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When the Nakajima B5N1 torpedo bomber entered service in 1937, it was the most advanced aircraft of its type in the world. Known by its Allied reporting name of ‘Kate’, the B5N1 proved devastatingly effective in the early Pacific engagements of WWII.
Known as the Type 97 Carrier Attack Bomber, the B5N1 ‘Kate’ was the main Japanese naval attack aircraft of the war and was to take a heavy toll of Allied shipping. Even though it served throughout WWII, the ‘Kate’ was obsolete by the time newer American fighters entered the Pacific War but it was forced to continue fighting, as an effective replacement aircraft was not available to the Japanese Navy.