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KRK4m

Navy miscellaneous types in TSS over yellow

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Are there any photos known of the Royal Navy miscellaneous types (Oxford, Master, TigerMoth, a.s.o) in TSS over yellow scheme or is Stinson Reliant the only type known to sport such a camouflage?

My interest concerns 1939-45 period - also overseas.

Cheers

Michael

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Question: did the Stinson Reliant actually wear this scheme?  Or are we all seduced by the photo, itself probably at least 30 years old now, of a preserved example whose owner had interpreted the original aircraft to be wearing that scheme?  (I first recall seeing the photo in Aeroplane Monthly.  I also found it in the FAA Museum's Reliant folder - apparently they hadn't realised it was a preserved example.)

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I'd be astonished if they didn't, given that was the standard training scheme for FAA aircraft in the later part of the war.  I have seen photos of Harvards in apparent TSS/Yellow, wartime and postwar, but the only photo I can find of an Oxford still had BAT Flight triangles when belonging to the Station Flight Belfast, so that one probably didn't.

 

FAA Aircraft of WW2 has a clear photo of Reliant FK815 of 752 Sq at Piarco in what appears to be TSS/Yellow.  The usual qualifications, of course, but it does look like it.

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11 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

I'd be astonished if they didn't, given that was the standard training scheme for FAA aircraft in the later part of the war.  I have seen photos of Harvards in apparent TSS/Yellow, wartime and postwar, but the only photo I can find of an Oxford still had BAT Flight triangles when belonging to the Station Flight Belfast, so that one probably didn't.

 

What do you mean as "later part of the war"? Certainly 1944-45, but what about 1943?

I remember some 30 years ago certain Polish airman from No.304 Squadron told me that when their unit has been transferred from Bomber Command to Coastal Command in mid-1942 their Wellingtons were ordered to have the Night areas overpainted in white ASAP, whereas the uppersurfaces were allowed to be left in TLS till the next overhaul/main service. The airfield they were based then (July 1942-March 1943) was RAF/RNAS Dale, used by several FAA units too. And from his reminds there appears that Royal Navy trainers have been repainted in the TSS together with these RAF Wellingtons and when No.304 was leaving Dale in April 1943 there were no FAA aircraft left in TLS there.

So do you think that HN767 Oxford from No. 758 Sq. FAA based at RNAS Hinstock in 1944 could look like depicted here http://www.wings-aviation.ch/51-Profiles/A/A-Basis-en.htm   ? 

Cheers

Michael

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I don't know when TSS was formally adopted for all land-based aircraft of the FAA - possibly September 1940?  However I don't see anyone being in any hurry to repaint the established trainers already on hand, nor to rush to repaint any aircraft transferred later.  As your Polish friend described, this could be done on the next major overhaul.  It is interesting to see a contemporary description of these TLS/White Wellingtons, which do appear in wartime colour photographic form to our bemusement!

 

I suspect that some trainers of the FAA could have been seen in TLS right up to the replacement of the scheme depending upon their delivery/handover date.  However aircraft ordered specifically for the FAA would have been delivered in TSS.  I'd put the Stinson in this latter category, but as far as the Oxford is concerned I can only offer a resounding maybe/maybe not.  I suspect that TLS is more likely, but...

 

I'll look up its history in the Air Britain books later, and add anything I find interesting.

 

PS HN767 was delivered straight to the Admiralty.  So TSS looks on.  Does it have the Royal Navy above the serial?  I think that it should, in this case.

 

PPS  The Air Britain book on the Oxford has two wartime photos of camouflaged Oxfords, PG983 U1HH of 758 Sq, and PPH266 also U1HH.   (The text says U1H but it looks like HH to me, and it did join the unit the month PG983 left.)  At first glance both appear to be in TLS, but looking at the roundel and finflash on both aircraft the red is very dark and the blue distinctly lighter, so these may well be in TSS photographed on Ortho film.    Another possibility is PH185 OO.2, but this appears overall dark and is postwar.  All three lack ROYAL NAVY above the serial.

