Category And Colors

1945-1947 The War Won and the AAF Returns to Peace

1945 opened with a massive surprise attack by the Luftwaffe on Allied airfields in Belgium. However, when the attack was over, the Luftwaffe had suffered huge losses in aircraft and pilots, while the Allies were able to replace all of their aircraft in a week, and lost only a few pilots. This broke the back of the Luftwaffe and from then on, the AAF were able to carry out ever increasing at­tacks on German industry as the country’s borders shrank under the Allies massive ground attacks. The end of the war in Europe came after only a few months and VE-Day was celebrated on May 8,


After catching its breath, the AAF turned to its final war effort, the defeat of Japan. The Twentieth Air Force had been formed in April 1944 and in the summer of that year had started heavy bomber operations against Japan, Formosa, Thailand, and Burma, At the beginning of 1945, the Far East Air Force (FEAF) was attacking the Philippines and Borneo. The Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh, and Fourteenth Air Forces were chasing the Japanese in the Asia and Pacific theaters, moving closer and closer to the Japanese home­land. The end for Japan came in August, when two atomic bombs proved that Japan could be defeated without an invasion,

Even though the war only continued for just over four months against Germany, aircraft losses continued to be heavy, 3,631 air­craft being lost in the European and Mediterranean theaters. This brought the total losses in the war against the Axis powers in Eu­rope to no less than 18,418 aircraft. In the Pacific area in the war against Japan, some 1,699 aircraft were lost, bringing the total in that area to 4,530 aircraft. This included 399 lost by the new Twen­tieth Air Force, primarily B-29s. Fighting the greatest war in world history had cost the USAAF some 22,948 aircraft and total casual­ties of 121,867 personnel.

At mid-1945, the USAAF strength had declined in total num­ber of aircraft, to 68,398, but this was somewhat misleading: all combat types of aircraft had actually increased, the decrease being chiefly in a drop of training aircraft from the previous 27,907 to some 12,581. Very heavy bombers, mainly the B-29 plus a few B – 32s, had grown to no less than 2,374 aircraft.

Once victory had been gained, the United States demobilized headlong, just as it had done at the end of World War I. Hundreds of aircraft were scrapped or sold, the strength having dropped to 44,782 aircraft by December 1945, and bases world-wide were closed. So many men were demobilized that the AAF could only muster two groups ready for combat by July 1946. A totally new Air Force had to be built for peacetime operations; its authorized strength was 70 groups but peacetime budgets kept it to only 48 groups (in fact, the reduction in the number of aircraft was such that when the next war broke out in Korea, there were only 19,944 on strength in June 1951).

As a result, the amount of time and effort spent on specs, and T. O. s was extremely small compared to the very active war years, as we shall see in this chapter. However, the Army Air Forces com­manders had never lost sight of their aim to become a separate ser­vice, on a level with the Army and Navy. Planning for this had started in 1943 and was well advanced by mid-1945. Eventually, all of this came to fruition in 1947, but not until after meeting with strong opposition from the Navy.

During this immediate post-war period, the AAF also began to receive the first of its jet-propelled aircraft, and put some of them into unit service. The Lockheed P-80 was the first to enter service, to be followed somewhat later by the Republic P-84. The first of the giant inter-continental bombers in the form of the competing Northrop XB-35 and the Convair XB-36 also made their first flights, as did the North American B-45 and Convair B-46 four-jet light and medium bombers. However, the transport field was still domi­nated by piston-engined types, such as the Douglas C-74 and the Fairchild C-82. It was a period of transition to new technologies, and opened up the future to the sharply reduced AAF.

Spec. No.

Jan. Feb.

Mar. Apr.

May June

Jul. Aug.

Sep. Oct.

Nov. Dec.

T. O. 07-1-1 Markings,



New Issue |






Bulletin 48

Colors for Temporary



Markings for







Color for Army Air Forces (





Camouflage Finishes for, Aircraft

ANA 157

Aircraft Camouflage Color Standards

ANA 166

Aircraft Color Standards,



Insignia: National Star


Insignia & Markings for Rescue Aircraft

Issued October 17


US Army Air Forces specifications in use, revised, or issued, by date and version,

during 1945. The letters indicate a letter revision of a spec., such as T. O. 07-1-1 A. The numbers indicate an amendment to an earlier version of a spec., such as Amendment No. 6 to Spec. 24114.

