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Brian J

325th FG Checkertail Mustang markings

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I have an ancient Micro Scale 1/32 decal sheet (32-26) which includes the markings for 'Stout Burr-Bon' flown by Lt. Clement Burr from the 317th FS that I have wanted to use since the late 1970s.  The main reason for the delay, besides having a short attention span, is a lack of photo verification concerning marking details.  I have several photo references so fuselage markings are not an issue.  I am uncertain about the wing markings as the inflight photo angles make it difficult to see clearly.  There is a photo in a Squadron Signal book that is nice but that in my opinion still lacks clarity.  Can anyone verify if this aircraft had both inner and outer yellow wing stripes and if it had red wing tips?  

 

It appears that near the end of the war there were no uniform markings especially concerning wing markings and it may have depended on the squadron or the pilots preference.  Photo reference or informed opinions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheez, I forgot to also ask if there would be yellow or red outlines on the numerals for '18' as many of the Mustangs had squadron colours added late in the war.

Edited by Brian J

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Brian,

 

See if these links are of any use. The 2nd link lists Burr's mount as a P-51D-15NA, '18' but only lists a partial serial number. The 3rd link doesn't show his Mustang, but is interesting, as it shows the overpainted serial, as well as the  markings; doesn't appear to have any of the yellow theater ID bands, which in period photos of 325th FG aircraft that I observed, some had the yellow wing bands, some didn't; some also appear to have a yellow band behind the red nose ring and ahead of the checkers on the rear fuselage. Looks like the pilot in the video is unhappy with maybe a sticking throttle? Obviously a post-maintenance test flight, as he has headphones and a baseball cap only- no helmet.  The last video shows 325th aircraft, airfield, and personnel, including a short segment showing how the checkers were really applied as well as a few seconds of '18' at about 1:17:00 which may or may not be Burr's Mustang, as plane-in-unit numbers were applied to replacements. Wish I could be more helpful.

Mike

 

http://checkertails.org/Archived_Webpages/325thfg/P-51.htm

 

http://checkertails.org/Archived_Webpages/325thfg/Inventory.htm

 

https://www.militarycinema.com/325th-fighter-group/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC63hKF_NkM

 

Edited by 72modeler
added link

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Thanks for taking time to respond.  I printed out copies of those two inflight photos you included several years ago.  The best image I have so far is found at the top of page 71 of Checkertails by Ernest R. McDowell.  From this reference I have concluded that this aircraft had yellow wing root stripes and may have red wing tips as they appear close to the red spinner/nose. I believe the 317th FS used yellow when they outlined the aircraft number but it is hard to see if this applied to this aircraft.  

 

 I'd enjoy hearing the opinion of other members who may have access to this publication.  Even better, are there other photos that might help?

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The yellow outline came late in the war, similar to the extended checker tail, so all depending on time period you're after. 

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Perhaps I should backtrack and list the references I am using in attempting to clarify my question.  Over the decades I have collected as many references as possible on the 325th FG.  I will list only the main books that pertain to the subject.

 

1.  Checkertails:  The 325th Fighter Group in the Second World War by Ernest R. McDowell

2.  Herky!:  The Memoirs of a Checkertail Ace by Herschel H. Green

3..  Aces of the 325th Fighter Group by Thomas G Ivie

4.  Aces, Pilots & Aircraft of the 9th, 12th and 15th USAAF by David Weatherill 

 

As the previous member indicated, tail and wing markings evolved during the time the 325th FG flew P-51Bs and Ds.  The subject in question, 'Stout Burr-Bon', #18 carries late war (post Feb/Mar?) markings of full tail/fuselage black and yellow checkers.  A series of inflight photos of #18 flying over the Alps have appeared in numerous publications over the decades.  The first one I was aware of can be found at the top of page 34 of the old Aircam Aviation Series No1:  North American P-51D Mustang in USAAF-USAF Service.  This series of photos were taken from both the port and starboard side and clearly show the markings on the fuselage.  Wing markings are less clear.

 

A more detailed photo can be found at the top of page 71 in the above reference No. 1 showing a full port view with better but less than perfect wing markings.  For me, one of the major issues interpreting b&w photos is the type of film/filters used.  The red spinners/noses usually appear almost as light as yellow, hence my questioning the colour of wing tips.  The colour cover photo of The Partisan found in reference #4 shows the wing tip in yellow with yellow wing root stripes, no yellow wing tip stripes but in full late war tail checkers.

 

On page 72 of reference #1 are two inflight photos of 'Dusty Butt' #100.  The wing tip colour extends to the edge of the star and bar.  The red nose is almost an off white shade.  So did this aircraft have yellow inboard and wing tip stripes with a red wing tip?  The cover art in this book shows a P-51D #100 with yellow and black wing tip stripes.  A b&w inflight photo of this aircraft can be found on page 116 of reference #4 showing yellow and black checks, not stripes!  The spinner and nose are a lighter colour (red?) but with a black stripe.    

 

I could go on and on...and on, but you get the idea.  Again, there seemed to be no standard late war markings.  Some aircraft had only yellow wing tip stripes, some had both inboard and wingtip stripes, some had red wing tips.  Referring to that b&w photo on page 71 of reference #1, my interpretation is that 'Stout Burr-Bon' had yellow wing root stripes and possibly red wing tips.  Neither wing tip indicates yellow wing tip stripes.  Was the wing tip yellow or red, or was it painted at all?  Was the number 18 outlined in yellow like many late war aircraft?  

 

Thanks for reading this long winded diatribe.  Clarification would be appreciated.  Remember when we were kids and painted our models using the box art for reference and left over paint used on the kitchen and hallway walls!    

 

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