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  A6M3 Model 22 Zero Manufacture Number ????  
IJN
? Kōkūtai

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Justin Taylan 2007

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as A6M3 Model 22 Zero manufacture number unknown (four digits). Painted overall green with gray lower surfaces.

Wartime History
Assigned to an unknown Kokutai. This Zero was abandoned at Ballale Airfield on Ballale Island.

Wreckage
This Zero remained in situ on Ballale Island. The wreckage included the intact wing section and center fusealge.

During December 2005, this Zero was moved from the island to the beach area by locals acting under the direction of Craig Turner / Solomon National Museum Project. It was abandoned near the beach due to a dispute with locals.

On November 6, 2007 Craig Turner and Gary Spoors / GJD Services Ltd returned to complete the salvage. On November 8, 2007 this aircraft was loaded aboard Solomon Islands Government barge MV Tina plus other aircraft from the area. Footage of this Zero being salvaged appeared in OneNews: Shortland & Ballalae Aircraft Salvage" aired on November 20, 2007.

The salvage included at lease six aircraft including: A6M3 Zero (no. 1), A6M3 Zero (no. 2 - this aircraft), A6M2 Zero 2487, A6M2 Zero 7434 from Ballale Island plus F1M2 Pete 1250 and F1M2 Pete 5269 from Magusaiai Island and Poporang Island. The salvaged aircraft were transported to Honiara and stored briefly before being exported overseas.

The salvaged aircraft were transported to Honiara and stored briefly before being exported overseas. Likely, this Zero was transported to Australia. Since the end of 2007, the precise whereabouts of this aircraft are unknown. Likely, placed into storage in Austral a suburb to the west of Sydney or some other location in Australia. Possibly, this aircraft was on-sold to another buyer worldwide.

References
YouTube "OneNews: Shortland & Ballalae Aircraft Salvage"
November 20, 2007
GJD Services - Solomon's via WaybackMachine.org February 25, 2008
Classic Wings Issue 64 "Solomon Salvation" pages 48-49

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Last Updated
August 2, 2018

 

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