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  A6M2 Model 21 Zero Manufacture Number ? Tail V-???
Tainan Kōkūtai

Pilot  Sea1c Haruo Kawanishi (KIA, BR)
Crashed  May 2, 1942

Pilot History
Kawanishi was a graduate of Class 56.

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi. Likely built during early January 1942. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M2 Model 21 Zero manufacture number unknown. Painted overall gray with a black cowling.

Wartime History
Assigned to the Tainan Kokutai. Tail number V-??? (last three digits unknown) in black on both sides of the tail. No other known markings.

Mission History
On May 2, 1942 took off from Lae Airfield piloted by Sea1c Haruo Kawanishi as one of nine Zeros on a fighter sweep over Port Moresby. This Zero was flying in the 1st Shōtai led by Lt(jg) Sasai Jun’ichi with PO1c Nishizawa Hiroyoshi. Inbound, one Zero aborted due to mechanical problems.

Over the target area at 7:25am and were intercepted by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-40E Kittyhawks from 75 Squadron and American P-39 Airacobras from the 8th Fighter Group. During the air combat, P-40E "Poison P" A29-48 was shot down. This Zero was shot down and crashed roughly 16 miles from Port Moresby. Airacobra pilot Don McGee of the 8th Fighter Group, 36th Fighter Squadron claimed this Zero shot down.

According to COIC Logs NGF HQ and Intelligence Reports, this Zero was "shot down about 16 miles from Moresby". A 16 mile radius circle from Port Moresby encompasses a wide area going from Porebada (West) to Waigani Swamp (North) and Dokuna (East).

The wreckage of an A6M2 Zero 36_2 crashed into the hills behind Porebada (Borebada) is possibly this aircraft.

COIC Logs NGF HQ and Intelligence Reports
Winged Samurai "Tainan Kōkūtai Pilot Casualties" page 88
J-Aircraft "Crash Site of Tainan Zero near Port Moresby" by Edward Rogers March 3, 2011
Eagles of the Southern Sky page 56-57
Thanks to John Douglas and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
February 14, 2020


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