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Carl Vincent has asked me to post this photo and text for him:

 

`` 

   I copied this photo of a Fiat G-50 back in the 1970’s from a snapshot loaned me by a former RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk squadron. It seems to have turned out somewhat better than many of the copies I produced way back in these pre-scanner years.

            I have no knowledge of date or place. I would like to share it as I believe that if one comes to terms with the colours etc. it would make a delightful model or colour profile. If anybody has any knowledge or opinions about this photo, I would like to hear them.

            It is interesting that the motif on the fuselage band is that of Leslie Charteris’s likable adventurer Simon Templar a.k.a. the Saint, a hero of my boyhood reading. There must’ve been a lot of other WW II aircraft that bore this motif. I can think of a Lancaster, a Hurricane and a Mohawk. ``

 

50845079483_09aaa2988f_b.jpg

 

 

 

Chris, for Carl.

 

 

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Very nice picture, thanks for sharing !

The original colour scheme seems to be the "striped" variant of the original 3-colour camouflage, as used on the G-50 Bis of the 5th production series.

The fuselage fasces have been left in place for some reason and the individual number of the codes (5) is visible behind the fuselage band, in red. The Squadriglia number would have been on the white band, here overpainted. Have to say though that having the individual number so far at the rear was not common.

Now the colours added by the captors are hard to tell.. the fuselage flash is IMHO yellow, as seems to be blending perfectly with the  roundel outer ring. The fuselage band may be yellow too but may well be Mid Stone. The fact that the whole engine cowl has been repainted may mean that the aircraft originally had this in yellow, as standard for a certain time in 1941 on Italian fighters in Africa, and if so this would date the picture somewhat. Of course it may have just been painted this way to make the aircraft more clearly recognizable regardless of the original colour. I'd have expected red to be used, per standard of the era in the MTO, however the colour does not look like the red of the roundel or fin flash. Is it because it's just a different lighter red ? Or because it's in a different colour ? Doesn't look too different from the blue in the fin flash but why would they paint the cowling and spinner in blue ?

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19 hours ago, dogsbody said:

It is interesting that the motif on the fuselage band is that of Leslie Charteris’s likable adventurer Simon Templar a.k.a. the Saint, a hero of my boyhood reading. There must’ve been a lot of other WW II aircraft that bore this motif. I can think of a Lancaster, a Hurricane and a Mohawk. ``

The A26C, all black (special duties) 

Carbetbagger-A-26C-invader-queen-of-spad

 

Was this Fiat G50 in a SAAF private archives photo files posted recently here? 

Regards

J-W

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23 hours ago, dogsbody said:

It is interesting that the motif on the fuselage band is that of Leslie Charteris’s likable adventurer Simon Templar a.k.a. the Saint, a hero of my boyhood reading. There must’ve been a lot of other WW II aircraft that bore this motif. I can think of a Lancaster, a Hurricane and a Mohawk.

 

JG891 says hi.

maybe it's a 249 Sqn 'tag' ?

 

y4myFzLEaKNGiJD2NDjSUZs_AgBV4zQ1Q5O7HCse

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I have a vague recollection of seeing a profile drawing of this aircraft somewhere in the past, but after looking through my G.50 refs yesterday, I couldn't find anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 hours ago, JWM said:

Was this Fiat G50 in a SAAF private archives photo files posted recently here? 

Regards

J-W

 

Carl says in the first sentence:

 

"  I copied this photo of a Fiat G-50 back in the 1970’s from a snapshot loaned me by a former RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk squadron. "

 

 

 

 

Chris

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12 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

former RCAF pilot

 F/S John “Jack” Hughes, RCAF maybe?

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36 minutes ago, dogsbody said:

Carl says in the first sentence:

 

"  I copied this photo of a Fiat G-50 back in the 1970’s from a snapshot loaned me by a former RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk squadron. "

 

I wrote it because some photos of captured Fiats were in this archive (of SAAF pilots), so I was thinking not exactly of the same photo, but about an another photo of the same machine, Given that RCAF and SAAF squadrons share the same airfield...I do not know how many Fiats G 50 could be captured by RAF in a good shape?

Regards

J-W

 

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6 minutes ago, JWM said:

I wrote it because some photos of captured Fiats were in this archive (of SAAF pilots), so I was thinking not exactly of the same photo, but about an another photo of the same machine, Given that RCAF and SAAF squadrons share the same airfield...I do not know how many Fiats G 50 could be captured by RAF in a good shape?

Regards

J-W

 

 

A picture of a G.50 captured by SAAF 1 Sqn. can be seen in this page, together with many other interesting pictures

 

https://saafww2pilots3.yolasite.com/robbie-robinson-photographs.php

 

This is not the same aircraft shown at the start of the thread and it's painted in a different scheme (the later "lizard" scheme with blobs of green over brown).

Another aircraft was captured by 260 Sqn. and repainted in an unusual pattern. There are several profiles of this machine online

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28 minutes ago, JWM said:

Here are two profiles of another captured G-50s

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Fiat-G50/Fiat-G50-Freccia.html

J-W

 

Both profiles are taken from the volume of the Ali e Colori series dedicated to the G.50.

