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RAAF 22 Sqn A-20G Boston markings,


Sydhuey
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Ok after the Beaufighter thread with the minefield of schemes I thought I would do something a bit more definite, Boston's are my favourite subject and have been researching them for years, much is written about the early Boston III's but little is written about the A-20G's  they were only used on ops for about 4 months before most were written off in a night bombing raid by Japanese aircraft on Morotai on 22/23 Nov 44 destroyed over half the Sqn  which then converted to Aust build Mk 21 Beaufighter's, The Sqn did not want to convert to Beaufighter's as they much preferred the Boston ( many of the pilots in the Sqn had flown Beaufighter's and wanted to keep Boston's) and the US 5th AF was willing to supply more Boston's but the RAAF HQ decided to go with an all Beaufighter strike fleet. 

Unlike the earlier DB-7B Boston III's and A-20A's and A-20C's which were on RAAF strength , the A-20G's were on "Loan" from US 5th AF stock and all serviceable A-20G's were returned to 5th AF after withdrawal from service. In the 4 months of service with 22 Sqn they flew more missions then the previous 20 mths combined with the earlier model Boston's and build up an excellent reputation with A-20 units with the 5th AF, 22 Sqn operated side by side with the 417th BG for 3 months on Noemfoor Island and got most of there spares from the group , all serviceable A-20G's were assigned to the 417th after use with 22 Sqn.

All RAAF A-20G's were brand new aircraft either straight from the US or from US stock held at Finschafen (not second hand as some sources quote)(except for 6 x early A-20G-10's used as training a/c) and as they were new aircraft and on loan from the US operated in Std US scheme of Olive Drab with Medium Green Blotches over neutral Grey, they were not repainted in any RAAF paint schemes but did have repairs painted Foliage Green or new Olive Drab paint. 

The 29 x A-20G's were delivered in 5 batches and this is were the markings changed with each batch. Sqn code letters were issued alphabetically on delivery or when an A-20G replaced one of the older DB-7B's or A-20C's.

DB-7B's A28-11 DU-L , A28-18 DU-Y and A-20C's A28-23 DU-O, A28-28 DU-U and A28-30 DU-W stayed on strength at 22 Sqn when the A-20G's arrived so these Sqn code letters were not used on the A-20G's.

 

Batch  #1 A28-50 to 60 and 64

This first batch of A-20G's were new delivery -40 aircraft direct from the US to 3AD Amberley in Jun 44, these 12 aircraft were modified to RAAF spec and also had a RAAF designed strike camera fitted to the rear of the R/H engine nacelle, the rear cone of the nacelle was truncated and a strike camera fitted into the empty area in the back of the Nacelle, this was operated by the pilot on his strike run and took photo's of the bomb damage , it also allowed the lower .50 to be used during low level bomb runs something std US A-20's could not do if the rear crewman was using a camera for bomb damage assessment thru the lower hatch.

These aircraft were marked exactly as per the RAAF instruction AGP Pt 3 issued 26/5/44, which we will see caused problems, "Bomber" roundels were to be of the 5/2 ration 48" in diameter, serials were to be 8" Medium Sea Grey on fuselage side fwd of leading edge of Horizontal stab and Sqn codes to be 36" high on each side of fuselage, 34 wide x 24 high fin flash and all US markings painted over. well the Boston fuselage was not big enough to take 48" roundels and  36" Sqn codes and with the serial fwd of the Horizontal stab the Sqn codes covered the serials, when the aircraft got to 22 Sqn and coded were applied , 24 " was as big as could be applied and on some aircraft the code letter even partially covered the fuselage roundel , the last two aircraft of this batch had unofficial 40" roundels applied to try and fit the fuselage better. Roundels in 6 places on these machines.

A28-50  DU-A, A28-51 DU-B , A28-52 DU-C, A28-53 DU-D, A28-54 DU-E, A28-55 DU-F, A28-56 ?, A28-57 DU-J, A28-58 DU-K, A28-59 DU-M (DU-M applied both sides not the usual reverse on R/H side), A28-60 DU-P and A28-64 DU-N.

 

Batch #2 A28-61 to 63.

This second batch were also new delivery -40 aircraft from the US to 1AD Laverton in Jul 44, after 3AD tried to follow the official instructions 1AD interpreted them differently, the serials were applied under the horizontal stab on the fuselage side and 32" "fighter" roundels were applied which better suited the space on the Boston fuselage side, no fin flash was applied and all US markings over painted. The strike camera mod was not fitted. Roundels in 6 places on these machines

A28-61 DU-R, A28-62 DU-S, A28-63 DU-T. serials in White not Medium Sea Grey, all later delivery batches also had all serials and Sqn codes in White.

 

Batch #3 A28-65 to 68

This third batch came from US stock at Finschafen and were new delivery -45 aircraft in Aug/Sept 44, markings start to get rough now despite being new aircraft the US markings are just brushed over and 32" roundels applied , no fin flash is applied and the A28 is dropped from 65 onward only had two digit serials. Roundels in 6 positions on these machines.

