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seesul
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2010/12/10 05:05:21 (permalink)
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B-17 colors specification

Hello,

on internet you can find a lot of pics of B-17 in olive drab camo in different stages of this color. From dark green to light (or yellow) brown, sometimes even to pink! Olive drab tended to fade away quickly.

The specification of the colors used was following:
'Most B-17s or B-25s were painted with Olive Drab colour. Until 1943 it was 41 Dark Olive Drab FS30118 or FS34086 or FS(595) 23070 and after 1943 it was ANA 613 Olive Drab - FS34084'
http://www.rcmf.co.uk/4um/index.php?topic=53296.0
On the same link you´ll also find pictures of different stages of olive drabe shade.

Does anyone know if any primer was used prior to olive drab layer, if ever?

Thank you!




Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/10 12:53:50 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
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Roman...........Dark Olive Drab 41 (the "Dark" was usually omitted) was the Bulletin 41 permanent colour ( from 1940) and was about FS34087; 34084 was a revised number from Jan. 1984 .The "4" described a green shade.
The Army-Navy Spec. ( March 1943) was ANA613 but was lighter and greener than OD41 when fresh but there were many shades with age. Early production OD41 faded to the browner tones. OD41 contained 7 pigments, so any slight differences in mixing would result in varying tones. Earlier batches of colours would be used up first for economy. The camouflaged planes ( especially B-17s and 24s) which survived to the end of the war would show all tones and shades.
30118 was the FS equivalent of ANA617 Dark Earth, same as the British camouflage shade; nothing to do with US Olive Drab apart from the fading as above. It was a pre-war colour ( No.22) but darker. The"0" means a brown colour "class". There was a "temporary" Olive Drab no. 31 for the 1938 War Games which may have lasted for a short while.
 
Air Corps Spec. 24114 ( 22 Oct. 1940) included primers for the new camouflage finishes. These and the camouflage requirements were....
AC. 14080 Primer, Metal, Zinc Chromate ( yellow or green)
AC. 14105 Lacquer, Cellulose Nitrate, Camouflage. (metal)
AC. 14106 Dope, Pigmented Nitrate, Camouflage,. (fabric)
Camouflage finishes as per Bulletin 41 colour card ( ie. Olive Drab 41 and Neutral Grey 43).
Paragraph E-1b.... "Application--one coat of zinc chromate primer, Spec. no. 14080, shall be applied to all
exterior surfaces. This shall be followed by two coats of camouflage lacquer, Spec. no. 14105, applied as follows ...." ---(-then describes method of coating......).
Exterior markings, warnings etc. were to be either, Red 45, Blue 47 or black 44.
Incidentally the "U.S. ARMY" under wings was to be Blue 47 (Insignia Blue) not black.
 
The Yellow Primer could be mixed with black or similar pigments to tone down the finish for interiors.
 
Hope this is of some help
Nick
 
 
 
 
 
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/10 16:50:01 (permalink)
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Nic,
 
that´s the best answer I got so far. I didn´t ask for it only here but also on another forums. Most of the answers denied primer.
So now my question is- you´re mentioning primer from the specifification from 1940...do you have a chance to find out if the primer was still used till the end of camo Forts production? The last one with camo perhaps at Boeing plants was 42-32044...
 
Thank you!

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
buckeyeuk
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/12 13:06:34 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
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Roman..........I don't know of a document as late as Oct.--Dec. 1943 when camouflage was terminated at the factories ( a revision to T/O 07-1-1 of 26 Dec.) but I'm sure primers were still required for exterior paintwork up until then. The use of ALCLAD aluminium- coated panels meant that no additional paint finish was needed for PROTECTION but only for camouflage ---and that was thought un-necessary on most combat types by late 1943. Exceptions were aircraft built for the Allies (mainly Britain and USSR ) who still requested camouflage ( eg.. P-39s, A-20s, P-40s) and AAF transports like C-47s and 46s. These were either Lend-Lease or Direct Purchase.
Zinc Chromate Primers were officially adopted by AAC / AAF on Feb. 1 1941 and the old oil-based metal primers were cancelled. I know the photos you mean on the other site which suggest that primer was not needed on non-Alclad panels. Certainly heat-resistant (anodized) panels didn't.
Camouflage was ( I believe) deleted on B-17s in blocks G-35-BO, G-15-VE and G-35-DL; in certain special cases ( eg. laminar-flow wings on P-51s) primer was needed on some panels before they were sprayed Aluminium.
Steven (Willow Run) suggested that camouflage was omitted on B-24s (Ford) beginning Feb. 12 1944.
Reference to Spec. 24114 was still in operation late 1942 when a memo was sent by AAF to RAAF, SWPA.
FS 23070 was a yellow-brown ( the "3" indicates the Yellow group) and the "2" , a semi-gloss finish; quite similar though to the "brown" Olive Drabs.
Regards
Nick


