
and examined and their technical and tactical capabilities helped Allied pilots fight against older or improved aircraft.


Before the war the U.S. possessed almost nothing about Japanese military aircraft. What reports were sent to Washington, were filed away or dismissed.
Those reports sent, were just to fantastic to believe, after all it was widely known that Japan had a third-rate aircraft industry and copied foreign designs. Allied pilots and aircrews would pay for this total lack of intelligence and capabilities of the Japanese.


After the Pearl Harbor attack both the US Army and Navy setup their own analysis of Japanese aircraft shot down over Pearl. Each service didn't
assist the other in what information was found.
What aircraft were salvaged, were shipped back to the U.S. for further study and examination.
With the loss of the Philippine Islands the need for Intelligence about Japanese aircraft was desperate and there was little activity by the U.S. until 1942.


In June 1942 the US found a Mitsubishi A6M2,Model 21 Zero Fighter, that made a forced landing on the Island of Akutan, in the Aleutian's after an attack on Dutch Harbor. Its pilot killed in the crash.
The Zero was shipped back to the US and rebuilt and tested the secret's about the zero were found out. Finding this aircraft helped Allied pilots combat Japan's most famous wartime fighter.

During this time the Japanese had the advantage in
captured U.S. and Allied equipment. With the capture of the Philippines, Java, Burma, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, Allied equipment fell
into Japanese hands. P-40's and B-17's were flown
and evaluated as well as British aircraft.
Captured aircraft were shipped back to the Empire
for further study at the Air Technical Research
Laboratory, Tachikawa, Japan. During this time the
Imperial Japanese Navy had four B-17's airworthy
for testing.
As the war progressed each side learned more about the other and captured aircraft played an important part in the air battles over the Pacific.
4. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
14 Dec 2016 06:44:09 PM


Mitsubishi A6M3, Model 32 (Hamp) stripped to the bone by GI's. TAIU-SWPA raced as fast as possible to inspect any downed Japanese aircraft for new intelligence about enemy aircraft.
Information gained, was passed on to Allied pilots
Photograph taken on Tarawa
Zero tail number looks like Y-2-1 not completely identified

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments
Security Code


Note: We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!