VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Military Aviation Museum has announced that it has acquired a rare Zero Aircraft that has been meticulously restored at Legend Flyers in Everett, Washington. 
Members of the museum team and the Fighter Factory will now head west to put the Mitsubishi A6M3 Zero Fighter through its pre-flight paces with the Legend Flyers team, according to a press release from the museum. 
The A6M3 was one of the main planes that was employed against American forces in the pacific, and it was Japan’s premier carrier-based fighter. 
A6M3 c/n 3148 is the title of the specific aircraft that was restored in Washington. It was made by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in September 1942. 
A6M3 c/n 3148 is painted with its original wartime markings, including an unusual set of markings on the fuselage that indicate that the aircraft was donated to the Imperial Japanese Navy by middle schoolers in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, the release said. 
The plane has seen its share of combat, the museum said. 
Experts at Legend Flyers researched the plane’s history and found that A6M3 c/n 3148 was deployed to the Pacific as part of the 252nd Kokutai (naval air group). 
The release said the plane later fought from bases in Rabaul and Ballale and Munda, in the Solomon Islands. 
During its tenure, the plane saw combat against the U.S. Navy and Army. 
The plane’s career was eventually ended when it was hit by shrapnel from a bomb blast, the release said. 
Restoration of the aircraft has taken ten years, and its next steps will include its first post-restoration flight. 
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