From: Chehalis, WA
In any case, regardless of whether the Model 32 was actually assigned to a carrier's fighter unit, surely the fact that they were equipped to do so is what should determine whether they were carrier capable. Certainly I would take a Model 22 over a Model 32 as the equipment of choice for my carriers, given its superior range. But if you don't have that choice due to losses, as may well have been the case at the time it was introduced, I see no reason to deny the option of sending the Model 32 to sea aboard your carriers.
The A6M3 model 32 was carrier capable and you can assign a land-based unit to a carrier. However, there is no definitive evidence that any Japanese carrier air group ever employed the model 32 even as replacements. Not saying it never happened, just that there is no evidence to support the idea.
Francillon's "Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War" alludes to the model 32 as being land-based but does not conclusively say so. Another of his books "Japanese Carrier Air Groups 1941-1945" mentions only Model 21s and Model 52s as being employed on carriers.
Hata and Izawa's book "Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units in World War II" lists the specific aircraft assigned to each carrier air group. Unit markings are also covered in good detail. The Model 21, 22 and 52 are all listed but the model 32 is not mentioned at all. You can find plenty of mention of the Model 32 in the land unit histories of this book. Many land-units flew a mixture of models. For example, the 2nd Air Group (renamed Air Group 582 Nov 42) operated out of Buna during the Guadacanal Campaign and employed both model 32s and model 22s.
I understand your point about replacing CV losses quickly. Truth is the Japanese just didn't do it that way. Carrier air groups were typically replenished upon return to Japan and would draw new aircraft there. You can transfer a land-based model 32 unit to a carrier as a stop gap measure.
Personally, I don't understand why the Japanese didn't assign Model 32s to CV groups and reserve the Model 22s for land units. Seems like a better fit to me in regards to range. I would want Model 22s to escort my Bettys and the model 32 has plenty of range to escort carrier bombers.
Anyways, we agree to disagree on this point. You can transfer a land-based model 32 unit to a carrier as a stop gap measure and there is always the editor.
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98