A28-65 DU-G, A28-66 DU-H, A28-67 DU-V ( DU-V was also the same both sides), A28-68 DU-X (also DU-X both sides)

 

Batch #4 A28-69 to 74

This batch were the second hand A-20G-10's from the 417th BG only used as training aircraft not used on ops and never had Sqn markings applied

 

Batch #5 A28-75 to 78

These last 4 Bostons were later model -45's (some of the last A-20G's built) straight from the US to 22 Sqn On Noemfoor island in Oct 44, these Boston's were unique as they ran mixed markings , the US stars and Bars were retained on the wings and the US serial retained on the tail with RAAF roundel applied to fuselage sides with Sqn codes and 2 digit RAAF serial under horizontal stab, why the mixed marking no one is sure, some of the reasons mentioned were friendly fire incidents from US troops (unless it had Stars and Bars they shot at it ), also these were Loan aircraft so maybe the MU became lazy and just applied RAAF markings to Fuselage sides ( I have seen RAAF P-40's and C-47's that retained the Stars and Bars on wings).Roundels only on fuselage on these machines.

A28-75 DU-A, A28-76 DU-?, A28-77 DU-? , A28-78 DU-R.

 

The CO of 22 Sqn did not like art work or individual markings so personalisation was rare, the CO's aircraft A28-60 DU-P had a May 44 Vargus pin up on his aircraft and was called "Hilda Shane" , after his Wife and Son and had approx. 20 mission marks on it ( ground crew applied the artwork one night , the CO relented and said it could stay but no other art work was to be applied it also had polished spinners as the CO's aircraft, A28-55 had 9 mission marks unusually on the R/H side not the normal L/H side and A28-78 was called "Topsy" also unusually marked on the R/H side, these are the only individual markings I can find on RAAF A-20G's.

 

A28-52 DU-C, note large 48" roundel , Sqn codes (C) covering serials , note strike camera mod rear of R/H engine nacelle

 DU-C%202_zpsykvfrhgf.jpg

A28-54 DU-E, note 48" roundel , fin flash, Sqn code (E) covering serial, also in background A28-67 DU-V - reversed Sqn code on R/H side and 32 " "fighter" roundels and no fin flash applied and two digit serials to later batches..

DU-VE-iloveimg-converted_zpsnvwwhwgu.jpg

A28-60 DU-P undergoing repair post raid on Ambon 05 Oct 44, note reduced 40" roundel , fin flash, Sqn codes covering serial and strike camera position

DU-P%20jpg_zpsxfpf45de.jpg

A28-59 DU-M post raid on Morotai late Nov44 (Aircraft written off), note 48" roundel , reversed Sqn codes on R/H side, removal of modified aft R/H nacelle fairing for strike camera , fin flash and covered serials.

Boston20at20Tadji_zps6ndfeso5.jpg

A28-63 DU-T post crash landing Noemfoor 06 Sept 44, note serial under tail not covered by Sqn Code , 32" roundels.

A28-63_zpsbsfofuov.jpg

A28-67 DU-V  L/H side.

DU-V%201_zpsaabdjcmu.jpg

A28-78 DU-R, "Topsy" note mixed markings, US Stars and Bars under wing and serial retained on tail, overpainting of nose cone and around US star and bar on fuselage side , may be Foliage Green (note semi gloss finish), 32" roundel

A28_78_DU_R_001_zpsnkmxdr0k.jpg

 

   

 

 

   

Edited by Sydhuey
Sqn code info.
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In the past I have had ready access to restored A-20G at Amberley , I was able to make a full set of cardboard markings, 32", 40" and 48" roundels , fin flashes, serial blocks etc I also made Pre May 44 markings and was able to apply them for comparisons , I can then compare my photo's with known size marking to old photo's to get accurate sizing and positions of fuselages, that was how I came up with the reduced 40" roundels on A28-60 and A28-64.

DSC01617_zpsn1xzczxe.jpg

DSC01622_zpsvjoy2yuy.jpg

DSC01620_zps5winyefr.jpg

   

Edited by Sydhuey
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Thanks Syd,....you may have just induced me to dig out an A-20 kit from the stash!! 

All the best mate

                           Tony

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No worries Tony DK decals do the markings for A28-78 "Topsy" mixed markings are something different. For many years A28-78 was recorded as an A-20J as the US serial was recorded wrong on the RAAF Record form E88 was recorded as 43-22140 (which was an A-20J Boston IV serving with 88 Sqn as BZ561) instead of 43-22148, photo's of both sides of the aircraft only turned up a couple of years ago to confirm its true ID.  

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Thanks Syd,.....not sure whether I have this sheet,...I`ll have to have a butchers!

Image result for dk decals a-20i

 

I have these 1/48th Italeri decals too;

Image result for italeri a-20

 

Cheers mate

                 Tony

 

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Italeri markings are wrong as you can see from photo, Sqn codes should be white and should have fin flashes and 6 roundels not 4. DK Decals are good for the A-20G

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4 hours ago, Sydhuey said:

Italeri markings are wrong as you can see from photo, Sqn codes should be white and should have fin flashes and 6 roundels not 4. DK Decals are good for the A-20G

Thanks Syd,

                  Sorry I meant that with a bit of sarcasm,.....as in,....I have these but not got much to play with,...apart from maybe the serial! I was thinking that the large roundel may be OK for the fuselage,....if I can find some suitable white codes,.... although truth said I`d prefer something with a bit of nose art if possible,...but beggars cannot be choosers eh! I have quite a lot of RAAF roundels to fall back on at least.

