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History[]

Aircraft History[]

Built by Mitsubishi as a A6M5 Model 52, C/n 5622. Delivered to an unknown Japanese Naval Air Force Unit at either the Philippines or the Dutch East Indies.

In Allied hands[]

Sources give conflicting information about how the Australian got hold of this airframe. One source claims it was given to them by TAIU-SWPA at Clark Field from the various Zero's captured or brought there[1], another source claims that on 9 September 1945 this Zero and several (Japanese Naval Air Force) G4M Betty bombers with the Japanese surrender delegation flew from Halmahera to Moratai, where the aircraft were surrendered.[2] Footage of that ceremony however show the Japanese delegation landing and taking off in Ki-49 and Ki-21 Japanese Army Air Force bomber aircraft, and there is no Zero on the footage.[3] This Zero was repaired by engineers from RAAF 79 Squadron[2] and repainted with RAAF roundel markings and stripped to a bare aluminum finish. The Australians of 457 Squadron test flew the aircraft for some time,[1] but it's ultimate outcome is unknown. Rumour has it that it was flown to ATAIU-SEA at RAF Selatar and that it crashed into the Singapore harbour on a test flight.[4] That source quotes an entirely different aircraft though (A6M5 C/n 1303, TAIC 11), that at that time flew in the US at NAS Anacostia, wearing RAF markings.

Sources[]

Bibliography[]

  • Butler, Phil. War Prizes. Leicester, Great Britain: Midland Counties Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-904597-86-5
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