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Paging Mark Young and Dana Bell: The Swoose Del Monte Paint

August 12 2017 at 4:48 PM
Rich Scheuerer  (Login RichScheuerer)
HyperScale Forums
from IP address

Mark, I am responding to your July 8, 2017 post where you wanted evidence of The Swoose's paint before its May 1942 repaint. Here it is straight from Major Ed Teats, from
December 1942, which I found with just 15 minutes of googling. Look at installment II. The Del Monte B-17's were originally painted with a gloss green which was the only paint that they had in quantity. They tried to tone the gloss down with other colors but it didn't work.


Supposedly a photo of The Swoose at Del Monte:

Dana, did the P-26's and B-10's have gloss green paint schemes which would account for the large quantity of gloss green paint being at Clark and Nichols? I looked in AF Colors, vol. 1 and 2, but there is no mention of a gloss green being used.

Mark, I believe the photo in your May 1 post shows The Swoose on, or very close after January 27, 1942, after landing at RAAF Laverton for its rebuild. It does show a very glossy paint under the wing that shows the reflection of the maroon backside of the props. You can faintly see the red circle in the star to attest to the date of the photo being before May 15, 1942. And notice the hasty spray painting which clearly shows streaks in a 3-4 foot pattern.

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(Login lmritger)
HyperScale Forums

First thing that springs to mind is the gloss OD used on P-26s and B-10s...

August 12 2017, 5:57 PM 

although Dana clearly would know better on this, the prewar USAAC scheme was a very glossy OD with yellow wings and tail group up through 1934 or 35, at which point the fuselage color was changed to a lovely medium blue color. Maybe they had a bunch of that OD paint laying around, although who knows what kind of shape it would be in after 7 years of storage. Just a thought.



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Michael McMurtrey, Proud IPMS Low-# Thumper
(Login ZergOvermind)
HyperScale Forums

Here are the relevant paragraphs from Maj. Teats' narrativeā€¦

August 12 2017, 6:00 PM 

"When we got back to San Marcelinas, there was one job that had to be done, and done fast. Our ships were un-camouflaged. They were the peace-time silver, exactly the same color as our American commercial transports, and you could see those big silver birds -- according to operations -- for 25 miles. We put it at 75, and on one occasion, we actually did catch the glint of one of them 70 miles out- That was just as good as issuing an engraved invitation to the Nips, and it made effective concealment of the planes on the ground almost impossible.

"Some of the planes of the 19th group had been camouflaged, and we had two or three of them, later, at Del Monte. There were no facilities at San Marcelinas, but when we got back to Mindanao we tried to spray paint them. We got some green paint and some other stuff and mixed them. It was a sorry camouflage job and to make it worse, the paint was glossy rather than dull so that the wings and fuselage still reflected the sun. After we were through with them, some were a splotchy green, some a dirty brown and some an indescribable color which could only be called dull."
Michael McMurtrey
IPMS-USA #1746
IPMS-Canada #1426
Carrollton, TX

If ignorance is bliss, there's a lot of blissful people out there!

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William Shuey
(Login Williamshuey)
HyperScale Forums

Anybody ever read Saburu Sakai's book...

August 12 2017, 9:31 PM 

where in he talks of the Tainan Naval Air Corps Zero pilots seeing the Sun glinting off the Clark Field B-17s from something like 50 miles out as they headed in to attack on December 7??

Bill Shuey

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Mark Young
(Login MYoung135CC)
HyperScale Forums

Rich, thank you for digging up this information.

August 15 2017, 12:36 PM 

We are aware of the article, or at least its contents. The information is included in Herbert S. Brownstein's book THE SWOOSE - Odyssey of a B-17. The photo we have published of her sitting in that "unique" camo is labeled as being at Port Townsend. We now believe it to be at Laverton. The use of 'Del Monte' green falls in line with our train of thought. They used what they had, both material and equipment.

Originally we were thinking the aircraft to be painted in a two tone camo of Swamp Green and Brown. That idea was laid aside when we realized that an airplane would be painted with what they had in the gun or mop at the time. If if was green - you had a green airplane.

The history of the Swoose is a colorful (yes, that is a pun)contorted story of an airplane caught up in a war it was not ready for, but did the best she could with what she had. If someone could come up with an accurate, minute by minute, account of her time and actions in the first six months of the war, no one would be happier than myself and the other two co-authors of the article. Even if that account shoots our account completely out of the water, if it were accurate, so be it.

Rich, thank you for your interest in a rather enigmatic subject.
Happy Modeling


Mark E. Young, Jr.
MSgt, USAF (Ret)
IPMS 5494a

KC-135A, built when man thought he could burn water

[linked image]

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