Built by Mitsubishi on November 11, 1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to ? Kokutai. Tail code 115? (last digit unknown). Possibly, assigned to the 253 Kōkūtai. This Zero was painted in an overall olive gray color scheme. In the field, it was repainted overall green.
During 1943, this Zero operated from Buin Airfield (Kahili Airfield) in southern Bougainville. This aircraft was disabled or abandoned at the airfield.
Until the late 1970s, the fuselage of this aircraft remained in situ at Buin Airfield (Kahili Airfield). Both stabilizers were missing. Pieces of this aircraft have been recovered. Today, a piece is owned by Taizo Nakamura in Japan. He has also created a replica manufacture number stencil based on the original.
Pacific Aircraft Wrecks page 19 (lower, right) 52 (lower)
Thanks to Charles Darby and Ryan Toews for additional information
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April 22, 2018