Naval History and Heritage Command

National Naval Aviation Museum

Wreckage of A6M2 Zero on Akutan Island

Photo of wreckage of Japanese Zero that crashed in the Aleutian Islands and was salvaged by the United States
Caption: On 4 June 1942, Imperial Japanese Navy Petty Officer Tadayoshi Koga launched from the aircraft carrier Ryujo to attack Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands. Hit by antiaircraft fire, Koga attempted a forced landing at Akutan Island, choosing to keep his landing gear down. The wheels hit the soft marsh and stuck, flipping the aircraft on its back and killing its pilot. Weeks later, while on a routine patrol, the crew of a U.S. Navy PBY Catalina spotted the wreckage. It was soon recovered and sent to the United States for evaluation, including flights against front-line U.S. fighter aircraft.
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Wars & Conflicts
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