IXO Models IXJP008 Japanese Mitsubishi A6M5c "Zero" Fighter - 303 Hiko Tai, 203 Kokutai, Nagasaki Naval Area, Omura Airbase, Japan, August 1945 (1:72 Scale)
"We have resolved to endure the unendurable and suffer what is insufferable."
- Japanese Emperor Hirohito speaking to the Japanese people after the atomic bombings, August 1945
Aside from the early-morning raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, perhaps the biggest shock for American forces in the Pacific was the outstanding performance of the Imperial Navy's main carrier fighter, the beautifully proportioned Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero-Sen. Some 10,500 Zeros were built by Mitsubishi in no fewer than eight different sub-types, and although outclassed by more powerful US fighters from late 1943 onwards, the Zero retained a modicum of 'combatibility' due to its weight.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M5c "Zero" fighter that was attached to the 303 Hiko Tai, 203 Kokutai, then deployed to the Nagasaki Naval Area, Omura Airbase, Japan, during August 1945. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5.25 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: August 2005
Historical Account: "Death is a Strange Mistress" - Hiroyoshi Nishizawa was born in a mountain village in the Nagano Prefecture, as the 5th son of Mikiji and Miyoshi Nishizawa. His father Mikiji was the manager of a sake brewery. Hiroyoshi graduated from higher elementary school and then began to work in a textile factory. In June 1936, a poster caught his eye, an appeal for volunteers to join the Yokaren (flight reserve enlistee training program). Hiroyoshi applied and qualified as a student pilot in Class Otsu No. 7 of the Japanese Navy Air Force (JNAF). He completed his flight training course in March 1939, graduating 16th out of a class of 71.
Before the war, he served with the Oita, Omura and Sakura air groups (Kokutai).
In October 1941, he was transferred to the Chitose Kokutai, with the rank of petty officer 1st class. After the outbreak of war with the United States Nishizawa's squadron (chutai) from the Chitose group, then flying the obsolescent Mitsubishi A5M, moved to Vunakanau airfield on the newly taken island of New Britain. The squadron received its first Mitsubishi Zeros (A6M2, Model 21) the same week.
Three years later, on October 26th, 1944, with his own Zero having been destroyed in a Kamikaze attack by a fellow pilot, Nishizawa and other pilots of the 201st Kokutai boarded a Nakajima Ki-49 Donryu ("Helen") transport plane and left Mabalacat on Cebu in the morning, to ferry replacement Zeros from Clark Field on Luzon.
Over Calapan on Mindoro Island, the Ki-49 transport was attacked by two F6F Hellcats of VF-14 squadron from the USS Wasp (CV-18) and was shot down in flames. Nishizawa died as a helpless passenger, probably the victim of Lt. j.g. Harold P. Newell, who was credited with a "Helen" northeast of Mindoro that morning.
Warrant Officer Hiroyoshi Nishizawa, Japan's leading ace, had been killed at the age of 24.