Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
corto

Spitfire Vc EF566 paint scheme question...

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

I'd love to hear opinions regarding the paint scheme of 335 Squadron's Spitfire Vc EF566 http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205209455

Heraclion_Crete_SpitVc_EF566.jpg

After cleaning up the photo in photoshop the call sign seems to be "GM*G" not just "G". I created a profile based on these findings and used day fighter scheme.

Heraclion_Crete_SpitVc_EF566_GMG.jpgSpitfireVc_EF566_1.jpg

8MU 1-3-43 82MU 19-3-43 SS682 12-4-43 Casablanca 25-4-43 NWAfrica 31-5-43 M46 install Middle East 30-11-44 RHAF 25-4-46 FACE 335S 2-10-46 dived into ground Langaja Greece Pilot killed dbf 2-10-46

So, late '44 it got a new Merlin 46 in a Middle East MU then flew operations against German garrisons in Crete - could it still carry a desert scheme or day fighter one? I can't discern a Sky band but have seen day fighter scheme Spits that had the band overpainted with Dark Green or Ocean Gray late in the war. It also carries the odd looking wing bomb rack with rear crutch and flimsy looking wire attachment in front - not the double set crutch bomb rack from the Mk.IX

Appreciate any help.

Cheers!

John

Edited by corto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After going around the houses on this one, and then losing the text in a moment of clumsiness, I think that the only definite statement I can make is that the roundels are more likely to be blue-white-blue at this stage, as the contrast in the picture suggests.

I would however consider Temperate Land as an option for the colours, and that this was much likelier than Desert at this stage. We can be fairly definite that it will have been in Desert originally..

Have you seen these two web sites for Greek Spitfires?

http://imansolas.freeservers.com/Aces/Greeks%20in%20Spitfires.html#THE%20GREEK%20SPITFIRES%20OF%20THE%20MIDDLE%20EAST

http://www.haf.gr/el/articles/pdf/desert_squadrons.pdf

The codes are odd, in that neither GM nor MG were used in the ME. GN was, for 249 Sqn, but EF566 is not listed in Brian Cull's "249 At War". It isn't listed in the history you have above, but then neither is 335 Sqn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Graham and Engelsted! I checked the ORB as well and EF566 was listed as part of 249 Sqn. So, at least we can be certain for the call sign GN*G :)

I changed the profiles based on Graham's suggestions - I do like the temperate land scheme possibility!

SpitfireVc_EF566_dayfighterscheme_1.jpg

SpitfireVc_EF566_temperatelandscheme.jpg

Edited by corto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the aircraft got a new engine at an MU in late 1944, she may as well have been repainted in the same occasion. The Italian cobelligerant air force got some ex 249 Sqn. machines and these were in day fighters scheme. For this and other reasons, I would bet on the same scheme on EF566

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pedantically, had she been repainted in late 1944 the 249 Sqn. codes would have been painted over. However, she must have been repainted to some extent before serving with 249, so either scheme could be possible.

Giorgio: do you know if the Co-Belligerent aircraft were definitely Day Fighter, or has this simply been an assumption because they clearly weren't Desert, and Temperate Land wasn't considered? I feel this is the case with the book on the Yugoslav 452 Sqn,, a comment which was in the lost postings. Other Mk.Vs in Italy at this time, e.g. 60 Sqn. SAAF, were definitely in Temperate Land, and this was the officially approved scheme for overseas service until (about) mid 1944, when the Day Fighter scheme appeared, mainly on the two-stage Merlin Spitfires. The TLS would remain a more appropriate scheme for low-level fighter-bombers, after all. I cannot be definite about the date, and certainly wouldn't rule out Day Fighter on some Mk.Vs, but I fear this may have been an automatic judgement on limited assumptions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Graham, you raise a good point that I had not considered, if the engine was replaced after service with 249 Sqn, the codes would not be there...

Regarding the general use of DFS or temperate land on Spitfire Vs in Italy, I've always wondered how much the temperate scheme would have been a simple modification of aircrafts previously in desert scheme (paint green over the mid stone areas) and how much it would have been the result of complete repaints. There were also several aircrafts wearing sky rear fuselage bands, IMHO this would have been a sign of full DFS, why would the sky band have been applied to an aircraft in another scheme when it was not required ?

We should of course keep in mind the timeframe here, if I understand correctly, the aircraft in which the OP is interested is represented in late 1944, earlier aircrafts may be a different story.

