Built by Mitsubishi, possbily A6M3 Zero 3753. The fuselage hinomaru was outlined in a white square. Assigned to ? Kokutai.
Abandoned at Ballale
Center section only. Likely the tail section was cut at 'station 10' by Robert Diemert in 1968.
Ryan Toews adds:
"Definitely an A6M3, note the firewall is right in front of the front edge of the MG access covers. Cut at station 10, probably by Diemert, he had one rear fuselage section that was cut at station 10. Diemert salvaged at least two A6M3 3285 (Model 32) and A6M3 3753 (Model 22). 3285 was cut at station 13, thus this could be 3753. Note that this is VERY tentative."
Moved from the island to the beach area by Craig Turner / Solomon National Museum Project in December 2005, where it remained due to a dispute with locals. Turner returned on November 6, 2007 and salvaged this aircraft from the island on November 8 aboard the barge MV Tina. Transported to Honiara, it was then shipped overseas. The 'buyer' Gary Spoors of GJD Services Ltd. was present at the salvage to push the Zero onto a forklift to move it off the island.
Transported to Honiara, Guadalcanal where it was briefly stored, then exported quickly and quitely, before the law could clamp down on the slavage. Its location today is unknown, but presumed to be with the 'buyer' Gary Spoors of GJD Services Ltd.
Thanks to Ryan Toews for model identification.
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January 31, 2018