Gen. Spaatz succeeded Gen. Arnold as CG, AAF on February 28, 1946, and finally became the first Chief of Staff of the new US Air Force on September 26, 1947, the point at which this volume concludes.

The major developments in the 1945-1947 time period for USAAF aircraft markings and camouflage were:

PT trainer aircraft to have yellow wings and tail surfaces, January 1945.

All A-20, A-26, and B-25 aircraft destined for the Far East Air Force to have ANA Olive Drab and Sea Gray camouflage, March 1945. Interior of all USAAF aircraft to be painted medium green or black, April 1945.

T. O, 07-1-1 adds yellow and black markings for Air Sea Rescue aircraft, July 1945.

Air Sea Rescue aircraft identification numerals changed to last three digits of serial number, September 1945.

Camouflage no longer required on gliders, liaison aircraft, helicopters, and troop transports, November 1945.

TO. 07-1-1 adds “Buzz Numbers” for all aircraft operating solely within the continental USA, November 1945.

Insignia applied to black camouflaged surfaces to now omit the insignia blue circle and border, June 1946.

Insignia red stripes added to white bars of national star insignia, January 1947.

Spec. No.

Jan. – Apr. 1946

May – Aug. 1946

Sep. – Dec. 1946

Jan.- Apr. 1947

May – Aug. 1947

Sep.- Dec. 1947

T. O. 07-1-1 Markings,

New Issue |


Bulletin 48

Colors for Temporary Camouflage Finishes




Markings for





Color for Army Air Forces (



Camouflage Finishes for, Aircraft

ANA 157


Camouflage ,



Color Standards

ANA 166

Aircraft Color Standards,






National Star <








Insignia & Markings for Rescue Aircraft 1



US Army Air Forces specifications in use, revised, or issued, by date and version, during 1946-1947. The letters indicate a letter revision of a spec., such as T. O. 07-1-1 A. The numbers indicate an amendment to an earlier version of a spec., such as Amendment No. 6 to Spec. 24114. The USAAF came to an end on September 26, 1947, when it was superseded by the new US Air Force.

Supplement to T. 0.07-1-1 adds details of Air Sea Rescue identification numerals, September 1945

A supplement to T, 0.07-1-1 was issued on September 26,1945. It deleted the following sentence at the end of Para. 21, “Air sea rescue identification numerals and letters will be as assigned by Headquarters AAR” and replaced it with the following: “Air Sea Rescue identification numerals will be the last three numerals of the aircraft serial number.”

Reason for this change is not specifically known, but the war was finally over in the Pacific theater and the number of Air Sea Rescue aircraft required was scaled back drastically.


C-47s and P-51$ of the Fourteenth Air Force are seen at the Lunghwa Air Base near Shanghai, China on October 27, 1945. At the lower left corner of the photo is a Consolidated PB2Y-3 Coronado flying boat, Buaer No. 7099, on the typical bolted-on ground handling gear struts, it was probably being used as a transport. (USAF)


Republic P-47N-5-RE, 44-88593, aircraft “Big Stud”, being used as a recruiting vehicle; note the panel below the cockpit with "THE AAF ENLIST NOW” on it. Colors not known, but probably yellow panel with red and black letters. (Robert L. Baseler)

New Spec. AN-I-38 covers Insignias and Markings for Rescue Aircraft, October 1945.

A new Army-Navy aeronautical spec. AN-I-38, Insignia and Markings for Rescue Aircraft, was issued on October 17, 1945, and read as follows:

This specification…. shall become effective not later than 17 April 1946. It may be put into effect, however, at any earlier date after promulgation.


A-l. This specification is drawn to present the requirements for the size, location, and color of the insignia and markings for identification of all aircraft that are engaged in Air-Sea-Rescueoperations within the Continental United States and rear areas. Identification of aircraft in other areas in conformance with this specification, shall be left to the discretion of the force or area commander concerned.


