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  A6M3 Model 22 Zero Manufacture Number 3618 Tail -133
IJN
? Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
1970s via Japanese Mag

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi, estimated date of assembly April 1943. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M3 Model 22 Zero manufacture number 3618. Assigned to an unknown Kokutai. Assigned tail code -133.

Wartime History
During 1943, this Zero operated from Kahili Airfield (Buin) on southern Bougainville until disabled or abandoned.

Wreckage
Until 1969, this Zero center section, rear fuselage and tail remained in situ at Kahili Airfield (Buin).

Recovery
During 1969, one of two Zero was recovered from Kahili Airfield (Buin) for the Nimitz Museum. Both were loaded onto a barge and shipped to Port Moresby where they were stored outdoors at Jackson Airport before instead being exported to Austraia in 1976.

Restoration
In Australai, components from this Zero were used in the restoration of A6M2 Zero 5784 by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) for display at Australian War Memorial (AWM).

Storage
Afterwards, this Zero was sold or traded to Kermit Weeks / Fantasy Of Flight Museum and placed into storage. Since then, no information is known about this aircraft.

References
Charles Darby noted this aircraft as A6M3 Zero 3618 tail number -133
Zero-sen yo yomigaere lists this Zero as owned by Kermit Weeks
FlyPast March 19?? "Three... Two... One... Zero" by Colin Owess page 16-17
Reports 3618 was given to AWM by Nimitz Museum, that recovered two Zeros from Kahili in the early 1970s. The other Zero ended up in Edward Maloney's Planes of Fame Museum.
Thanks to Ryan Toews for additional information

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Last Updated
April 22, 2018

 

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