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Thread: Red serial on Bomber Command aircraft

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    Default Red serial on Bomber Command aircraft

    Hello Gents,

    Can anyone recall me when the colour red was introduced on the Bomber Command aircraft, replacing the Medium Sea Grey.

    Thanks

    Phil

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    Quoting from an old reference, "Aircraft Camouflage and Markings" by Robertson, 1959 edition, about RAF serials in general in Second World War:

    "In general they were marked in black except where a black finish necessitated a contrasting colour, when red was usual."

    In a Table on page 102, for serials 1915 to 1954 he states for all RAF serials marked on rear fuselage:

    "All RAF aircraft. General rule: Night flying aircraft dull red, Coastal aircraft grey, all others black."

    I'm sure there were exceptions.

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    Hi Phil,

    MJF Bowyers old classic Bombing Colours, based mostly on his observations rather than official means gives...

    1/ First production Halifax had red serials in October 1940

    2/ Common on Stirlings in January 1941

    3/ First squadron delivery Manchester L7288 had them on 7th December 1940, but he then suggests that a few months later 207 squadron had grey codes and serials, this being after the black paint was extended up the fuselage.They were back in red by June !!

    However, Camouflage and Markings by James Goulding says that a signal of 5/1/41 instructed Commands and Manufacturers to paint "aircraft identification letters dull red".
    Manufacturers complied but some units mistakingly painted code letters as well in red.
    it is known that some manufacturers were pre warned of changes such as this which may explain the dates above. The Defiant night fighter was certainly in this category of pre emption.

    So sorry not very precise but would appear to be Winter of 1940/1941
    cheers Peter
    Last edited by PeterColwill; 14th January 2014 at 17:08.

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