Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly early September 1943. Tail Number 313, and painted
with a green top / amber-gray bottom. This Zero has servo tabs.
Abandoned at Kavieng Airfield.
This airframe was displayed at Kavieng on a
concrete pedestal, missing some components, but otherwise
Thomas King (Pacific Islands Monthly, June 1969)
"From what I have been told and have been able to figure out by
the condition of the Zero, two model 21 Zero wrecks were found in the
jungle around Kavieng airstrip by a DCA employee who assembled one of
the the serial number being 51553."
During 1967, this Zero was acquired by Australian Thomas
who wanted to recover a plane from New Guinea before retiring
to Australia. He arranged for the donation of Wirraway
A20-13 to the PNG
Museum, and was allowed to recover this plane, and
it into three major pieces for transport to Australia.
Bogus Number, Markings
erupted with the PNG government over the salvage, prompting the salvager to attempt to hide the plane's identity for export. It was
meticulously repainted with bogus
stencil 11593, and
even a series of bogus victory markings on the side fuselage giving it the bogus identity of A6M2 Zero 11593.
Sale & Storage
Exported to Australia, it was sold
to the USAF
Museum in the United States. It was stored outside for
ten years, before it became a candidate for restoration.
was completed by Century Aviation. The
completed aircraft was returned to the USAF Museum and placed on display during September 2004.
Painted in the markings of an early war Zero with amber-gray gray
paint overall, with tail number A1-3-102 and manufacture number
5553 stencil, to accurately match its true identity.
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
Thanks to Jim Lansdale, Jim Long and Ryan Toews for additional information.
Century Aviation - Restorations - 1943 Mitsubishi Zero
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January 31, 2018