post edited by buckeyeuk - 2010/12/12 15:53:58
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/12 13:13:53 (permalink)
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Thank you Nic!
I won´t be at home all the next week so then I´ll get back to this thread. Just to let you know I know about you answer.
Thank you again.
post edited by seesul - 2010/12/18 09:20:30

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Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/18 09:21:39 (permalink)
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An example of color. B-17G , ser. No. 42-31885. This machine crashed here (Czech Republic today).
What do you think about this color? Is it a special color or faded Olive Drab?
Thank you.
post edited by seesul - 2011/01/06 15:39:51

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Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/19 15:32:40 (permalink)
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From another forum I got this interesting info mentioning a special 'afro camo':
In North Africa the USAAF used Specification 14057-A/C- Bulletin 48 May 1942 Sand 26 (FS 34133) or HQ Northwest African Air Forces March 1943 Sand No.3 (FS 30277) for camouflage. Sand 26 is a pinkish buff, Sand No.3 greyish.

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
buckeyeuk
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/20 09:13:46 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
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Roman.......this is most likely untinted Zinc Chromate which is yellowish, without the black pigment which made a greenish colour. Some parts here are Aluminium lacquer varnish for some reason.
The NW African schemes ( 10 March 1943) were specially designed for ground conditions in N. Africa and comprised 8 colours; Field Drab, Sand, Light Green, Earth Red, Earth Yellow, Olive Drab, and Earth Brown for upper surfaces in various combinations, with Light Blue undersides in all schemes. Aircraft specified for their use were P-40s, P-38s, B-17s, B-24s, B-25s, and A-20s., each type having it's own pattern.
The paints were Corps of Engineers range, ie. US Army rather than AAF hence the unusual colours.
 
As 42-31885 was a G-30-BO it would have been camouflaged at the factory in the standard Olive Drab / Neutral Grey; as it was not assigned to a combat group (99th) until Feb. 1944 ( and by that time the B-17 groups were in Italy) it's highly unlikely that it would have had any of the African schemes.
Regards
Nick
 
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/20 16:51:01 (permalink)
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Nick,
thank you very much for your, as usually, very informative answer.
So your opinion on this particular (light brown) color of a shown part of 42-31885 is- OD faded away- did I get it right?

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
buckeyeuk
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2010/12/21 16:19:56 (permalink)
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As noted above I believe this is yellow primer ; I can only guess why there is no Olive Drab , maybe a replacement piece or the OD has been removed. I think it's too yellow to be faded OD41.
I know you can't always trust colour photos when looking at camouflage shades.
Nick
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:16:10 (permalink)
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O.K. Here are some interesting information on Olive Drab specification from the book http://www.schifferbooks....e.php?isbn=0764302469.

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:18:25 (permalink)
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Camouflage Finishes for Aircraft (Specification 24114)
A new Air Corps Spec. 24114 "Camouflage Finishes for Aircraft", was issued as a result of the Air Corps Study No. 42 on camouflage of combat aircraft. Dated October 24, 1940, it also introduced Air Corps Bulletin No. 41, "Color Card for Camouflage Finishes", (see Chapter 7) which established the new Air Corps matt colors for permanent camouflage paints. The key requirements of this specification
were:
Application-
One coat of zinc chromate primer, Spec. 14080, shall be applied to all exterior surfaces. This shall be followed by two coats of camouflage lacquer, Spec. 14105, applied as follows: all upper surfaces except for insignia shall be coated with dark olive drab, Shade 41 of Bulletin 41, camouflage lacquer. The olive drab coating shall extend downward on the sides of the fuselage and all other similar surfaces in such manner than none of the neutral gray coating is visible when the airplane is in normal level flight attitude and is viewed from above from any direction within an angle of approximately thirty degrees from vertical lines tangent to the airplane. The location of the color boundary line in accordance with the foregoing shall be subject to the approval of the Procurement Agency. All under surfaces, except for insignia and markings, shall be coated with neutral gray, Shade 43 of Bulletin 41, camouflage lacquer. Masks shall not be employed to separate the two shades. The lines of demarcation shall be eliminated as far as possible by blending the colors at the junction line by over-spraying.
Finish of Fabric Covered Surfaces:
Apply at least three brushed coats of yellow or cream semi-pigmented nitrate dope. The dope shall not be thinned for brush application. Apply at least one spray coat of yellow or cream semi-pigmented nitrate dope, thinned as required for spray application. Apply at least two spray coats of dark olive drab or neutral gray fully pigmented nitrate camouflage dope as required.
 
