Aircraft marking question

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by HAARA, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    Is there a particular reason why an aircraft, in this case a Mustang 1 from 16 Squadron, would carry just one identification letter, rather than the normal squadron marking and single letter? Mustang AG431.jpg Mustang 1 16 Squadron.png
     
  2. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    Could it be connected with 16 being an Army Cooperation squadron?
     
  3. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    Photo recon Mustangs from RCAF 430 Squadron have the same single letter. From about the autumn of 1942 the RAF and RCAF tactical reconnaissance squadrons based in Northern Europe ceased to use any squadron identity letters. Perhaps for security. These Allison equipped Mustangs were chosen due to their highest performance at low altitude.

    mustang.jpg 430.jpg
     
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  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    Shores says that the single letter was applied to fighter recce and photo recce aircraft so as not to compromise the camouflage when flying at low altitude. Given that they already had invasion stripes, sky bands and spinners and yellow outer circle on the roundels it cannot have made much difference.

    Mike.
     
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  5. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I think I'm as Shore about that as you are .....
     
  6. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    The old jokes are the best jokes. It suits an Australian accent.

    Mike
     
  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    I agree. That explanation doesn't pass the sniff text.
    The actual reason may be more mundane. i.e. They ran out of letters or some squadron leader didn't want anyone knowing how many aircraft he had on strength. :)
     
  8. HAARA

    HAARA Well-Known Member

    I did wonder as to whether it was because they were used for recce work, and therefore flying alone that they thus did not need any other visual identification, but the it seems inconsistent.
    Photo Reconnaissance Aircraft of the RAF | RAF and RAAF plane | Pinterest | Aircraft, Planes and Military aircraft
    I'm also aware that 16 Sqdn were allocated identification letters for use before the roundel, this possibly due to the fact that the squadron was used for fighter work as well?
    Talking to one of the pilots (not the one in the image) who flew the aircraft in the pic I posted, and showing him images of blue and pink Spitfires, he said, pointing at the blue one, "Do you know what, it was terrifying flying these," and then pointing at the pink (low level reconnaissance) image "and even more terrifying flying these." He sadly passed away two years ago aged 91, but apart from the conversation above never mentioned his service, such that not even his children knew what he had done during the war. I'm currently trying to match up his flying log with images held at the National Collection of Aerial Photography to at least establish a record of his service.
     
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  9. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I wondered if it was because they flew singly or in pairs rather in squadrons and wings but I see no mention of that. The letters were also used by ground and flying control.

    The pink Spitfires were called 'Dicers' for a good reason. One diced with death flying them.

    Mike
     

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