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Hamsterman

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  1. Looks like this thread hasn't been active for quite some time but thought it might be interesting to share this photo which I found on Brian Spurr's Facebook page dedicated to his father's WWII service. https://www.facebook.com/brian.peter.spurr/media_set?set=a.10155217058756901&type=3 The photo shows a Lockheed L-10 Electra named "Cloudy Joe". According to the caption on Brian's page, "It seems the factory serial of this aircraft is 1124 and it carried registrations YU-SBB and AX701. It was involved in a Operation Pike to photograph the Iraq oil fields." What's peculiar (at least to me) is that the book that was mentioned earlier in this thread, Operation Pike: Britain Versus the Soviet Union, 1939-1941, refers to a customized twin-engine Lockheed 12A aircraft, equipped with extra fuel tanks and standard 5" RAF aerial cameras (one mounted vertically and two mounted at 40-degree angles. It also refers to a Lockheed Super Electra 14 named "Cloudy Joe", but no L-10 Electra. In the photos of G-AGAR posted above, I don't see the name "Cloudy Joe" painted on the plane, only on the L-10 Electra. That said, if the name was painted in white on G-AGAR, it probably wouldn't be visible. So, was the 12A Electra a mis-recognition of the L-10 Electra in this photo or was the L-10 Electra also involved in Op. Pike? Was more than one plane christened "Cloudy Joe"? Cheers!
  2. Thanks for the suggestion. I've been doing just that and trying to go month by month. So far, a lot of serial numbers and no codes for 682 Sqn.
  3. Hi all, Quick question about this book. A few years back there was a Spitfire-related thread in which a gentleman was looking for the serial number of a 681 Sqn Spitfire in India based on the "Y" squadron marking. Someone listed off the squadron code and serial number for over two dozen 681 Sqn Spitfires and referenced the book Coastal Support and Special Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. To anyone who has this book, could you tell me if it has a similar list for all RAF PR squadrons and all PR airframes? For example, if I was interested in the two San Severo-based 682 Sqn Spitfires below, would I be able to find the serial numbers associated with the "E"? I believe the PR.XIX coded "F" in the background is already known to be RM640. What about 680 Sqn PR Mossies? Thanks. Chris
  4. Ha! No worries. I didn't realize there were more photos of K6K and if it hadn't been for your post, I wouldn't have gone looking.
  5. I've never seen that photo of JV723 your describing. The only photo I can recall seeing that incontrovertibly shows a vertical camera is this one. Thomas suggests this is JV282 on HMS Khedive. However, and maybe I'm completely wrong here, but both the NavSource entry for CVE-39 Cordova / HMS Khedive D62 ( https://www.navsource.org/archives/03/039.htm ) and the Royal Navy Research Archive entry for HMS Khedive ( http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/Galleries/KHEDIVE_Gllery_2.htm ) have a striking similar set of photos which I believe show the same plane, just earlier in the salvage process. The Royal Navy Research Archive page indicates the plane was K6K JV255 piloted by Sub-Lt West-Taylor. (Below photo is from the Imperial War Museum https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205160233 ) The photo on the NavSource page also shows the ventral camera location. Where I really get confused is other sources list K6K as JV316. This photo of K6K shows an oblique camera under the fuselage roundel. Two different K6Ks? I'm not sure I see the same starboard side oblique camera in the above salvage photos.
  6. Thanks for all the thoughts. One thing that I didn't notice until last night is the roundel on the starboard wing of the left-most Hellcat. You can only see the wing but it's painted similarly to 6G. The roundel on that wing is different than 6G. I don't see anything resembling a middle circle in red or lighter blue or gray. I only see dark blue and white. Does this affect how we interpret 6G? If we are looking at two shades of blue on 6G, why don't we see this on the other Hellcat? If gray/grey was used on 6G, why not this other Hellcat? (Unless we assume the dark blue paint stocks ran out before they got to 6G.) If we assume red on 6G then we assume the other Hellcat was painted first and the painters just haven't finished 6G yet. I hope so! I've only ever seen this photo of the incident. From Eyes For The Phoenix: "Another major modification was the installation of at least three different camera mountings within the rear fuselage. One permitted the use of oblique cameras, another of vertical cameras, a third of both at the same time. In later documents (including Grumman post-war archives) these different aircraft have been designated FR.I and II, and PRI and II but it appears that all were classed as Hellcat Mk.I(P) or Mk.II(P) at the time. The aircraft with mountings for oblique cameras only were issued principally to 804 Sqn to serve in the fighter reconnaissance role." and, "No.804 Sqn was unusual in eventually being equipped entirely with F6F-3 and F6F-5 model Hellcats for use in the Tac/R role." This would suggest JV723 was PR II that only had the oblique cameras on both sides?
