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  A6M3 Model 32 Zero Manufacture Number 3285 Tail 3-174 (5-136)
IJN
? Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
via Ryan Toews

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi, estimated date of assembly November 1942. Painted dark green overall. Assigned to ? Kokutai with tail code 3-174 painted in white. Later, tail code 5-136 was applied over top.

Wartime History
Abandoned at Ballale Airfield.

Wreckage
The fuselage section has was cut between stations 12 and 13 and was in a truncated condition also the horizontal stabilizer fairings were recovered by Robert Diemert in 1968. Also, likely the wings of this aircraft.

The fin was sold to the Blayd Corporation in 1990, where it remains in storage. This fin is missing its leading edge but otherwise is intact.

Ryan Toews a adds:
"The unit prefix 3- is indicated by Diemert’s notes. Neither this prefix, nor the 5- prefix that was painted over the earlier code, can be attributed to any particular formation. The paint is red primer / olive gray / sprayed green/hand painted white code 3-174 / hand painted yellow code 3-174 / hand painted green/sprayed yellow code 5-136. The cut marks on this fin at Station 16 link this fin with the rear most section of an A6M3 fuselage. It is possible to establish this identification by the location of the tail cone fasteners aft of Station 16. Because of a lack of an adjustable rudder trim tab inspection panel it can be assumed that this tail came from A6M3 32 3285. The existence of two squared wing tips, a wing panel, a right flap and both left and right wing root skinning also point to the recovery of the wings from A6M3 3285."

References
Thanks to Ryan Toews for this information
J-Aircraft "Zero Tail Relic" photos by Dave Pluth text by Ryan Toews

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Last Updated
January 31, 2018

 

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