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Thread: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

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    Default White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    Guys,
    Does anyone know what was the reason of painting this white or light gray circle on the front part of Lancasters under the flare chute in 1945?
    Probably such marking was applied only in 1 Bomber Group.
    Any ideas are welcomed.

    Regards,
    Greg

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    Default Re: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    There was a yellow circle of gas reactive paint there

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    Default Re: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    That explains a lot. Many thanks for your help.

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    Default Re: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    I feel foolish asking, but what "gas" were they trying to detect? Was it to warn of a German gas (mustard or ?) attack or was it a warning fuel fumes (or something like that) were escaping from somewhere during maintenance...?
    Cheers, Clint

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    Default Re: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    Any vesicant war gas

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    Default Re: White/light gray circle on Lancaster`s fuselage

    In the past there's been some debate about whether the gas patch on RAF aircraft was to detect own contamination (for RAF Sqns equipped for gas attack) or to detect gas attack by the enemy.

    However...

    There are many accounts that gas detecting patches were also applied to public places: public buildings, walls etc and the red GPO pillar boxes (BBC Peoples War now defunct).

    In military vehicle markings discussion circles, it's clear that gas patches were applied both to British Army transport and armoured vehicles in Britain.

    The yellow paint was designed to turn pink if Mustard Gas was encountered., according to some, or simply darkened on exposure according to others.

    Applied either as paint or as a doped/taped-on painted patch. On aircraft, as circles on fuselage eg Lancasters, or as squares or diamonds on wing surface (Hurricane, Spitfire, eg).

    All these taken together strongly suggest that the RAF aircraft patches were, in 1939/1940 at least, intended principally to detect attack, rather than accidental own contamination.

    According to some, in the RAF at least, largely discontinued after 1940. Others report RAF instances in 1943, 1945 and, by an ex-RAF serviceman, in use Cold War in various forms as a precaution against USSR attack.

    It's worth remembering in 2020 that in 1939 and 1940, British govt and public thought mass gas attack by The Enemy a very real risk.
    A risk so great that all civilians were issued gas masks which were required to be taken with you in public.
    That's the little cardboard box on it's piece of string, seen worn over the shoulder in numerous photographs and films of the day.

    Sources: simple web search, sites various.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 21st October 2020 at 21:32.
    Toujours propos

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Don Clark For This Useful Post:

    ClintCoffey (22nd October 2020)

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