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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number 31574  
IJN
? Kōkūtai

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly September 1943.

Wartime History
Abandoned at Taroa Airfield.

Recovery
Recovered by John Sterling, in the 1990s. After a year of negotiation, including sleeping in the jungle for nearly 3 months to perform the recovery of four Zeros: this aircraft plus A6M3 Zero 3148, A6M3 Zero 3685 and A6M3 Zero 3318 that were disassembled, crated and shipped back to his home in Boise, Idaho in May 1991.  He focused his efforts on restoring A6M3 3318 and using parts from the others to support this single project.

Resale, Restoration
Later sold to the Evergreen Air Museum in Oregon.  Currently the rear tail section is owned by Vintage Aircraft Ltd. This airframe is being used as the basis of the restoration, with parts from A6M3 3318.

References
Thanks to Bill Bartsch and Ryan Towes for information. Asahi Journal Vol 1 No 2 has an interview with John Sterling.

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

Tech Info
Zero
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