Built by Nakajima during May 1945.
Jim Long adds:
"At least one other source says [this Zero] was an A6M5c, but I prefer to think that it was an A6M7 because it has the bomb rack of the fighter-bomber."
Assigned to the 210 Kōkūtai. Ditched into Lake Biwa.
Doug Vernon adds:
“I have information regarding the pilot who made the forced landing on the Lake Biwa. This information comes from a friend of mine, who is connected with the "Zero Pilots Association". The man who made the forced landing is General Tsuneo Azuma, now retired from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force. At the time of the forced landing on August 9, 1945, Azuma was a Lt. in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and during that same year was appointed to a post of flight platoon leader. One of his official duties was to test fly Zeros following repairs. While carrying out his duties, he flew many different models of the Zero-sen, including the A6M2-21, A6M3-22 and 32, A6M5-52 and A6M7-63. These duties were carried out at the Meiji Naval Air Base in Aichi prefecture. Azuma was involved in 4 forced landings while assigned to his testing tasks; the last being the one which took place at Lake Biwa. According to him, all four mishaps were the results of faulty oil systems. He praises the A6M7-63 in all areas except for the plane's lubrication.
Discovered in Lake Biwa 1976 and recovered in an effort funded by the curator of the Arashiyama Museum.
Displayed at Arashiyama Museum in Kyoto until 1991, when the museum closed. Next,
displayed at the the Zero-Park Shirahama
in Wakayama City.
Today, at the Yamato Museum (Kure Maritime Museum) in Kure.
Thanks to Jim Long and Warren Sessler for additional information
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January 31, 2018