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  A6M2 Model 21  Zero Manufacture Number 5451 Tail W1-150
IJN
201 Kōkūtai

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Lyndon Hall 1969

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Barry Flood 1969

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J Loughman
1969

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima during November 1942. This aircraft was donated by Zen-nan-nori-gou (All-South Sea moss), a seaweed processing company. Assigned Houkoku Number 1053 (Patriotic donation number).

Assigned to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the 201 Kokutai with tail code W1-150. Possibly, assigned to 253 Kokutai and piloted by Shibayama. Transported to the South Pacific.

Wartime History
This aircraft was abandoned at an airfield, either Kara Airfield or Kahilli Airfield on Bougainville or Ballale Airfield.

Wreckage
This Zero remained in situ until 1968.

Recovery
During the late 1960s, the forward fuselage and tail section of this aircraft were recovered by Australians on Bougainville or by Robert Diemert during 1968. Also recovered were: A6M2 3471, A6M2 Houkoku Number 1045 and D3A2 Val 3178, in addition to Zero parts from other wrecks.

The aircraft were transported by barge to Port Moresby where they were stored for a month outdoors at Jackson Airport. They were left in a pile until the middle of January 1969 when Robert Diemert setup an export deal with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to transport the wreckage aboard a Hercules to Canada.

Restoration
During the restoration of a Zero for the CAF, this fuselage was spilt into two. The front cockpit and center section were used in the restoration of A6M2 Zero 5356 for the Commemorative Air Force (CAF).

In the 1970s the rear section of the fuselage, with Houkoku Number 1053 was sold to the Planes of Fame Museum. Later, it was sold to Tsucasa Kai in exchange for some Zero parts.

According to Kenji Miyazaki (via Ryan Towes):
"I saw Houkoku 1053 at Mr. Tsucasa Kai's house. It is now disassembled. Mr. Kai is planning to finish one M5 so those parts will be used for that Zero. He keeps panels but those characters have almost faded away."

References
Thanks to Jim Lansdale, Jim Long, Ryan Towes, David Aiken, Allan Gaynor, Yoji Sakaida and Edward Maloney for additional information.
Gakken No. 33 confirms 5451 was Houkoku 1053.
Yokoi Houkoku List

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Last Updated
January 9, 2018

 

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