A front view of the P-47N reveals Col. Baseler’s trademark name of “Big Stud” on the nose. Probably white on black colors. Note that the Ace of spades points up on this aircraft. The aircraft carries no unit markings, so it was probably used after the 325 EG had been disbanded, but before Col. Baseler retired from the AAF. (Robert L. Baseler)


North American P-82B-NA, 44-65168, aircraft “Betty Joe”. 500 of this version were ordered, but only 20 of them were built. This was the 9th one, delivered in 1946. It was used to make a record breaking flight from Honolulu to New York. Note the new buzz numbers on the rear fuselage. (Nick Williams)

Yellow tips added to propellers, August 1941

Amendment No. 4 to Spec. 24114, dated August 28, 1941, added the use of camouflage enamel to Spec. 14109, specifying that only one coat of enamel need be applied versus the two coats of lacquer required, the resulting thickness being about the same for both types.

There was also a change to paragraph E-5, headed “Camouflaging of Propellers”, which stated that the tips for a distance of four inches from the ends of the blades were to be yellow in accordance with Shade No. 48 of Bulletin No. 41.

Fuselage Cocarde maximum size established, September 1941

The Air Corps Board, having completed most of the work on their camouflage studies, took issue with the size of the cocarde specified on the fuselage of camouflaged aircraft, because they felt that a cocarde which was three-quarters of the length of the projection of the fuselage side, would be entirely too large on some of the heavier aircraft the entering service, such as the Consolidated B-24, It would also possibly furnish an excellent bull’s-eye to an enemy at long ranges. They, therefore, recommended that the requirement be changed so that the diameter of the circle for the fuselage cocarde should be three-quarters of the length of the projection of the fuselage side. However, the diameter was not to exceed forty-eight inches (121.92 cm).


Cessna AT-8,41-5, was the first prototype, seen at Wright Field. Thirty-three of this version were built. Aluminum finish, with Material Division markings and Wright Field arrow on fuselage, (Harry Gann)

image74■ ml

Douglas Boston Mk. П, AH435, aircraft No.6, with the short-lived tall fin stripes of 1940. Black propellers with yellow tips. The RAF camou­flage is Dark Earth, Dark Green and Night. (USAF via Gerry R. Markgraf)

This recommendation was duly incorporated into Amendment No. 5 dated September 16, 1941, to Spec. 24114 and was the last change to be applied to the national insignia prior to World War II.

All non-combat aircraft, i. e, those which were not camouflaged, retained the cocarde and rudder stripes as specified in Spec. 98- 24102-K and amendments. Thus, the US Army Air Forces entered World War П with its combat and non-combat aircraft bearing national insignia in different positions. This was to be duly changed at a later date.



Curtiss AT-9, one of 791 built, was an all-metal transition trainer for light bomber trainees. Regarded as a “hot” aircraft, it proved to be more difficult to tly than the service aircraft it was training crews for: as a result it was phased out of service as more versatile trainers became available. Natural metal finish to Spec. 24113-A. (Harry Gann)


Beech AT-11 Kansan bombardier and gunnery trainer also evolved from the C-45. f,582 were built. Natural metal finish to Spec. 241I3-A.


T. O. 07-1-1A revision issued on October 28, 1941.

The last revision of T. O. 07-1-1, before the USAentered the war, was issued on October 28, 1941, and incorporated the changes

discussed above, in three main areas:

1. g Identification Markings:

(1) All identification markings, insignia, designators and squadron and flight command stripes on camouflaged airplanes will be of specification camouflage materials and of colors conforming to the color shades outlined in A. C. Bulletin No. 41.

(2) Airplane designators for camouflaged airplanes will be as specified in paragraph 8 c.

(3) Other identification markings, insignia, and organization identification will be as specified in paragraphs 5, 6, 7,

and 8.

h. Camouflaging of Propeller: The camouflaging of propellers as required by Spec. 24114 should be accomplished by spraying each propeller blade in a horizontal position and retaining the propeller in this position until the camouflaging materials have set, after which it will be necessary that the propeller be checked for balance. Tests indicate that one (1) coat of camouflage materials on propeller blades offers adequate coverage. It is anticipated that this finish on propeller blades will chip and become unsightly after a period of use, however, no attempt should be made to touch up the surface of the propeller blades at any time until the propeller is overhauled, at which time the assembly will be repainted and balanced.

8. b. Airplane Designators:

(1) Each Air Corps airplane, (including training types) regardless of whether equipped with radio, will be identified by a designator consisting of the radio call numbers for (hat airplane as specified in A. C, Circular 100-4. These designators will be painted on the airplanes as directed in paragraph 8c. herein.