source: http://www.schifferbooks....te.php?isbn=0764302469

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:20:13 (permalink)
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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). All 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 mil thickness was obtained.
(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). All 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).

source : http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschi...sbn=0764302469

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:21:45 (permalink)
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During 1943, the results of world-wide combat experience led
to the following major changes in the marking and camouflaging
of USAAF aircraft:
Northwest African Air Forces adopt local theater camouflage, March.
Value of camouflage questioned by Gen. Arnold, March.
Dark Olive Drab No. 41 replaced by a new shade, March, effective
September.

Markings for walkways and "No Step" markings added, June.
Anti-submarine white camouflage finally adopted, June.
T.O. 07-1-1 issued in full-color printing, June.
Star insignia has white bars and a red outline added, June.
All trainers to be painted aluminum, or be natural metal finish, June.
National insignia outline color changed to insignia blue, September.
Names and numbers ofArmy-Navy aircraft camouflage colors standardized in ANA Bulletin No. 157, September.
Camouflage no longer required for almost all USAAF aircraft, except night fighters, September.
High Gloss black paint developed for night use, November.
Standard aircraft gloss colors for aircraft issued as ANA Bulletin
No. 166, December.

source: http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschi...sbn=0764302469

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:22:48 (permalink)
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Army requests that Dark Olive Drab be superseded as the new standard aircraft camouflage color by a different one, February
18,1943.

On February 18, 1943, the Director of Military Requirements asked the lAC Technical Sub-Committee on Camouflage to consider an Army request to change the standard Dark Olive Drab to a different one. The recent proposal to standardize the Dark Olive Drab in place of the British Dark Slate Gray and Dark Green had not yet been approved for release as a new color standard. The Army requested that a
new Lusterless Olive Drab, Class 204, be adopted as the new standard. This request was approved by the lAC on March 2, 1943 (this change has not been generally known and caused a great deal of confusion in determining the exact shade of the Olive Drab used on USAAF aircraft from 1943. See Chapter 7 for the full story).

source: http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschi...sbn=0764302469

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
seesul
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/06 15:24:05 (permalink)
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New ANA BULLETIN No. 157 standardizes names and numbers ofArmy-Navy colors for aircraft camouflage, September 28,
1943.

The results of the lAC standardization of aircraft camouflage colors was finally issued on September 28, 1943, as ANA Bulletin No.157.
This listed the following:
COLOR NO.
601 Insignia White
602 Light Gray
603 Sea Gray
604 Black
605 Insignia Blue
606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue
607 Non-Specular Sea Blue
608 Intermediate Blue
609 Azure Blue
610 Sky
611 Interior Green
612 Medium Green
613 Olive Drab
614 Orange Yellow
615 Middlestone
616 Sand
617 Dark Earth
618 Dull Red
619 Insignia Red

Note 2a. of the original document stated that:
The Army-Navy Aircraft Camouflage Color Standards supersede Army Air Forces BuJletin No. 41 and any other color standards for the colors listed herein for Army and Navy aeronautical use.
For many reasons, these new color standards did not take effect for several  months. For example, the engineering department at Douglas Aircraft Co's. Santa Monica plant did not receive their copy until October 30, 1943. However, the main reason was it took several months before the necessary camouflage paint specifications were revised to meet the requirements (for fuJI details see Chapter
7). Also note that there were no high altitude camouflage colors included, despite the request of August 13, 1943, to the Tech. SubCommittee on Camouflage.

