1942 Mitsubishi Zero fighter “Type OO” Japanese float

Original aeroplane identification poster, 1942

63 x 47 cm

A particularly unusual style of aeroplane identification poster, owing to the very arty images. Most such posters rely on very plain silhouettes, this series – and we have many in this series – have a much more arty approach to the task with shading and an interesting angle view.

This Japanese floatplane, known to the Allies as a “Rufe”, was developed from the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0 – the famous ‘Zero’ figher, mainly to support amphibious operations and defend remote bases. It was based on the A6M-2 Model 11 fuselage, with a modified tail and added floats. A total of 327 were built, including the original prototype. The aircraft was deployed in 1942 and was only used in operations taking place in the Aleutians and Solomon Islands. Such seaplanes were effective in harassing American patrol torpedo boats at night. They could also drop flares to illuminate the American boats which were vulnerable to destroyer gunfire, and depended on cover of darkness.

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