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Thread: Mosquito PR.I W4054

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    Default Mosquito PR.I W4054

    Hi all.

    Doing a colour profile of this Mosquito to go with an article that will be published in the Norwegian quarterly "Flyhistorie" (Aviation History). This Mosquito was shot down while attempting to photograph Tirpitz east of Trondheim on 28 March 1943. It then belonged to No.540 Squadron which originated from No.1 PRU (disbanded in October 1942).
    Is it safe to assume that the "LY"-codes of 1.PRU was removed from the aircraft when this unit was divided into several squadrons? I have not been able to find a photograph of this Mosquito, so I'm a bit in the dark when it comes to the camouflage and marking of this particular Mosquito.

    Thanks in advance and regards,
    Bengt

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    Hi Bengt,

    I believe that squadron codes were not carried by Mosquito and Spitfire PR aircraft after 1 PRU was split into individual squadrons (540-544).

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Bengt,
    I can confirm what Andy says. PR Squadrons did not carry codes until after the war ended.
    Bill.

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    Thanks Bill and Andy.

    Just what I suspected.

    Bengt

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    Bengt,
    I have seen a photograph (in black and white) of a 540 Squadron Mosquito taken shortly after the end of the war and it looks to be painted in PR blue overall. Whether this would have applied to W4054 or not I cannot say although it seems likely. I know some PR aircraft were painted pale pink during the war but again I wouldn't know whether this applied to any Mosquitoes. Certainly I cannot recall seeing any photos of PR aircraft in "standard" camouflage at this stage of WW2.
    Bill.

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    Paul Lucas, in his Guideline booklet on the camouflage and markings of PR Mosquitos, highlights the distinctive camouflage carried by early examples. This predates the use of PRU Blue on Mosquitos, which was generally adopted late in 1942. Aircraft known to be in uppersurface camouflage include W4051, W4060 and DK310. Whether W5054 was painted this way, and if so still carried this earlier scheme into 1943 I don't know. Certainly no Mosquitoes were painted PRU Pink, as this was used for low-level PR work for which the Mosquito would have been too vulnerable.

    Lucas does state that the split into squadrons was introduced 19th October 1942, at about the same time as the squadron codes were dropped 4th October 1942. He states that no date for the widespread adoption of PRU Blue on Mosquitoes is known, suggesting April-December 1942, but shows W4059 in PRU Blue with the codes LY.T at some uncertain date - 1941?

    This suggests that W5054 as likely to be in PRU Blue with a single code letter, if it had been updated. Or perhaps like W4051, it had carried this scheme anyway. Although the squadrons did not carry codes, that does not necessarily imply that they would have removed any already present, but Lucas does specifically say that 540 Sq did not carry any squadron markings.

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