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 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, 19423)
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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October 23, 2019