Sunday 3 June 2012

Mitsubishi A6M2 Model 21

A photo from a vintage publication of Zero Model 21 probably belonging to the Tainan Kokutai which after completing operations in the Indonesia area returned to Japan for replenishment and then advanced to the Rabaul area to participate in the battle of the Solomons. 
According to the caption, this photo was taken in the Rabaul East airfield in the Spring of 1942. The tail number of the plane is "V-153" with one blue band above and below the tail marking. These blue bands, something used only by the Tainan Ku, were an indication that the plane belonged to a chutai-cho (division leader). 
During the Rabaul time, the unit marking was black and the "V" marking was in use from Oct. 1941 to Oct. 1942. 
Note the early approximately 300l drop tank and the pilots resting under the wing. 

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