Underlined Code letters/numbers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by BlackSheepTwoOneFour, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. BlackSheepTwoOneFour

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    #1 BlackSheepTwoOneFour, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #2 Airframes, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
    I can't actually see an underlined letter in that painting. However, an individual code letter within a unit would be underlined (or a line above the letter), if a unit had expanded the number of aircraft in a squadron, when there might be two, or possibly three, aircraft with the same individual code letter.
    For example, let's assume this is the 56th Fighter Group, and the 61st Fighter Squadron. This Squadron's code letters were 'HV'.
    Now let's assume we are talking about aircraft 'D' in that Squadron, then the full code would be HV * D.
    If a second aircraft in that Squadron also had the letter 'D', then that would be underlined. In the unlikely, but not impossible event that a third aircraft also had the individual letter 'D', then that would have a line over the letter.
    In the ETO, at least, this normally only applied to aircraft of the USAAF, with the RAF rarely, if ever, having to use this system, due (mainly) to smaller squadron ORBATs.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    As above.
    What you see in that picture is I suspect the distinctive markings (invasion stripes) which were retained on the undersides for some time after D Day.

    Like this:

    [​IMG]

    Letters were underlined sometimes. This is Lanowski's HV-Zbar:

    [​IMG]

    It was fairly unusual.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    An example of a line over a code letter.
     

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  5. BlackSheepTwoOneFour

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    I took another closer look at the painting and I have to say you are right. There is no underline under the letters - but partial D-day Invasion stripes. Silly me. I need to get some glasses...

    Now all I need to do is figure out what their tail serial numbers are. I want to build my P-47 the same markings as in the painting. :)
     
  6. silence

    silence Active Member

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  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    To me I just think they’re there to emphasize a letter or number that could be mis-identified. (Ex. Z, B, S, 5, 2)
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Joe, it's recorded as the standard practice when there are two aircraft within a squadron displaying the same individual code letter.
    This came about when squadron strength (fighter squadrons) increased from (nominal) 24 to 36 aircraft, with, of course, all letters of the alphabet then being 'used up'. As numerals were already in use as squadron codes, and as individual codes in some units (eg 9th AF), letters had to be allocated, with the bar to identify the second user (or third user) of the letter in question. There are numerous examples shown in photos (and profiles) from various Fighter Groups, particularly in the 8th AF.
    The Directives for identification markings also go on to include bomber units, where a '+' or '-' sign can be used to identify the squadron within a group, where perhaps the individual code is only visible on the vertical fin/rudder. The position of the '+' or '-' indicates the particular squadron within the group. For example, the symbol can be above or below the letter, or forward or aft, and so on.
    The system was introduced following the adoption, by the 8th and 9th USAAF, of the RAF code system, when, with the larger squadron and group aircraft allocations, it was found necessary to include these additions for ease of identification.
    In the RAF, mainly with bomber squadrons, where squadron strength was increased, if it happened that, for whatever reason, there were two aircraft with the same individual code letter, then a small figure '2' was added, after the letter, for example CF- D2, the code of 625 Sqn, operating Lancasters.
    Other RAF solutions were to use '?' and '!' on the relatively rare instances of 'running out of letters'.
     
  9. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Terry had the right explanation.. The Bar under the squadron Letter code denoted the 'extra' code such as my father's WRB when he got his first P-51D. The A had already been assigned as well as A-Z (including WRB on a P-51B)

    In addition there were 'bars' association with Squadron as in 2nd SF which was attached to 355th FG as E Flight in each of the three squadrons (WR, OS and YF). The 2nd SF had WR, OS and YF but in this case the bars were on top, not an underline.

    Less common in other theatres for AAF
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    #10 Airframes, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013
    Thanks Bill, I'd forgotten about the 'over lined' codes of the Scouting Force.
    I believe that, in other theatres, where there was possibly less 'overlap' with RAF/Commonwealth units, the original USAAC/USAAF code system was used, based mainly on numerals, which, of course, negated the need for under or over bars.
     
  11. Lucky13

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  12. Airframes

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  13. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    show him the way out Dogsbody, bloody Vikings !
     
  14. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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