Edited by Graham Boak

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

As your Polish friend described, this could be done on the next major overhaul.  It is interesting to see a contemporary description of these TLS/White Wellingtons, which do appear in wartime colour photographic form to our bemusement!

 

PS HN767 was delivered straight to the Admiralty.  So TSS looks on.  Does it have the Royal Navy above the serial?  I think that it should, in this case.

 

PPS  The Air Britain book on the Oxford has two wartime photos of camouflaged Oxfords, PG983 U1HH of 758 Sq, and PPH266 also U1HH.   (The text says U1H but it looks like HH to me, and it did join the unit the month PG983 left.)  At first glance both appear to be in TLS, but looking at the roundel and finflash on both aircraft the red is very dark and the blue distinctly lighter, so these may well be in TSS photographed on Ortho film.    Another possibility is PH185 OO.2, but this appears overall dark and is postwar.  All three lack ROYAL NAVY above the serial.

"Polish friend" is not exactly true - he was older than my parents... At this very moment I have been a young (30-31) head of the Polish Aviation Museum and he was an old (70+) visitor from far abroad (Australia or South Africa, I can't recall for sure now). However we were not enemies after all :)

 

It seems to me that there were not only Wimpeys that were flown by CC units with TLS topsides left for a while. In the web you can find similar profiles of Whitleys while some die-cast model (by IXO IIRC) of Halifax II also sports similar camo.

 

According to Michael Fader (the Swiss author of Oxford profiles) the HN767 has ROYAL NAVY above the (same font size) serial - thus TSS seems still more possible.

 

PP185 OO*2 is also profiled by M. Fader - this time in overall midnight blue with white lettering and no ROYAL NAVY above the serial. He describes this plane as belonging to No. 758 Sq. atv RNAS Ford in 1946, although the roundels (and fin flash) are of typically wartime C and C1 type.

 

Cheers

Michael

Edited by KRK4m

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Logically, if it happened to a Wellington squadron then it could have happened to Whitleys and Halifaxes too, but did it?  I'd be interested in seeing the Halifax one - I have three diecast 1/144 Halifaxes but the Mk.II is in the later scheme.  I know of a Mk.II in bomber colours but have not seen one.

 

I've seen the profiles you mention.  The photo of OO.2 appears to be overall dark, and of particular note the colour wraps around the engine cowling rather then having the lower half Yellow.  It is captioned as being with 778 Sq at the time (having been with 758 earlier) or alternatively known as the Service Trials Unit.  An overall dark blue suggests an Captain's barge.

 

I should add a postwar photo of camouflaged NM758/603/CW, which I'd identify as TLS from the contrast on panchromatic film.  Which rather spoils the trend.

 

I haven't found any photos of an HN serialled FAA Oxford, but all the photos I have found with ROYAL NAVY above the serial are in postwar Aluminium overall.

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This IXO Halifax from No.58 Sq. is here https://www.flyingmule.com/products/IX-PIXJ009001

It is dated "1944" which makes the scheme hardly probable. But No.58 has been flying Halibags since late 1942 and HR744 has been delivered to the unit somewhere in 1943.

However - back to the main topic - do you mean that Master Mk.II of No .794 RNAS could still feature the TLS over Yellow scheme in 1944 or should I paint it TSS over Yellow?

The very machine is W9026 (with no ROYAL NAVY above though), sporting P2*P code letters, as portrayed by Magna Models 0548 kit.

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/139450-magna-models-0548-miles-m19-master-11

By the way - should the codes really be black and white or rather red and yellow?

Cheers

Michael

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HR744 will have been delivered fairly early in 1943.  The batch is described as a mix of B and GR, but whether either built as such or converted, I think TSS is the more likely top scheme.

