D3A1 dive bombers preparing to take off from Akagi to attack Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec 1941; carrier Soryu in background

Caption   D3A1 dive bombers preparing to take off from Akagi to attack Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, 7 Dec 1941; carrier Soryu in background ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseUnited States National Archives
Identification Code   80-G-182259
More on...   
D3A   Main article  Photos  
Attack on Pearl Harbor   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Akagi   Main article  Photos  
Soryu   Main article  Photos  
Photos on Same Day 7 Dec 1941
Photos at Same Place Pacific Ocean
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 1 Oct 2006

This photograph has been scaled down; full resolution photograph is available here (1,190 by 946 pixels).

Licensing  Public Domain. According to the US National Archives, as of 21 Jul 2010:
The vast majority of the digital images in the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) are in the public domain. Therefore, no written permission is required to use them. We would appreciate your crediting the National Archives and Records Administration as the original source. For the few images that remain copyrighted, please read the instructions noted in the "Access Restrictions" field of each ARC record.... In general, all government records are in the public domain and may be freely used.... Additionally, 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".

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Red Admiral says:
3 Jan 2009 01:29:58 PM

Something odd about this splendid picture. The carrier in the foreground has its aircraft spotted aft, presumably warming up prior to launch. The carrier in the background (Soryu) has its aircraft spotted forward, as if it has just recovered them. I can't think of a point on 7 December when such a combination happened. All the KB carriers launched and recovered simultaneously, as far as I am aware - excepting CAP.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
29 Apr 2010 05:20:37 PM

Japanese Navy Type 99 Dive Bombers (Val) are preparing to take off. Carrier in background is the Soryu Dec. 7, 1941. Note: This photograph,is frequently reproduced with the planes facing toward the right, correct direction is facing towards the left.
3. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
27 Aug 2010 09:32:57 AM

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 the Carrier Soryu was able to launch 18 D3A1 Dive bombers 18 B5N Torpedo bombers and 18 A6M Zero fighters
4. Don says:
17 Dec 2010 05:56:06 AM

Agree with above comments. Further, the light and shadows would seem to indicate that it is midmorning at the earliest, as the attack was actually occurring. Perhaps this photo is showing a preparation for the aborted third strike?
5. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Dec 2010 02:05:45 PM

JAPANESE CARRIER OPERATIONS Recovering and launching of aircraft at the same time was unknown, operations were what is called "cyclic". When recovered aircraft were aboard, launching cycle started, the carrier turned into the wind all takeoffs were deck launches, japanese carriers had no catapult system. The Imperial Navy considered the use of a catapult system, but such launches would be too time consuming. Modern carriers of the US Navy can recover and catapult launch aircraft at the same time
6. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
25 Dec 2010 02:10:40 PM

To learn more about Japanese carriers click to aircraft, fighters and to A6M Zero, here at the ww2db
7. Carlos Alberto De Buono says:
31 Aug 2011 06:36:04 PM

Iam an old (68) scale modeler, and want to ask if anyone of your readers can tell me from what carriers the Kates that attacked Pearl Harbour, were armed with torpedoes, because all the information I have is about the ones that made level bombing(old profile magazine, Genda`s plane)Thank you very much!
8. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
19 Nov 2011 03:17:50 PM

Carlos: The information I have,as follows. FIRST WAVE: Akagi 12 B5N Kates Launched w/Type 91 Torpedo Kaga 12 B5N Kates Launched w/Type 91 Torpedo Soryu 8 B5N Kates Launched w/Type 91 Torpedo Hiryu 8 B5N Kates Launched w/Type 91 Torpedo Shokaku 27 D3A Vals Launched w/1x250kg/550lb bomb and 60kg/132lb bombs. Shokaku 27 Kates Launched w/1x250kg/550lb bomb and 6x60kg/132bombs. Zuikaku 25 D3A Vals Launched w/1x250kg/550lb bomb and 6x60kg/132lb bombs. Zuikaku 27 Kates Launched w/1x250kg/550lb bomb and 6x60kg/132lb bombs. Akagi 15 B5N Kates Launched w/1x800kg/1760lb armor-piercing bomb. Kaga 14 B5N Kates Launched w/1x800kg/1760lb armor-piercing bomb. Soryu 10 B5N Kates Launched w/1x800kg/1760lb armor-piercing bomb. Hiryu 10 B5N Kates Launched w/1x800kg/1760lb armor-piercing bomb. Akagi 9 Zeros Launched Kaga 9 Zeros Launched Soryu 8 Zeros Launched Hiryu 6 Zeros Launched Shokaku 6 Zeros Launched Zuikaku 5 Zeros Launched SECOND WAVE: Shokaku 27 B5N Kates 1x250kg/550lb bomb and 6x60kg/132lb bombs. Zuikaku 27 B5N Kates 1x250kg/550lb bomb and 6x60kg/132lb bombs. Akagi 18 Vals 1x250kg/550lb bomb Kaga 26 Vals 1x250kg/550lb bomb Soryu 17 Vals 1x250kg/550lb bomb Zuikaku 17 Vals 1x250kg/550lb bomb Akagi 9 Zeros Kaga 9 Zeros Soryu 9 Zeros If anyone has more information, post it here on ww2db
9. Bill says:
31 Dec 2012 01:32:20 PM

LOSSES OVER PEARL: During the attack on Pearl Harbor the strike force lost 29 aircraft and 55 pilots and aircrew. Five Nakajima B5N Type 97(Kate)Bombers Nine Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero(Zeke)Fighters Fifteen Aichi D3A1 Type 99(Val)Dive Bombers OTHER LOSSES: Aircraft that aborted due to engine problems and fuel leaks, and didn't take part in the attack, returned to their carriers. One aircraft never left the carrier due to engine problems. One fighter ditched after take-off its pilot picked up by destroyer. One fighter and pilot lost as aircraft went over the side of the carrier, during return landing. Severely damaged aircraft that returned to the carriers, had to be pushed off the side. A total of 74 aircraft returned with battle damage from anti-aircraft fire. Other aircraft were lost on the return trip back to the carriers, having lost their way due to battle damage, or fuel loss crews were listed as missing. Lost during the attack, were nine crewmen aboard four midget submarines, with one sub grounded and one crewman captured.
10. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
1 Jan 2013 06:12:56 PM

AND THE SEA SHALL GIVE UP: In 1992 a piece of wreckage was washed up on the beach after Hurricane Iniki near Barbers Point. It was a foot long piece of twisted aluminum painted gray on one side and metallic green on the other. Japanese markings were printed noted: 99 Naval Bomber/Aichi 3217 Aichi D3A1 Type 99, Model 21(Val)Dive Bomber Number A1-211 Carrier Akagi, Second Wave, was shotdown by P-40s near Barbers Point a/c crashed. Pilot PO2/c Gen Goto & radio operator/gunner PO2/C Michiji Utsugi, Goto buried Utsugi in shallow grave on beach. Goto remained at large until shooting it out with US Troops and killed, late in the day of Dec.7th some reports list Goto held out until Dec.9th 1941

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