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Thread: Squadron codes in the 60s

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    Default Squadron codes in the 60s

    Hi all, being a little bit confused I would like to ask for confirmation:
    when the two letters code for squadrons were replaced by the one letter only - where it was placed? I have seen several pictures with one letter on the nose and one letter on the rear fuselage behind the roundel. I suppose that the nose letter was the individual one and the fuselage one was the squadron letter which later was replaced by the squadron number.

    Can anybody confirm me this theory or/and recommend any source for such a question?

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Pavel

    I can recommend Combat Codes by Vic Flinthm and Andrew Thomas, Pen & Sword 978 1 4415 691 7

    All the best

    Malcolm

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    I don't recognise the system you describe. The three letter system (2 for the unit, one for the individual) was dropped in the early 1950s, and replaced by the use of squadron colours. 2 TAF did have a two letter system in the early 50s, but this worked the same way as the 3 letter one.

    Individual codes could be carried on the nose or the tail or on the fuselage, or an almost any combination, but would always be the same letter.

    In the 1970s a new system was introduced based on aircraft type, where A represented the first unit to form on the type, B the second, and so on. In this case the two letters were normally carried on the fin. Squadron colours and/or a representative symbol were also carried.

    I understand that the 1960s only saw the colours + individual code, not a 2 letter system.

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    Further to confirm what Graham has said, a check of 'Combat Codes' shows that the single unit code letters were used by 2 TAF, Flying Training Command and Coastal Command but only in the 1950's

    Malcolm

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    My 1954 copy of "Aircraft Camouflage and Markings" by Robertson confirms what Malcom said, including the restriction to only certain commands.

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    Dear chaps,

    many thanks for your comments. In the meantime I have done a little digging in my books about RAF and command's squadrons and looking on the pictures I found a nice example which answered my question. It is a Shackleton T-P (T on tail, P on nose). The T is overpainted and there is code 220. This corresponds with my idea that the tail letter was for the squadron code and the nose letter for the individual letter.

    In my original post I maybe not described my question correctly.

    Best regards

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Pavel, my 1954 Robertson book confirms this was the practice for Coastal Command in the mid 1950s:

    "A new identification system was introduced within the Command, using two letters only, one to denote the unit and the other individual identity." He then gives examples of Shackletons and Lancasters with a letter on the nose and on the fuselage, but isn't clear on which was a unit code and which was an individual code.

    Apparently by 1954 some Shackletons carried the two letters on the fueslage, on either side of the roundel.

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