Built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to an unknown Kokutai.
This Zero took off on a mission against Guadalcanal then ditched into Visale Bay off Visale and Takolenduna near the Visale Catholic Mission at Cape
Esperence. Reportedly, the pilot survived and was cared for by a Catholic missionary.
This Zero remains submerged in shallow water. The wreck has been heavily stripped, likely during the war. In 2003, the engine, wings and center section are still present and the missionary who cared for the pilot was still alive.
Justin Taylan adds:
"According to one of the Visale Mission sisters, the pilot survived the crash landing was nursed back to health by one of the Catholic nuns at Visale who cared for him. Afterwards the pilot departed and was never seen again."
Ewan Stevenson adds: [A World War II era photo of an A6M2 Zero Tail 1130] is not this plane
Thanks to Visale Catholic Mission for additional information
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January 9, 2018