Built by Mitsubishi, estimated date of assembly August 1943. At the factory, painted with green upper surfaces and gray lower surfaces. This aircraft was the 42nd A6M5 Model 52 Zero built by Mitsubishi. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M5 Model 52 Zero manufacture number 3946.
Assigned to an unknown Kōkūtai. Tail Code 8-1?? (last two digits unknown).
This Zero was abandoned or destroyed on the ground at Kara Airfield (Toripoil) on southern Bougainville. Possibly, destroyed by a nearby bomb blast the caused a nearby crater.
As of 2002, only the tail section remained near a bomb crater.
Jessie Owens adds:
"This plane was heavily overgrown
and took me some time to clear it but what a find it is upside
down and not more than ten metres from a bomb crater. Apparently
the area was used as the parking area away from the airfield the
tail number is definitely 8-1."
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
Thanks to Jim Lansdale and Jim Long for additional information.
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October 28, 2018