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  Marushin # S005 Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen-Zero 203rd Flying Group, 03-09, Sargeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, Kagoshima, Japan, 1945

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Kyushu J7W


Posts : 192
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: Marushin # S005 Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen-Zero 203rd Flying Group, 03-09, Sargeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, Kagoshima, Japan, 1945   Sat Feb 18 2017, 21:41

Mitsubishi A6M5  Model 52 Reisen.  -  Zero  
Producer  Marushin    (  This diecast line occasionally active, but releases limited )
Scale 1/48
Model number  S005
Mitsubishi A6M5  Model 52 Reisen.  -  Zero  
IJNAS 203rd Flying Group, 03-09, Sargeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, Kagoshima, Japan, 1945
(this aircraft features his stylistic B-29 kills on the rear fuselage),

Marushin diecast are impressive pieces of of metal.  Very Little plastic, solid, great panel lines but completely bereft of cockpit detail.   They need to be assembled but this as a rule is easily done.  Saves on box storage space.    Other that the Willow I encountered few snags that were not worked through with very basic modeling skills and a small screwdriver and swiss army knife.     The canopies are snap in arrangements but a drop of clear elmers  glue holds them in place.   Some owners have used 1.48 plastic A6M model cockpit interiors  and created astonishing detail to flesh out their Marushins,  but I personally have never attempted this.  The landing gear is also sparse on detail but not so noticeable.   Cannon, machine guns and pitot tubes are metal rods and should be painted.  The rods can take  a bit of filing down to place within the wings.   Still this is more than worth the effort.

 The owner of Marushin has a connection to the IJNAF via a relative who served in the war based on a story I read.   With the passing of his generation the company focuses on their airsoft replica rifles and pistols.   The molds appear to be in their personal possession vs a Chinese producer.   This possibly accounts for the occasional re- release of some models.  This one does not show up very often on the web or ebay.  Most online distributors are long out of stock.

The Aircraft  

The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a lightweight fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) from 1940 to 1945. The origin of its official designation was that "A" signified a fighter and "6" for the sixth model built by Mitsubishi ("M"). The A6M was usually referred to by the Allies as the "Zero"—a name that was frequently misapplied to other Japanese fighters, such as the Nakajima Ki-43—as well as other code names and nicknames, including "Zeke", "Hamp" and "Hap".

Its history mirrored that of the Empire of Japan in World War II. When it was introduced, the Zero was the best carrier-based fighter in the world and it was greatly feared by Allied pilots. The IJNAS also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter. A combination of excellent maneuverability and very long range made it one of the finest fighters of its era. In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation, outclassing its contemporaries. Later, design weaknesses and the increasing scarcity of more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer fighters. By 1942, due to the evolution of new tactics and techniques, Allied pilots were able to engage the Zero on more equal terms. By 1943, American and British manufacturers were producing fighters with greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approaching the Zero's maneuverability. The Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, but remained in production. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was utilized in kamikaze operations.

The official Allied code name was "Zeke", in keeping with the practice of giving male names to Japanese fighters, female names to bombers, bird names to gliders, and tree names to trainers. "Zeke" was part of the first batch of "hillbilly" code names assigned by Captain Frank T. McCoy of Nashville, Tennessee (assigned to the Allied Technical Air Intelligence Unit (ATAIU) at Eagle Farm Airport in Australia), who wanted quick, distinctive, easy-to-remember names. When, in 1942, the Allied code for Japanese aircraft was introduced, he logically chose "Zeke" for the "Zero." Later, two variants of the fighter received their own code names: the Nakajima A6M2-N (floatplane version of the Zero) was called "Rufe" and the A6M3-32 variant was initially called "Hap". After objections from General "Hap" Arnold, commander of the USAAF, the name was changed to "Hamp". When captured examples were examined in New Guinea, it was realized it was a variant of the Zero and finally renamed "Zeke 32."

When the powerfully armed Lockheed P-38 Lightning — possessing four "light barrel" AN/M2 .50 cal. Browning machine guns and one 20 mm autocannon — and the Grumman F6F Hellcat and Vought F4U Corsair, each using six of the AN/M2 heavy calibre Browning guns appeared in the Pacific theater, the A6M, with its low-powered engine and lighter armament, was hard-pressed to remain competitive. In combat with an F6F or F4U, the only positive thing that could be said of the Zero at this stage of the war was that in the hands of a skillful pilot it could maneuver as well as most of its opponents. Nonetheless, in competent hands the Zero could still be deadly.

Due to shortages of high-powered aviation engines and problems with planned successor models, the Zero remained in production until 1945, with over 11,000 of all variants produced.

