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Zero Myth, Mystery, and fact – A test pilot compares the A6M5 Zero to U.S. Fighters

One of the only airworthy Nakajima-built A6M Zeros powered by an original Sakae 21 engine blasts over the beaches of Southern California at sunset for the camera ship. This aircraft was rescued from the jungles of Western New Guinea in remarkable condition near Babo Airfield and later restored in Russia. (Photo by John Dibbs/
Anyone who grew up in the 1920s and 1930s learned very quickly that “Made in Japan” meant cheap price and poor quality. Almost everything bought in the five-and-dime stores had that tag. It seemed impossible to purchase anything imported from Japan that would not wear out or break after a very short useful life. That fact and the secrecy of the Japanese in the years before WW II regarding their military buildup anesthetized all of...


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