Preproduction models were deployed in April 1942. Due to its capabilities the D4Y1-Cs were deployed for reconnaissance.
The first aircraft to be lost were on the Soryu when it was sunk at Midway in June 1942.
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Kodu Sentais were equipped with 174 D4Ys. They sustained heavy casualties before any could reach the American carriers.
One D4Y, piloted by Rear Admiral Arima, was possibly the first used in a suicide attack against the USS Franklin.
Last Futile Attack
On August 15, 1945, eleven D4Ys were used in Kamikaze attacks off of Okinawa. Included in these was one D4Y4 flown by Admiral Ugaki.