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RAF Day Fighter - use of yellow leading edge in the Mediterranean - 352 Sqdn Spitfire


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I am finishing a Spitfire VB (trop) of 352 (Yugoslav) Squadron in late '44 using the Balkan Models decals. The Squadron was operating in the Mediterranean region at that time (particularly an island in the Adriatic). The instructions show the aircraft in the 1941/45 day fighter scheme of ocean grey, dark green and medium sea grey, which I believe is correct.

 

However the instructions also show the aircraft having a port and starboard yellow leading edge. That said I understood that the yellow leading edge was only adopted by UK based aircraft in Fighter Command. As 352 Squadron was operating in the Mediterranean I assume the yellow leading edge was not applied to this aircraft and the instructions are in error. Though I guess its possible that the aircraft were delivered 'second  hand' from the UK where the yellow leading edge had been applied.

 

I cannot find any photo evidence either way. Photos of 352 Sqdn Spitfires that I have seen don't show the leading edge.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? 

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Just went through the book, "No. 352 (Y) R.A.F. Squadron" by Tino Jelavic and on the Spitfires that were in close-up, definitely no yellow leading edge stripes

Edited by fubar57
sooooo many typos found
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It is unlikely that aircraft already used by Fighter Command would be refurbished and tropicalised for use overseas.  I gather that some late Mk.IXs were seen in Italy with the yellow, but this would be on diverted aircraft rather than re-used ones.  The other point to check is whether the aircraft concerned was a Vb or a Vc, th serial should tell us that.  Late production Mk.Vb were certainly seen in the theatre, and so available for issue, but by late 1944/45 the majority of surviving Mk.Vs are likelier to have been Vc.  However, having gone so far with the model you may no longer care.

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For what it may be worth the excellent 'Spotlight On' book on the Spitfire V by Robert Grudzen shows Spitfire Vc, JK808 of 352 squadron in March 1945 with a yellow leading edge whilst based at Pkros, Yugoslavia. I can't vouch for his sources but generally his books tend to be well researched (this is a colour plate and not a photo).

 

The new Airfix Vc kit also notes in the painting instructions for 2 squadron based in Italy in October 1943 that some of the squadron's aircraft had a light coloured leading edge to the wings even though it has the expected MTO camouflage of dark earth/mid-stone/azure blue, which suggests that the yellow leading edge was not just confined to aircraft used in northern Europe. 

 

Just a thought.

 

Regards

Colin. 

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Sorry but just noticed that the new Xtradecal sheet for the 72nd scale Spitfire Vc includes Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (Trop), JK831, ‘M/Slavonic’ of 352 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at Canne, Italy, 1944 with what appears to be yellow wing leading edges.

 

Regards

Colin.

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I know that the Spit V at the Belgrade museum features yellow leading edges so it may be that some had them, but I've have seen several pictures of 252 Sqn. aircraft and I've not seen one that may have indicated any yellow leading edge, in all the ones where this was visible it was possible to see the demarcation between camouflaged areas and the upper and lower surfaces.

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You can judge by yourselves:

 

Have a look here

 

 

Disclaimer: this video was definitely pirated from a DVD copy I ordered for a friend many years ago (it had not been digitized up until then). I did report the issue of its being shared online to the IWM last year, but they said they weren't overly bothered (still have the emails), so I guess it is perfectly OK to provide a link to it.

Edited by Super Aereo
clarification
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Thank you everyone. I think I am going to go for 'no' yellow wing leading edge.  Seems logical to me but curious that some Spitfires also have the sky Fighter Command tail band.  I'm not a rivet counter so I will call it quits at that.

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Hello Hugh

Which one of those Balkan models Vb decals are you going to use, ES257/X Slovenec or EP886/G Hrvat? Examining the photo of the former under magnifying glass, one can just discern bright leading edge on the port wing.

In general, it does seem that in early period some of the squadron aircraft had had yellow leading edges, and these can be also seen on photos of some other RAF Spitfires. However, none can be seen on photos of the squadron's aircraft from early 1945 on. Also, with one exception all of the 352(Y) Sqn. Spitfires had Fighter Command tail band. The one without it was Major Hinko Sojic MH592/G, and even in this case that was due to overpainting in desert scheme, with the original band colour showing under the serial. Cheers

Jure

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21 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

Sorry but just noticed that the new Xtradecal sheet for the 72nd scale Spitfire Vc includes Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (Trop), JK831, ‘M/Slavonic’ of 352 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at Canne, Italy, 1944 with what appears to be yellow wing leading edges.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

In these decals the wrong inscription is with the English acent .The correct is in SLAVONAC 

The yellow edge of the wing is correct.

P.k

21 hours ago, fishplanebeer said:

Sorry but just noticed that the new Xtradecal sheet for the 72nd scale Spitfire Vc includes Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (Trop), JK831, ‘M/Slavonic’ of 352 Squadron, Royal Air Force, based at Canne, Italy, 1944 with what appears to be yellow wing leading edges.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

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12 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello Hugh

Which one of those Balkan models Vb decals are you going to use, ES257/X Slovenec or EP886/G Hrvat? Examining the photo of the former under magnifying glass, one can just discern bright leading edge on the port wing.

In general, it does seem that in early period some of the squadron aircraft had had yellow leading edges, and these can be also seen on photos of some other RAF Spitfires. However, none can be seen on photos of the squadron's aircraft from early 1945 on. Also, with one exception all of the 352(Y) Sqn. Spitfires had Fighter Command tail band. The one without it was Major Hinko Sojic MH592/G, and even in this case that was due to overpainting in desert scheme, with the original band colour showing under the serial. Cheers

Jure

 

 

I have to point out that in the video I linked above the Spitfire marked "G", with Aboukir filter and clipped wing tips, visible from the starboard side at about 8'10", is in Day Fighter Scheme with an overpainted Sky band on the rear fuselage, and it is very likely to be MH592.

