Need Help with P-38 Color Scheme

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by Tex1150, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Tex1150

    Tex1150 New Member

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    I'm presently assembling a Revell 1/32 scale P-38J Lightning for Lt. Nello Infanti, an 87 year old USAAF vet who was a member of the 48th Fighter Squadron stationed in the MTO. I believe he was a member of the 14 Fighter Group. He told me that his P-38 featured yellow spinners. I'm trying to find an accurate resource to replicate the color scheme of his '38. So far all I know is that "ES" was the 48th's designation code and that his plane was named "Louise" for his wife.

    I have the squadron insignia (attached) but color scheme and tail markings are near impossible to find. This is to be a very special gift and don't want to spoil the surprise, so I unfortunately can't ask the one person who knows best. His wife is trying to sneak me a few photos, but that's easier said than done.

    BTW, Nello Louise have been married about 64 years now.

    Mark LoPresti
     

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  2. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    I found this, maybe this will help.
     

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  3. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    More info, this from the book Battle Colors vol II by robert A watkins.
     

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  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I'd love to hear some of his stories and anecdotes on flying the P38
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Moving the thread form Modelling section to the one I have been sure the request could be done here.Cool Paul.:D
     
  6. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    Thanks Wojtek,

    Another drawing, this one from the book The Mighty Eight Warpaint Heraldry by Roger A Freeman.
     

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  7. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    as Mic said and notes the 14th fg book is what you want. 1944: All squads in the 14th fg with all silver P-38J's had their numbers painted in black on the nose as well as on the boom, yellow spinners ? for the 48th fs as well as a horizontal broad white bar on the rounded tail in the upper section with A/C call - number in black right below it. I am going to assume the pilots lovely wifes name was either painted on the forward nose or on the left/right engine nacelle/as was usual case. Squadron codes in this case ES was an early call sign and not used in later war on the all silver birds.

    and hopeful after the model is built you can post some pics and a couple of stories from this pilot if he is able and willing, thanks for sharing this with all of us Mark

    v/r Erich ~ I also noted Mark that Nello Infanti in early August of 1944 had 2 kills to his credit as per the 48th squadron scoreboard.......... so I am assuming he had the 2 kills painted on the left side of the forward nose ?
     
  9. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Hello Mark!
    At ArmyAirForces.com (you´re there as well) I´ve found this:
    You can contact Joe Onesty, He is the secratery of the 48th Squadron Association and was a member of the squadron during WW 2 at [email protected]

    Also, don´t know if this address [email protected] is still active...

    As for sqdn codes and colors (source the above mentioned server):

    To mid--1943 (12th AF).....48FS---ES, 49FS-----QU.
    From mid--1943.....48FS-----numbers 1--30, 49FS------31--60, then joined by 37FS------61--90. On booms later on nose also. To 15th AF Nov.43. The first 2 squadrons were with the 8th AF Aug.--Sept. 1942.
    Later model Lightnings had a squadron colour band on fin-rudders; 48th white, 49th blue, 37th red.
    Those P-38s coded " PB " were 2--seaters ( "piggy-back" ).
    the prop spinners were normally red , the theatre colour as on P-40s and P-51s. I think any colour added to the nose tip would have been the pilot's choice.
     
  10. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    Mark,

    could you ask Mr. Infanti if he was on the mission on Aug. 29, 1944? 10 heavy bombers were shot down over my town that day and 14thFG was one of their escort´s FGs as well...
    Eye witnesses saw 'fork tail devills'' on the sky that day and they say 2 of them in cooperation got one Bf109 down...
    But neither 1stFG nor 14thFG doesn´t have a kill that day...
     
  11. Tex1150

    Tex1150 New Member

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    Thanks for all of your help. I've been researching this project extensively. I finally got hold of a very small B&W picture of Lt. Infanti's P-38. It was actually named "Sweet 16 The Virgin Queen". The picture was from September 1944 when the 14th's Lightnings all appeared in "all natural" aluminum finish. Hard to tell, but the tone of the spinners leads me to believe they were red. I was unable to keep the photo but hope to scan post it after I finally interview him.

    Nello had an incredible career. 63 combat missions in a P-38 and almost 5,000 logged hours as a test pilot.

    Some of that time was spent training astronauts like Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong as well as working with Space Shuttle pilots early in on the program.

    -Mark LoPresti
     
  12. Tex1150

    Tex1150 New Member

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    Nello still has his log book. I'll see what i can find out. He's already told me about a couple of missions. It's one thing to see an interview on The History Channel but talking to someone in person who was there really gives you a different perspective.

    -Mark LoPresti


     
  13. Tex1150

    Tex1150 New Member

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    Thank you for the information. It's been very helpful in trying to build that replica of his P-38. He was there beginning in 1944 so that's obviously the color scheme I'm going to go with. BTW, I found out that Nello's P-38 wasn't named "Louise" but rather "Sweet 16 The Virgin Queen". He told me that his plane's number was 16 and no one dared shoot holes in it, so there you are. From the picture he showed me, the number was on the nose so he had the rest painted around it. BTW, the picture was B&W but the tone of the spinners suggested red. I did find a color picture of a '38 from the 14th that was very interesting. The engine one spinner was unpainted while engine two had a mostly yellow spinner with remnants of red paint on it. No one said research would be easy!

    Mark LoPresti

     
  14. Micdrow

    Micdrow “Archive”
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    True but it can be very rewarding also.
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    when time permits hopeful the image of his craft - nose and whatever can be viewed here. yes different prop colours but it is WHEN this happened in 1944 that is the clincher.

    if Nello would allow a pic of him in flight gear too that would be very cool

    hope all info helps but as Roman and I both put down different scenarios it can be rather confusing.

    Red props became a theater colur worn by several P-38 units but it was the codes and the tail plus boom that distinguished all of them in some way.

    E ~
     
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