With all due respect, I have to disagree with Robert. The aircraft in
Question is a Nakajima A2N2, Not the Aichi D3A. There are 4 stills in H.D.
Perry's The Panay Incident, photgraphed by Norman Alley, which clearly show an
a/c with one strut per wing. The D3A had two according to a
photo and was also a 2-seater.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Henry Sirotin for providing this final piece
of the puzzle to my research at this time.
The reason I did not find the A2N on combined fleet initially is because it
was listed as a fighter. It entered service in 1931 and had been surpassed
by the Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" by 1937. The four Alley photos show a plane
with no dihedral to the upper wing, which makes this a -2 model. The -3 had
the upper wing dihedral.
Other factors in the attack are the range from Changchow airfield to
the target on 12/12/37 which was about a 200-240 mile round trip, which the
A2N could handle. According to Perry, Some carried one 500 lb bomb and some
carried two 130 lb bombs. It appears that the IJN merely adapted what was
available to them in the field to achieve the desired result. That being the
employment of trained dive bomber pilots in combat.
I hope you find this info useful. Peter Motyka
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