158 Squadron Halifaxes

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Wild Bill Kelso, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Wild Bill Kelso

    Wild Bill Kelso New Member

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    #1 Wild Bill Kelso, Feb 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2010
    Wondering if anyone out there can help solve a little mystery about the Halifaxes that served with 158 Squadron. It's generally accepted that the undercarriage of Halifiaxes was painted black, just like the underside of the aircraft, but numerous photos indicate that this just wasn't true. This is particularly the case with 158 Squadron. Photos of LV 907 Friday the 13th clearly show the undercarriage was painted a much lighter color. Other 158 planes also display this characteristic, and some get a bit more creative by painting stripes on the landing gear. The question is, what is this color?

    Wild Bill Kelso
     

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  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #2 Airframes, Feb 4, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
    Hi Bill. It's a question I've long wanted a definite answer too! I was told about thirty years ago, by an ex-Halifax pilot, that they were white, as far as he could remember. The pics i've seen certainly look as if they could be a dirty white, 'slapped on' over the black base colour.
    BTW, you could do with re-sizing your pics to no more than about 800 x 600 pixels !!
     
  3. Wild Bill Kelso

    Wild Bill Kelso New Member

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    I'm not so sure about white, although it's interesting that you had a conversation with and "eyewitness", Too bad it's often been proven that eyewitnesses are poor references. Our memory for color is also notoriously bad.

    I'm thinking it might be yellow, just guessing from the tonal match to the prop tips in some of the pics. I also think it wouldn't be unreasonable for the crews to have used the same yellow that they used the apply the bold squadron stripes on the vertical stabs. But, this is just a wild guess, too.

    I'm REALLY surprised that the new Merrick book is totally silent on this subject.

    Sorry for the big pics. I've posted these same pics on other sites and they weren't that big! I'm not a huge fan of this kind of message board and I don't know all the tricks. I'm also having a hard time navigating and finding stuff...haven't quite figured out what goes where or how it's organized. It was weird how I found this site...I was searching for color WWII photos and came across this huge archive of pics stored somewhere in here, and now that I'm actually a member I can't for the life of me figure out how to find that archive! Whenever I search, all I get is a bunch of seemingly random threads.

    Thanks!

    WBK
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I think you might be right about the yellow, and that's what I thought too. My old mate, since deceased, wasn't on 158 Sqn,and refered to aircraft of his own squadron, and, as you say, memory plays tricks over the years. I did once see a colour pic of a Halifax (can't remember the Sqn) where the U/C did look white, or a dirty very pale grey at least. From what I've learned over the years, this was done for recognition purposes on the ground, and also, I was once told, to prevent vehicles such as tractors driving into the aircraft!
    Some areas of this site might take a bit of gtting used to - all of this sort of thing is still new to me too - but there's help if you need it by just asking. I thinkl you'll find there's a wealth of info and knowledge here, and I hope you enjoy your stay!
    Cheers,
    Terry.
     
  5. Wild Bill Kelso

    Wild Bill Kelso New Member

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    I can definitely tell there is a ton of info in this site. let me ask you a couple of things then

    1. How do you scale pictures?
    2. Was this the right thread for my original question?
    3. Any ideas on finding those color pics in this site?

    I've also heard about the color lightened to improve vis on the ground. This makes me think that they loaded the bombs at night, but then, why wait until dark? Admittedly I haven't read enough on the subject to know.

    WBK
     
  6. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  7. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    B*gg*er! I just got to the end of typing a reply, then lost 'net connection!
    Anyway, yes, this is a good enough section to post the question, and it seems two of your other queries have been sorted.
    Regarding the re-sizing of pics, use a photo-editing programmes, such as Irfanview. This can be downloaded free.
    Go to 'File', selct the required pic from your files, by clicking 'Open' and selecting the file/pic.Then click on 'Image', then 'Re-size/re-sample'. Enter a size required in the first dimensions box (ideal is 800 x 600 pixels), accept this. The system will automaticaly adjust the other dimension accordingly. Then click 'File', click 'Save'. A box will open, click to save, and do the same on the second box which appears. Job done!
    'Bombing up', or the loading of bombs, could take some time, especially if there were last-minute changes to the target or load requirement. In Autumn or Winter in the UK, it was dark, or almost, by around 15:30 hrs, allowing for the time system in place then. There was a total black-out in place during WW2, and towns and cities used every aid possible to help with getting around at night. For example, the curbstones of pavements, mainly at road junctions, bends in the roads etc, were painted white, to help them being seen, by drivers and pedestrians. Most vehicles had the edges of their mudguards/wings (fender in the US?) painted with a white stripe, around the curve, for similar reasons, as did the lower section of the rear mudguard on bicycles. This was even more important on the bleak, pitch black airfields of Bomber Command, so it would make sense, if this was one of the reasons, to paint the large, 'soli'd main gear of the Halifax. This was more in shadow, under the big wing and deep, slab-sided fuselage, than on the Lanc, and taller, so it was very posible that vehicles, or personnel, could run into it if was black. Of course, not all sqaudrons seem to have adopted this practice, and the main reason was more probably to do with identification (on the ground) of which individual aircraft was which, or from which Flight.
     
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