Built by Mitsubishi, estimated date of assembly June 1943. Assigned to the 204 Kokutai.
Abandoned at Ballale Airfield.
The rear fuselage of this Zero and horizontal stabalizers were recovered by Robert Diemert by 1968. The fuselage appears to have been cut at between about Stations 9 and 10. At the time of recovery no markings were noted on the tail. Parts of this aircraft were later sold to Blayd Corporation in 1990, where it remains in storage.
Ryan Toews adds:
"A black and white photo in Diemert’s collection showed tail numbers to be light coloured on a darker background. The leading edge of the fin had been already removed. The small size of the numbers 03, again almost certainly preceded by a 1, are similar in size and location to the style of tail code used by 204 Ku. If this is the case this fin may have been part of A6M3 Model 22 3753 since the 204 Ku was known to have had the Zero 22 as part of their inventory."
Possibly, an A6M3 Zero center section, cut at station 10 that was illegally exported in November 2007 was the remained of this aircraft.
Thanks to Jim Long and Ryan Toews for additional information.
Previously, this Zero was reported to have tail code T2-103. But, by July 1943 the use of T2 as a prefix was no used anymore. Thus, this Zero built in June was unlikely to have been assigned that tail code.
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January 9, 2018