C-47 white stripes

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by jsparry, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. jsparry

    jsparry New Member

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    Does anyone know when the white stripes were added to the C-47 Skytrain (aka Dakota)?

    My grandfather witnessed the friendly fire incident during the Sicily invasion. The night after the invasion, most of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was flying in on C-47's and they came in right over the fleet that was sitting offshore the American invasion beaches. I believe it was 23 planes that were shot down by Americans on the ships and shore.

    My grandfather said he knew they were our aircraft because he could see "the white markings".

    I have heard that the white stripes were not added to the C-47's until after this incident and they were in fact added because of it. Does anyone know when the stripes were added and/or if there were other white markings? It's possible that he just recognized them as C-47's because he was a 505th Paratrooper and was very familiar with them.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I'm not aware of any markings that were in place before June 6 for the Normandy invasion, but I have heard that some operational plans called for specific markings on friendly aircraft to reduce these kinds of incidences.
     
  3. jsparry

    jsparry New Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I'll keep looking. There must be a book out there somewhere that would cover this.
     
  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I did find this:
    Operation Starkey
     
  5. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    For Operation Starkey all aircraft operating at low-level on 9th September 1943 carried the following markings.

    Upper and under surface of mainplane. Outboard of a datum line where aerofoil chord measures five feet all black. Inboard two white and two black stripes, each one foot six inches wide on single engined aircraft, two feet wide on twin engined aircraft.

    On twin engined aircraft from the tip of nose for a distance of five feet six inches painted white.

    There is a photograph of Mustang IAs of 268 Squadron taken at Odiham on 9th September showing they had these markings. Typhoons already carried black and white stripes on the undersides of the wings and there are no illustrations of how Starkey markings were applied. One Typhoon squadron ORB says they were applied to the upper wing surfaces implying they were omitted from the lower surfaces.

    In the European Theatre Thunderbolts and Mustangs carried white stripes on the wings and tailplanes and a white band around the nose as an identification feature. Originally they carried a white band on the fin as well. These were introduced as a result of the aircraft being mistaken for Fw 190s and Bf 109s respectively. These identification markings were also adopted by the RAF.
     
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