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Vought Corsair IV KD838 FAA


Ed Russell
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, iang said:

I now think there are two (possibly related) things going on here.

1. Yellow cowl.  It looks as it KD345: 130/A has the same cowl markings as Formidable corsairs. Did this corsair have unrecorded late war service with 1841/2 Squadron before joining 1850 squadron, or did Vengeance interpret the (as yet undiscovered) Admiralty tactical marking instructions differently from other elements of TF111?

 

 

Looks as if this photo answers that question. Pretty much universal yellow cowl on Venerable in August 1945

 

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Edited by iang
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Agreed, maybe not. But the individual cowling flaps are visible on some aircraft, and a couple of those in the bottom left look to have light cowling rings, with the engine flaps open. 

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4 hours ago, 85sqn said:

 

I'd definitely go for a yellow cowling.

With yellow lettering?

With yellow cowl band, mixed blue letters, Sky drop tank and green bombs my 'boring blue" Corsair will be a kaleidoscope of colour!

That's a nice photo - shows the 111 on the wheel doors.

 

@Troy Smith

There is no date I can find for the original picture in Post #1

 

On 5/4/2021 at 12:11 AM, Geoffrey Sinclair said:

KD839/Bureau Number 76417 was accepted on 28 November 1944, delivered on 2 December.

We are looking at KD838 not KD839 - see Post #1

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On 07/05/2021 at 19:29, iang said:

 

Here's the photo of 1841 Squadron 119/X (probably KD560), 10 August 1945 or shortly after.

 

spacer.png

 

 

 

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On 5/8/2021 at 11:36 AM, iang said:

Looks as if this photo answers that question. Pretty much universal yellow cowl on Venerable in August 1945

 

resized_12e2314f-c6f0-4b15-a236-cfeaf728

 

is this pic post-VJ day?

 

I am going by the wing roundels - I wasn't aware they were used in Far East on carrier aircraft during WWII (they are common enough in Europe pre VE day)...

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It's an official photo (probably bought onboard ship) annotated to the reverse "August 1945".  Looking at the  Corsairs, they are all still marked with ETO R6x codes, (rather than BPF fleet numbers and the carrier code B). This probably indicates that the photo was taken in Australian waters before Venerable  sailed with TG111  on 15 August. I suspect, though I don't know for sure, that BPF markings were applied at Manus (on 19th August or soon after).

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Colossus , Venerable & Vengeance arrived at Fremantle on 16th July but didn’t dock. The stopover was only long enough to take on fuel. Then it was on to Sydney.

 

Between 21/22 July and 13 Aug 1945 all the squadrons from Colossus, Venerable and Vengeance disembarked to shore bases south of Sydney. Very little flying seems to have been done.

 

The squadrons re-embarked on 13th Aug and between then and the 15th were at sea returning to harbour each night. Then on the 15th all three sailed for Manus. Only Vengeance lingered there for more than a few hours.

 

Glory’s squadrons were also disembarked there between 16 Aug and 1 Sept. 

 

So the opportunities for photos with so many aircraft craft on the flight deck. But Fremantle seems to have been popular for aerial photos judging by the number of carrier photos taken in early 1946. Add to that a three week stopover ashore when the ships and squadrons were already part of the BPF. And also that other aircraft were being remarked by the MONABs/TAMY at that time.

 

Squadrons of the FAA notes 1846 on Colossus changed codes “by” 7/45 as did 814 on Venerable. Other squadrons it is “by” a later month usually Sept or Oct which is clearly some time after it happened. Seems odd that they wouldn’t all change together.

 

Taking everything together it suggests strongly to me that the markings changed while in Australia. But again I can’t be sure.

 

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Oh silly silly me! I’ve been so focussed on the aircraft I forgot about the ship.

 

While at Sydney in July/Aug all the light fleet carriers got their AA armament upgraded. Out went 20mm and in came 40mm. The photo clearly has the circular bandstands for single or twin hand worked 20mm mounts in the sponsons. So the photo, given the number of aircraft on the flight deck, must have been taken prior to 21/22 July 1945.

 

That realisation led me to the HMS Vengeance website. And lo and behold is our photo. But dated to 22nd May 1945 off Alexandria. See the 6th photo down on this page.

http://www.hms-vengeance.co.uk/vengpic2.htm

 

Also on that site is a photo of an 1850 squadron Corsair KD806 which had a deck landing accident on 13th Aug. The details are confirmed in Sturtivant’s FAA aircraft. Note the aircraft in the background are all carrying BPF markings. See 5th photo down.

http://www.hms-vengeance.co.uk/page4.htm

 

So this seems to confirm my theory. Unless someone knows different. Never say never!

