US Air Force Colors (2): ETO & MTO 1942-45 (Aircraft Specials 6151)
By Dana Bell
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1980 98 Pages
PDF 19 MB
This book, the second volume of Squadron/Signal's continuing series. Air Force Colors, covers the development of camouflage and markings of USAAF aircraft in the European and Mediterranean theaters in World War 11. The coverage includes AAFAC (Army Air Force Antisubmarine Command) and part of the story of 6th AF. This volume also tells, for the first time, the story of the Haze Paint camouflage conceived for reconnaissance aircraft. It concludes with brief mention of the Green Project which brought soldiers and aircraft home and the Occupation Force thai stayed behind at war's end.
The great expansion of forces brought on by the war forced the Army Air Force to formalize its organizational structure and the markings of its units. The smallest unit of aircraft was a Flight. Usually composed of three aircraft (except fighters Flights which normally contained four aircraft). Flights were informal units whose members often changed from mission to mission, rarely were there markings to indicate Flight membership. The exception (there musi always be an exception) was 8th AF fighter units which often colored rudder trim tabs to indicate the Flight. The smallest administrative unit was the Squadron, usually composed of three Flights. This was the standard combat unit, all of a Squadron's aircraft most often being given the same task or target on any particular mission. The Squadron was also the bask unit foi markings. Each USAAF combat Squadron that operated in the ETO or M 10 had a two letter or letter-number designator thai was carried on the fuselage, split from the individual aircraft letter by I he national insignia, likewise, each Squadron had an insignia, though the application of these insignia to aircraft was discouraged or. in some cases, specifically banned. 8th AF, in particular, repeatedly rejected the use of Squadron emblems on aircraft but some units defied the order. 12th AF aircraft, on the other hand, frequently carried Squadron emblems. Some of these originated pre-war, others came from the fertile imaginations of Squadron members, still others were contributed by the major cartoon studios, such as Walt Disney or Warner Bros.