  7. Hi all, Seeing as I'm in the mode of planning for some future builds, can anyone give me a hand interpreting the colors of the roundels on this FAA Hellcat 6G? Ron Mackay's Fleet Air Arm: British Carrier Aviation, 1939-1945, dates this photo as April, 1945 while Eyes for the Phoenix and the HMS Ameer website (http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/AMEER.htm#.XLYprqROlhE) gives the date as 28 May, 1945. I'm fuzzy on the dates and changes of FAA roundels so I'm guessing here but see three colors on the starboard wing (white, red, blue) and three on the fuselage roundel (white, thin red, blue). Wasn't there a period where the wing roundel was a large blue disk with a small white center and the fuselage roundel a small blue disk with small white center? Is the red supposed to be on 6G? What roundel was on the bottom of the wings? Looking at the Hellcat on the left, below 6G, what's visible on the bottom of the wing looks like a large blue roundel. Pictures of other similarly marked Hellcats show a small blue/white roundel. I'm sure this is a very basic question but I'm confused. Thanks for your patience. Chris
  8. Hi Dave, Silly question about 680 Squadron Mossies but have you ever come across a photo of NS534, fuselage code "R"? The profiles I've seen of this plane show red tail stripes with no white background. That's an interesting variation but I've never seen a photo suggesting it existed. Cheers! Chris
  9. No worries! You've given me something else to look in to. I found this the other day. https://www.docdroid.net/FyMAT3R/mosquito-flypast-2017-03.pdf On page 41 of the article, there is reference to 60 SQN receiving the red/white stripes in June, 1944, which could be "early". I'm not sure where the author got his information so I'm not arguing against it being prior to June. Interesting, though, the article shows a picture of MM390 which crashed in July 1944 and there are no visible stripes on the tail. I'm going to go through the 60 Squadron documents I've collected over the next few weeks and see if I can find any way to distinguish between Flight "A" and Flight "B". I've found reference to those two flights. We'll see. Perhaps if I can link the serial number from a Mossie with yellow spinners and the serial number from a Mossie with red spinners to some of the reports I've been looking at, I can find a pattern. Fingers crossed. Thanks. Yep, I'm jealous!
  10. Hi Stefaan, could you explain more about the various flights and which color was associated with which flight? This is the first I'm hearing about this. Thanks!
  11. I noticed that also. I guess there was a fair amount of variability even among planes of the same squadron. I'll stick to the 4 April mission, at least for this project. Those markings seem to be fairly straight forward. Silly question, do you know when the SAAF started using orange, instead of red, on the roundel and fin flash? It looks like red in those photos and yet I've seen orange in their Spitfire photos. Was this a squadron specific thing (say 40 squadron Spitfires vs 60 squadron Mossies)? Or, is that really orange on the roundels but the difference is so slight that I'm having a hard time distinguishing between the two. I'm trying to compare the red stripes on the tail, red spinners with the roundel. Maybe orange....
  12. Hi Jim, Correct, LR442 would not have had invasion stripes on 4 April. The article Tony referenced in his response seemed to suggest the 4 April mission occurred on 25 August, in which case, invasion stripes would be appropriate to discuss. There still is the question about what the invasion stripes would have looked like on the planes that flew photo missions over Auschwitz looked like on 26 June and 25 August. Here's a brief summary of what I think I know: 4 April - LR442; 60 SQD piloted by Lts Barry and McIntyre = PRU blue, 32” two-color blue/red roundel, larger 24” square red/white/blue fin flash, no invasion stripes, no red/white tail stripes, yellow prop spinners (?) 31 May - LR469; 60 SQD piloted by Capt. Larter and Lt. Stolk = PRU blue, 32” two-color blue/red roundel, larger 24” square red/white/blue fin flash, no invasion stripes, no red/white tail stripes, yellow prop spinners (?) 26 June - MM369; 60 SQD piloted by Lts Vanston and Jefferys = PRU blue, 32” two-color blue/red roundel, larger 24” square red/white/blue fin flash or smaller 12" fin flash (?), full invasion stripes around fuselage and tops and bottoms of wings (?), no red/white tail stripes, yellow prop spinners (?) 25 August - MM366; 60 SQD piloted by Lts. Stevens and McKnight = PRU blue, 32” two-color blue/red roundel, larger 24” square red/white/blue fin flash or smaller 12" fin flash (?), invasion stripes on bottom of wings and bottom half of fuselage or just bottom half of fuselage(?), red/white tail stripes on rudder only or rudder and vertical stabilizer, yellow prop spinners (?) My primary focus is the 4 April mission. The other missions are a bonus. Thanks Chris
  13. According to Combat Colours #5, pg 14, "... the two squadrons shared the same airfield and did not have any squadron codes to differentiate their aircraft, they adopted coloured spinners as the Squadron marking; No 680 Squadron painted their spinners Red, whilst 60 Squadron SAAF painted theirs yellow." That same page shows a photo of PR XVI, NS644, 'G', of No 60 Squadron with red and white stripes on the tail. Of course, the Squadron Mosquito in Action Pt 1 book shows No 680 Squadron with yellow spinners and red and white stripes. The Warpaint Special book on the Mosquito, pg 58 shows the profile of MM366, a No 609 squadron plane from June 1944 with full invasion stripes, no tail stripes and yellow spinners. MM366 was the plane flown for the 4th Auschwitz recon mission in August 1944. But of course, on page 59 there are profiles of both 690 and 680 squadron planes, both with red stripes on the tail and PRU blue spinners. Dang, if only that book had as many primary photos as it does profiles. I see what you mean about conflicting information.
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