 

Keep up the great work mate,

                                              Tony

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Hey Tony,

                 The only accurate rendition of a RAAF A-20G decal set so far has been the DK Decals of A28-78 "Topsy"

1/ MPM Kit of A-20G - A28-60 "Hilda Shane", wrong style roundels older 5/3 ratio not post mid 44 style 5/2 ratio, only 4 roundels instead of 6, wrong style fin flash (early style), serials ok , Sqn codes ok, nose art and bomb log ok.

2/ Novadecals A-20G A28-60 "Hilda Shane", only thing ok with this set is the nose art, roundels (wrong number and ratio-old style roundels), fin flash (old style), bomb log (green should be white), Sqn codes all wrong DU-D should be DU-P. 

3/ Italeri A-20G A28-52 DU-C, roundels ok but need 6, serials ok, Sqn codes wrong colour should be white, should have fin flash.

4/ Aeromodel decals A-20G A28-67 DU-V, scheme wrong says Medium Green (similar to Foliage Green) should be std Olive Drab, wrong style roundels (wrong ratio again), should be 6 roundels, serials ok, Sqn code ok but needs to be DU-V both sides not V-DU on R/H side. White ID panels , never seen trace of them on any RAAF Boston.

 

This is Artwork from Hobby Master I did for there Diecast 1/72 A-20 they did , this was the artwork released by HM before they did the model. 

5/2 roundels , late larger fin flash, US serial in a dark mustard colour (serials were painted over but the yellow bled thru to a dark Mustard),  Only grey area were the Sqn codes we couldn't decode if they were in the proper white or as was still applied by some units Sky Blue (which soon faded to almost white anyway), Sqn codes partially covering serials, white bomb log. Polished prop hubs (Silver)

 A-20G_01.jpg 

Edited by Sydhuey
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This is one of the profiles I've had done of RAAF Boston's , done 14 so far 8 to go , I won't put any others up as they tend to appear in things without permission , same as the photo's all the photo's I posted are on the net , I have lots I won't show. Maybe a book one day ??

HILDA%20SHANE%20WM2_zps66tia3zl.png

Edited by Sydhuey
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Thanks again Syd and your artwork is excellent mate. I started the 1/72nd Revell Boston Mk.IV kit today (ex Special Hobby),..... I`m adding the solid gun nose left over from the Revell A-20 Havoc nightfighter kit. I`ll be building Topsy from the DK Decals sheet,....although  A28-52 DU-C was very tempting,.....I wasn`t sure if it had artwork or not though.

Cheers

           Tony

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Hiya Syd,

                I`ve started my A-20G model over on WIP and I hope that you don`t mind but I have linked t with this post on the A-20G and also used a couple of photos. I can always delete these if you want me to,

All the best and thanks for the inspiration and reference material,

                                                                                                       Tony

 

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  • 2 years later...

Just now discovered this thread- WOW! I always considered the A-20 as the best-looking of the USAAF medium bombers/attack aircraft, but these RAAF A-20's are the bee's knees! Never knew these schemes existed or about the strike camera fit- thank you sooo much for sharing your photos, research, and artwork, Syd! I have got to do Topsy or Hilda Shane one of these days...looks like  @tonyot is going to beat us all to the gate, though! Re Hilda Shane artwork- guess the C.O.'s motto was do as I say, not as I do! Outstanding research, Syd! Just another reason why BM is head and shoulders above the other modeling sites.

Mike

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On ‎8‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 5:42 AM, barneybolac said:

Facebook find.

 

7Wq7xdt.jpg

Yep one of the photo's I put on ADF serials face book page.

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  • 5 weeks later...

The above photo is of A28-60 DU-P Hilda Shane in early Aug 44 just after the unit converted to new G model A-20's, when the nose art was just added just before operations recommenced. 

Taken at Noemfoor Island as 22 Sqn were operating brand new unmarked A-20G's beside the 417th BG with their A-20G's with much nose art on them, The ground crew painted nose art on the CO's aircraft hoping he would like it, then paint other aircraft in the Sqn, unfortunately the CO Sqn Ldr Colin Woodman was a stickler for rules and forbade artwork on any aircraft.
However he relented on the work on his aircraft and allowed it to stay, called Hilda Shane after his wife and son.

 

The upper photo of Hilda Shane with bomb log would have been taken in Late Sep 44, Hilda Shane was badly damaged on her 19th mission on 04 Oct 44 a strike on Ambon and did not fly again till late Nov 44  was written off in a Japanese night bombing attack on Morotai on 22/23 Nov 44, she had completed 21 missions, all bar 2 were flown by Sqn Ldr Woodman.

 

there is another photo on ADF serials of Hilda Shane with Sqn Ldr Woodman in the cockpit just after the nose art was applied , he doesn't look impressed. 

Edited by Sydhuey
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