•  Hiroyoshi Nishizawa: 102  
•  Tetsuzo Iwamoto: 94 (including 14 in China  )  
•  Shoichi Sugita: 70 (some sources say 80)
•  Saburo Sakai: 64 (2 in China)

Data from Wikipedia.

General characteristics
• Crew: one
• Length: 9.06 m (29 ft 9 in)
• Wingspan: 12.0 m (39 ft 4 in)
• Height: 3.05 m (10 ft 0 in)
• Wing area: 22.44 m² (241.5 ft²)
• Empty weight: 1,680 kg (3,704 lb)
• Loaded weight: 2,410 kg (5,313 lb)
• Powerplant: 1 × Nakajima Sakae 12 radial engine, 709 kW (950 hp)
• Aspect ratio: 6.4
• Never exceed speed: 660 km/h (356 kn, 410 mph)
• Maximum speed: 533 km/h (287 kn, 331 mph) at 4,550 m (14,930 ft)
• Range: 3,105 km (1,675 nmi, 1,929 mi)
• Service ceiling: 10,000 m (33,000 ft)
• Rate of climb: 15.7 m/s (3,100 ft/min)
• Wing loading: 107.4 kg/m² (22.0 lb/ft²)
• Power/mass: 294 W/kg (0.18 hp/lb)
• Guns:

•  Divergence of trajectories between 7.7 mm and 20mm ammunition
• 2× 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Type 97 aircraft machine guns in the engine cowling, with 500 rounds per gun.
• 2× 20 mm Type 99-1 cannon in the wings, with 60 rounds per gun.
•  Bombs:
• 2× 60 kg (132 lb) bombs or
• 1× fixed 250 kg (551 lb) bomb for kamikaze attacks

 Japan  Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
 Thailand  Royal Thai Air Force  &  Royal Thai Navy

 Indonesian Air Force
 Republic of China Air Force

The pilot  
IJN Warrant Officer Takeo Tanimizu

W.O.  Tanimizu was one of the very few JNAF airmen to survive the war.  Herewith the biography (verbatim) of Takeo Tanimizu that appears in 'Japanese Naval Aces & Fighter Units in WW2':

(this aircraft features his stylistic B-29 kills on the rear fuselage),

Graduating from 17th Flight Training Course in March 1942, Tanimizu was posted to the 6th Air Groupe in April; he was among those pilots who were trained during the war. In June he was assigned on board the aircraft carrier Kasuga Maru, transferred to the Shokaku in February 1943, and advanced to Rabaul in November. Tanimizu's first conbat experience was on 2 November, when he shot down two P-38s during an intercept battle. He stayed on in Rabaul and, until his transfer to the Tainan Air Group in March of the following year, participated in daily intercept battles over a four-month period. At the Tainan Air Group. he not only served as an instructor in training but also participated in intercept operations as well as in air defence combat operations off Taiwan. In November while Tanimizu was escorting a ship convoy off Amoy, a P-51 attacked him by surprise; his aircraft was hit and burned. Tanimizu himself parachuted into the ocean and was hospitalized for burns. Toward the end of 1944, he returned to the homeland and was assigned to Air Group 203 until the end of the war. He participated in Kyushu area air defense operations as well as in the Okinawa operation; he greeted the end of the war at Usa base.

Flight time, 1,425 hours; total number of aircraft shot down, eighteen.  At least 2 were  B-24's  with  one being discovered in China in the late 1990's

 A brief record of these losses is presented here.  B-24J-180-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-40783  Took off at 4:30pm from Liuchow Airfield at Liuchow, China to bomb enemy ships in Takao Harbor off Takao (Kaohsiung) on Formosa (Taiwan). Intercepted by A6M Zeros, including  pilot Takeo Tanimizu  they were  shot down,  crashing into the sea.

Pilot  1st Lt. Norman B Clendenen, O-427299 (MIA / KIA) Stockton, CA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Robert B. Reade, O-699850 (MIA / KIA) Sacramento, CA
Navigator  2nd Lt. John W. Roney, O-706547 (MIA / KIA) Chattanooga, TN
Bombardier SSgt Howard N. Young, O-697755 (MIA / KIA) Colorado Springs, CO
Engineer SSgt Ewald A. Mast, 31247318 (MIA / KIA) Wsterly, RI
Radio  Sgt James L. Hicks, 34722415 (MIA / KIA) Cleveland, TN
Gunner  Sgt Glen H. Park, 19126712 (MIA / KIA) Los Angeles, CA
Gunner  Sgt Milan J. Sliepka, 36650396 (MIA / KIA) Chicago, IL
Gunner  Sgt Richard D. Zacharias, 33429963 (MIA / KIA) New Kensington. PA
Radar  SSgt Allen S. Guthrie, 15082134 (MIA / KIA) Indianapolis, IN
Observer  Captain George K. O'Neil, O-427621 (POW, survived) Ames, IA
Crashed  August 31, 1944
MACR  8018
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 308th Bombardment Group, 425th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Weapon serial numbers not noted in MACR.