Douglas Boston Mk. HI, W8—, aircraft No. l7, is shown with the later short fin stripes. The camouflage is Dark Earth and Dark Green, plus Sky underneath. It is seen at Floyd Bennett Field prior to delivery. (USAF via Gerry R. Markgraf)

(2) Where insignia to denote rank or office of an individual is to be used in addition to the designator, the official insignia will be of a size in accordance with A. C. drawing No.41D658 and located and installed in accordance with A. C. drawing No. 41A656. The materials used in painting the official insignia will be restricted to the use of standard Air Corps specification materials and standard colors or blends thereof.


North American BC-1A, aircraft no. “1" of the 123rd OS, Oregon NG at Oakland in 1941. Natural metal finish to Spec. 24113-A. The white “line” on the rudder blue stripe is actually the dope code markings for the fabric, (F. Shertzer via William L. Swisher)


North American BC-1A, aircraft no. IS of the 120th OS, Colorado NG at Higgs Field, Fort Bliss, Texas on October 18, 1941. This aircraft has a beautiful unit insignia on the fuselage. (USAF)


Two Beech F-2-BHs of the 1st Photo Group over Alaska in 1941. These were photographic reconnaissance aircraft, fourteen being modified from Beech B-18 commercial aircraft. Finish was to Spec. 24113-A, natural metal with large orange and green “Alaska” visibility panels on the wings, fuselage, and tail surfaces. (USAF)

Infra-red reflectance paint tested in Florida, November 1941,

A paint having high infra red reflectance was being subjected to an exposure test in Florida to determine its desirability. Aerial photographic tests had indicated that this paint offered definite advantages to prevent detection of ground camouflaged parked airplanes.

Spec 24114 “Camouflage Finishes For Aircraft", Amendment No. 6, December 12, 1941.

This spec, was revised only a few days after the United States entered the war and made the following changes:

Application.- One coat of zinc chromate primer, Specification AN-TT-P-656 was to be applied to all exterior surfaces. This was to be followed by one of two types of camouflage finishes as follows:

(1). Ail exterior surfaces, except for insignia and markings, were to be coated with two coats of camouflage lacquer, Specification No. 14105 or with one coat of camouflage enamel, Specification No. 14109. The lacquer was to be thinned by mixing approximately two parts of lacquer with one part of lacquer thinner. The enamel was to be thinned with approximately four parts of enamel to one part of enamel thinner. The enamel was to be so applied that a coating of approxi­mately 1 mi) thickness was obtained.


Vultee Vengeance Mk. II, AF841, runs up at Northrop Field, Hawthorne, California. It is camouflaged in Dark Earth, Dark Green and Sky. (via author)


Vultee Vengeance Mk. 11, AK841, from front view, shows a total lack of underneath markings and the characteristic cranked wing shape, (via author)



Taylorcraft YO-57, 42-452, was one of four obtained in 1941 to evaluate its use as a liaison and observation aircraft in close support of Army ground operations. Finish to Spec. 24114. (USAF)

(2) . The entire airplane was to be coated with either lacquer or enamel. In no case was lacquer to be used for the upper surface and enamel for the lower, or enamel for the upper surface and lacquer for the lower.

(3) . Alt upper surfaces except for insignia were to be coated with dark olive drab, Shade 41 of Bulletin 41. The dark olive drab was to extend downward on the sides of the fuselage and all similar surfaces in such manner that none of the neutral gray coating was visible when the airplane was in normal level flight attitude and was viewed from above in any direction within an angle of approximately 30 degrees from vertical lines tangent to the airplane. The location of the color boundary line was subject to approval by the AAF.

(4) . All under surfaces, except for insignia and markings, were to be coated with neutral gray, Shade 43 of Bulletin 41.

(5) . Fabric covered surfaces, regardless of whether or not the finish of the metal surfaces was lacquer, or enamel, camouflage, Specification No. 14109, were to be finished as follows: (see original spec, issue of October 1940 – author).