 

W9026 was transferred from the RAF 12.7.43.  Served as P6.P with 794 Sq 10.9.43 to 11.43.  Then with 761 Sq  7.44 - 9.45  This is from FAA Aircraft of WW2Combat Codes gives 794 codes as P1 and P2, identifying P2 as used by the Master.  The P2 code was allocated to a number of FAA units, presumably working together at the time.  Squadrons of the FAA specifically identifies identifies W9026 as P2.P with 794 Sq.  761 Sq also used the Master but with G1.x codes.  So P6 is probably a copying error, particularly as it was in use by 489 Sq Beaufighters.

 

Ignoring the claim by Magna that it was in use by 794 in 1944, there's a possible 8 month gap in service.  This was presumably for an overhaul, so a repaint is therefore possible.

 

At this stage trainers were often using yellow codes in the FAA, but why red?  I've not seen a photo so no other comment.

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On 9/29/2018 at 11:44 PM, Graham Boak said:

FAA Aircraft of WW2 has a clear photo of Reliant FK815 of 752 Sq at Piarco in what appears to be TSS/Yellow.  The usual qualifications, of course, but it does look like it.

We have been discussing Reliaant colours here:

Regards

J-W

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 7:52 PM, KRK4m said:

do you mean that Master Mk.II of No .794 RNAS could still feature the TLS over Yellow scheme in 1944 or should I paint it TSS over Yellow?

The very machine is W9026 (with no ROYAL NAVY above though), sporting P2*P code letters, as portrayed by Magna Models 0548 kit.

https://www.scalemates.com/kits/139450-magna-models-0548-miles-m19-master-11

By the way - should the codes really be black and white or rather red and yellow?

Cheers

Michael

This aircraft features among a number of profile drawings Mike Keep contributed to the 1st edition of FAA Squadrons.  He places the aircraft at "Dale, 1943" and interpreted the colours as DE/DG/Yellow with Black and Yellow codes.  I wouldn't dissent from that interpretation.  Surely, if the FAA had repainted the aircraft in TSS, they would have added the ROYAL NAVY titles?

 

Looking through the documentation contained in British Aviation Colours, I have spotted 2 relevant documents, even if these are AMOs (Air Ministry Orders explicitly applying to RAF aircraft):

  • AMO A.664 of 2 July 1942, where Appendix II Naval Aircraft states that non-operational naval aircraft should be in TSS with Yellow undersides, unless target tugs, where they have black stripes on the underside as well.  Publications prior to AMO A.664 don't seem to consider the issue of naval non-operational aircraft so presumably the rules for similar RAF aircraft applied: for training and comms aircraft that meant TLS and Yellow (A.513 of 10 July 1941).  A.513's only words on FAA aircraft (para 7) stipulate TSS uppersurfaces and Sky undersurfaces.
  • The next substantial document dealing with camouflage and markings is AP2656A of October 1944.  Its structure is slightly different.  The section on Naval Aircraft deals with naval monoplanes and naval biplanes.  In both cases upper surfaces are TSS for aircraft operating from ships and TLS for those operating from shore bases, all with Sky undersides.  Interestingly shadow compensating colours are still specified for biplanes.  Training, comms and target-towing aircraft have their own separate section (alongside, not subordinate to, the Naval Aircraft section): all aircraft TLS with Yellow undersides with shadow compensation for biplanes.  Does this implicitly supersede the TSS/Yellow scheme for FAA training, comms and target-towing aircraft or has the topic just been overlooked?  Or is definitive camouflage and marking guidance for FAA aircraft laid down elsewhere in a parallel series of Admiralty Fleet Orders or similar?

