Corgi Aviation Archive1/72 scale AA33102: Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero-Sen/Zeke of the 251st Kokutai, UI-105, Hiroyoshi Nishizawa, Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS). Limited edition of 6,700 pieces. Finished in superb looking battle scarred livery.
Length 5 inches Wingspan 6 inches
Hiroyoshi Nishizawa remains Japan’s “Naval Ace of Aces.” Known as the “Devil of Rabaul,” he has been credited with well over 100 aerial victories by some sources and would the qualify as Japan’s all-time “Ace of Aces.” He destroyed six Grumman F4F Wildcats over Guadalcanal on November 2, 1942. With the 203rd Ku, Nishizawa’s flight of four Zeros escorted five other bomb-laden Zeros in the IJNAF’s first official suicidal “Kamikaze” attack, destroying two of 20 intercepting Grumman F64 Hellcats on the mission of October 25, 1944 – the very next day of October 26, Nishizawa was killed while a passenger on a Nakajima Ki.49. Donryu “Helen” Army Bomber transport aircraft that was shot down by intercepting Hellcats of VF-14 from the USS WASP. Funeral services for Nishizawa were delayed until December 2, 1947.
First flown in April, 1939, the A6M Zero-Sen was the Allies’ main opponent in the Pacific and the most famous symbol of Japanese air power during World War II. This carrier-based fighter, designed with a low-monoplane wing and armed with a formidable array of two 20mm cannons and two 7.7mm machine guns, proved capable of handling any of the Allies’ aircraft. It wasn’t until the Allies studied a captured Zero that they were able to identify and exploit weaknesses such as minimal pilot and fuel tank protection. Zeros became infamous for Kamikaze attacks, in which pilots would intentionally crash explosion-laden aircraft into Allied ships.