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Posted (edited)

The landing accident for KD806 is is useful evidence on the timing of the switch to BPF markings for 1850 Squadron (no later than 13th August). Nice find. On the date of the Venerable photograph, I'm not inclined to accept dating from a caption on the HMS Vengeance website, given the obvious error that Venerable is mis-captioned as Vengeance (moored of Alexandria May 1945), but your latest date for the photograph as 21/2 July, based on the absence of 40mm close defence, is robust. However, *if* some of the Corsairs have yellow/white cowl tactical markings, a date of no later than July 22 does not fit with the evidence from Formidable. So maybe they are all just engine covers.

Edited by iang
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On 14/05/2021 at 15:02, iang said:

The landing accident for KD806 is is useful evidence on the timing of the switch to BPF markings for 1850 Squadron (no later than 13th August). Nice find. On the date of the Venerable photograph, I'm not inclined to accept dating from a caption on the HMS Vengeance website, given the obvious error that Venerable is mis-captioned as Vengeance (moored of Alexandria May 1945), but your latest date for the photograph as 21/2 July, based on the absence of 40mm close defence, is robust. However, *if* some of the Corsairs have yellow/white cowl tactical markings, a date of no later than July 22 does not fit with the evidence from Formidable. So maybe they are all just engine covers.

The mis-captioning of the photo is perhaps understandable given that all four light fleet carriers of 11 ACS were present simultaneously in Alexandria for several days in May 1945 and are so similar in appearance as to be virtually indistinguishable.

 

Colossus returned to Alex on 22nd May after a 3 weeks at sea training her aircrews.

 

Venerable, Vengeance and Glory all left Malta on 21 May bound for Alex, and all arrived together on 24th May.

 

Colossus, Venerable and Vengeance then left Alex on the 27th May for Port Said, the Suez Canal and points east. Glory remained in Alex for some time to further work up her aircrews. She left to travel east on 1 July 1945.

 

So the exact day of that photo must be out by a couple of days. And yes it is mis-named as Vengeance. But it doesn't make it impossible that it was in fact taken in Alexandria given that both the near identical sister ships were present there for 3 days.

 

I'm still inclined to believe that we are seeing engine covers and not painted cowlings. I've been having a look at some of the photos of Corsairs being ferried and, while the cover on the aft part of the cowling wraps around very tight, I'm not sure that there is enough rucking of the material where it fits around the front of the cowling and tucks around the propellor shaft for it to have been a single piece.  Were the engine covers one piece articles, or were they two piece - one part fitting around the prop and forward part of the cowl ring and a second part covering the remainder of the engine cowling & gills? Just how tailored to the contours were they? Maybe we are seeing a mix of aircraft, some with the full set of covers and ones with only the front part. See these photos for what I mean.

http://www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk/ESCORT/Galleries/ATHELING_Gllery.htm

 

If there were that many aircraft flying about with part or full yellow cowlings, surely it would have attracted much more attention in the past, either written or photographic, than we here on this thread are giving it, no matter how much some of us may like it to be to introduce some variety into boring blue aeroplanes. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one.

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Posted (edited)

Having checked my copies of the Admiralty reports on operation off Japan for Formidable, Indefatigable, Implacable and Victorious, I drew a blank on yellow/white cowl tactical markings. I suspect this is not the right place to look in any case. Camouflage and markings instructions tended to be be communicated by CAFO, AFO or cypher message, though the yellow tactical markings for Ironclad and Pedestal are also listed in Admiralty reports.  These are also the sort of changes listed in squadron diaries and record books, and I will re-check the diaries for 1772 and 1771 squadron. Given the rarity of photos showing these markings and the date of the yellow/white cowling on 119/X, I suspect that these instructions only refer to the final days of the war in the pacific. The most notable political event at this time, that could of had operational implications, was the declaration of War by the Soviet Union on Japan on 8 August (and this was not lost on senior members of the BPF - there  is brief discussion of this in AC1's report on operations by Vian to the Admiralty). I  wonder whether these yellow cowl markings were introduced to identify British and US aircraft to the Soviets? The war ended before such ID was necessary operationally, but that was not known on 8th August. Logically, the converse would also be true (especially given the red national markings of Soviet Union and Japan). Were there similar markings applied to Soviet aircraft  at this time? Speculation at this stage, but the tactical markings  were obviously introduced for a reason.

Edited by iang
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17 minutes ago, iang said:

Logically, the converse would also be true (especially given the red national markings of Soviet Union and Japan). Were there similar markings applied to Soviet aircraft  at this time? Speculation at this stage, but the tactical markings  were obviously introduced for a reason.

Hi Ian, info on the VVS markings on the attack on on Japan is very scarce, but, the idea of the VVS with tactical markings reminded me of this

http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/pages/la-7/la-7colors/6iap/tof.htm

 

for ease of reference I'll quote from the link. 

