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105th Naval Base Unit
|Pilot P.O. Kentaro Miyagoshi (survived)
Observer ? (survived)
Ditched January 18, 1945
Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly October 1943. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero manufacture number 31870.
Assigned to the 253 Kokutai with tail code 53-122 and operated from Rabaul. During October 1944, this Zero was field modified at Rabaul into a two seat configuration conceived by commander Tomoyoshi Hori. A rear facing seat for an observer was installed behind the pilot with a telegraph for transmitting long range communications during reconnaissance missions. Assigned to the 105th Naval Base Unit.
This Zero was briefly displayed atop empty fuel drums adjacent to a shed at Rabaul. Afterwards, shipped to Melbourne for display and restoration with parts from several wrecked Zeros from the Rabaul area. A legal battle occurred over this aircraft after it was offered for sale to the Australian War Memorial (AWM). The Zero was seized by police until the lawsuit was settled. Later, sold to the Tokyo Science Museum.
43' / 13m
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