World War II Japanese Aircraft
at the Old Colonia Airport, Yap State
Federated States of Micronesia

Site #2
Plate 3: Site #2.
This site lies on the east side of the dispersal area, just east of the eastern taxiway (latitude 9° 29.437′ N, longitude 138° 04.413′ E), near the modern communications station with its large satellite dish antenna. It covers an area of about 250 square meters. The remains of a Mitsubishi A6M2 “Zero” fighter, it includes a portion of the central fuselage with both wings attached. The wings are more or less intact, though the leading edge and tip of the right wing are missing. The outer wing panels of both wings are broken and droop toward the ground. The fuselage forward of the cockpit is mostly gone; the engine lies on the ground in front of the fuselage. The empennage is gone. The skins of the fuselage and wings are riddled with what presumably are shrapnel and/or bullet holes. In the cockpit area and the remnant forward part of the fuselage many of these appear to represent the passage of objects outward from inside, suggesting an explosion in this area. There is evidence of fire damage in the cockpit area, and around the main spar there is an accumulation of melted aluminum slag. Many rivets in the fuselage and wings have popped, presumably from explosive concussion. The underside of the wings show evidence of fire damage, and the fuel tanks are missing. Possibly an explosion in the cockpit area blew off the engine and ignited both fuel tanks.

The propeller blades are highly corroded, bent and broken. The cylinders are rusted through, and virtually all other engine components are heavily corroded. Both landing gear are intact and extended. The gear legs are not heavily corroded, and the wheels are virtually corrosion-free – presumably being made of a different alloy than other wheels observed, which were badly corroded. The tires are gone.

This aircraft may have suffered a direct bomb hit, or exploded when hit by shrapnel or gunfire. The burning has accelerated corrosion. The airframe has also suffered more recent damage; graffiti are scratched into the skin of the wings, and parts have probably been removed by souvenir collectors.

Site Plan.

Site 2

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