Aeronca 0-58, one of a batch of twenty, ordered after four YO-58s were obtained at the same time as the Tkylorcraflt YO-57, for the same purpose. The 0-58s were upgraded with wider fuselages and more window space. Finished to Spec. 24114, with the 1941 maneuver markings on the fuselage. (USAF)

The following new paragraph was added:

Camouflaging of Propellers.- All external surfaces of airplane propellers and hubs, after being cleaned, were to be sprayed with one coat of zinc chromate primer. The final finish was to consist of one tight coat of cellulose nitrate camouflage lacquer. During the finishing process, and until the final coat had set, each propeller blade was to be maintained in a horizontal position. The color of all external surfaces, except the tips, were to be black in accordance with Shade No. 44, Bulletin No. 41. The tips for a distance of 4 inches from the ends of the blades were to be yellow in accordance with Shade No. 48, Bulletin No. 41. After the propeller and hub had been camouflaged and prior to installation, the propeller assembly was to be checked for balance.

Civil Aeronautics Administration issues requirements for Flight Test Areas, Flight Procedures and Aircraft Markings, Decem­ber IS, 1941.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U. S. west coast was very apprehensive of being attacked by the Japanese. To cut down flying in the Los Angeles area, the CAA, in conjunction with the Fourth Interceptor Command, AAF, issued a memo to aircraft manufacturers and test pilots prescribing flight test areas in the San Diego and Los Angeles Metropolitan area. Flight plans were also required; all flights had to have the flight plan approved by the CAA before each flight was made. All aircraft flying in these areas had to be marked with the standard U. S. insignia on the upper left wing and on the lower right wing. The diameter of these insignias was to be 36, 48, or 72 inches, using the largest practical size.

In addition, the letters “U. S.”, in the largest possible size, and in a contrasting color to make them easily seen, were to be painted on both sides of the fuselage. These markings were to be in addition to the standard CAA civil markings. On December 17, 1941, a clarification was issued by the CAA, stating that the letters on the fuselage should have a width of at least two-thirds of their height. The width of each stroke was to be at least one-sixth of the height, and the space between the letters was also to be not less than one – sixth of the height. The letters were to be painted in a solid color and kept clean.

$ * % $ *

Douglas Company allowed to eliminate camouflage paint under all de-icer boots, October 26, 1942

The AAF granted Douglas Company permission to eliminate camouflage finish on surfaces under all de-icer boots, on all aircraft under contract, in a letter dated October 26, 1942.

Dir. of Photography desires that photographic aircraft be camouflaged, November 4,1942.

Mat. Com. (Wash.) agreed with the Eglin Field report on haze paint, considering that the paint’s slight advantage in one condition did not outweigh all of its disadvantages. Therefore, use of haze paint on aircraft other than photographic types was not contemplated and they asked the Dir. of Mil. Req. (Wash.) for a decision as to its use on photographic types. On November 8,1942, Gen. Fairchild replied that since haze paint was generally inferior to other paints, further use of haze paints did not appear to be required.

In response to an inquiry, the Dir, of Photography stated that they preferred that all photographic aircraft be camouflaged, because they were unarmed and depended on altitude, speed, evasive action, and camouflage to avoid interception. They would like to sec a better haze paint developed.

Value of aircraft camouflage questioned, November 4, 1942,

In a memo dated November 4, 1942, to the Dir. of Mil, Req. (Wash.), Brig. Gen Chidlaw, AC/S (E), Mat. Com. (Wash,), summarized an intelligence report stating that the British were removing the camouflage from their fighter aircraft and replacing it with a highly polished surface. This change might result in an increase in top speed of 6 to 8 mph. The Gen. questioned whether or not there was a point of diminishing returns at which the advantages of camouflage were outweighed by the loss of performance due to drag and weight. He also stated that he was not questioning the basic value of camouflage. (Note: this report was very misleading in stating that the British were removing camouflage. Actually, they had developed new, (type S) much smoother, camouflage finishes and were also allowing pilots to add a final coat of wax to get the smoothest possible finish. This was the result of the Luftwaffe introduction of the Focke-Wulf Fwl9t) fighter into service, with its performance advantages over the Supermarine Spitfire Mk. V. The new smooth finish was introduced on the later Spitfire Mk. lX: the author remembers its public debut. A rain shower at that time also helped the shiny effect of the finish. The RAF never removed the camouflage from its operational fighters during the war).