If we move to other Spitfire variants, DFS appears earlier, for example on the Spitfire IX. Those sent directly to Italy were in DFS and remained in that scheme, as shown by the well known shots of 241 Sqn. aircrafts over mt. Vesuvius taken in January 1944

Regarding the ICAF aircrafts, there has been a lot of debate on these in the past. Initially they were believed to be in desert scheme, for the simple reason that everybody believed that all RAF aircrafts in the Mediterranean were in this scheme. Today of course the various changes in camouflage are more widely known.

Still, until recently, many in Italy followed the desert scheme theory. Only a few years ago a number of modellers started to mention the possibility that these aircrafts were in DFS. This was based on the study of RAF standard schemes: if DFS was requested on RAF aircrafts in mid 1944, why would the Italian aircrafts in early 1945 have been left in desert scheme? There were also pictures of aircrafts delivered but yet to be repainted in Italian markings that showed sky bands on the rear fuselage.

Finally a video was found by well known Italian aviation historian Ferdinando D'Amico in the IWM that showed a number of Italian aircrafts clearly in DFS.

Now it's impossible to say that all aircrafts were painted this way, however overall I believe that all available evidence points to DFS as being the main scheme for ICAF aircrafts.

A number of pictures can be seen in this page:

http://www.eaf51.org/Photo_03_51_ICAF_Spit.htm

Today most historians and modellers in Italy have accepted that most aircrafts would have been in DFS. There are still a few hardliners however that believe in the use of the desert scheme and bring as proof articles written in the early '80s on some local magazine...

Regarding the suitability or not of DFS for the missions performed by these aircrafts, most ICAF missions were over the balkans, meaning crossing the Adriatic Sea. As part of the mission was over water, a grey/green scheme may actually be better than a green/brown. I believe however that at that point nobody would have been much bothered as the Luftwaffe was not a big threat anyway. My personal opinion is that the aircrafts were in DFS simply because that was the standard RAF scheme of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, an engine change would not necessarily require a repaint. The M46 is a slightly curious choice in itself, being the high-altitude variant of the M45 as used (very appropriately) in the defence of Darwin. At this stage perhaps an M50 or M55 would have been more expected, though the latter (I argue) would come with the 6-a-side exhausts, not present here. Possibly it was a simple matter of needing a new engine and using whatever was available on the squadron, rather than this being done during a major overhaul at an MU. Perhaps the full aircraft record card has more information, but if it lacks the knowledge of 249 Sqn. then perhaps not.

Thanks for the discussion and the link to the photographs. I was thinking more generally, perhaps too much so? The Day Fighter scheme was intended more as an air-to-air scheme, the light colour of the grey would not be particularly suited to over-water flights. Though the Adriatic can reasonably be assumed to be lighter than the North Sea or Channel, maybe not in the winter of 1944/45? I suspect you are right, in that the aircraft were simply painted in whatever was considered the standard. But what, locally, was that? Deliveries of new aircraft were in DFS, and accepted as such, but these would primarily be for the air superiority role. EF566 was not a new aircraft. It would have been painted in whatever was being carried by 249 Sqn. at the time it was received. The photo does give a first impression of the high contrast Day Fighter scheme. However, if it had last been painted in early or mid 1944, then the Dark Earth would have had time to fade to the lighter shade of the photo, and the Dark Green perhaps to a chocolate brown?

Unfortunately, this exploring of the options isn't yet producing anything definite yet..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've begun to form the impression (note careful choice of words!) that VcTrops commonly had M46, as opposed to M45. Even with the coming of cropped engines, "regular" Spit Vs would have continued in use, I think.

bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given that the Mk.Vc Trop was being sent to places that didn't have 60-series fighters, using the M46 with its higher altitude rating makes a lot of sense. Looking at STH however, the EF range seem to be an exception with a number of M45s being fitted in production, and EN being M45s if not converted to 60-series. Later aircraft appear to be all M46 "unless otherwise indicated". EF566 is recorded as having M45 when built, so perhaps it was seen as an "odd ball" in need of "standardisation".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you gentlemen, wonderful info and sources that have helped me immensely!

