Japanese Navy A6M3 Model 32 Zeros over Taroa

A pair of Japanese A6M3 Model 32 Zeros of the 252nd Kokutai find their home base of Taroa after fighting through weather after a mission, c. early 1943. This pair of aircraft, serial numbers 3145 and 3148, were built by Mitsubishi in September of 1942. Number 3145, in the foreground with the tail code 'Y2-128' and the Hokuku presentation markings from the Manchurian Secondary Schools, eventually donated its rear fuselage to make one flyable aircraft with the front section and wings of the machine in the background. The hybrid Zero, 3145/3148, was given upper-surface camouflage late in 1943 and was then flown in action by 'Ace' pilot Isamu Miyazaki.

In 1992 John Sterling went to Taroa and recovered the remains of this aircraft. It is currently under restoration by Legend Flyers in Everett, Washington. 


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