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Mitsubishi A6M Zero
Mitsubishi A6M Zero (Modelmania 6)
By Arthur Lochte

Publisher: AJ Press 2000 60 Pages
ISBN: 8372370621

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and thrust the United States into war, American Intelligence knew virtually nothing about the Japanese or their mili­tary equipment. This was especially true of the Zero fighter which proved to be a very real threat to the American fighters.
In early 1941, General Claire Chennault acting as advisor to the Chinese government sent reports detailing the performance of the Zero-Sen fighter to Washington, D C. American officials felt that the reports grossly exagerated the performance of the Zero and therefore were of little value. The reports were filed and ignored.
It became vitally important to obtain an example of the Zero for ealua-tion to determine what made this fighter so invincible. Of the eight Zeros shot down during the Pearl Harbor attack, only "AI-I54". an A6M2 model 21 flown by Petty Officer 1st class Takeshi Hiranofrom the carrier Akagi provid­ed any evidence to be studied by American Intelligence.
Hirano s aircraft was traditional gray overall with black cowling and air­craft identification on the tail arid a red band aft of the Hinomaru.
On June 4, 1942, the luck of American Intelligence improved dramatical­ly. During a diversionary attack on Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, an A6M2 model 21 crash landed on Akutan Island. The aircraft, "DI-108" pilot­ed by Petty Officer Tadayoshi Koga of the Second Koku Sentaifrom the carri­er Ryujo had been hit by defensive fire from a PBY Cataiina that severed his fuel line. Koga attempted a landing on the only level ground available before his fuel ran out. The ground proved to be a bog and when his wheels touched down, the plane flipped on its back. The impact broke Koga s neck.
Five weeks later, the Zero was spotted and a rescue operation was begun. The soft soil cushioned the crash so that damage was confined to the vertical tail surfaces, canopy and propeller. "DI-108" was shipped to the maintenance shops of the Naval Air Station in San Diego, California and quickly restored to flying condition.

Dual Polish and English text.


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