This aircraft was destroyed on the ground at Tobera Field, part of the larger Japanese Naval complex around Rabaul, New Britain. It was built by Mitsubishi prior to March 1943, and was painted in the early-war highly-polished ‘olive gray’ typical of the Zeros involved in the Pearl Harbor attack. Very few well preserved examples of this original paint exist today. This fragment was removed from Tobera by Brian Bennett in the 1980s, and is extremely well preserved. Its high gloss was as it appeared fresh from the factory, and maintained by ground crews throughout most of the war. Japanese pilots typically preferred the early A6M2 models over later Zeros, due to their quality of manufacture.
Displays measure 17 x 11 inches.