All United States Аллу Air Forces aircraft will be camouflaged in accordance with Army Air Forces Specification No. 24114, with the following exceptions:

a. Aircraft operating in the Alaskan Department or in any country having similar climatic and terrain condi­tions will not be basic camouflaged. However, either camouflage or marked contrast finishes may be used as specified in paragraph 2.a.(4)(d).

b. Training type of aircraft.

c. Aircraft of other types regularly used for training purposes by the Flying Training Command.

d. All types of aircraft not regularly assigned to, or normally located in, theaters of operation.



(1) TYPES AND APPLICATIONS.—Paragraph E-lb of Army Air Forces Specification No. 24114, permits the use of lacquer and enamel materials on metal surfaces, dope on fabric, subject to the provisions herein. It will be noted that the use of both types of materials for metal require use of primer, zinc chromate. Camouflage materials in kind can be satisfactorily applied over existing protective coatings, that is, specification camouflage lacquer over existing lacquer finishes, specification camouflage enamel over existing enamel finishes, and specification camouflage dope over existing dope finishes. It is anticipated that there will be minor chipping of the camouflage materials at the leading edges of airfoils, which may be somewhat unsightly, but as long as the material affords a reasonable coverage of the surface, the finish will not be touched up. However, touching-up of permanently camouflaged surfaces is autho­rized, if the permanent camouflage has been partially destroyed by brushing action in removing temporary camouflage. No attempt will be made to secure a high gloss as this will tend to defeat the purpose of camouflage.

(2) PAINTS TO BE USED ON CAMOUFLAGED AIRPLANES.—The only permanent exterior paints that will be applied to camouflaged airplanes will be the following Air Forces camouflage materials in colors covered by Air Forces Bulletin No. 41:

(a) Lacquer, Specification No. 14105.

(b) Dope, Specification No. 14106.

(c) Enamel, Specification No. 14109.

These specifications are being revised to include infra-red reflectance qualities which decrease photographic qualities of a plane. This new paint will be used on all planes consigned to overseas theaters. Primer, zinc chromate, Specifica­tion No. AN-TT-P-656, will be used wherever a primer coat is required. Special de-icer paint is available only in oyster white for use on white camouflage.


It will be borne in mind that essentially, all paints, dopes, and lacquers are of a toxic nature and inflammable. Therefore, precautionary measures will be exercised in handling and application (See T. 0. No. 07-1-4 and Army Air Forces Regulation No. 85-6.)


Basic Camouflage


Bell P-39D-1-BE, 41-28361, aircraft “253”, close up view, shows off the dark olive drab camouflage finish. (USAF)


Sea Search

(3) BASIC CAMOUFLAGE.—The basic camouflage scheme in permanent camouflage materials for Army Air Forces aircraft is dark olive drab, shade No. 41, for surfaces viewed from above and extending down on sides of fuselage; medium green, shade No. 42, in irregular splotches along all edges on the upper side of the wing and the horizontal outline of the tail assembly; also, along all edges of both sides of the vertical outline of the tail assembly, extending inward from the edges for various distances up to 20 percent of the total width of the wing or the tail as­sembly. Rubber parts will not be painted except utilizing white de-icer paint in white camouflage. (See figure I.) Neutral gray, shade No. 43, will be used for surface viewed from below. Masking will not be employed to separate ANY COLORS. Junction lines will be blended by overspraying. (See figure 9.)

(4) SPECIAL.—Use of one coat of the following special permanent finishes over material of like type is authorized (also temporary Specification No. 14057), as required to conform to existing local terrain.

(a) Medium green, shade No. 42, on upper wing and fuselage surfaces for aircraft operating over terrain predominately green,

(b) Sand, shade No, 49, for upper surfaces for aircraft operating over desert terrain.

(c) Black, shade No. 44, for under surfaces for aircraft to be used for night flying.

(d) To provide marked contrast for spotting forced landings, or to provide camouflage, as required by the Commanding Officers, the use of any camouflage materials in color covered by Bulletin No. 41 may be used for air­craft in Alaskan or other theaters having similar terrain conditions.

(e) Insignia white, shade No, 46, on all under surfaces and leading edges and olive drab, shade No. 41, on all upper surfaces for aircraft assigned to seasearch duty. Special de-icer paint in oyster white is available only for this and similar camouflage outlined in preceding paragraph.

