Built by Mitsubishi. Assigned to the ? Kōkūtai. This aircraft was either A6M3 Zero 3116 or A6M3 Zero 3189. This Zero was painted gray with a black cowl, also a red vertical stripe rear of the fuselage hinomaru. and 'T2 157' in small figures high on the tail.
Ryan Toews adds:
"It may be possible to narrow down what the serial number of T2 157 actually was. CEAR #17 lists six Type 32s as being foundt on Munda. The serial number would have to be either 3116 or 3189 as only these two planes could have been both manufactured and delivered before 4 October. According to Hata and Izawa, the Hiyō left Japan for the Solomons on the October 4, 1942. Given that date, the serial number would have to be either 3116 or 3189 as only these two planes could have been both manufactured and delivered before 4 October."
Jim Lansdale adds:
"The yellow fuselage stripe, the repainted fin below the "T2-157," and the carburator intake numbers "57," lead me to think it is probable this ReiSen was a "hand-me-down" from previous service on the HIYO as [DI-157] in late 1942."
Abandoned at Munda Airfield with the right wing missing (burned off).
During early August 1943, captured when the U. S. Army at the airfield. When captured, only the left landing gear remained extended. Towed by a tow truck to the shoreline and abandoned. During 1944, loaded onto a barge and transported to Guadalcanal. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.
Thanks to Jim Lansdale, Jim Long and Ryan Toews for additional information.
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January 9, 2018