Question about Buzz Beurling's Malta Spitfires

Discussion in 'Questions on Kits, Decals, Tools and Pilots' started by Totalize, Nov 23, 2013.

  1. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    #1 Totalize, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2013
    I do not wish to ignite a controversy but from what I have read the colours of Beurling's Spitfire's that he used to score the majority of his kills in defense of Malta are open to interpretation. I am just wondering if there has been any new information that lessens this controversy.

    I must admit I am still trying to better understand Beurling's service with RAF 249 squadron on Malta. From what I gather he flew Spitfire VC's on Malta. I have seen images of him flying the VC with desert camo and tropical filter, red spinner and white squadron codes(?) which think was T-L serial EP706 and UF-S which had a royal navy camo scheme on it? I have seen an image and/or models of this a/c with and without the tropical filter. Then it looks like he flew a VC with squadron code S and serial number BR323 with a two tone camo scheme of grey and tan? and one with codes T-D serial BR130

    I would like to model either T-L or T-D in 1/48 scale and was wondering if they are accurate? Also are the codes and serial numbers white? I believe he scored the majority of his kills flying T-L?
    I have a set of generic squadron letters and serial numbers but would have to get of white letters if required. Is there a recommended set of generic kill markings in 1/48 scale?

    BeurlingSpitVc.jpg

    Beuerling_Spitfire_S_BR323.jpg

    spit.V.37.jpg

    buerlingngelli.jpg
     
  2. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    #2 le_steph40, Nov 23, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
    About Beurling'victories, according Christopher Shores and Clive Williams:

    With Spitfire Vc BR323 S:
    - 2 Macchis C.202 destroyed the 6 July 1942
    - 1 Z.1007 damaged the 6 July 1942
    - 1 Bf 109 destroyed the 6 July 1942
    - 1 Bf 109 destroyed the 10 July 1942
    - 1 Macchi C.202 destroyed the 10 July 1942

    With Spitfire Vc BR301 UF-S:
    - 2 Macchis C.202 destroyed the 27 July 1942
    - 2 Bf 109 destroyed the 27 July 1942
    - 2 Bf 109 damaged the 27 July 1942
    - 1 Bf 109 destroyed the 29 July 1942

    With Spitfire Vb EP706 T-L:
    - 2 Bf 109 destroyed the 25 September 1942
    - Bf 109 damaged the 25 September 1942
    - 2 Bf 109 destroyed the 10 October 1942

    With Spitfire Vc BR173 T-D:
    - 1 Ju88 destroyed the 13 October 1942
    - 2 Bf 109 destoyed the 13 October 1942
    - 1 Ju88 damaged the 13 October 1942
    - 1 Ju88 destroyed the 14 October 1942
    - 2 Bf 109 destoyed the 14 October 1942

    No victory with BR130 T-D (later coded T-S). The code letters are white and serials are black.
    HTH, regards
    Stéph

    Edit: EP706 probably repainted in Light Mediterranean blue or Dark dea grey ? These Blue Malta Spitfires are a mystery...

    Malta?s Spitfires ? revealed at last? | The Scarf Goggles Social Club
    Malta's Blue Spitfires - or Gray - WWII - Britmodeller.com
    Malta Colours II
    MSMM - Malta Spitfire
    Malta Spitfires Camouflage Question
    Review: Malta Spitfire Vs ? 1942: Their Colours and Markings | IPMS/USA
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I believe the 'blue' was originally an attempt at camouflage for the sky 'conditions' over and around Malta, to blend in with the haze. But this, of course, stood out clearly on the ground and, being already the most bombed place on Earth, the RAF didn't want to invite more bombs onto the three airfields uneccessarily, so the Mid Stone or Dark Earth was added. Some other sources also attributre the 'blue' to the original FAA camouflage, over-painted with Stone or Dark Earth.
    All serials were black, but the codes on 'T-L', EP706, were possibly Medium Sea Grey.
     
  4. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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  5. Dxtopher

    Dxtopher New Member

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    Just to add more fuel to the fire, a survivor of the Malta campaign, Jerry Billing, is a local resident here in Essex County. I spoke to his son personally about 2 months and asked him what his dad had to say about the Malta color schemes. According to Jerry, most of the Spits arrived in European or desert camo scheme. The camo was then over-painted with tan, keeping the light blue underbelly. He said that in most cases, the camo was still slightly visible under the tan and that the paint jobs did not last very long in the extreme heat and dust conditions on the island. I don't think we can get a better confirmation than that, from someone who was actually there.

    Don
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    This is a can of worms into which I will toss this.

    [​IMG]

    Sea camouflage means the Temperate Sea Scheme and at this time AMO A.664/42 to AMO A.1246/43 were in force so upper surfaces of Dark Slate Grey and Extra Dark Sea Grey. What they did in Malta is anyone's guess.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    I'm putting a kettle on. This thread is going to be interesting.
     
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  8. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Steph,

    This is very useful information. I went through the links you provided and it seems that the preferred colour was to paint them in the scheme of perhaps Dark Earth and Dark Sea Grey as in BR323 above or like that of T-D.
     
  9. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Terry, perhaps EP706 with the desert camo scheme wasn't popular. I could see why it would be re-painted though I think re-painting it in Dark Earth and Dark Sea Grey would make more sense.
     
  10. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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  11. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Don, I could see this making sense. Perhaps Tan could be interpreted as dark Earth as the repaint.
    Dave.
     
  12. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    #12 Totalize, Nov 24, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013

    Steve, Very interesting post. I am wondering if some of the spitfires did indeed arrive with the temperate scheme and some but not all were repainted with a dark earth to replace the slate grey since they would be land based??

    The sense I am getting here that there was no one uniformity of paint schemes. Due to lack of supplies and time as the planes were constantly flying probably meant that there was a wide variation of paint schemes with some planes getting full re-paints, some with partial re-paints and some with no re-paints at all.

    Dave.
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Certainly at least some aircraft arrived on the island in ETO temperate scheme, as photos, profiles and biographies show. But, of course, it would depend on when they arrived. With the hectic day to day life on Malta, it wouldn't always be possible to re-paint aircraft. I recently read one account where an aircraft had been re-painted and, before it could be used, it was destroyed in an air raid, and another where a Spit had just landed, been refueled, re-armed and some battle damage repaired, when it too was destroyed by a bomb.
    In the early stages of the siege, Hurricanes, and the first batches of Spitfire delivered were in Dark Green Dark Earth, and this can be seen in the well-known photos of the Spits aboard Wasp. Those which reached the island, and survived, may or may not have been repainted.
     
  14. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    I am inclined to say that all of the above images I posted are accurate for the Malta Spitfires.
     
  15. le_steph40

    le_steph40 Well-Known Member

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    I ordered the book " Malta Spitfire Vs – 1942: Their Colours and Markings", I tell you when I'll receive it
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    That should be interesting...
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    There's a two-part feature in (I think) Scale Airplane Modeller on the Malta campaign, covering early and late periods, with profiles by Caruana who is, I believe, Maltese.
    I'll see if I can find it.
     
  18. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    Cool,

    thanks Steph,

    Book is at a good price at the moment so I might order it too.
    Dave.
     
  19. Totalize

    Totalize Well-Known Member

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    That would be great Terry.

    Hope you can dig it up.
     
  20. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'll have a look, might take a day or two, and I think I might only have Part One. Meanwhile, here's a couple of photos/profiles from the Mushroom book, showing both the 'blue' and camouflage schemes.
     

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