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Old 24th September 2011, 13:59
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Mysticpuma Mysticpuma is offline
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Requesting assistance with 20th FG P-51D Markings. Confusing image attached

Hello, I wonder if anyone can help me work out the markings of 20th Fighter Group Mustangs that I am a little confused with?

While looking for markings on the aircraft so I can create a paint-scheme for a flight simulator I was quite convinced that the markings were the Piano Stripe on the nose and then;

55th FS (Triangle on Rudder) letters example KI - C

77th FS (Circle on Rudder) letters example LC-F

79th FS (Square on Rudder) letters example MC-R

I then found the picture I have attached which confused me as it shows some aircraft with Olive Drab on the Rudder and wings, some with Black painted Elevators, others are clear, Black stripes on the horizontal stabiliser, others clear and Black Stripes on the wing, others are clear!

I can appreciate that some aircraft may be in the process of being transferred or repainted, but officially what were the rudder, horizontal stabiliser and wing markings (P-51D-5 era) for the Group and am I correct in thinking the 'Piano Striping' was White and Black or was it very dark Blue?

I am attaching the picture and would appreciate any help with official 'generic' markings.

Thanks, MP

Last edited by Mysticpuma; 30th March 2018 at 15:57.
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Old 24th September 2011, 16:17
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Requesting assistance with 20th FG P-51D Markings. Confusing image attached

The black stripes on the wings, fin and tailplane are identity markings to distinguish the P-51 from the Bf109. White on camouflaged aircraft, they should have been carried at all times but fell from use. They were not specific to the 20th.

Olive drab wings were for units intended to be based on the Continent after D-Day, and are usually seen painted over the D-Day stripes rather than in cases like this.
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Old 25th September 2011, 22:42
lampie lampie is offline
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Re: Requesting assistance with 20th FG P-51D Markings. Confusing image attached

The photo is an excellent example of just how much variation in markings existed and how different aircraft looked, even down to, as is the case here, individual squadron level.
Next time somebody says "all aircraft of 123FG" or "from 31/2/43 the markings changed from type A to type B" just produce this picture.
Also worth noting is that 2 of the Mustangs have had their fusalage insignia "dulled down" as well.

Great photo.
Nige
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Old 1st October 2011, 19:52
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Re: Requesting assistance with 20th FG P-51D Markings. Confusing image attached

That is a 'post November 1944' pic. The color schemes are typical with respect to existence/absence of ETO stripes on elevator and inboard wing.

OD on top surface of wing while rest of ship was nmf was not as common but existed. As noted earlier, when the ETO stripes (black on NMF) were still common, the stripes were white on an OD top surface.

At this stage of the war many 357FG Mustangs were still OD with a mix of NMF as the newere replacement ships replaced the older ones.

Even elevators would have some possible differences. The metal elavator kits were not 100% installed on all the -5s so a slight color difference contrast would exist for the doped elevator next to NMF horizontal stab.

Regards,

Bill
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