(5) CAMOUFLAGE OF PROPELLER. — The camouflage of propellers, as required by Army Air Forces Specification No. 24114, will be accomplished by spraying each propeller blade in a horizontal position and retain­ing the propeller in this position until the camouflaging materials have set, after which it will be necessary that the propeller be checked for balance. Over one light coat of zinc chromate primer, one coat of black lacquer, shade No. 44, will extend to within 4 inches of the tip of the blade; this 4-inch tip will be yellow lacquer, shade No. 48, one light coat. When necessary, three and four blade metal props may be lightly “touched-up” between overhaul periods while in­stalled on the plane. Care should be taken to apply proportionate amounts of paint to each blade to maintain the proper balance.

After overhaul the propellers will be repainted as outlined above, and balanced. No attempt will be made to camouflage wood propellers,

b. TEMPORARY CAMOUFLAGE.—Paint, water dry, Army Air Forces Specification No. 14057, in the following shades may be applied over existing permanent camouflage finishes when required and directed by com manders in the theaters of operation.

(1) Sea green, shade No. 28, for upper surfaces when operating over terrain predominately green.

(2) Black, shade No.33, for the lower surfaces of night flying aircraft

(3) Sand, shade No. 26, for upper surfaces when operating over desert terrain.


Chief, Mat. Div., directs immediate effect of Mil. Req. Policy No. 15, November 23, 1943

The Chief of Mat. Div. (Wash.) in a letter dated November 23,1943, to the Chief of Staff, Mat, Com. WF, directed that Mil. Req. Pol. No. 15, issued November 19,1943 (see entry above) would be placed in immediate effect. All aircraft would be produced in accordance with the policy, with the exception of those allotted to China and the Soviet Union. Those aircraft were to be delivered with the standard Army aircraft camouflage.

Eighth Air Service Command requests information on gloss black enamel, November 25,1943.

The Eighth Air Force Service Command in England requested all available information on a new gloss black enamel for night bombers. This was reputed to render aircraft invisible for 80% of the time at 13,000 feet while in searchlight beams. Mat. Com.(WF) replied on November 25,1943, giving them detailed instructions for removing old camouflage paint and applying the new gloss black paint.

New Army-Navy Aeronautical Bulletin No. 166 lists the standard colors for gloss finishes, December 4,1943.

The second color standard to be issued as a result of the J AC meetings was the new Army-Navy ANA Bulletin No. 166, dated December 4, 1943. This listed the following names and numerical designations for glossy finishes:


Under paragraph 2, it was stated that the sets of porcelain enamel panels entitled Army-Navy Aircraft Color Standards were to be used as standard for the colors listed herein. The title of these standards was now changed to read: Army-Navy Aircraft Color Standards (Glossy).

This actually meant that there was no change in any of the colors, but new sets of color chips eventually replaced the original porcelain plates (issued in September, 1938), which were getting very scarce. Note that the Olive Drab did not change its shade, unlike the camouflage color called out in ANA Bulletin No. 157 (described earlier; see Chapter 7 for full details).


North American B-25J-1-NC, 43-3889, built at Kansas City, in the standard late 1943 camouflage and markings. 4,318 of this version were built, (March AFB Museum)

. Consolidated B-24H, natural metal, “Arise My Love and Come With Me”. Unit letters are Z5, denoting the 754th BS, 458th BG, 96th CBW, 2nd Air Div. (USAF via Gerry R, Markgraf)


Douglas C-47s in their newly applied black and white stripes prepare for the invasion of France on the night of June 5/6, 1944, (D-Day). There are more than twenty-five aircraft visible, plus one Cessna IJC-78. Aircraft marked 8Y are from the 98th TCS, 440th TCG and those marked 9X are from the 95th TCS, 440th TCG, Ninth Air Force. (USAF)


Douglas C-47s and Waco CG-4s are seen lined up ready for takeoff. The aircraft are coded М2 for the 88th TCS, 438th TCG of the Ninth Air Force. Note that each glider has a large white number painted on its nose, together with the black and white stripes on the aircraft. A huge force of several hundred of these aircraft flew over London, England, on June 5/6,1944, all with their navigation lights on to help prevent collisions. It was the first time that such lights had been seen over England since September 3,1944. (Witnessed by the author). (USAF)