Mission History
440831 Took off at 4:30pm from Liuchow Airfield at Liuchow, China to bomb enemy ships in Takao Harbor off Takao (Kaohsiung) on Formosa (Taiwan). Intercepted by A6M Zeros, including  pilot Takeo Tanimizu  they were  shot at possibly damaged,  and  later crashed on its return flight when diverted to an alternate airfield because Liuchow Airfield was under air attack.  On its way to the alternate airfield, it crashed into Mount Arisan at 6,000' then tumbled into a deep ravine. The entire crew was declared missing in action.  On  October 2, 1996 two Chinese farmers discovered the crash site roughly 62 miles south of Gualin, Guangxi Province on Mount Maoer.  Members of a Chinese Xing'an County museum staff recovery team sift through the wreckage of a B-24J..  

They were found in a crevasse. I think the peak was 7,000 feet," said David Ward, whose uncle had been on the plane. "The plane hit at 6,500 feet and fell into a granite notch so one could see it." Drager the son of  crew member accompanied the U.S. Army team that went in to recover the remains.

"All of a sudden we came around a corner on this one ledge and it was as if   this plane crashed last week. It still smelled of oil and grease," he recalled. "I would be picking up boots. I would be picking up different pieces of clothing, equipment. I mean it was all there as if someone had taken it, shaken it, and thrown it in a pile there."

B-24J-180-CO Liberator Serial Number 44-40831
Pilot  2nd Lt. George H. Pierpont, O-802781 (MIA / KIA) Salem, VA
Co-Pilot  2nd Lt. Franklin A. Tomenendale, O-802956 (MIA / KIA) Shabbona, IL
Navigator  2nd Lt. Robert Deming, O-741781 (MIA / KIA) Seattle, WA
Bombardier  2nd Lt. George A. Ward, O-688567 (MIA / KIA) Jersey City, NJ
Engineer  Staff Sgt. Anthony W. DeLucia, 6949724 (MIA / KIA) Bradford, PA
Radio  Sgt. Ellsworth V. Kelley, 35404515 (MIA / KIA) Newark, OH
Radar  Pvt. Fred P. Buckley, 17175674 (MIA / KIA) Garden City, KS
Gunner  S/Sgt William A. Drager, 32303245 (MIA / KIA) Washington, NJ
Gunner  Sgt Robert L. Kearsey, 13011330 (MIA / KIA) McKees Rocks, PA
Gunner  Pvt Vincent J. Netherwood, 12155792 (MIA / KIA) Kingston, NY
Crashed  August 31, 1944
MACR  8020
Aircraft History
Built by Consolidated. Assigned to the 308th Bombardment Group, 375th Bombardment Squadron. No known nose art or nickname. Engine and weapon serial numbers listed in MACR.

Several more excavations yielded human bones and dog tags and eventually the remains of all 10 crewmen were identified. The remains of those not buried Monday have been or will be released to relatives.

  Elmer DeLucia remembers the last time he saw his brother Anthony. "He said, 'Elmer, I know you don't graduate for another year and a half, and I have something for you,' and he gave me a beautiful wristwatch. He said, 'I don't know when I will ever see you again.' And that's the last time I saw him."  

Five decades later, living quietly in Osaka, Japan after suffering a mild stroke, Tanimizu was overcome by emotion when he learned of the discovery of the remains of the dead men in the Chinese countryside. "I did fight American planes over Takao," Tanimizu said  during a telephone interview, "I know one crashed into the ocean, but I don't know what happened to the other." However, with the new information Tanimizu clearly recognized that he was responsible for the deaths of those men so many years ago. An old man at 76 years of age, in response to being asked if he had any words for the families of the men he killed, Tanimizu replied sobbing into the telephone, "I can't say anything. The only thing I can say about the people who were found after 50 years is to pray that their souls find happiness in the next world." Warrant Officer Takeo Tanimizu passed away on March 12, 2008, at his age of 88.

                                 Trajectory of Zero MG vs 20MM cannon.

If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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Marushin # S005 Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen-Zero 203rd Flying Group, 03-09, Sargeant Major Takeo Tanimizu, Kagoshima, Japan, 1945
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