Graham, I'm aware of the 2 links you posted re:RHAF. My venture into these profiles is to create a more up to date reference for modelers and researchers alike as more period pictures appear lately, on ebay and from veteran family members. The 80s thinking regarding desert camouflage patterns for ICAF aircraft that Giorgo mentioned exists for the RHAF, as well. Also, for the national insignia as many articles back then placed light blue roundels on 335/336 Sqn Hurricanes and Spitfires alike while under RAF command. Pictures that have surfaced in the last decade show clearly British roundels until these aircraft (only the Spitfires) passed officially under Greek command. IPMS Greece, Greek modellers and historians have done a great job in reassessing old ideas and presenting new facts.

As far as the call sign goes what color you guys think could it have been? White "G" and the rest "N*G" in Black? Any possibility of Red or Blue?

I'll post more profiles in a different thread that you may find interesting and get more info on colors and insignia.

Cheers,

John

Edited by corto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I quote Edgar on this one:

23-2-43 a DTD Technical Circular was issued, in which it said that fighters for desert areas were to be in desert scheme, with azure blue undersides; other fighters for overseas were to be in Day Fighter Scheme, except for fighters destined for Malta, which were to have Light Mediterranean Blue undersides.

The introduction of the DFS overseas was (if the circular was indeed followed) well before mid-1944.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, Eric Coop also shot colour footage of Yugoslav Spitfires in Vis just days after being in Canne, and those Spitfires are also clearly in DFS. The footage has not been put online by the IWM, but I obtained a copy of it for Ferdinando D'Amico.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great find,......in my own personal opinion it looks to be wearing the day fighter scheme with blue white blue roundels and fin flash but I wouldn`t totally rule out the Temperate Land Scheme which could still be an outside chance?

Many Spitfire V`s were reconditioned in Egypt during late 1943 and painted in the Day Fighter Scheme and this is most likely to be one of them.

The white band on the spinner looks to be narrower than the one on your fantastic side view drawings and matches other Greek Spits of the day.

When I researched an article about the Baltimore some years ago it appeared that 13 Hellenic Sqn applied blue white blue roundels to its Baltimore`s in response to the Italian Baltimore`s based alongside them being allowed to wear their own national markings and these colours were worn when the Greeks returned to Greece in 1944.

Cheers

Tony

Edited by tonyot

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I do like these with the blue white blue roundels, looks like a great idea for a build :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I do like these with the blue white blue roundels, looks like a great idea for a build :)

Check out the forthcoming Xtradecal Mediterranean Fighters sheets in 1/72nd and 1/48th scales!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just out of curiosity, what colour were the upper wing roundels on these Greek aircraft?

Great profiles!

Edited by Kagemusha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great profiles, guys.

Looking at the pic, the tones of the fin flash, roundel & spinner seem very similar. Is it reasonable to contend that these were all the same shade of blue?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks folks, will be posting some more RHAF profiles in a new thread so feel free to check out and comment on accuracy, historic details, etc.

Tony, you may be right I'll amend the spinner band width. There are several patterns that the Greek Spits used. Kagemusha, the wing roundels were either left w/British colors or overpainted with Blue/White/Blue color discs. Later as Mk.IX Spits came into operational use the Mk.Vs were mostly repainted silver with lighter blue/white/blue roundels and provided training for new pilots. Serial numbers were also painted under the wings following post war British patterns. GMK, same light blue shade for all insignias and spinner could also be true.

Here are the amended profiles based on your guys' comments - cheers!

SpitfireVc_EF566_dayfighterscheme.jpg

SpitfireVc_EF566_temperatelandscheme_1.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice!

I guess when I finally get my modelling bench set up I know what scheme I'll be building my VC kit in. A RHAH VC in TLS.

Thanks @corto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The two posts from Super Aereo reminded me that a few years ago I had collected information on the various RAF and MAP circulars for fighters to be used in the Med. and this material was what made me realise back then that DFS was likely more widespread that I had previously believed. Unfortunately all that material was later lost...

Yes, new build aircrafts arrived in theatre in this scheme, but repainted aircrafts also used the same scheme. IIRC someone had posted here some information on the Spitfire currently in the Belgrade Museum: during the restoration it had been found that the aircraft was originally in desert scheme and had been repainted in DFS. The same sure occurred at MU level to a number of aircrafts previously serving with the USAAF before being reassigned to RAF units

Edited by Giorgio N

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, Eric Coop also shot colour footage of Yugoslav Spitfires in Vis just days after being in Canne, and those Spitfires are also clearly in DFS. The footage has not been put online by the IWM, but I obtained a copy of it for Ferdinando D'Amico.

Is there a chance that these colour footage of Yugoslav Spitfires will be published, in any form?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...