Built by Nakajima, estimated date of assembly October 1942. Possibly, this aircraft had Houkoku Number 1045.
Abandoned on Ballale Airfield.
This aircraft's rear fuselage was salvaged by Robert Diemert in 1968, and transported to Port Moresby by barge, then flown to Canada by the RCAF.
The rebuilding of CAF's Zero, A6M2 5356 began with the rear fuselage of this aricraft, which still bore its stenciled 5355 when recovered.
Justin Taylan adds:
"At lease some part of A6M2 Zero 5355 remained in 2005. A nose gun cover with 5355 clearly stenciled on the inside surface was found near the wreckage of an A6M3 Zero. It is unclear if this was the Manufacture number of this Zero, or swapped in as a replacement cover from another wreck as a second gun cover with 5351 was found near the same wreck."
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
Thanks to Jim Long and Ryan Towes for additional information.
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January 9, 2018