A Close-up of Profile 21, A6M2 Model 21 V-158, Hōkoku 535
HK-535 became buntaichō Lt Kawai Shirō’s new aircraft at Rabaul around August 1942, replacing V-153 as portrayed in Profile 19. The subscript (鍛造林號) represents Tanzo Hayashi-Go; the Hayashi Forging Co. Ltd. which was a steel forging manufacturing company, headquartered in Hebei City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.
This Model 21 is presented without its lower wheel spats. These were sometimes removed in the field when conditions were too muddy.