Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

mhaselden

27 Sqn Blenheims at Singapore IN COLOUR!

Recommended Posts

I've found the pic shown in Warner's book. It can be purchased from the Australian War Memorial:

AWM Pic

However, they're asking $36-$40 for a 300dpi copy (the download version being more expensive than the posted version, which makes no sense to me!), $70+ for the 600dpi copy and a whopping $120+ for the 1200dpi. That's too rich for my blood, particularly if the source image is a copy of a copy and hence has no detail of the serial number etc. Oh, and postage is an extra $25 on top!!!

Anyone fancy going half-ers?

Edited by mhaselden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it me or does the port wingtip look a bit odd? Especially since the engines seem to be running up.

I noticed that too, but since the engines appeared to be running, I figured it was over-active imagination on my part.

Edited by Chuck1945

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L1258 is not recorded as a 27 sq aircraft in Air Britain, but as 62.

I did go through the AB listings for the Malaya units - did I not send you the listings, Mark? Dunno where I put them....may be lost now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
L1258 lost on 15 Feb 42 in the NEI

Chaz Bowyer in For Valour says that L1258 coded as JO-B was the personal aircraft of Pongo Scarf and that he flew it from England to Singapore in August 1939. Warpaint has a photograph of the aircraft taken at Leuchars but coded as JO-E. It is not listed amongst the squadron’s aircraft when they moved to Alor Star (Devotion to a Calling) but Warner lists it as a 62 Squadron machine lost 20 Feb 1952.

Interestingly, Warner lists L1134 as a 62 Sqn machine but persists in the theory of that unit wearing PT codes in 1941 which I believe is incorrect and which these LIFE photos bear out (because 27 Sqn was the only Blenheim fighter unit in the Command).

It’s not just Warner, there is a profile with the same codes that appears in a number of books including Warpaint page8 but if you have a copy then have a look at the previous page where there is a photograph of L1107 FX-L “62 Squadron in Malaya. The aircraft of this unit are seen just before the Japanese invasion.” L1107 is listed in the aforementioned nominal roll. I have three books listing squadron codes but none of them mention FX and two of them list PT as 62 Squadron codes.

I think it is safe to say that PT belongs to 27 and FX belongs to 62.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My tuppence is that I think the Yellow stripes were a tail end reminder at night for the gunner. Did the Bristol turret have idiot guides?

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a fascinating thread and hs got me looking through the Life archive.

Careful there, Trevor, this can become addictive. Mind you the therapy's survivable and the pills aren't too bad....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Careful there, Trevor, this can become addictive. Mind you the therapy's survivable and the pills aren't too bad....

There's lots of stuff there. Rows of Buffalo's being erected (has anyone else noticed the full stop in their serials?) more Blenheims etc etc. Most is not strictly relevant to this thread e.g. a lovely pre war F4F in silver and a green tail in colour!

Trevor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, there are many Buffalo pics. The period in the serials was only for the W-series airframes (the AN series dispensed with this odd addition). I'm sure there are plenty more treasures to be discovered as the LIFE archive releases more pics if only they could improve the search capability.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My tuppence is that I think the Yellow stripes were a tail end reminder at night for the gunner. Did the Bristol turret have idiot guides?

John

No, they could find their own way :banghead:

Seriously

The pictures of the Buffalo's and especially the Blenheim's all seem to have been taken on the same day and about the same time (i.e. the photographer moving about the field shooting as he went to get a good cross section of the activity's)

As my knowledge of the later days of Singapore is minuscule, it seems almost eerie to see these men going about their operations, as the events unfold.

This is a GREAT Thread! Shows why I like the research almost as much as the modeling :thumbsup2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As my knowledge of the later days of Singapore is minuscule, it seems almost eerie to see these men going about their operations, as the events unfold.

