How to read the ID on the Mitsubishi Zero

The Flying Heritage Collection’s Mitsubishi Zero has a three-line designation or identification block stenciled on the rear left side of its fuselage. Streaks of dark green camouflage were later painted over the top of the block while the plane was in the field.

Most of us don’t read kanji, so here is the basic layout of the data on the lines. At the top is data about who manufactured the aircraft, in the case of the A6M Zero, it was Mitsubishi or Nakajima. The FHC’s plane came from Mitsubishi. In the middle box, the data revealed which specific aircraft—the serial number of the plane can be seen. Finally, a space was left in cases where the plane had a specific assignment immediately upon leaving the factory.

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