BOMBS PAINTED ON SIDE OF BOMBERS

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by JOHNRICE, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. JOHNRICE

    JOHNRICE New Member

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    I know each bomb was for a mission. I have seen several bombers with stars painted above the bomb, some had the letter R above to painted bomb. What did the star or the letter mean?

    Thanks
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Would depend on what type of aircraft, which Air Force, when, and where. Most likely it would mean (during WW2) an operation flown via Russia. Other examples, shown on RAF/RAAF bombers were an ice cream cone, denoting an operation to Italy.
     
  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, I got to ask, why in the world an ice cream cone, and why for Italy?
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    Italy = gelato, I'm guessing (milk run). On an RAF bomber "R" = Ruhr valley, I'm guessing (tough run).

    MM
     
  5. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep. In the UK at that time, Italy was associated with Italians in Britain, pre-war, running ice cream shops. A run to Milan or Turin, was considered a 'milk run', to an extent, so, rather than show a bomb on the mission tally, an ice cream cone was often used.
    I haven't heard of a 'R' being used to denote a Ruhr target - and the majority of targets were in the Ruhr anyway. Without seeing the symbol - and the nationality of aircraft and Air Force - I would guess that a star and 'R' combination would mean a 'shuttle' mission, either by USAAF or RAF Bomber Command, where a landing was made in Russia, for example at Yagodnik, before returning, via another target, to the UK (or Italy if 15th USAAF or MEAF).
    Of course, again depending on the aircraft in question etc, it could be related to something specific to the unit/aircraft involved.
     
  7. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    Yeah, you often see British and Commonwealth pilots refer to the Italian fliers as 'Ice Cream Merchants'.

    Kind of as if - today for instance - we fought a war with India and dismissively called them '7-Eleven Clerks' and painted Slurpees on the sides of our aircraft.
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, et al, thanks, makes sense now
     
  9. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    With Terry. Really depends which Air force, unit or sometimes individual aircraft, and when and where...

    RAF bombers for example mostly used yellow bombs to denote missions, but not always. Sometimes white bombs were used to denote milk runs, sometimes personal symbols, either as preferred by the pilot and/or crew, or in connection to the aircraft's code letter. Ventura EG-B ('B-Beer') had beer bottles, for example.
     
  10. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    ‘Pinocchio’, a veteran Halifax of No 102 Squadron at Pocklington, has the bomb symbol for its 26th operation painted on its fuselage by a member of the ground crew, April 1943. The ice cream cornets represent raids on Italian targets and the key indicates the aircraft’s 21st operation.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great example, thanks for posting.
     
  12. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    "R" might also be for 'Rhubard" or 'Rodeo"? Yes? or some similar named bomber type mission?
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Well 'Rhubarb' was a fighter op, normally, but not always, in pairs, at low level in marginal weather conditions (hence the name 'Rhubarb', as in 'down among the rhubarb').
    'Rodeo' was a day bomber op, with a relatively small bomber formation, escorted by a heavier fighter prescence, the aim being to bring up the Luftwaffe fighters.
    Those day-bomber squadrons involved which did paint ops symbols, Mitchels, Bostons etc. tended to just stick with the 'standard' bomb logo.
    I think the combination of a star, with a letter 'R', most probably indicated a trip via Russia. Although I can't state this as a certainty, it seems to me to be the most likely reason.
     
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