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.
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.