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Thread: 514 Squadron - yellow bars on fins

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    Default 514 Squadron - yellow bars on fins

    Could someone please tell me when the two yellow horizontal stripes on the fins of 514 Squadron Lancasters was introduced and why was this neccessary? Thank you.

    Norman

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    Norman,

    According to various websites (using Google and the term "yellow stripes on Lancasters") it signified an aircraft fitted with Gee H.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hello Dave,
    Thank you for this information.

    Its quite hard to believe that this was meant to be a visible code to indicate the aircraft were fitted out with Gee H. Visible for who? A clear and simple aircraft recognition feature which must have been a give away to enemy intelligence.
    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 2nd September 2009 at 23:18.

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    In fact, not Gee but G-H. To quote from Wakelam's THE SCIENCE OF BOMBING;
    G-H Formation
    Daylight attack procedure where aircraft attacked in formation. Leading aircraft bombed using G-H and followers released bombs when the leaders' bombs were seen falling. Aircraft usually flew in elements of three with each leader using G-H. There was no requirement to see ground. End quote.
    This was at the end of the war, of course.
    Ian Macdonald

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    Norman, Not necessarily unless Gee H aircraft had particular antennae that would give the game away. Yelow bars could indicate flt leaders, nav leaders or whatever. Regards, Terry

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    Essentially Ian is correct. G-H Leaders carried identification markings on their tail fins so that they were conspicuous to other aircraft in the "gaggle". Whilst these leaders had designated followers, other aircraft were not excluded from joining their formation if necessary. If for instance, they had become separated from their own formation or their leader had been shot down, they would look for an aircraft with the decorated tail fins and join up with them. As Ian says, all aircraft in the formation would release their bombs when they saw the leader's go down. It was a refinement of the system the Americans had been using for some time.

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