A6M  "ZERO" FIGHTER  

                                                                                         UNDERWATER IMAGES

"Zero" was the Allied code name for the Mitsubishi A6M fighter. The aircraft was designed in 1937 by Jiro Horikoshi for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The plane saw action throughout the war and was unmatched in speed and maneuverability until 1942 when modern Allied fighters began to appear. Later the aircraft was found to be very vulnerable due to unprotected fuel tanks and easily caught fire. Approximately 11,300 aircraft where built in various models.

The A6M was operated throughout the war in various models by the Imperial Japanese Navy.  Primarily a fighter, it was also used as a tactical bomber and Kamikaze attack aircraft. However, after the "cream" of Japanese Naval Aviators were lost at the Battle of Midway, there were never enough experienced pilots available to fly the Zero to its full potential.

This Truk aircraft wreck crashed on takeoff from Eten Island. Whether it was shot down or crashed is unknown. She now lies in 20 fsw.

Mitsubishi A6M3 Naval Carrier Fighter: Crew 1; Wingspan 29.7 ft.; Length 29.7 ft.; Height 9.6 ft.; MATOW 2644 lbs; Engine: 1 supercharged Sakae1130 HP each; Speed 338 mph at 6,000 ft; Range 2380 NM. Armament: 2 x 7.7mm machine guns, 2 x 20mm cannon. 

                                                                                  

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