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Strategic Air Command Star Spangled band -need help

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Hello All,

Does anyone know if there was a pattern for this blue sash / band applied to SAC bomber/tanker fleet? Does the star pattern repeat, or is it randomly applied? If there’s a pattern, is it to be found on the web anywhere?



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As far as I know...based only on 40+ years of looking at photos...there doesn't seem to be a definitive pattern to what SAC officially referred to as the "Milky Way" marking. [I'm sure there was a governing T.O. somewhere, but no one I know has ever seen it.]

The use of different-sized stars seems to have been the only constant. Number, position and orientation of the stars seemed to vary greatly...as did the tone of the blue used for the background. Photos also pretty well show that the design was 'tailored' regularly to fit the varying application areas on different aircraft types.

There is a book 'out there' entitled Aircraft Markings of the Strategic Air Command, 1946-1953 which may give more hard info. It seems generally available on Amazon and through other booksellers.


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@Tony Whittinghamnot sure when the shash was dropped from SAC bomber aircraft but when I transferred from Clark AFB in 1973 to Carswell AFB in October the B-52D's were painted SEA colors and the SAC Shash was not applied but the KC-135 tankers did. I have in my collection of images from the mid 60's that the shash was applied to the SAC colors gray and white of the time. The same was true when I left Fort Worth Texas and was assigned to the 509th BW with the FB-111A. The shash was not on the FB-111A but was applied to the KC-135 tankers. So I would dig up as much information on your subject and who you will be able to find a reference photo of the serial numbered aircraft your wanting to build. The SAC 1-1-4 painting guide for the aircraft would list where and style of paint was applied. Would vary from painter to painter. I've seen this with the camouflage painting of the F-111.


Hope this sheds some light on your question.


All The Best,

Ron VanDerwarker

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14 hours ago, Space Ranger said:

Band is not in 1-1-4. My ex-USAF friends tell me it was probably specified in a SAC regulation. So far a copy of this regulation has not turned up.

I think he was reffering to a specific SAC supplement to 1-1-4.  Personally I never knew such a creature existed, but with SAC you never know!



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