13 June…

Sorry for the ealier Spam on the B-2 crash.  I think I’ll take the led from Chuck and just post it here wtih the link to the video!

 Anyway, on to the Blog…

BBQ-ed duck – turned out great!  Marinated them overnight in frozen (thawed) apple juice concentrate, put in a crockpot with KC Master Piece Spicy Hot BBQ sauce and slow cook all day.  

Elwood – gas is $3.84 to $3.95 depending on which station you go too.  Close the interstate the more you pay. 

James – nothing from the VA on anti-suicide letters 

Well the dilemma of what unit to make the Dh-4 was settled, the 49th Bombardment Squadron.  As we know from the history books, the 49th began as an Aero Squadron on 6 Aug 1917, and then demobilized on 22 Mar 1919.  She was later reconstituted and consolidated with the 166th Aero Squadron and re-designated 49th Squadron on 14 Mar 1921.  She adopted the Bombardment Squadron designation on 25 Jan 1923.  From 1919 thru 1929 she flew the DH-4, Caproni Bomber and the MB-2 (NBS-1). 

With the squadron selected, all that remained was how she looked.  This led to another pouring through my reference books for the paint scheme.  You would think that being in the military that everything would be standard, especially the Army!  Although there is a good deal of info from regulations, General Orders, T.O.s, and specs for the time period – it might have taken years for the change to become effective in all the units or for a change that was wide spread practice for months to being legally published.  Unit marking were generated at the unit level are even harder to trace.  Numerous un-official emblems were common along with variations to the basic design. 

The national marking in the early 1926 were the five star-insignia placed on the wings with three vertical stripes on the rudder.  The star began to replace the red, white and blue WWI style three-circle cockades in May 1919.  However it would take several years to implement this – so by 1926 all three color cockades would be gone.  The rudder would also go through some changes.  Pre-1926: fin color was olive drab (OD) with a blue stripe next to the rudder post, white in the middle and red on the outside.  Post-1926:  Fin color yellow with the rudder post blue with 13 red & white stripes parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft 

The aircraft would be painted in the Army’s OD – anywhere not covered by the national insignia or unit marking.  When an aircraft was freshly painted, the aircraft dope would actually give off a glossy shine that would dull after exposure to the elements.  In early 1924, the Army allowed station commanders to paint the top surface of the upper wing yellow to increase visibility – especially if the aircraft went down over un-inhabited areas.  I personal think it was to help reduce the number of mid-air collisions.  My reasons: the Air Corps Act of 1926 brought about increase training.  With that and the low visibility of the OD paint scheme there was an increase of mid-airs.  So to help reduce accidents, the Air Corps went with yellow wings and light blue fuselage. 

So after all that, I took an artist license to create my 49th Bombardment Squadron DH-4.  I settled for overall paint is the OD with yellow top upper wing, fin yellow with the three vertical colors of blue, white & red.  The five star-insignia was placed on top of the upper wing and bottom of the lower wing.  The 49th emblem was placed on the nose.  I had seen a photos of the 11th with their emblem on the nose as well as other aircraft photos with the 49th emblem on the nose.  As for the paint scheme, it also helps to have a photo of a DH-4 flown by the 5th Composite Group, 23rd Bombardment Squadron over
Hawaii in October 1926!  

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 Next model, the MB-2 in 11th Bomb Squadron marking…one that did participate in the Billy Mitchell’s battleship bombing operations.   

Well until next time, take care…

Andy 

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