The Val became the first aircraft to drop bombs on American targets at Pearl Harbor. Six squadrons of Vals participated in the attack, and succeeded in doing extensive damage to the U.S. battleships in the harbour.
The Val proved to be an accurate and effective dive bomber in the opening stages of the Pacific War. It was as manoeuvrable as many fighters and proved this during dogfights with early allied Pacific fighters such as Wildcats.
As allied fighter opposition developed, the Val soon proved to be a vulnerable opponent. Slow and poorly defended, the Val was obsolete by 1943. It did continue to serve, seeing service later as kamikaze weapon.