The Japanese Zero was a type of aircraft operated by Japan's Imperial Army Air Fleet, serving in the Pacific War theater of World War II. However, nine wrecked Mitsubishi A6M Zeros were recovered from Pearl Harbor shortly after the attack in December 1941, and United States Office of Naval Intelligence, along with BuAer had them studied, and then shipped to the Experimental Engineering Department at Dayton, Ohio in 1942. E arly in the Pacific War, the Americans thought they were facing a "wonder weapon," the Japanese A6M2 Zero, the main fighter plane of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in 1941. On spotting the Shumagin Islands, he reoriented his plane and began to return to Dutch Harbor by the most direct course—over Akutan Island. The Zero trailing oil over Dutch Harbor, moments after being hit. The Zero required an overhaul every 150 hours of flight time, but the Japanese often stretched this to 200 hours or more, with unhappy results. A Japanese task force led by Admiral Kakuji Kakuta bombed Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island twice, once on June 3 and again the following day. A model 52 Zero, captured during the liberation of Guam, was later used as well. The Zero was fit to fly again on September 20. It rolled to the left much easier than to the right. The Japanese ... were not prepared to or weren't capable of building more advanced fighters in the numbers needed to cope with increasing numbers and quality of American fighters". Zero's fame quickly spread around the resistance groups throughout Japan. For the Japanese and its former enemies, the A6M was the symbol of Japanese air power and marked the beginning of a new epoch in naval aviation. Tadayoshi Koga, a 19-year-old flight petty officer first class, was launched from the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō as part of the June 4 raid. [18] Physical inspection of the plane revealed it was hit with small arms fire—.50 caliber bullet holes and smaller, from both above and below. The Japanese Zero A6M2 when it first appeared in 1941 was indeed revolutionary. The Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter was the finest shipboard fighter in the world during the first year of the Pacific War. Machinist Mate Albert Knack, who was the plane captain (note: the term "plane captain" in US Navy usage refers to an aircraft's assigned maintenance crew chief, not the pilot-in-command), spotted Koga's wreck. Click here for audio of Episode 470. The Zero was heavily damaged, and Toyoshima became Australia's first Japanese prisoner of the Pacific war. The next day (July 12), a salvage team under Lieutenant Robert Kirmse was dispatched to Akutan. On July 15, a third recovery team was dispatched. It should be noted that much of the metal structure was made of Extra Super Duralumin, an advanced alloy that was lighter and stronger than other alloys, and top secret at the time. 7 comments. [21], The three Zeros flew to Akutan Island, 25 miles east of Dutch Harbor, which had been designated for emergency landings. The three-blade Sumitomo propeller was dressed and re-used. What an amazing feat! The team sent to recover the plane erred when they chopped off the wings, severing the wing spars and rendering the hulk unflyable. Thies's plane circled the crash site for several minutes, noted its position on the map, and returned to Dutch Harbor to report it. Today, we learn things from a Japanese airplane. Both American and Japanese records contradict his claims; there were no PBYs in the bay that day. [15] The third came from China, where Gerhard Neumann was able to reconstruct a working Zero. The Zero was taken to Dutch Harbor, turned right-side up, and cleaned. 85, War Prize: The Capture Of The First Japanese Zero Fighter In 1941, Article on Yoshimitsu Maeda's crashed Zero, Lone Sentry's "Akutan Zero" report, from U.S. Military Intelligence Service, first published August 13, 1942, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Akutan_Zero&oldid=993628190, 20th-century aircraft shootdown incidents, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from June 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 11 December 2020, at 16:40. Shipping our Zero halfway around the world, flying it in the airshow Warbirds Over Wanaka, and then returning it safely home. 278–79. Following these, USN test pilot Lieutenant Melvin C. "Boogey" Hoffman conducted more dogfighting tests between himself flying the Akutan Zero and recently commissioned USN pilots flying newer Navy aircraft. The Akutan Zero, also known as Koga's Zero and the Aleutian Zero, was a type 0 model 21 Mitsubishi A6M Zero Japanese fighter aircraft that crash-landed on Akutan Island, Alaska Territory, during World War II.It was found intact by the Americans in July 1942 and became the first flyable Zero acquired by the United States during the war. During the war, the Japanese manufactured roughly 10,500 Zeros. I have worked through Lesson 6 (in a college classroom) and over the break went back to the first JPZ book and have flown through it because it is much more basic and much simpler than Genki. What was the Japanese zero See answers (1) Ask for details ; Follow Report Middle School. William N. Leonard concurred, describing it thus: "The captured Zero was a treasure. [1][2] It was repaired and flown by American test pilots. [31] In 1944, it was recalled to North Island for use as a training plane for rookie pilots being sent to the Pacific. Nearly 11,000 Zeros have dwindled to only two airworthy specimens: The Commemorative Air Force flies one, and the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California, flies the other. Japanese Zero. After its return to the Navy, it was flight tested by Frederick M. Trapnell, the Anacostia Naval Air Station director of flight testing. Although for a long time Lelouch remains the person behind the mask, throughout the conflict between Britannia and The Order of the Black Knights, Zero and his distinctive appearance remained a symbol of the anti-Britannian rebellion and the fight for an independent Japan. The Navy wished to make use of the expertise of the NACA Langley Research Center in flight instrumentation, and it was flown to Langley on March 5, 1943 for the installation of the instrumentation. https://www.britannica.com/technology/Zero-Japanese-aircraft. So let’s be honest: as a WAR-plane, the Zero was obsolete by the Spring of 1942. [28] The U.S. carrier-borne fighter plane that succeeded the Grumman F4F Wildcat,[5][34] the F6F, was tested in its first experimental mode as the XF6F-1 prototype with an under-powered Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone 