Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly November 1942. No tail markings or unit identification was present on the aircraft in the early 1970s. Painted overall green with gray lower surfaces.
Assigned to an unknown Kokutai. This Zero was abandoned at Ballale
Airfield on Ballale Island.
This Zero remained in situ on Ballale Island. The wreckage included the intact wing section and center fusealge. This aircraft was missing its tail and had the propeller removed. Only the rear canopy remained. The center drop tank was still attached, implying it might have been damage while parked on the ground.
Charles Darby adds:
"This Zero was battered in appearance but largely
complete in the 1970s. No unit identifications on the plane."
During December 2005, this Zero was moved from the island to the beach area by locals acting under the direction of Craig Turner / Solomon National Museum Project. It was abandoned near the beach due to a dispute with locals.
On November 6, 2007 Craig Turner with Gary Spoors / GJD Services Ltd returned to complete the salvage. On November 8, 2007 this aircraft was loaded aboard Solomon Islands Government barge MV Tina plus other aircraft from Ballale Island. Footage of this Zero aboard MV Tina appeared in OneNews: Shortland & Ballalae Aircraft Salvage" aired on November 20, 2007.
The salvage included: A6M3 Zero (no. 1), A6M3 Zero (no. 2), A6M2 Zero 2487 (this aircraft), A6M2 Zero 7434 from Ballale plus F1M2 Pete 1250 and F1M2 Pete 5269 from from Magusaiai
Island and Poporang Island. The salvaged aircraft were transported to Honiara and stored briefly before being exported overseas.
Likely, all the salvaged aircraft were transported to Australia arriving in late November or early December 2007. Since the end of 2007, the precise whereabouts of this aircraft are unknown. Likely, placed into storage in Austral a suburb to the west of Sydney or some other location in Australia. Possibly, this aircraft was on-sold to another buyer worldwide.
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 47 (upper)
YouTube "OneNews: Shortland & Ballalae Aircraft Salvage" November 20, 2007
GJD Services - Solomon's via WaybackMachine.org February 25, 2008
Classic Wings Issue 64 "Solomon Salvation" pages 48-49
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August 2, 2018