 

"The second reason of interest is that the plane on the background shows an interesting white band as a regimental fast recognition mark.

Examinating closely the photo, darkening some parts, one can reach some conclusions:

the regimental marks seem to be the white band on the fuselage, the white spinner and a white tip of the prop blades, on the front face only;"

6iapdetail.jpg

 

Sadly, as there is really not much else available, or certainly on English language forums, I don't know if these white markings were just on this unit, or on any other VVS fighters? 

 

I'll @Massimo Tessitori as this maybe an interesting fragment for him, or remind him of any other far east example, but you'd expect some kind of notification about quick recognition markings in signals? 

 

HTH

T

 

 

 

 

 

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The presence of yellow cowling bands on USN aircraft would be a compelling reason for the FAA to follow suit.

 

There was a guy on another forum somewhere compiling a list for a book on "blue-on-blue" or "friendly fire" incidents. US forces are singled out as bad offenders but I imagine every air force shot down at least a wing/group/geschwader/hikodan of their own aircraft during WW2.

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No need to pick on the air forces.  Navies are notorious for shooting at every aircraft that drew near, including BPF Seafires.  Similarly armies.  When at university, I spent perhaps too much time in the library reading through bound volumes of wartime Flights.  Aircraft recognition was strongly pressed, and I recall a quote that "friendly fire" had accounted for a number in three figures to that date.  Sadly I don't recall the date, but believe it to be before D-Day.  Not "at least a wing" but many more.

 

Brian Cull did produce a book dedicated to the subject, and ran a thread on a website (12 O'Clock High, perhaps) which was still collecting examples last time I noticed it, well after publication.

 

However, despite at least one loss to this cause (and the logic of the argument) there appears to be no photos of any BPF Seafire with a yellow nose.  WIF modellers may like to include this in their options.

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Posted (edited)

There is no mention in the 801 or 1771 Squadron Diaries, and nothing in 841 Squadron Diary until S/Lt Maitland stopped recording (the final strike day in July).   I don't think that these IFF makings were applied to avoid friendly fire or to distinguish allied from axis planes after the Soviet declaration of War. In both cases they would have been universal (or near so allowing for replacements etc). There are datable photographs of 1772 Fireflies (274/S damaged by flak on 10 August and pushed over the side) and 1771 Fireflies (276/N on deck for VJ celebrations). Neither show yellow cowl markings. However, this is one is from a photo album I own, which is annotated "1772 Squadron Fireflies ready for take-off, Indefatigable - Aug'45". The one on the left looks to have a coloured cowl band, possibly yellow:

2d1b17b4-9772-434f-b972-b32127161e4e.jpg

 

I now think it more likely that these markings were applied to Air Group Leaders or Strike Leaders in the final days of the war

Edited by iang
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Not a full cowl band as the upper half still matches the camouflage pattern on the other aircraft.  Possibly just a replacement panel in primer?  I think Yellow would have been applied all the way around.

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8 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Not a full cowl band as the upper half still matches the camouflage pattern on the other aircraft.  Possibly just a replacement panel in primer?  I think Yellow would have been applied all the way around.

That is a part that can get crushed against a barrier. New prop, new radiator intake after a (mild) barrier crash...?

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On 17/05/2021 at 21:02, iang said:

Having checked my copies of the Admiralty reports on operation off Japan for Formidable, Indefatigable, Implacable and Victorious, I drew a blank on yellow/white cowl tactical markings. I suspect this is not the right place to look in any case. Camouflage and markings instructions tended to be be communicated by CAFO, AFO or cypher message, though the yellow tactical markings for Ironclad and Pedestal are also listed in Admiralty reports.  These are also the sort of changes listed in squadron diaries and record books, and I will re-check the diaries for 1772 and 1771 squadron. Given the rarity of photos showing these markings and the date of the yellow/white cowling on 119/X, I suspect that these instructions only refer to the final days of the war in the pacific. The most notable political event at this time, that could of had operational implications, was the declaration of War by the Soviet Union on Japan on 8 August (and this was not lost on senior members of the BPF - there  is brief discussion of this in AC1's report on operations by Vian to the Admiralty). I  wonder whether these yellow cowl markings were introduced to identify British and US aircraft to the Soviets? The war ended before such ID was necessary operationally, but that was not known on 8th August. Logically, the converse would also be true (especially given the red national markings of Soviet Union and Japan). Were there similar markings applied to Soviet aircraft  at this time? Speculation at this stage, but the tactical markings  were obviously introduced for a reason.

While you're re-checking those sources, any serial/code tie-ups you said you might have would still be useful if you have them! 😉

 

Lee

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