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The World War II Photo of the Week
for 28 February 2005

Test Firing Line ...

   Six fighter planes are lined up on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier in order to test fire their machine guns. Armorers are clearly visible at work on the wings of some of the planes, adjusting the guns. Noteworthy is the rarely-seen yellow ring around the blue and white star on the sides of each plane's fuselage. This variation of the U.S. national insignia was used very briefly in WW II, and only in the European and North African Theaters of Operation. It is most usually encountered on photographs of Army Air Corps aircraft and not on U.S. Navy aircraft. You can learn more about the history of the "yellow-ring" variant of the insignia at the U.S. Air Force Museum. Official U.S. Navy photo, dated December 29, 1942.

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