Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero-Sen/Zeke – WI-108, 201st NAC, IJNAS, Takeo Okumura, Solomon Islands 1943
2 in stock
2 in stock
Corgi Aviation Archive Legends 1/72 scale AA33105: Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero-Sen/Zeke WI-108 of 201st NAC, IJNAS , Takeo Okumura
Length 5 inches Wingspan 6 inches
The unit designation ‘Wl’ was used from June 1943 through to 1944, during which time CPO Okumura became one of the most famous aces in Japan.
Chief Petty Officer Okumura Takeo JNAF, was an ace fighter pilot in the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Pacific theater of World War II. In his first mission over Kunming in October of 1940 he shot down 4 Chinese I-15’s. He went on to train pilots for most of ’41 then he was assigned to the Ryujo, just in time for the Eastern Solomons Campaign. Returning to the Solomons, after being shot down in late August, Okumura achieved a very rare feat and Japanese Navy Air Force record for shooting down the most number of enemy aircraft in a single day. He was credited with 10 kills in a single day. On 14 September ’43 during the US raid on Buin on Bougainville, Okumura flew 3 sorties and shot down the following:
For this achievement, he was awarded a ceremonial sword, but only 8 days later on the 22nd of that same month he would fail to return from a Bomber Interception mission. He started a dogfight with a P-38 and a P-40, and he did not return. In aerial combat over China and the Pacific, he shot down a total of 54 enemy aircraft
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.