14-cylinder, two-row radial engine on 26 June 1942. Members of the 206th Coast Artillery Regiment, which had both 3-inch anti-aircraft guns and .50 caliber machine guns in position defending Dutch Harbor, claimed credit, in addition to claims made by United States Navy ships that were present. But for some reason the Imperial Japanese Navy never adopted the Type 2 (German MG131) for the purpose it was originally designed for, a cowling machine gun. It was repaired and flown by American test pilots. Koga was part of a three-plane section; his wingmen were Chief Petty Officer Makoto Endo and Petty Officer Tsuguo Shikada. This account omits any mention of shooting down Mitchell's PBY. The Akutan Zero was destroyed during a training accident in February 1945. It had fabric-covered control surfaces, but aside from that was metal. The A6M Zero was designed by Jiro Horikoshi, built by Mitsubishi, and entered service with the Japanese Imperial NAVY in 1940. It was the first shipboard fighter capable of defeating its land-based opponents. In June 1942, as part of the Japanese Midway operation, the Japanese attacked the Aleutian islands, off the south coast of Alaska. "[25] The Zero's red Hinomaru roundel was repainted with the American blue circle-white star insignia. Later in 1943, the aircraft was displayed at Washington National Airport as a war prize. National Museum of the United States Navy, "War Prize: The Capture of the First Japanese Zero Fighter in 1941", "Lemelson-MIT program – Inventor of the Week Archive profile of Gerhard Neumann", "Zero Model 21: unraveling the performance data (part 1)", Fire in the Sky: The Air War in the South Pacific, The First Team and the Guadalcanal Campaign: Naval Fighter Combat from August to November 1942, United States Naval Fighters of World War II in Action, Koga's Zero: The Fighter That Changed World War II, Koga's Zero – An Enemy Plane That Saved American Lives, Informational Intelligence Summary No. It was the first naval fighter plane that was equal to land based fighter planes. The very useful MOU - Japanese From Zero! It is probable that Koga was one of them. He made 24 test flights between September 20 and October 15. I consider Genki my main book. Photographic evidence strongly suggests it was hit by ground fire. Sort by. [14] The Zero's flight performance characteristics—crucial to devising tactics and machinery to combat it—remained a mystery. The Zero model itself had been built by the Mitsubishi Aircraft Company – a division of the huge Tokyo-based industrial group that still exists today … Japanese Navy Type 00 Carrier Fighter (A6M2) Tail of a "Zero" which crash landed on Niihau Island, Territory of Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, following the raid on Pearl Harbor. The new F6F Hellcat would compensate for the extra weight with additional power.[27][28]. Mitsubishi had the foresight to send Horikoshi to work and observe at aircraft factories in Europe and the U.S. in 1929, and he even spent several months at a Curtiss plant in New York, as an acceptance inspector for a batch of P-6 Hawk pursuit biplanes the Japanese had ordered. Parts of it are preserved in several museums in the United States. At about 200 knots, roll hard right before the Zero pilot could get his sights lined up. Maneuverability is described as "excellent ... Of the early Allied fighters, only the F4F Wildcat could oppose it on anything like equal terms". [43] That information, together with the improved capabilities of the Hellcat, were credited with helping American pilots "tip the balance in the Pacific". [33], Data from the captured aircraft were submitted to the Bauer and Grumman for study in 1942. It was the first intact example of the aircraft to be captured by the Allies. The Zero was all metal. The F6F-3 subtype had been designed with specific "Wildcat vs Zero" input from Battle of the Coral Sea and Battle of Midway veteran F4F pilots such as Jim Flatley and Jimmy Thach, respectively, among several others, obtained during a meeting with Grumman Vice President Jake Swirbul at Pearl Harbor on 23 June 1942, with the first production F6F-3 making its first flight just over three months later, on October 3, 1942. He suddenly realized Koga should make a belly landing. [36][39][40][41] While the captured Zero's tests did not drastically influence the Hellcat's design,[42] they did give knowledge of the Zero's handling characteristics, including its limitations in rolling right and diving. [24], The Akutan Zero was loaded onto the USS St. Mihiel and transported to Seattle, arriving on August 1. Japanese Fighter Planes Navy's Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Army's Ki-43 Oscar. In February 1942, a Japanese Zero fighter was shot down over northern Australia. By 1943, American fighter aircraft had surpassed the Zero and Japan was running out of … These results tend to somewhat understate the Zero's capabilities. XI in Japanese, with zero Japanese. A film about kamikaze pilots has been playing to packed theaters from Hokkaido to Kyushu since its release in December of 2013, becoming one of the top-grossing Japanese productions of … [35][36] Shortly before the XF6F-1's first flight, and based on combat accounts of encounters between the F4F Wildcat and A6M Zero, on 26 April 1942, Bauer directed Grumman to install the more powerful 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine—already powering Chance Vought's Corsair design since its beginnings in 1940—in the second XF6F-1 prototype. According to this viewpoint, only then did Allied pilots learn how to deal with their nimble opponents. [37] Grumman complied by redesigning and strengthening the F6F airframe to incorporate the 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) R-2800-10 engine, driving a three-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller. The Second Sino-Japanese War began in 1937. Some 5,919 were built, more than any other Japanese aircraft except the Zero. I read an article that quoted a Japanese Zero pilot who was shot down by an F6F, but lived to tell about it. share. Thies persuaded his commanding officer, Paul Foley, to let him return with a salvage team. [48] Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Help support true facts by becoming a member. They searched it for anything with intelligence value, and buried Koga in a shallow grave near the crash site. [17], Tsuguo Shikada, one of Koga's wingmen, published an account in 1984 in which he claimed the damage to Koga's plane occurred while his section was making an attack against two American Catalinas anchored in the bay.
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