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73 Sqn RAF flash colour on 1944 Spitfire


Kari Lumppio
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Hello!

 

Again something from Balkan Air Force unit ORBs which may be of general interest.

 

73 Sqn ORB AIR 27/634/23

8th December 1944

"At 10.00 hours this morning 13 of our Spits left for ATHENS... The formation, led by F/LT G.A. MARTIN D.F.C formed up over the drome  the Squadron's yellow flash markings clearly visible from the ground..."

Emphasis mine.

 

Cheers,

Kari

 

 

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Originally it was but on Spitfires it was toned down somewhat to a Dark Blue flash with 2 NARROW Yellow stripes (there were a couple of other variations in between also).

 

See this discussion for more details plus photos.

 

 

Edited by Hornet133
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Hello

Actually, there had been many variations of 73 Squadron fuselage sword, including all those you guys mentioned. There were Spitfires IX with yellow swords and narrow stripes of original camouflage, dark blue with narrow yellow or original camouflage stripes, two tone blue with both before mentioned variations of stripes, all blue and all yellow swords without the stripes ... Also, there had been aircraft with swords painted over and those without them applied to start with. All these variations on theme can be seen on original colour IWM video clip from (I believe) January 1945 and various photos from IWM collection, most of them taken on Prkos near Zadar in spring of 1945. Then there are photos of MK117 (IIRC), which belly landed on Krasinec landing ground in Bela Krajina in mid-March 1945 and had had the sword overpainted. Unfortunately, I am away from my sources at the moment and I cannot post photos and videos, but browsing through IWM collection may help. Also, there is a book on 73 Sqn, in which some of the photos of Spitfires with various types of swords and without them had been published. Again, I do not have it at hand so I cannot provide its title or the name of the author.

I hope these give you some pointers. Cheers

Jure

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Having read the other thread linked above I decided to reply here. Little to nothing can be robustly inferred about the tone of paint used when dealing with orthochromatic film. I noted one user strongly pushing for red - but simply put the evidence is not there. I realise that it looks like it's there, but it isn't. Colours on orthochromatic film can appear lighter or darker due to a combination of hue and tone. An apparent match in tone guarantees nothing in this case.

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The 73 Sqn book (actually books) is 'The History of 73 Squadron' by Don Mintern. Tutor Publications, Dorchester.

 

I only have Vol 2 (ISBN 0 9523157 1)  published in 1997. There were 3 Vols, the last covering the Spitfire period.

 

As I said there were a number of variations, but in general the flash became more toned down as the war progressed.

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Hello

Yes, that is the one, thank you Hornet133. All yellow swords on Spitfires IX can be quite conspicuous, althoug they are smaller than both earlier swords on Hurricanes and late April 1945 and post-war Spitfire swords. Cheers

Jure

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