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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number ? Tail 1157
IJN
252 Kōkūtai
or 253 Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN August 1943

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima. At the factory, painted overall olive gray with a black cowling and Hinomaru insignia. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number unknown.

Wartime History
This Zero was assigned to either the 252 Kokutai (252 Air Group) or 253 Kōkūtai (253 Air Group). Tail number believed to be 1157 was painted in either red or black on both sides of the tail. The rear fuselage had a vertical red stripe around the entire fuselage located to the rear of the fuselage Hinomaru and tail horizontal stabilizers.

Wartime History
During late December 1942 or early 1943, this Zero operated from Munda Airfield. Afterwards, this Zero was damaged on the ground or during air combat and was written off and abandoned largely intact. Possibly, the Japanese stripped the aircraft for usable parts and components and removed the engine and tail horizontal stabilizers.

Wreckage
During early August 1943, captured by the U. S. Army at Munda Airfield. Both the wings were intact but the engine was removed an tail stabilizers missing.

Salvaged with a crane onto a barge and transported from Munda to Guadalcanal. Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped or otherwise disappeared.

References
AP Photo wartime caption: "JAP PLANE GETS A TOW Using a wrecking car, Yanks take a wrecked Jap plane in tow as they cleared Munda Airfield in the central Solomons after last Jap resistance had been eliminated. Note wreckage of another Jap Plane (left)" released 8/21/43.
Thanks to Ryan Toews and Jim Lansdale for additional information

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Last Updated
May 13, 2020

 

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