No. 13144. Mitsubishi A6M2 Type 0 Model 21 ("TAIC 1" c/n 4593) "Zeke" TAIC
Photographed near San Diego, California, USA, October 1942
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 1195

Mitsubishi S-00-1

06/30/2017. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "The photo of this "Zeke" (commonly known as "Zero") has been retouched, as instead of the original Japanese red Hinomaru roundel it should show the USAAF blue circle-white star insignia. Here is the original photo.

The aircraft was built by Mitsubishi on February 9, 1942, and coded DI-108 it was assigned to the light aircraft carrier Ryujo of the Japanese Navy. On June 4, 1942 it participated in an attack on Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island, Alaska USA, and was damaged by ground fire. The 19-year old pilot, Tadayoshi Koga, forced landing with the landing gear extended on Akutan Island. On landing, the aircraft flipped over in the soft marsh and killed the pilot on impact. On July 10 the aircraft was spotted from the air and four days later the almost intact aircraft, which become known as the "Aleutian Zero" or "Alaska Zero", was enroute to NAS North Island near San Diego, California, where it was repaired.

On September 20, 1942, Lieutenant Commander Eddie R. Sanders took the aircraft, assigned the Technical Air Intelligence Center code TAIC 1, up for its first test flight. In 1943 it was transferred to the east coast, where it was tested by NACA at Langley, Hampton, Virginia and by the USN at Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

In 1944 the aircraft returned to NAS North Island and was used as a training aircraft. It was destroyed in a ground accident in February 1945 when a Curtiss SB2C Helldiver lost control and rammed into it. A few instruments still exist in museums in Washington and Alaska."

Created June 30, 2017