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In 1993, the crash site of a Zero was discovered five miles east of Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. During 1994, American Patrick M. Murphy excavated the crash site with a Japanese television crew from Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK).
This documentary includes footage of the crash site and salvage of wreckage and the bones and personal effects of the pilot. Identified as A6M2 Zero 3647 from the cockpit dataplate, and as a Tainan Kokutai aircraft from the tail section with "V-103".
The identity of the pilot or date it crashed is unknown, but was certainly a Tainan Kokutai Zero lost sometime between August - November 1942. There are seven possibilities including:
PO3C Kenichi Kumagai KIA August 26, 1942
PO3C Takeichi Kokubu KIA September 2, 1942
WO Toraichi Takatsuka KIA September 13, 1942
PO3C Noboru Sato KIA September 13, 1942
LS Yoshifusa Iwasaka KIA October 15, 1942
Yozou Sugawara KIA October 18, 1942
Isao Ito KIA November 12, 1942
The documentary profiles the forensic work of Dr. Minoru Kawamoto. From the length of the femur bone recovered, there are seven possible Tainan Kōkūtai pilots of who might have been piloting the plane when it was lost. When the documentary aired, Dr. Kawamoto was attempting to contact with several families from the list to conduct a comparative DNA tests.
Review by Justin Taylan
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