Built by Mitsubishi date of assembly March 31, 1942 painted overall gray. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero manufacture number 2666. Assigned Houkoku Number 515 (civilian presentation number 515) with the inscription painted in black: "Presented by Kure Chapter of the Hiroshima Commercial Trade Association Patriotic Society".
Assigned to Shōkaku. Tail code E1-108. The main landing gear covers were painted with 8 (last digit of the tail code). This Zero operated in the South Pacific.
Sometime between August 24, 1942 to early September 1942 this Zero took off on a mission over Guadalcanal and was shot down or force landed in western Guadalcanal.
At least six pilots from Shokaku lost over Guadalcanal including:
Yoshio Iwaki lost August 24, 1942
Seiji Iishi lost August 29, 1942
Tsuguo Ogihara lost August 30, 1942.
Ko Nakamoto lost August 30, 1942.
Lt Ibusuki forced landed in late August to early September 1942 and returned to duty.
Lt Shingo forced landed in late August to early September 1942 and returned to duty.
During July 2008, this crash site was discovered by Cameron in the jungle on Guadalcanal. As of September 8, 2016 this Zero remained in situ. As of that date, the left wing 20mm cannon was removed and the tail hook was damaged or removed.
During 2017, salvaged from the crash site and transported to the Markwarth Collection where it was inside their yard as of the middle of July 2017 then placed into a container and exported to Australia. Afterwards, shipped to Japan.
Yokoi Houkoku List 1~999 reference to 515
Japanese Naval Aces and Fighter Units of WWII page 44 mentions Lt. Ibusuki and
J-Aircraft "Shokaku Ghost On Guadalcanal" by Jim Lansdale includes photos from 2008 discovery
Daily Mail "From rusting ships in lush green jungle to tanks in crystal clear ocean: Amazing aerial photos show WWII wrecks in watery graves off remote Pacific Ocean tropical islands" by Ashleigh Davis photos by Asahi Shimbun via Getty. December 5, 2016
Jim Lansdale for additional information
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January 9, 2018