Wearing the markings of 111 Squadron's famous aerobatic team "The Black Arrows" and commemorating 40 Years of the Hawker Hunter, this aircraft was operated by 237 OCU and was taking part in 43 Squadron's 75th Anniversary Families Day.
About 1,500 of various George models were produced. In combat over Taiwan, the Philippines, Okinawa, and the Japanese home islands, Shiden pilots acquitted themselves well but this excellent fighter appeared too late and in too few numbers to have any effect on Japan's fortunes in the air war. This example on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center is one of only four still extant and wears the colours and markings of the 343rd Kokutai based at Omura in 1945.
This particular aircraft actually served in the USN with VX-4 as 77233 being one of 20 brand new B-17Gs allocated to the Cadillac II programme (land-based long-range Airborne Early Warning, command and control system) until replaced by WV-2 Warning Stars. In 1956 she was converted to a water bomber and flew with Butler Aviation as N5237V. After acquisition by the RAF Museum she was converted to 1944 USAAF configuration and displayed in markings representing the 94th BG, 8th AF based at Bury St. Edmunds.
No fewer than six ex-IAF Liberators are preserved worldwide. This was delivered to the RAF as KH304 in 9.44 and abandoned in India but rebuilt there around 1948. Remaining in service with 6 Sqdn on maritime surveillance till the late 1960s, she underwent an epic ferry flight to the USA as N7866 in early 1969, hazards including an intercept from Pakistani F-86s. Nowadays displayed inside, the starboard in Indian colours and the other side as 44-44175