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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero    
? Kōkūtai

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Dick Williams 1971
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Stan Gajda 2001
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Stan Gajda 2002

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number unknown. The number "3785" has been located on the wreckage, but this is not a Mitsubishi or Nakajima manufacture number.

Stan Gajda reports:
"This Zero is an A6M2 because the engine has the early-type short reduction case, the -3s had a long case, different mark/model engine probably more horsepower. (No anti-vibration counterweights or extended crankcase/reduction gear). I really would like to ID this Zero, this one is missing all the obvious id plates, no stenciling is visible and the fin has weathered badly."

Wartime History
This Zero crashed near Nan Pohn Mal Airfield near Kolonia (Colonia) on Pohnpei Island (Ponape). It was shot down just after take off by F4U Corsairs escorting B-25 Mitchells on a bombing mission from Eniwetok.

This Zero crash site remained in situ until 2001. During 2001, Stan Gajda negotiated with the landowner to purchase the wreckage to prevent it from being scrapped and placed it into storage.

Stan Gajda reports:
"The other Zero that impacted into a hill just across the channel from my place is the same, I have the smashed engine from this also plus a few small fragments. The airframe was cleared long ago and nobody seems to know what happened to it. I hear rumors of another wreck in the bush along one of the rivers not that far from town but nobody seems to know anything specific of this one either. Same as a wreck on a hill-top on the south side of the island but I suspect locals are confusing the Corsair crash site with a Zero."

Thanks to Stan Gajda and Dick Williams for additional information and photographs.

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018


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