Two Consolidated B-24HS, J4-V and Z5-S, follow B-24H-20-DT, 41-28965, “The Spotted Ass Ape”, lead ship of the 458th BG, 96th CBW, 1st Air Div.. Note the AZON blade antennas under the rear fuselage of J4-V. AZON was a guided-bomb bombing technique that proved to be of limited value. (USAF)

Supplement T. 0.07-1-1A issued on January 22, 1945

This supplement to T. 0.07- Ы revised the markings for PT type aircraft again. Instead of bands of international orange on their fuselage and wings, PT trainers were now to have the upper surface of upper wings and lower surfaces of lower wings of biplane type airplanes, and upper and lower surfaces of monoplanes painted with orange-yellow or identification yellow, gloss or camouflage paint. The same paints were also to be applied to all surfaces of the empennage.

Two coats of dope were required to hide the aluminized dope, but more than two coats would have a deteriorating effect on the finished fabric. For this reason, only touch-up was to be accomplished after the original application of the two coats. This new requirement considerably changed the appearance of PT type trainers, moving them closer to the original blue and yellow scheme, as requested by AAFTC in March, 1944.


Douglas A-26B-1-DL, 41-39101, (the second A-26B built), aircraft AN-F, of the 553BS, 386BG, Ninth Air Force, England, in early 1945. Finish natural metal, with yellow group band across tail, trimmed in Black. Note the red propeller warning stripe. (USAF via Gerry R. Markgraf)


Fairchild UC-61, no serial number visible, with a two-star general’s markings on the Fin, on a very snowy day in January 1945, at strip A-64, St. Dizier, France. It is Finished in the usual dark olive drab and neutral gray Finish, without any invasion stripes. (William L. Swisher)


Boeing B-17G-65-DL, 44-6790, of the 2nd BG, 5th BW, Fifteenth Air Forte. Note the black rudder, elevators, and bands across the wing outboard of the engine. Early 1945. (March AFB Museum)




More than sixteen B-17G’s of the 2nd BG, 5th BW, Fifteenth Air Force, on their way to bomb Germany in early 1945. Unit markings consist of black rudders, elevators and bands across the outer wing. One aircraft has the whole left outer wing painted in black, (March AFB Museum)

New requirements were added for aircraft regularly assigned to tow target service. These aircraft could have orange-yellow or identifi­cation paint materials of applicable type applied locally over the bare metal or previously applied paint materials. This paint was to be applied only to rudder, cowling, and upper and lower wing tips for identification and visibility purposes.

Fighter aircraft used in Flexible Gunnery Training, to make camera gun attacks on bombers, could now be painted in suitable contrasting colors, where required. This was to make them readily seen when filmed against a cloud or terrain background (P-63 aircraft were primarily used for this purpose and were usually painted bright red – author).

A change was made to the instructions for painting the War-Weary and Surplus aircraft letters on the fuselage of aircraft; these two-inch letters were now to }эе painted in insignia paint materials (previously no color had been specified for these letters.)


B-L The following publications of the issue in effect on date of invitation forbids shall form a part of this specification: B-la. Army-Navy Aeronautical Specifications.

AN-D-2 Dope; Cellulose-Acetate-Butyrate, Pigmented, Gloss AN-TT-D-554 Dope; Cellulose-Nitrate, Pigmented.

AN-E-3 Enamel; Aircraft, Gloss AN-L-29 Lacquer; Cellulose Nitrate B-lb. Army-Navy Aeronautical Bulletin.

No. 166 Colors; List of Standard Aircraft Glossy.


C-l. General.- The insignia, lettering, and markings shall be applied with glossy lacquer, conforming to Specification AN-L- 29, dopes. Specifications AN-TT-D-544 and AN-D-2, or enamel, Specification AN-E-3, as are applicable and compatible with the finishes applied to adjacent surfaces. Decalcomanias may be used upon specific approval of the Procuring Agency.

C-2. Color.- The finishes shall be Color No. 506 Orange-Yellow and Color No. 515 Gloss Black. The colors used shall conform to the applicable Army-Navy Aircraft Color Standards (Glossy), Bulletin No. 166.


Consolidated OA-IOA-VI, 44-34030, was the AAF version of the PBY, used for air sea rescue in the Pacific theater. This was the 91st aircraft of the last batch of 159 built by Canadian Vickers. A total of 230 were built. (Harry Gann)