Reclaiming a piece of history: World War II-era plane sheds more light on Pearl Harbor attack

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – During the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy used Aichi submarines to transport its cargo. The type of aircraft was known as “Val”.

“In the first ten months of the war against the Allies, it was responsible for more ships being sunk than any other aircraft,” said Rod Bengston, lead curator at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

There are only a few models of the aircraft left that are completely original, and the aviation museum only got hold of one of them. He took “Val” from an island near Papua New Guinea.

“We took the fuselage. We will have another shipment in two weeks. We hope to get the motor, the wings. “Over the next couple of months, we’re going to get as much of the plane as possible,” said museum executive director Elissa Line.

The body of the plane destroyed by the war helps the museum to tell about what the plane went through during the war.

“It appears to have been damaged by the explosion of the airport carpets on the side of its lining. And then it looks like it’s probably not with a crew, it’s on the ground, it’s hit from above from an angle,” Bengston said.

The Val was one of a trio of different Japanese warplanes used in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

During the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Japanese Empire used Aichi Dive Bombers to transport its cargo.(Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum)

The aviation museum now has models of all three in its collection.

“Seeing the planes really helps you understand the impact of that day,” Lines said.

It will take two or three years to make the Aichi Dive bomber look like the Japanese pilots in the cockpit.

“You’re going to get a full profile from the engine to the tail and from the wheels to the complete ‘Val’ top that nobody else really has,” Bengston said.

You can watch the plane take shape in the museum’s Hangar 79.

The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is raising money for the Val project. To contribute, Click here.

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