I think Graham may have a point in suggesting that aircraft ordered for the FAA may have had TSS uppersurfaces: the Grumman Goose and Gosling come to mind.  However when it comes to the vast majority of training and comms aircraft, the FAA's requirements, though considerably increasing as the war progressed, were a mere drop in the bucket compared to the RAF's and I cannot see MAP or manufacturers wanting production delayed by red tape over whether aircraft should be painted in TLS or TSS, especially when aircraft within production batches were transferred between services .  I am inclined to believe that a Henry Ford solution would have been adopted and all Masters, Martinets, Lysanders and the like were initially produced in TLS/Yellow according to the AMO.  I don't rule out the occasional aircraft being repainted in TSS but I would expect it to be very much the exception rather than the rule.  I'd be looking for compelling evidence rather than reinterpreting photos with the eye of faith.  (BTW, AP2656A helpfully says in its Training, Comms and Target-towing Aircraft section that "existing aircraft which have  been camouflaged with an approved scheme not conforming with para 38 or 39 (ie the rules I paraphrased above) should not be changed unless specific instructions to that effect are issued".)

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A good argument, although weakened by the number of comms aircraft (I'm thinking here of Ansons) without Yellow undersides, and also by the number of FAA combat types restricted to land bases but without any sign of being painted differently to their ship-borne colleagues - and indeed the common transfer from one to the other and back again.  It's fair to point out that most aircraft would pass from the manufacturers to an MU, or in this case perhaps a Navy Yard, where the manufacturers' standard scheme would be overwritten by the particular commands of the operator, if any.  Only then would it be passed on to the actual user.  Do we not need to look at the CAFOs to determine how the FAA aircraft were painted, rather than just the major AMs?  I'm not saying that any such did over-ride the generic instructions such as AP2656A, but given (what we can politely call) the Admiralty's independent approach to such things, I wouldn't be the slightest surprised. 

 

You say that the FAA's requirements were increasing throughout the war: indeed so.  Because of this it was only late in the war that the FAA set up its own training establishments rather than having its pilots trained by the RAF until the OCU/700-series squadrons level.  It is only at this time that suggestions of TSS on the top surface of trainers appear - not least because such aircraft would have been in very limited FAA service before (I think) late 1943.

 

It doesn't help that TSS can offer a number of different contrasts on b&w film in different lighting conditions and photographic approaches.  More so than TLS - which difference in itself can offer some hint in some cases.

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1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

A good argument, although weakened by …. the number of FAA combat types restricted to land bases but without any sign of being painted differently to their ship-borne colleagues - and indeed the common transfer from one to the other and back again. 

Ah, but:

 

"service types of aircraft in operational training units, air fighting development units, the Fighter Interception Unit and No 2 School of Army Cooperation are to conform to the normal colour scheme for the aircraft's role"  (AMO A.926 of 12 Dec 1940, para 6.ii.b)

"aircraft in operational training units, air fighting development units, fighter interception unit, special duty flights, fighter experimental establishment, No 2 School of Army Cooperation and the Central Gunnery School are to conform to the normal colour scheme for the aircraft role"  (AMO A.513 of 10 Jul 1941, para 3.ix)

 

I submit that all those photos of Barracudas, Albacores and the like at various Scottish bases belong to what are, effectively, OTUs and thus "conform to the normal colour scheme for the aircraft role" precisely so that either the unit or individual aircraft could become operational as and when required.  (Can't find similar statements in later publications: maybe it was taken as read by then.)

1 hour ago, Graham Boak said:

Do we not need to look at the CAFOs to determine how the FAA aircraft were painted, rather than just the major AMs?  I'm not saying that any such did over-ride the generic instructions such as AP2656A, but given (what we can politely call) the Admiralty's independent approach to such things, I wouldn't be the slightest surprised. 

Yes.

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12 hours ago, Seahawk said:

I submit that all those photos of Barracudas, Albacores and the like at various Scottish bases belong to what are, effectively, OTUs and thus "conform to the normal colour scheme for the aircraft role" precisely so that either the unit or individual aircraft could become operational as and when required.

 

Or, the converse- most "operational" types at OTUs were retired from the intended role, so keeping OTU paint requirements the same as "normal for the aircraft role" avoids an awful lot of repainting.

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