“Now here is something you don’t see everyday”

Yes, I have said that quite a few times and today is one of them.  Check out this very interesting photo of a World War II era Japanese fighter aircraft perched in a tree.

Japanese Zero

I imagine the pilot survived the epic landing and was thanking his lucky starts as descended from the lush canopy of trees onto terra firma below. Incidentally, the aircraft in the photo is located roughly at Lat 4° 12′ 0S Long 152° 10′ 60E which will put you on Rabaul (a township in East New Britain province, on the island of New Britain, in the country of Papua New Guinea). I believe it was later lowered (thanks for the heads up Lee) and may now be as shown below.

Zero part 2


When it was new, I imagine it probably looked pretty much like this before the accident.  In the local Tolia language, Rabaul means mangrove and was invaded by the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army in early 1942.   They stayed put through the war (being bypassed by Douglas MacArthur) and finally surrendered to the Aussies in September of 1945.

Aussies in Action

Today, Rabual is a tourist destination and popular for its many volcanoes, diving and snorkeling in its warm tropical waters and its still visible World War II sites.  Before the 1994 eruption, it was a popular commercial and recreational boating destination; fewer private small craft visit now, but 10-12 cruise ships visit Rabaul each year, including the Queen Elizabeth carrying up to 5000 passengers. Tourism is a major industry in Rabaul and East New Britain generally.

Eruption in Rabaul

Now THAT is really something you don’t often see!

+++ For Lee – Was it this one? +++

Japanese Aircraft in Papua

A similar Japanese aircraft display in Papua New Guinea.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. lee sherman says:

    So many wrecks, so little time!! There can’t be too many Zeros on elevated poles I would’nt think. It never fails to amaze me what can be found in far flung war zones worldwide. I’m sure that you have found many in your quest for the Clipper and crew over the years. I wish you luck in your search. Thank you.


    1. Guy says:

      Many thanks Lee and Happy 2016 to you.


  2. John B. says:

    Lee, it is on stilts already in the first photo – which is more recent than the second one, and the foliage is grown up.

    If you’ll zoom in, you’ll see the back pole’s “Y” showing above the canopy.

    Also, the prop would not have been intact if the plane landed this way – and in 70 years, the canopy would’ve completely engulfed this bird. At first glance, it is amazing looking, tho’… ;~)


    1. GTN says:

      Very cool and thanks everyone for pitching in!


  3. Sandy Wood says:

    Stirs the imagination!


  4. lee sherman says:

    I saw this Zero years ago on the Pacific Ghosts website. I believe this aircraft is sitting on stilts and did not fly into the vegetation as described.


    1. Guy says:

      Hi Lee, I think I know the one and had a white nose and will post it here.


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