Yes. I found myself wondering what happened to the chap in the photo in post 3.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to the topic of the yellow stripes on the tail. I flicked through Graham Warner's book and there are lots of photos which show similar stripes on MkI and MkIV Blenheims. The marking is by no means ubiquitous, however. Indeed, my quick, unscientific review indicated there were more pics where there clearly weren't yellow stripes on the tail than with. Notably, the strips do not appear to have been applied at all to aircraft operating in North Africa and Greece. The early war, thru the Battle of Britain is more of a mixed bag but more aircraft seem to wear them. I don't know what this means, if anything, but I thought I'd share.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FWIW,

to start with colours show, I used Photoshop to play with those colour pics of the Blenheim fighters; once you remove the overall blue cast from the pics, the colour of the fuselage bands looks much closer to real 'sky' than sky blue.

Good idea! Quite a lot has been written over the years about how WW2 american colour film has gradually gained a blue tint, it shows o lot in Naval photos of light grey warships that have gradually turned light blue. The same must be true of these pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The greys used on USN warships were in the purple-blue range, not neutral, so any blue tint showng in photos was probably there in the original paint. The USN did not adopt neutral greys until 1945, retaining the same colour names, and there is some controversy over just how common these were before the end of the war. To me, there doesn't appear to be any blue shift elsewhere in the photos, or indeed generally in all the LIFE photos that have been published on the internet recently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good idea! Quite a lot has been written over the years about how WW2 american colour film has gradually gained a blue tint, it shows o lot in Naval photos of light grey warships that have gradually turned light blue. The same must be true of these pics.

Really? Please quote some references for these copious writings. "Correcting" digital colour images is always an interesting exercise because the benchmark to gauge the required corrective shifts would seem somewhat elusive - citing the blue of the sky or the skin tone of faces never convinces for rather obvious reasons. The other issue is that without the original photographic prints to compare, any shift already present in the digital images is unknown. Even before the question of monitor types, colour management and settings comes into it there is the issue of observer metameric failure to contend with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nick beat me to the punch (I had the message all drafted and then had to do some work so it sat on my machine for several hours) but said it far more technically than I am competent to attempt. To me, the pics look a little dark but any attempt to nudge colours one way or another would be highly subjective and, since we're looking at probably 2nd or 3rd generation versions of the original image, we need to be careful about specific interpretations. On my monitor, the unadjusted colour appears to lie somewhere between Sky Blue and Azure Blue. My assessment, based on nothing more than logic and a hunch that AHQFE followed the then-current Fighter Command practice of applying Sky Blue fuselage bands, is that we're looking at the former colour. The slightly darker tone, perhaps with a purple-ish hue detected by others, could come from developing the colour print, the digitizing process, or even the original mixing of the paint. We're back in the land of "what was specified" -vs- "what was applied" but, unfortunately, we don't know what was specified so we can only go with informed (perhaps semi-informed in my case) hunches based on what we are perceiving.

Edited by mhaselden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rob,

IIRC most of those were included in the original 27 Sqn thread referred to earlier in this thread. I particularly like the shot of the Blenheim being pushed back at sunset - very evocative. Shame we can't see the serial number :evil_laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Rob,

IIRC most of those were included in the original 27 Sqn thread referred to earlier in this thread. I particularly like the shot of the Blenheim being pushed back at sunset - very evocative. Shame we can't see the serial number :evil_laugh:

Looks like L3621 if that was a Blenheim serial.

Nick

Edited by justplanecrazy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L3621 was a cancelled Henley.

Mark's listing of 27 Sq aircraft (post 44) does have L8621......

PS looks more like L8521 to me, but that one was a UK-based trainer until 1943.

Edited by Graham Boak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much of this is interpretation but I'm happy to go with L8621 and, if my eyes don't deceive me, it's got the Day Fighter fuselage band so we're talking blue starboard undersides. I can't quite make out the individual aircraft code letter. Am I seeing the top of a 'K'?

Here's a pic showing PT-K but the serial is not clearly visible, although it did carry the Day Fighter scheme and markings.