None of the colors in the Bulletin were changed, except for the major one of color No. 613, Olive Drab. This replaced the previous Dark Olive Drab No. 41 of Bulletin No. 41, per the Army request of January 22, 1943 (described earlier). There was quite a difference in the shade of the two colors, but in the event, the change was not to appear in the combat theaters for many months, and as it so
happened, not on the AAF major combat aircraft. This was because, as a result of Gen. Arnold's inquiries to his theater commanders (described earlier), far-reaching changes were about to be made in the AAF camouflage requirements.

spource: http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschi...sbn=0764302469

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
buckeyeuk
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/08 11:27:08 (permalink)
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Roman          couldn't afford that book, much too expensive!
For completeness these are the other "Olive Drabs" formulated since WW1.
1. Olive Drab No.22. 28 Nov. 1919 ( QM Spec. 3-1) (glossy) one of 24 colours, nos. 1-24.
2. Dark Olive Drab No.31. 30 March 1938  ( AAC Spec. 14057-B) .10 temporary War Games colours nos. 25-34. No.34 Rust Brown close to No.22 above.
3. Dark Olive Drab No.41.  16 Sept. 1940 (AAC Bulletin 41 ). 8 permanent colours ,nos. 41-48 (Sand 49 added later). Similar to No.31 above.
4. 24 Oct. 1940 Spec. 24114, standard for AAC finish to be Dark Olive Drab 41 / Neutral Grey 43.
5. Olive Drab No.9. 15 Dec. 1941 amended 5 Feb. 1942. (Spec. T-1213 Corps of Engineers colour , Army vehicles ). Not approved for AAC / AAF. Similar to No. 22.
6. Olive Drab No. 319 . 10 March 1943 ( Spec. 3-1). Consolidation of AAF / Army Ground Forces (AGF) shades but not required by AAF .
7. ANA613 Olive Drab.  28 Sept. 1943 ( origin in March). ( Army-Navy Aeronautical Bulletin 157 , 19 permanent colours nos. 601--619 ( 5 added later but used in WW2). Intended to replace OD41 but stocks to be used up, although camouflage was soon to be discontinued on most types.
8. ANA504 Olive Drab. 4 Dec. 1943. (Bulletin 166) Glossy for interiors.
9. ANA Bulletin 157a ( 24 March 1944). ....Army-Navy Aeronautical colours to supercede previous AAF/Bu.Aer./ British MAP standards , listing "equivalent" or "superceded" colours for Lend-Lease etc.
 
The WW1 standard was an Olive Drab mix of ochre and black (1917) , in line with British camouflage PC10 ( a green shade) though the latter also used PC12, a browner colour for the tropics. USAS usually referred to their colour as "Khaki 160", an overall camouflage. Changes to pigmentation ( often very slight) could result in different shades ( as seen later in WW2).
Nick
 
 
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/10 06:26:55 (permalink)
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Thank you Nic.
Attached a nice example of 'brown' OD from the same book I´ve already mentioned.

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Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/10 11:26:23 (permalink)
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Thanks Roman.  I wonder if that is the true shade of OD or if it's affected by the light or film type. It seems 238091 never left the US so wasn't subject to "operational" conditions. Colour photos of earlier planes sometimes show a greener OD but it was surely the same OD41; maybe we are too concerned with colours in photos which are unreliable.
Nick
PS       sorry about the confusion which I mentioned in my PM.
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Re:B-17 colors specification 2011/01/11 03:48:54 (permalink)
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No prob Nick with your PM.
As for the color - nice example of OD faded in different stages and shades is here http://www.rcmf.co.uk/4um/index.php?topic=53296.0 in reply No. 3. It shows the brown shades too. Yes, a photo, and especially film used, can change a shade of color. But more sources and also veterans speak about 'brown' OD on their A/Cs.
Should be here some former member of some repair unit from ETO it would be very interesting to know his exeperience and opinion. Currently I´m trying to find someone like this from 2nd BG...let´s see...

Roman Susil, Zlin, Czech Republic

...in memory of my friend Joe Owsianik, a former right waist gunner from B-17G, 42-97159 from 2ndBG, 20th Sqdn, who was forced to bail out on Aug 29, 1944 over my country. Joe passed away on November 1, 2010.
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