The aircraft with yellow sides is likely the same shown in the pictures I linked above as it's said to have been captured by a SAAF unit... and it's the one that I erroneusly attributed to 260 Sqn. The one captured by 260 Sqn is the aircraft in the other profile, with HS codes (that were the codes for this unit). This aircraft also carried the lizard scheme

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The buildings in background in the first photo - can they be helpful in recognition where the photo was taken? The tries suggest rather temperate zone, not North Africa or Sicily, rather northern Italy.  

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11 hours ago, JWM said:

The buildings in background in the first photo - can they be helpful in recognition where the photo was taken? The tries suggest rather temperate zone, not North Africa or Sicily, rather northern Italy.  

 

Not really, they seem to be common airport style buildings.

There is a detail that may point at a long abandoned aircraft and it's the lack of wheel well doors. However it may just be that the aircraft was in maintenance when captured or they may have been removed for some reason.

Regarding a date, should be after the introduction of the C roundel as this is what was applied on the fuselage, although the underwing roundel and fin flash seem to be based on the earlier style.

Unless some other picture or documentation is found, the best chance to know more is probably to identify the unit and from there it may be possible to understand when and where the aircraft was likely captured. As said before, the position of the individual code is quite unusual, I've been going through pictures to find other aicraft with a similar position but with no success yet

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On 18/01/2021 at 09:15, Giorgio N said:

Very nice picture, thanks for sharing !

The original colour scheme seems to be the "striped" variant of the original 3-colour camouflage, as used on the G-50 Bis of the 5th production series.

The fuselage fasces have been left in place for some reason and the individual number of the codes (5) is visible behind the fuselage band, in red. The Squadriglia number would have been on the white band, here overpainted. Have to say though that having the individual number so far at the rear was not common.

Now the colours added by the captors are hard to tell.. the fuselage flash is IMHO yellow, as seems to be blending perfectly with the  roundel outer ring. The fuselage band may be yellow too but may well be Mid Stone. The fact that the whole engine cowl has been repainted may mean that the aircraft originally had this in yellow, as standard for a certain time in 1941 on Italian fighters in Africa, and if so this would date the picture somewhat. Of course it may have just been painted this way to make the aircraft more clearly recognizable regardless of the original colour. I'd have expected red to be used, per standard of the era in the MTO, however the colour does not look like the red of the roundel or fin flash. Is it because it's just a different lighter red ? Or because it's in a different colour ? Doesn't look too different from the blue in the fin flash but why would they paint the cowling and spinner in blue ?

Has the cowl been repainted, or is it still yellow?

I'm wondering if this photo has been taken on Ortho film?

The "blue" ring of the roundels is a bit on the large side, and there's a faint trace of a concentric ring on the fuselage roundel, ie it "may" be the yellow outer and blue inner of the C type roundel.

This would make the light fuselage horizontal and vertical bands and the ring surrounding the roundel something other than yellow (or roundel red or blue)

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Retaining a yellow cowling is a possibility that however I would object to for two reasons.

The camouflage scheme is based on a base colour with a strong yellow component, how would this look on Ortho film ? Maybe not as dark as a proper yello but I'd expect an overall darker look. Mind, I'm not an expert on these things so I'll be happy to be corrected in case.

Even with the addition of proper RAF roundels and fin flash, retaining the yellow cowl could have resulted in serious misidentification problems had the aircraft been flown as this colour was used on the cowling of several Axis aircraft in the theatre. Of course we don't know how far into the repainting process the picture was taken so it is possible that the finished scheme looked different.

 

In the meantime I've taken a few minutes to check some more pictures and I may have found a potential unit... 393a Squadriglia of 160° Gruppo seem to have had aircraft with this style and location of individual code. The unit was based at Sorman in Libya from February to November 1942. However there is an IWM picture taken at Salerno showing an aircraft from the same 393a, although in a later camo scheme:

 

https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Fiat-G50/Fiat-G50-Freccia/pages/Fiat-G50-Freccia-abandoned-RA-aircraft-at-Salerno-with-160-Gruppo-393-Squadriglia-393-7-Sep-1943-IWM-01.html

 

If this aircraft was from this unit, then the cowling would have not been yellow as this had been abandoned by 1942. Interestingly some aircraft of the same Gruppo however carried red spinners...

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It isn't yellow but red that appears very dark on Ortho film, but when linked with a filter then the orange-yellows will also appear very dark.  Yellows with a strong ochre component (like Middle Stone) do not seem to appear very dark even then, because they lack red.  The standard RAF Yellow used for roundels does include red, but doesn't always appear dark for the reason just given.  However I think the yellow used for Italian identification markings  would appear the same as the outer roundel ring here.  I suspect it has been overpainted, but red or black would seem possible.

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Is the cowling red or perhaps blue?  The cowling seems to be tonally more similar to the blue of the roundel than the red (IMHO...which isn't worth much).  

