603 squadron roundels

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by Alte Hase, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on what size roundels RAF spitfires in late August and September 1940 would have had? I've seen some profiles showing no roundels at all, and others with tiny ones far outboard under the wings?

    In your expert opinions, which is correct?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean the under wing roundels?

    These had disappeared when the Sky under surface was introduced in June 1940. Around the time everyone had finally worked out what Sky was supposed to be and fighter aircraft were in more or less the correct colour the under wing roundels were re-introduced. Identification in the air had become an issue and the RAF decided to re-introduce under wing roundels rather than slap yellow, white, pink etc paint all over their aircraft like the Luftwaffe. This was in August 1940 (I don't have the date to hand). By late August and September 1940 the aircraft of Fighter Command should have carried under wing roundels. No position was initially specified which is why you sometimes see small roundels near the wing tip or larger ones in the more familiar position about a third in from the tip. The roundels, wherever they were, would have had the established 1-3-5 proportions.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  4. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    Thanks guys! Yeah, I meant the underwing roundels...it's really difficult to find photos of the underside of aircraft from this period, (mid August-September 1940), so I guess if one refers to a machine in mid August it'd be safe to assume no underwing roundels and after late August, anything in terms of roundel size is possible?
     
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see some references for some of those profiles.

    For example:
    XT-D in August 1940 still with a Night/White underside? That's two months after the change to Sky. If it was Night the roundel should have had a yellow surround, ordered shortly (4th June '40) before the change to Sky (7th June '40).The yellow could be applied on station quite easily, the changeover to Sky was a different matter. Very suspect, but I don't have a photo to confirm or refute the profile.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  6. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    According to my references underside roundel was of A type and was painted there until 06.06.1940 when the colour of undersides was changed. Then they stopped applying of the roundel on undersides. On the 1st August 1940 the A roundel was introduced on undersides again. It was allowed to apply a roundel of 76,2 cm - 30 inches in the diameter, 114,3cm - 45 inches, 127cm - 50 inches but also 63,5cm - 25 inches, 101,6cm - 40 inches. The proportion of the roundel was: N - the max diameter of the sign (25,30, 40, 45, 50 inches) , the diameter of the white B=3/5N and the diameter of the red C=1/5N.
    As Stona said , no position was initially specified. However here you are a couple of locations of the roundel centre from the wing tip.

    a roundel 50" - 182,9cm - 72"
    a roundel 40" - 175,3cm - 69"
    a roundel 30" - 114,3cm - 45" or 53,3cm - 21'
    a roundel 25" - 45,7cm - 18"
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree with Stona on the Spitfre XToD. It might be a mistake made while looking at the picture...

    [​IMG]

    But it was another Spitfire XT-D , serial X4260 . PO J.R. Caister forced landed near Calais, France Sep 6, 1940. Here it is clearly seen that she had the Sky S-type colour.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    These might help, the Supermarine Drawing, and those from James Goulding, taken from 'Camouflage and Markings, Spitfire'.
    Size and position was often at the discretion of the Squadron, or MU, which applied the roundels, and there were, of course, variations, even at Squadron level.
     

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  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Like Terry states, different aircraft had different markings within the squadrons, often depending on when the individual aeroplanes were delivered. For example, Spit I L1067 XT-D (not the same aircraft as the one in the photos above) of S/L George Gilroy had the half white and black undersides and no roundels prior to the Battle. At around July and August the following aircraft had Duck Egg Green undersides with small roundels near the tips; N3288 XT-H of Plt Off Geroge Gilroy, R6835 XT-W of New Zealander Flg Off Brian Carbury - the aircraft in which he became an 'Ace-in-a-Day' on 31 August, X4250 XT-X of Sgt jack Stockoe, to name a few.

    The profile above of X4277 XT-M has also been depicted with small roundels near the tips as well as the large one in this illustration - like Steve states, photographic references are needed. The photo shows the aircraft (X4277) as flown by Australian Flg Off Richard Hillary of The Last Enemy fame. In this aircraft he shot down a Bf 109 over Dungeness on 31 August , having formated with a number of the German fighters mistaking them for Hurricanes after being separated from his own squadron mates.
     
  10. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

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    #10 Alte Hase, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
    Thanks nuuumann, stoner and airframes. The diagram and the photos really are excellent as is your input here. Would you say the small roundels near the wingtips would be appropriate then for 603 Sqn in early September 1940, particularly for XT o Y R6626 and XT o X X4250? Are there ANY photos in existence of these aircraft? I've searched all sources I can but no luck so far...

    X6626 was first flown 25/5/1940 and R4250 was first flown 20/8/1940...would I be correct in guessing (in the absence of any photographic evidence) that X6626 carried NO roundel in Sept 1940 and R4250 had the small tip roundels?
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Some profiles from Osprey 'Spitfire MkI and MkII Aces'.
    From memory, without going through my library, those photos of the Squadron's aircraft where the wing underside is visible, show the small, wing-tip roundel, as in the profiles. It's logical that, given the roundels were applied by Squadron personnel, to existing aircraft, they'd all be the same size/position, as interpreted by Engineering Section.
     

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  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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