‘Val’ arrives at Pearl Harbor museum

Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum took delivery of a rare Aichi D3A recently

The new addition arrived at its new home on September 26. It’s believed to have been recovered from the Solomon Islands in 2019.

A spokesperson for the attraction, located on Pearl Harbor’s historic Ford Island, said: “World War Two-era Japanese Aichi D3A dive-bombers are few and very hard to find these days. Of the 1,495 D3As built across five versions, only a handful have survived destruction in combat or the inevitable ravages of time and nature. For these reasons and the significant historical value in acquiring a visually recognisable, wartime-era Val, we’re extremely pleased to announce our latest restoration project.”

The Aichi D3A arriving at the museum in September
The Aichi D3A arriving at the museum in September PEARL HARBOR AVIATION MUSEUM

After PHAM’s personnel unloaded the rare exhibit, the aircraft was placed in Hangar 79 – one of Pearl Harbor’s original hangars – where it will be reassembled using several sections of at least two other Vals, before joining the museum’s Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter and Nakajima B5N Kate bomber.

“Now that the Val is onsite, the real work begins,” the statement concluded. “Our restoration team will start to repair the aircraft to make it display-ready, and then reunite the three aircraft to share the stories of Pearl Harbor.”