Flights of Remembrance

Of all the items in Syd Beck's military and aviation collection, his favorite is a P-39 Airacobra. Back in April 1942, Beck says, it landed in New Guinea with four other brand-new P-39s, all emblazoned with the U.S. Army Air Force insignia, a blue circle containing a white star with a red dot at the center. The Australians on the ground were aghast: Japanese aircraft were marked with a red dot. An Australian officer immediately ordered all of the dots painted over. (Soon after, the red dot was removed from standard U.S. markings.)


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