Built by Mitsubishi or Nakajima. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the ? Kōkūtai. No known markings.
This Zero likely took off from Rabaul before ditching into Blanche Bay off Malapau, west of Kokopo, east of Raluana
Point and south of Rabaul. This Zero has bullet holes in the starboard side, and appears to have
ditched tail first, damaging the fuselage during the impact. According
to locals, the pilot survived the ditching and swam to shore.
Discovered during the early 1970s. The Zero is upright on a flat slit bottom. The propellers are unbend, and
canopy missing. All of the machine guns are still present. Fire coral
surround the cockpit and wings. This aircraft is a popular dive site.
National Geographic "Ghosts of War" page 430-431
Winged Ghosts of the South
Pacific footage of the Zero underwater
Dive & Snorkel PNG, page 112
"Another excellent wreck
is that of the classic Zero fighter off a beach south of Rabaul on
the way to Kokopo. The wreck is at 27m, intact & upright. It's
wings are flush with the sand bottom & the propeller is still
in place. The open cockpit is usually full of bait fish. The water
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January 31, 2018