 

The fuselage stripe just forward of the roundel appears to have a light-toned outline and I think I'm seeing the same think aft of the roundel but it's not as distinct.  There appears to be some kind of emblem in a circle, of the same shade as the fuselage strip, immediately beneath the cockpit.  The light-toned outline seems to stop at the aft edge of that circular badge.  

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Here's a curved ball: what if it's in the process of being re-marked in Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana markings? (Hence the fasces emblem is still there.)

 

I hasten to add that no, its not a serious suggestion, but...... ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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The badge in a circle under the cockpit door is the fuselage insignia carried by all Italian aircraft of the era: fasces with an axe blade and an animal head, all in a medium blue circle

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Super picture.  Chris, the original poster, says it was loaned by an RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk Squadron. Did  no 16 Sqn fly Kittyhawks by chance?  They are/were known as 'the Saints'  - from their St Omer days in WW1, I think.

 

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38 minutes ago, John B (Sc) said:

Super picture.  Chris, the original poster, says it was loaned by an RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk Squadron. Did  no 16 Sqn fly Kittyhawks by chance?  They are/were known as 'the Saints'  - from their St Omer days in WW1, I think.

 

 

I'll have to see what Carl says about it. I only know what I posted with the photo.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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1 hour ago, John B (Sc) said:

Super picture.  Chris, the original poster, says it was loaned by an RCAF pilot who flew with an RAF Kittyhawk Squadron. Did  no 16 Sqn fly Kittyhawks by chance?  They are/were known as 'the Saints'  - from their St Omer days in WW1, I think.

 

My somewhat dated "Squadrons of the RAF & Commonwealth" (1988 edition, the book for which I joined Air Britain...) says 16 had Tomahawks, but only between Feb and Apr 43, and they were always stationed in Blighty until well after D-Day.

Kittyhawk squadrons listed are:
- I: 94, 112, 250, 260, 450, 3 RAAF, 2 and 4 SAAF

- II: 250, 260,, 3 RAAF

- III: 112, 250, 260, 450, 3 RAAF, 2 and 5 SAAF

- IV: 112, 250, 450, 3 RAAF,  5 and 11 SAAF

Not that many choices, actually. Looking at the bases, all of them moved very often, so it may not be that easy to pinpoint a location and with it a date. But probably at least the various landing grounds may be discounted, as they would have lacked permanent buildings, I guess?

 

Another "Saint" bearer was a GR Baltimore of (IIRC) 13 based on or photographed at) Malta.

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12 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

Lion?

 

Usually a bear. sometime a boar or a lion. Although it's often hard to tell from a picture what animal is really represented. It is a small detail that is unfortunately often forgotten by decal manufacturers, even aftermarket ones.

I may have mentioned this before, the fuselage insignia was generally applied as a decal and not painted in place. An exception is the use on aircraft in natural metal, on which the kind of decal used did not stick well, in this case the insignia was painted. There were also cases of unusual designs for this insignia, but they were few and specific to a couple manufacturers.

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The style of side roundel compared with "fin flash" style (although in Fiat on rudder - to overpaint cross) recalls me this He-111 captured in Tripoli, 1942. MAybe the same artist painted them both? 

he111-captured-jpg.515420

 

Surprisingly, Tripoli airfiled has large tries in background as can be recognized from more modern photo

33278138676_7c376abc4b_b.jpg

or from WW2 times (Castel Benito)

EVZSfOEZWeV8YqMmJK6E1neResBJECS9Jo5KpEmq

 

 

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A response from Carl:

 

I have been cudgeling my memory in an attempt to recall where I obtained that photo. I know I have the information somewhere but my record-keeping qualities, abominable as they may be now, were even worse in 1976 [?].

            Back then I was contemplating including stories and photos of/from RCAF pilots in RAF Kittyhawk squadrons as part of my Kittyhawk research. Before I decided to restrict my work to actual RCAF aircraft and units I made contact with a fair number of the former, most from 112 and 250 Squadrons.

            My fading memory suggests that the pilot I got that particular photo from was called Williams or, possibly, Williamson and I think he was with 112. Also, I vaguely recall that the majority of the photos were taken in or around Tripoli, though I must emphasize the vagueness of all of the above.

            I attach a couple of photos which, I sort of suspect, came from the same source though whether they are helpful with time and place I cannot say.

            As far as the Saint is concerned, one connection that may be fruitful deals with a gentleman called S/L DH Clarke. He was RAF but, for a time, flew Kittyhawks with 450 Squadron. He wrote a book that was published in 1964 [?] entitled “What were they like to fly” based on a series of articles in Flying Review International in one of its incarnations. Apparently, he used the Saint motif on many of these aircraft and, as I recall, he did do a flight in a Fiat G-50.

 

4.            Thanks.

 

Cheers!!!

 

Carl

 

 

50857965981_f329d99711_b.jpg

 

50857965991_d1e1249c9e_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris, for Carl

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