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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number 3471 Houkoku Gou 1033
IJN
? Kōkūtai

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RNZAF 1945

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Landon Hall 1969

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Barry Flood1969

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John Loughman 1969

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Ryan Toews 1990

Aircraft History
Built by Nakajima, estimated assembly date December 1942. At the factory, painted overall gray with a black cowling with each fuselage Hinomaru outlined with a 75mm white border. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as Type 0 / A6M3 Model 32 Zero Manufacture Number 3471.

This aircraft was assigned a Houkoku Gou (Navy Patriotic Presentation Number). Donated by Dai Ni Aoshima Kinshifu-gou (No. 2 Aoshima Fine Thread Cloth Company). Assigned Houkoku Gou 1033 (Patriotic Presentation Number 1033) in black on both sides of the rear fuselage.

Wartime History
Assigned to an unknown Kōkūtai (Air Group). No known tail code. The rear fuselage had a red vertical stripe rear of the Houkoku Gou 1033marking. During 1943, this Zero operated from Ballale Airfield until disabled or damaged. Afterwards, the Japanese removed the tail section and likely stripped the aircraft for other usable parts.

Wreckage
This Zero was abandoned at Ballale Airfield. By November 1945, this Zero was photographed by the RNZAF with the engine removed and rear fuselage angled upward. The paint on the upper surfaces of the wing were weathered and the aircraft was partially overgrown with vegetation. Until the late 1960s, this Zero remained in situ on Ballale Island.

Salvage
During the late 1960s, the fuselage section with the wings cut off was removed and transported to Kangu on southern Bougainville. It is unclear who moved this wreck, likely local laborers hired by expatriates. In late 1968 the fusealge was removed by Robert Diemert and loaded onto a barge with several other aircraft including A6M2 Zero 5451, A6M2 Houkoku 1045 and D3A2 Val 3178 plus other aircraft parts.

The salvaged aircraft were loaded aboard a barge to Port Moresby then transported to Jackson Airport where they were stored in a pile until the middle of January 1969 when Robert Diemert negotiated an export deal with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to transport the wreckage aboard a C-130 Hercules and flown across the Pacific to Canada then trucked to Friendship Airfield in Carman.

Restoration
During the early 1970s at Friendship Airfield this Zero was disassembled by Robert Diemert and parts were used in the restoration of A6M2 Zero 5450 and A6M2 Zero 5356.

After the restorations, all that remained of this aircraft was the de-skinned forward fuselage. In 1990, these parts were sold to the Blayd Corporation.

Today, only the right 7.7mm machine gun cover is still owned by Blayd Corporation.

References
Production figures of the Mitsubishi/Nakajima A6M Zero by Jim Long
A Brief History of the Blayd Zero and Its Markings by Ryan Toews June 15, 2014 page 1
"The recovered Zero artifacts bore the serial numbers... 3471..., all of which were Nakajima-built A6M2 21s."
Yokoi Houkoku List - Houkoku Gou 1000-5887 (List 2) - Houkoku Gou 1033 is not listed
Thanks to Jim Long and Ryan Toews for additional information

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Last Updated
September 17, 2020

 

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