Built by Mitsubishi on November 9, 1942. Assigned to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to ? Kokutai.
During 1943, this Zero was likely damaged and abandoned at Vila Airfield on Kolombangara Island.
During late September 1943, this Zero was captured by American forces occupying the area. During late 1943, surveyed by U.S. Army Technical Air Intelligence Unit (TAIU) by inspector W. W. Spinney who noted this aircraft as a a "Zero Mark 2" with manufacture number "3271".
During late 1943 or 1944, a portion of the fuselage stencil was recovered as a souvenir by an American. This artifact was part of the collection of U. S. Navy pilot Tom Killefer, VF-17. After he passed away on February 8, 2015 this artifact was donated by his family to Tyler Historic Aviation Memorial Museum (HAMM).
CEAR 17 - Zero Mark 2 3271
Thanks to Richard Dunn for ATIU survey details and David Aiken for Historic Aviation Memorial Museum details
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January 9, 2018