PT-K

Edited by mhaselden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updating my list of 27 Sqn airframes, I've defined 2 distinct sets of markings: Day Fighter with (probably) Sky Blue port underwings and a (probably) Sky Blue fuselage band, and; Standard Bomber scheme with entirely black underwings. Based on these marking definitions, we now have:

L4928 (PT-E) Standard Bomber scheme with roundels, small letter 'E'

L6633 (PT-?) Day Fighter scheme

L6635 (PT-A) Day Fighter scheme, no roundels

L6649 (PT-P) Standard Bomber scheme

L6666 (PT-B or D) Day Fighter scheme, no roundels

L6667 (PT-O or U) Standard Bomber scheme, no roundels (my hunch is this was PT-O)

L6669 (PT-N) Day Fighter scheme, no roundels

L8618 (PT-F) Day Fighter scheme, no roundels (in Apr 41 but likely added later)

L8621 (PT-K) Day Fighter scheme, no roundels

???? (PT-?) Blue only, no roundels, no fuselage band (this one's an interesting exception)

One of the Day Fighter aircraft above also had underwing roundels

Other aircraft recorded in the 27 Sqn 540 but not seen on the images include:

L6628 (Poss imaged as Standard Bomber scheme, PT-R or PT-X)

L6668

L8507

L8540

Warner also records the loss of the following 2 aircraft attributed to 27 Sqn (although these airframes do not appear anywhere in the 540):

L8526 lost on 29 Sep 41. Possibly the aircraft with all-black undersides and the missing port wingtip in the Mydans photo.

L6632 lost on 28 Jun 41

If I were a betting man, I'd put money on L6667 being PT-O simply because we have no photographic evidence of any individual aircraft letters after 'P'. It's not entirely flawless logic but I still think the odds are in my favour. Also note that the large fin flashes displayed on these aircraft seem to have been removed and replaced with the smaller, standard rectangular fin flash marking before the outbreak of hostilities.

Going back to the Scarf saga, interestingly 'Bloody Shambles' identifies his aircraft as "L1134/F" which brings up the interesting proposition that he was actually flying L1134 coded FX-F. As noted in an earlier message in the thread, there's a pic in 'Bloody Shambles' of a pair of 62 Sqn aircraft airborne, one of which is identified as L1107, FX-L and the other as FX-O with no serial - interestingly, both aircraft are fitted with Light Series carriers on the lower rear fuselage. However, Boxall's 'Devotion to Duty' (thanks to whoever pointed out this book - it's fascinating) identifies 62 Sqn's 'O' as L1260 as it was Boxall's regular aircraft prior to hostilities breaking out so perhaps the photo in 'Bloody Shambles' also depicts Boxall's aircraft (assuming all these 'facts' are correct). Note that L1107 (FX-L) was captured relatively intact by the Japanese. It wore black undersides with roundels under the wingtips.

I'll shut up my rambling...for now. I'm still hoping to get a clear look at the serial number of the aircraft we suspect is L8526 but it may take several months for me to find a willing Aussie researcher to examine the pic in the AWM archive.

TTFN,

Mark

Edited by mhaselden

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Further to my last (talking to myself again :mental: ), I'm still confused over the loss of L6632. It was undoubtedly being flown by 27 Sqn personnel (Box, Seaward and Spratt) but what puzzles me is why a 27 Sqn machine was flying near Akyab, Burma. There's absolutely nothing in the Sqn 540 about such a trip and no mention of the loss which, given that it resulted in the deaths of all 3 crewmembers, is somewhat surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In a pathetic attempt to keep the thread alive, I looked through all the pics we posted in the old thread and found this previously-unidentified Blenheim with standard bomber undersides:

Poss L6628?

I think this may be L6628 and the individual code letter looks to be either 'R' or 'X' (bearing in mind the other alternatives, 'A' and 'K' are already identified as wearing Day Fighter markings. I've updated the list 2 posts up to reflect this possible identification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...