Yellow circles & white stars.

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  2. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    The yellow circle was first used in the N African campaign, with some units continuing to use it in Italy. Despite attempts at standardising the markings, (clour, size, location), there were many variations, often at the whimsy of the users. Even after DDay, some variations crept in.

    Those two photos were probably taken in Sicily or Southern Italy.

    They also discuss it here

    The official publication that covers markings can be found here:
    bamboo43 likes this.
  3. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    For what it's worth, I don't remember ever seeing anything other than a white star in a white circle, both in Sicily and Italy

  4. Doc

    Doc Senior Member

    Inerestingly, here in Belgium reenactments, frequently involving large numbers of restored military vehicles, are a big deal. I have seen several of the Yellow Circles around stars. It was several years ago that I asked about them, so I don't remember the details, but I was informed that some US units in France and Belgium used this marking. Doc
  5. Doc

    Doc Senior Member

    The white star in white ring marking for US vehicles is well-known (e.g. on the hood of jeeps). However, in several recent re-enactor vehicle parks in Belgium, I have seen vehicles with the star, the ring, or both in YELLOW. I am informed that this is correct for the period, but never having seen it before, I am wondering. During what period or what operation was the marking in yellow used? Thanks. Doc
  6. Andy in West Oz

    Andy in West Oz Senior Member

    Doc, I'm not the best person to answer this but the yellow ring would relate to the Torch landings in North Africa. No idea about the yellow star.
  7. spidge


  8. Doc

    Doc Senior Member

    Thanks all for the information. Most interesting the things you can learn, even after all these years. Doc
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I started a thread on this awhile ago.
    No-one could anawer then either.
  10. spidge


    I started a thread on this awhile ago.
    No-one could answer then either.

    That's why I added the link.

    Good to see you back by the way. Did you find the posts that went missing yet?
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    What about white on a yellow background?


    All right this is rather extreme! Anyway I was under the impression that white and yellow were interchangeable, depending on availability.

  12. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    If I remember right. The yellowy green (or greeny yellow) background between star and circle was a kind of Gas detecting paint that was supposed to change colour during a chemical attack. How much use this would be... hmmm.
    Presumably these jeeps are an example of the stuff.

    Might also be worth noting that a yellow or white star in black and white photos would show up the same tone. Closer analysis of even quite familiar black and white pictures recently seems to be turning up even camo schemes that have been almost lost in the monochrome process.

  13. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Re, the gas detecting paint I have some doubts.
    - I wasn't aware it was applied to US vehivlces
    - it was normally a 6" or 8" square
    - I never saw it applied eo late in the war.
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Trying to think of the book it was in mate, something I flicked over a week or two ago while looking up something else...perhaps??.

    In the meantime this chap (who appears quite sensible) seems to be referring to it in a Normandy or Italy context, and specifically regarding Jeeps: markings.
  15. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    Interesting to see comments about the interchangeability of yellow and white for markings. It is going a bit off-topic but my BEF Norton has the "1" for Div HQ in yellow on the RE cobalt blue ground. I have been unable to find a reference to the practice. It was not due to a lack of white paint as the Divisional insignia is white.


    My theory is that it may be gas detector paint used for the benefit of a following vehicle but it is a bit bright compared with other known samples. It does however match the small panel on the headlamp which is the correct site on a motorcycle.

  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Easy to check; get yourself some mustard gas and see if it turns pink! :unsure:

    Just read a reference on 'peoples war' to some pillar boxes having the stuff painted on top as a warning for civillians...
  17. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter 1940 Obsessive

    I thought about advertising for some, Adam but didn't want a knock on the door. To start with I wasn't sure what it was designed to detect so I dripped some bleach on it in the hope that it was chlorine-sensitive !

    Joking apart, I wonder what chemicals the paint itself contains. I'm going to be flatting it soon !
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    So it was supposed to turn pink?
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I think so.
    Seems to be the colloquial opinion, then there's this:
    A second circular in August, gave instructions for the tops of pillar boxes to be coated with a gas detector paint. Two versions of the paint were used - 'Yellow' and 'Khaki' - the colours would change to bright crimson if they came into contact with either Mustard gas or Methyl Salicylate. 1939

    Trying to find more; there's an experimental surgeon who used it on paper to indicate levels of burns from 1st to 3rd degree, seems to describe a succession of shades from pink to red.
    I begin to see the validity of the stuff, as chemical weapons then would more likely be 'droplets' in the air than strictly gaseous, so any indicator could give time to react. Seems it was applied to planes and uniform buttons too. The 1st independent Para brigade are mentioned here as having it painted on their lids (?).
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Been thinking about the quote above.
    So if the tops of red pillar boxes were, errmm, red... there might be a gas attack on... as long as you knew that particular box was painted in the first place. :mellow:

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