 

I know there was another aircraft also marked "G", but if I recall correctly, only MH592 had clipped wings and Aboukir filter.

 

In all the photos of the aircraft, the distribution of colours is consistent with the DFS rather than the Desert Scheme (which would not have been very appropriate overflying the Adriatic from Canne or Vis anyway.

 

Just my opinion, FWIW

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12 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello Hugh

Which one of those Balkan models Vb decals are you going to use, ES257/X Slovenec or EP886/G Hrvat? Examining the photo of the former under magnifying glass, one can just discern bright leading edge on the port wing.

In general, it does seem that in early period some of the squadron aircraft had had yellow leading edges, and these can be also seen on photos of some other RAF Spitfires. However, none can be seen on photos of the squadron's aircraft from early 1945 on. Also, with one exception all of the 352(Y) Sqn. Spitfires had Fighter Command tail band. The one without it was Major Hinko Sojic MH592/G, and even in this case that was due to overpainting in desert scheme, with the original band colour showing under the serial. Cheers

Jure

 Thanks Jure.

 

I was going to do 'X'. Does that mean no yellow leading edge?

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Hello Hugh

No, I think ES257 had yellow leading edges. PM me if you would like to have a scan of the photo.

Super Aereo, thank you, thank you, thank you! For years, well by now probably decades, I have been watching the video and have never noticed all these. Soic also appears in the video several times and at 8:05 he can be seen climbing into the cockpit of his airplane. As a RAF Squadron Leader (although in a Yugoslav partisan army he held a rank of mere lieutenant) privileges of his rank allowed Soic to fly his 'personal' aircraft. Around here it has been taken for granted that MH592 wore a desert scheme. Photos of this aircraft are plentiful, and yet nobody ever questioned her camouflage. Nobody noticed clipped wingtips either ... Thanks again. Cheers

Jure

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1 hour ago, Jure Miljevic said:

(...)

Super Aereo, thank you, thank you, thank you! For years, well by now probably decades, I have been watching the video and have never noticed all these. Soic also appears in the video several times and at 8:05 he can be seen climbing into the cockpit of his airplane. As a RAF Squadron Leader (although in a Yugoslav partisan army he held a rank of mere lieutenant) privileges of his rank allowed Soic to fly his 'personal' aircraft. Around here it has been taken for granted that MH592 wore a desert scheme. Photos of this aircraft are plentiful, and yet nobody ever questioned her camouflage. Nobody noticed clipped wingtips either ... Thanks again. Cheers

Jure

 

My pleasure Jure,

 

A lot of info is seldom questioned, especially when profile after profile depicts an aircraft with certain colours, it happens all the time.

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19 hours ago, Jure Miljevic said:

Hello Hugh

No, I think ES257 had yellow leading edges. PM me if you would like to have a scan of the photo.

Super Aereo, thank you, thank you, thank you! For years, well by now probably decades, I have been watching the video and have never noticed all these. Soic also appears in the video several times and at 8:05 he can be seen climbing into the cockpit of his airplane. As a RAF Squadron Leader (although in a Yugoslav partisan army he held a rank of mere lieutenant) privileges of his rank allowed Soic to fly his 'personal' aircraft. Around here it has been taken for granted that MH592 wore a desert scheme. Photos of this aircraft are plentiful, and yet nobody ever questioned her camouflage. Nobody noticed clipped wingtips either ... Thanks again. Cheers

Jure

 

Thank you Jure.

 

That was a bit of a dumb question by me. Sorry.  I really should have read your comments more carefully. A good reason not to try and multi-task in the evening after a long day.

 

Yellow leading edges it will be. 

 

Many thanks to everyone for commenting. It always amazes me how many people are prepared to help with questions like this (and it reassures me that there are other people out there who find this interesting so I am not alone!!).

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Pictures are posted on this page for just a few more info.

https://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=ForumsPro&file=viewtopic&t=15329&finish=15&start=0

 

 

Otherwise, a new book is being prepared. 351 and 352 sq with new images and painting data.

 

No aircraft were in the desert scheme in the unit. More when it is published.

 

P.k

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On 12/10/2020 at 7:18 PM, fubar57 said:

Love the P-39 landing

As an aside to this Spitfire thread, the P-39 is from the Italian Air Force 4° Stormo, X Gruppo (black prancing horse on a white shield at the top of the tail).

Of particular interest, the signature writing on the nose reads 'F. Lucchini', whereas in many published profiles the suggested writing is 'F. Baracca'. I do not know whether this was an individual variation.

Francesco Baracca was the leading WW I Italian Ace, Franco Lucchini was the former X Gruppo CO and WW II ace, killed in combat in July 1943.

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Does anybody know why the yellow leading edges became common?

As for the Japanese fighters too?

Any guess?

Deicing poaste, visibility, goround handling, camo?

Happy modelling

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2 hours ago, dov said:

Does anybody know why the yellow leading edges became common?

As for the Japanese fighters too?

Any guess?

Deicing poaste, visibility, goround handling, camo?

Happy modelling

 

As fubar57 says it was an identification measure.  Pilots found that if looking rearward the yellow leading edge made it easier to identify friend from foe.

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They all had Sky spiner and tail band and yellow wing edges. 

Black serial numbers and white letter.

 

The Italian P-39N and Q had inscriptions on their noses with names

in memory of the dead comrades from the 4th Storm.

the inscriptions are: Luchini,Larsimont,.

 

P.k

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