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KRK4m

1982-84 USMC helicopter camouflage

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Do you have any idea (better supported by pictures of course) about the camouflage of UH-1N, CH-46 and CH-53D helicopters operating from LHA amphibious carriers between 1982 and 1984?

Currently I'm building the Dragon/Italeri 1/700 USS Nassau LHA-4 featuring the airwing consisting of three abovementioned chopper types plus AV-8A and OV-10A planes. Harriers are already sporting the low-vis grey+green over light grey camo with black lettering and all-black insignia. Broncos are overall dark green with black lettering and insignia, but how did the helos look these days?

On a picture showing AV-8As aboard Nassau there's a "monocolor" UH-1N looking decidely more grey than green, but the tailboom is outside the camera scope and I don't know, whether is this a Marines or Navy machine (white lettering USS Nassau on side door directs me closer to the Navy option).

AFAIK the beautiful green+2 greys (or is it grey/black/green?) wraparound camouflage has been introduced on USMC choppers a little bit later (1985/86?), so the machines contemporary to the AV-8A and Bronco on the LHA-4 deck should be rather uniform dark green. But was the lettering white or black? Were the insignia still colourful or already all-black low-vis version?

Any help will be appreciated.

Cheers

Michael 

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I'm guessing you're referring to this photo:

10070467.jpg

The UH-1N was, as you already suspect, a Navy aircraft, finished in overall Engine Grey FS16081 with 'hi-vis' markings....

 

You can view thumbnails of the 1982 and 1984 cruise books here (a few select pages can be viewed full size):

https://www.fold3.com/browse/1/h6eYXDVPQe4uWWtS81SKCIQYPG3PGlLr7

https://www.fold3.com/browse/1/h6eYXDVPQe4uWWtS81SKCIQYPkq4y3dda

 

This site - very useful for BuNo and code tie-ups - has a few pics of USMC helos aboard assault carriers in the early 80's:

http://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/usassault.html

All the aircraft are overall green with black lettering and numbers in the1981pics....

 

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Official scheme for USMC helicopters in the timeframe you're interested in was overall FS 34097 with all markings in black, so I'd expect all helicopters to be in this scheme.

The OV-10s followed the same regulations of the helicopters, so as you have already see this would also be in such a scheme.

The 3.color scheme was officially sanctioned in April 1986

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Thank you Giorgio - April 1986 explains why there are no pictures known of plain FS34097 CH-53Es (except for the prototypes).

Andy - the Portsmouth photos are great. Nevertheless on #3 you can see one CH-53D with white lettering and high-vis insignia (in front of two others properly marked in "black-only"). Existing of such oddities was the main reason for my question. Nevertheless as I have only black 1/700 MARINES lettering I feel justified for using them on all my 1983 micro-airwing.

Thank you for your interest, Gentlemen

Cheers

Michael

 

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