Both V-138 and V-153 were assigned to a buntaicho (which roughly translates as squadron leader). V-153 was the first Zero assigned to Lt Kawai Shiro, and V-138 was mainly flown by Lt Sasai Jun i'ichi at Lae and Rabaul.

Profile 19 portrays V-153 with its twin buntaicho fuselage stripes painted over after Kawai received a replacement fighter. It is also profiled with maingear lower spats removed. This occurred when conditions were sufficiently muddy.