Urban Drew's P-51D 44-14164- Invasion stripes?

Discussion in 'Aircraft Markings and Camouflage' started by dachshund, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. dachshund

    dachshund New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I was wondering if Anybody can confirm if there is any evidence at all that this aircraft (E2-D_)carried the fuselage invasion stripes? most modelling references and profiles show it with prominent fuselage D-Day stripes, but in all of the original photos of this aircraft I have seen ( internet and in Aces and Wingmen),the rear of the aircraft is not visible, so how can I be sure the prominent stripes are correct?

    Thanks for the help with this question.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,705
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Up until early July 1944, the units' aircraft had full 'Invasion stripes'. After this period, and certainly from July 11th, the stripes were on the lower wings and lower fuselage sides and underside only. The famous photo of the 'Bottisham Four' shows this to advantage.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. phas3e

    phas3e Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The only photo I have seen with the rear fuselage visable shows it with the lower fuselage invasion stripes and Black ID band on the upper and lower wings, this is with 7 kills on the canopy rail
     
  4. dachshund

    dachshund New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks for that info Airframes. I should have remembered the famous "Bottisham four"photo! It's pretty clear from that!

    phas3e, thanks, I don't have that photo, but I guess the lower fuselage stripes and wing ID bands fit perfectly with the other aircraft of the 361st.

    By the way, there seems to be some debate over if this aircraft had a red coloured area painted around the guns. In my photos I can see some partial colour difference with the natural metal, but it's not conclusive. Any Ideas?
     
  5. phas3e

    phas3e Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I think its black to be honest, same with the small intake on the lower cowling which in this aircrafts case is covered by a flush panel.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,705
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Not sure about the area around the guns without seeing the photo in question.
    However, going back to the original question - the 'Invasion stripes' and their appearance, would depend on the time period. By around September '44, most allied (fighter) aircraft only retained the under-fuselage stripes, as shown in the profile of Drew's A/c in the Osprey book (I can post this if required).
    Of course, individual 'Personal' markings would also change with this progression - it depends on specific dates - as close as is actually recorded - as to what markings where when, where etc. Even that is open to debate, due to many factors.
    In the 'Bottisham Four' pic previously mentioned, for example, Drew is actually 'guest' flying the nearest aircraft in the pic.
    Bottom line - markings depend on a specific time (in days, more than likely, weeks at the most) in a fast-moving, though relatively short, time period .
     
  7. Alte Hase

    Alte Hase Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I agree with Airframes- and remember too that each aircraft had an individual ground crew assigned to it, whose job it was to look after that specific aircraft, so things could happen pretty quickly regarding paint job changes. A case in point is the story of Bud Anderson's "Old Crow". In very late 1944, most P-51s operated in bare metal finish, however Anderson's mount was still in the OD and grey scheme. Returning from a mission, Anderson happened to remark to his crew chief something to the effect that we really should get round to stripping Old Crow to bare metal sometime. The next morning, he walked out to dispersal to find Old Crow resplendant in a highly polished natural metal finish. The ground crew of three men had spent the entire night stripping the aircraft's paint off with avgas-soaked rags.

    So as Airframes says, things happen quickly in the midst of a war!
     
  8. Dcazz7606

    Dcazz7606 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Occupation:
    facilities - public schools
    Location:
    Jaffrey, Nh
    I built this plane as a model some years ago and found a large photo of this plane in an old magazine. If you look closely it's interesting how rough this field applied camp was. The small piece of the old black anti glare panel is there and as phas3e stated the lower cowel intake is covered with a hand cut sheet metal panel. The thing I like the most is the paint was actually standard olive. The color film was poor and the green came out like a dark blue!
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,705
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    The red colour around the guns was red-doped fabric patches, applied to the gun muzzles to seal them against dirt and dust, but, more importantly, to prevent freezing from 'damp cold' at altitude.Note that the anti glare panels were Dark Olive Drab during WW2 - matt black was only used post war.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,532
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #10 stona, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
    On the P-51? I know they had electrically heated guns as opposed to the poor old Spitfire's dodgy exhaust heating. I have read of P-51 armourors adding extra insulation inside the gun bay but am unaware that they patched the gun ports like their RAF colleagues.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,705
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Yep. Got some colour pics somewhere Steve. Note that the gun heating system was for the receiver, to prevent the working parts (bolt and return) from freezing. The heater did not heat the barrel, which could block or foul with ice, hence the fabric patches.
     
  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,532
    Likes Received:
    947
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I guess the Spitfire's system was supposed to heat the entire gun bay and hence the weapons in their entirety. I can see disadvantages in discharging a weapon on which the barrel is blocked.
    I bet those patches made a mess,one for the detail freaks! Neither the blast tubes nor barrels protrude through the leading edge on a Spitfire's leading edge whereas all the blast tubes and the barrels of the two outboard guns protrude on a P-51.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,705
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Yep, bit of a messy job to stick the patches on, then remove the residue after combat. I'll dig out some pics and post them here. It might have been a personal or unit preference, as I haven't seen the patches as 'standard equipment' on all 8th USAAF Mustangs, not the D model anyway. It seemed more common the B/C.
     
Loading...

Share This Page