Yokosuka D4Y ‘Judy’ Units from Osprey Publishing

Yokosuka D4Y ‘Judy’ Units

Osprey Combat Aircraft 149 Yokosuka D4Y 'Judy' Units


Mark Chambers


Jim Laurier

Mark Postlethwaite


This 96-page paperback book, Yokosuka D4Y ‘Judy’ Units, is the 140th book in the Combat Aircraft series of books that are available from Osprey Publications.

D4Y1-C Receives Last Minute Instructions From Groundcrewman

D4Y1-C Receives Last Minute Instructions From Ground crewman

In 1938, the Yokosuka Naval Air Technical Arsenal, acting under the requirements issued by the Kaigun Koku Hombu for a Navy Experimental 13-Shi Carrier Borne specification for a dive-bomber to replace the venerable ‘Val’ aboard carriers. The resulting D4Y Suisei (‘Comet’), codenamed ‘Judy’ by the Allies, was initially powered by a licence-built German Daimler-Benz DB 601 inline engine as used in the Bf 109E. Despite making an inauspicious combat debut during the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the ‘Judy’ eventually proved to be an important asset for the IJNAF during battles in the latter years of the Pacific War. Its great successes resulted in the sinking of the escort carrier USS Princeton in an early kamikaze attack of the Philippines and the near sinking of the fleet carrier USS Franklin in a dive-bombing attack off Japan.

Rare Photograph Of Single Seat D4Y4 - p2

Rare Photograph Of Single Seat D4Y4

While the Judy had an impressive top-speed, like its predecessor, and many other Japanese military aircraft, it possessed design shortcomings including inadequate armour protection for its aircrew and no self-sealing fuel tanks. As a result, when pitted against new, advanced US Navy fighters suffered horrendous losses.
Instrument Panel Of D4Y4

Instrument Panel Of D4Y4

During the final months of World War 2 it became apparent that there would be no Japanese victory. Acting out of desperation, the IJNAF employed the ‘Judy’ in the dreaded kamikaze role, in which it excelled due to its high-speed characteristics. Most notably, the D4Y mounted one of the last combat actions of World War 2 when a flight of 11 Judies, personally led by the instigator of the suicide attacks, Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki, took off on a ‘search mission’ on August 15, 1945. This volume chronicles the action-packed wartime exploits of Japan’s finest dive-bomber of World War 2.

D4Y1 Of 523rd Kokutai Water Landing Near Tinian

D4Y1 Of 523rd Kokutai Water Landing Near Tinian


The D4Y Judy was one of the best airplanes in the Imperial Japanese arsenal. This plane, and the German counterpart the JU87 Stuka, were two of the best dive bombers used by the Axis Powers during the second World War. They were accurate weapons and were used to devastating effect. While the Germans used the JU87 early in the war against naval targets, mostly it was the IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) that used their dive bombers against the allied navy in the Pacific.

The Historian, Modeler and Wargamer will all enjoy this 96-page paperback book immensely. The book is full of historical information and photographs that can be used by all hobbyists. The Historian will enjoy adding this book to their research library and learning new and interesting information about the D4Y1 Judy units. The Modeler can use the photographs either as a guide to create their own unique diorama or as an example in creating other dioramas based on their own research covered in this book. Finally, there is the Wargamer and Boardgamer. These gamers will enjoy capturing the flavor of the period based on the photographs provided, the color drawings, and the aircraft statistics. Overall, the Historian, Modeler, Wargamer or Boardgamer will gain an excellent book that they can add to their personal library for research.

The Yokosuka D4Y ‘Judy’ Units is a 96-page paperback book that is the 140th book in the Combat Aircraft series of books that are available from Osprey Publications.




eBook (ePub)



eBook (PDF)



There is a SPECIAL “Bundle Offer” available from Osprey Publications. If you choose a print and eBook format above, you get 25% off both!

(The photographs used in this review are copied with the permission of Osprey Publications.)

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