HONOLULU (KHON2) — With your help, all three Japanese aircraft types used to attack Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 — the Zero, Kate and Val — will be on display in one location. The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum said this is the first time to happen anywhere in the country.
Their newest acquisition, a rare WWII Val Dive Bomber aircraft, safely arrived after a three-month journey. Now, the real work begins.
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The Museum’s restoration team will start repairs on the Val, an aircraft that brings significant historical value. World War II era, Japanese, Aichi D3A dive bombers are few and very hard to find these days, according to the Museum, and only a handful have survived destruction in combat and deterioration overtime.
The Val, which could hold a pilot and rear-facing gunner, was an accurate dive-bomber. There was also the infamous Zero, a single seat fighter, responsible for anticipating U.S. fighter aircraft resistance during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Zero was also responsible for the bombers’ return to their carriers.
Then there was the Kate, a three-man crew that delivered either a single torpedo or a single armor piercing bomb. According to the Museum, the torpedo version of the Kate was to attack Battleship Row first, which allowed for the slow-moving direct assault on the ships to happen as early in the attack as possible.
The Museum is asking for donations to help create a one-of-a-kind exhibit that shares the impact of the attack on Pearl Harbor and honors those who sacrificed their lives.
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The “Raise the Roof” campaign is also continuing through the end of the year. Donations are needed to repair the historic Hanger 79 which was built in 1939.