Fish 'n Fins - Dive Sites - Zero Fighter
Location: Ngaremediu Reef, southeast of Koror.
Distance from Koror: 6 miles (10 kilometers) from Koror, 10 minutes by speedboat.
Level of Diving Experience: Novice, snorkeling.
Diving Depth Summary: 0 to 6 feet (0 to 2 meters).
Currents: None to moderate.
Type: Mitsubishi A6M Navy Type 0 Carrier Fighter Plane.
Engine: Could be one of several types: Mitsubishi Zuisei 13 – 780 hp, Nakajima NK1C Sakae 12 – 940 hp, Nakajima NK1F Sakae 21 – 1,130 hp, or a Mitsubishi MK8P Kinsei 62 – 1,560 hp engine.
Length: 29.9 feet (9.1 meters).
Wingspan: 39 feet (11.88 meters).
This Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” or “Zeke” was Japan’s most popular and lethal airplane during WWII. Between 1937 and 1945, 11,500 “Zero’s” were built. The “Zero” fighter’s wings were armored with twin 20mm guns. It is suspected that this plane was damaged during a dogfight during Operation DESECRATE ONE on March 30 to 31, 1944. The plane landed on the shallow reef with the gear up and the engine feathered. One propeller sticks up above the water; the other two are buried in the reef. The straight propeller indicates that it was not rotating when the plane landed.
Reef Formation: This is a shallow hard coral reef.
Marine life: Very little fish life of note in this area.
Diving: This wreck is a very popular snorkeling site on the way to, or from the dive sites.
Fascinating Facts: The airplane was officially named, “Type Zero carrier-based Fighter, Model 11”, taking the last digits of the Japanese year 2600 for its name. “Zero” was the Japanese abbreviation of the official name. The term “Zeke” was the name adopted by the Allies.