Boyington's F4U-1As - Markings???

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by buffnut453, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    According to the (excellent) Gamble biography of Boyington, the aircraft most commonly associated with him, #86 "Lulubelle" was not one he flew in combat. I just got my sticky mitts on Tamiya's 1/48th F4U-1D kit (which can be easily back-dated to a -1A) and want to build a Boyington bird...just not the "faked" Lulubelle. The Gamble book also shows a pic of '883' in which Boyington apparently achieved a kill whilst severely hung-over (which is entirely believable!). I found the same pic on the web here:

    [​IMG]

    Further scrawling around the web located another pic of '883':

    [​IMG]

    So '883' seems the ideal candidate but we don't have clear views of the markings...and then, looking again at the Gamble book, I found this pic taken around the same time as the pic of '883' showing some odd underwing markings (note the star without bar under the port wing):

    [​IMG]

    Further Googling revealed this nice colour pic of '740' which has the same feature as the pic above, indeed it may be the same aircraft:

    [​IMG]

    I presume this was a hangover from when national markings were carried in 6 positions. So now I'm wondering how to build my Corsair? Do I build '883' with the standard 4-position star and bar markings or do I add the unusual "star sans bar" under the port wing? Also, would the "star sans bar" also be applied to the starboard upper wing (perhaps the port wing was replaced on '740' and hence it's an exception)? The other alternative would be to build '740' if anyone knows whether Boyington flew that aircraft in combat.

    Any bright ideas, anyone?
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    #2 meatloaf109, Apr 24, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    Since Boyington would regularly take the most weary aircraft on the line, giving a new one to a new pilot, it is likely that he flew just about every plane in the squadron inventory.
    The squadron intellegence officer, Ed Walton(?), also wrote a good book, "Once They Were Eagles". (Highly recomended).
    It is entirely possible that with the earlier "red dot" recognition problems, and then the directive to "bar and red outline" on a 4 position scheme, that the crews figured leaving the "extra" stars as is, was a good idea.
    I remember a trip to the Museum of the U.S.A.F., where I was greatly impressed with their demonstration on the difficulty of recognizing various national insignias.
    They have a board with British, German, Japanese,..etc..and the various American ones, You look at them and then walk down the hall to a marked spot to look back.
    It becomes obvious why we went with the bars!
    You would think that the German cross and Japanese red circle would stand out from a star, let alone a yellow circled bullseye! Nope.
    The American Star with the red dot was the worst offender, it could have been any of the others.
    Anyways, I think you can be justified in making it as you want, I would!
    Also, the pic of 883 seems to show the red outline.
     
  3. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Meatloaf. In the absence of any better info I will build it "just as I want" but I was wondering if anyone had more definitive knowledge before I leap into the world of possibilities.

    Re the pic of '883' I think it may have had the red outline overpainted, so the bars have neat blue outlines while the area around the star was overpainted more roughly, probably in the unweathered original camo colour. That's just my guess, though, and I could be wrong. Divining colours from monochrome prints is all but impossible. Now, in either case it seems this aircraft at one time wore the red surrounds to the star and bar markings...but given that the aircraft number was overpainted at some point in the aircraft's history (and it was probably a 2-digit number based on the area of fresh paint) it's a toss up whether the red outlines were worn when the aircraft had its earlier number or as '883' in this pic.
     
  4. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    Whatever you choose, would love to see a thread on this when done, and any others you have. I don't visit the modeling section of this site, are there some there?
     
  5. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. Makes sense to me, and like Mike, I would like to see how you progress on it. Been a fan of Greg Boyington ever since reading his book way back when.
     
  6. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    SWMBO is an Idaho girl so, surprise-surprise, Boyington is something of a hero. Plus the Corsair is her all-time favourite aircraft. Building a model AND getting brownie points from The Operating Authority at the same time.....PRICELESS!!!
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Found this through Google. Star and bar clearly visible.

    pappyrealcorsair.jpg
     
  8. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, but you can't see the starboard upper wing or the port wing underside so my question about the star without the bars remains, sadly, unanswered. Nice additional pic of '883' though - methinks I might build that one with national markings in the standard 4 positions.
     
  9. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong in whatever you decide. These photographs we look at now, are 1 moment in time. We don't know what was going on before or after the picture. Chances are, that when they received and order to change the insignia it was not an overnight event. It may have taken several days or weeks to get in sync with the order. They could have started on the underside of the wings, then to the top, then to the fuselage, or a combination of them all. Paramount was making the aircraft ready for the next mission, fuel, ammo, guns, engine, pilot requests, etc. I would say the last on the list was to make sure they were painted as some "REMF" wanted.
     
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