Built by Nakajima estimated assembly in May 1943. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero manufacture number 2985.
On May 21,
1943 assigned to the 201 Kōkūtai. No known tail code or markings. This Zero was abandoned on either Ballale Airfield on Ballale Island or Kahilli Airfield on southern Bougainville.
During 1968, portions of this aircraft were recovered by Robert
Diemert and shipped by barge to Port
Moresby. In December 1968 stored outdoors at Jackson Airport. In January 1969 loaded aboard a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) C-130 Hercules and flown to Canada then transported to Robert
Diemert and his private airport, Friendship Airfield.
The nose 7.7mm machine gun cover was
used in his restoration of A6M2 Zero 5356.
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
A Brief History of the Blayd Zero and Its Markings by Ryan Toews June 15, 2014 page 1
"The recovered Zero artifacts bore the serial numbers... 2985, all of which were Nakajima-built A6M2 21s."
Thanks to Alan Gaynor and Ryan Toews for additional information.
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December 4, 2018