Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Veterans provide an answer that photos couldn't
Sometimes veterans are a great source of information. When the Flying Heritage Collection's Ki-43 “Oscar” was being restored in New Zealand, a faint shadow of the plane's squadron markings could be seen on the skin of the old fighter plane -- a lightning bolt on the tail and chevrons over the top of the fuselage. The markings indicated the plane served with the 11th Sentai's 2nd Squadron. The lightning bolt was red, but it wasn't clear what color the chevrons were. Studying fuzzy black-and-white photos, the restorers decided the chevrons must be white. The plane stayed this way until Japanese vets began to visit the project in New Zealand. The restoration was going great, they told the builders, but they had one correction. The former flyers and mechanics recalled that the chevrons were yellow. Soon after, the color of the chevrons was changed.