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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero Tail U-107
6th Kōkūtai

Pilot  PO2c Shigejiro Murakami (KIA, October 15, 1942)
Ditched  September 11, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero manufacture number unknown.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 6th Kokutai. Tail code U-107.

Mission History
On September 11, 1942 took off from Lakunai Airfield near Rabaul piloted by PO2c Shigejiro Murakami on a mission to escort G4M1 Bettys from the Kisarazu Kōkūtai bombing Guadalcanal. Returning from the mission alone, this Zero went off course to the west, ran low on fuel and successfully ditched off a small island off the north coast of New Guinea.

Fate of the Pilot
Murakami swam ashore to a nearby island and met and befriended the local people. He convinced them to take him by canoe from island to island in an attempt to reach friendly Japanese forces and was able to reach Kitava island before his presence was reported to the Allies.

On October 15, 1942 while hiding in a native hut on Kitava island, Murakami was located by Australian forces and ordered to surrender. Instead, he his pistol at them. In retaliation, they returned fire and shot him dead. On his body, the Australians located a diary he kept since ditching on September 11, 1942 and two photographs.

Afterwards, Murakami was buried by the local people he befriended on Kitava island. To this day, his grave was still maintain and locals vividly remember him.

Diary of Shigejiro Murakami
September 11th, 1942 – The Rest of the Story by Richard Dunn
Diaries of Eddie Allan Stantton pages 85 - 86
Thanks to Harumi Sakaguchi and Richard Dunn for additional information

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Last Updated
January 3, 2019


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