Captured A6M5 Zero vs Bell P-59: A True Story

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Sabrejet

Airman 1st Class
299
375
Apr 5, 2023
I've been looking into Bell P-59 records and hadn't expected the Japanese 'Zero' (Zeke) to come up during that project. Yet here it is: in the spring of 1945, the 412th Fighter Group - in the midst of learning to cope with the recalcitrant P-59 as well as come up to speed with the promising P-80 - was given a captured A6M5 (c/n 1293/TAIC 8) to play with. And it flew simulated combat with the unit's P-59 jets too. The attached show that the Zero was assigned to Group, where it was flown by several combat veterans, and then transferred to the 445th FS (first USAAF jet squadron) before a short stint with the 29th FS. Its movements after April 1945 are not known but it seems to have been flown at Eglin around this time too.

I'm not an expert on Japanese WW2 aircraft but I hope the attached will be of interest.
 

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