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56th FG Zemkes Wolfpack
The Outstanding P-47 Fighter Group Of WW2.
P47-M Colours. 61st FS/56th FG
lampie
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Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2008 - 12:27 AM UTC
Often debated is the precise colour of the P-47M's of the 61st Fighter Squadron flying out of Boxted in 1945.
Delivered to the 56th in NMF the individual squadrons adopted their own colour schemes for these aircraft and its the 61st squadrons schemes that have been the subject of much speculation, so when the question was raised in the original SIG thread I wasnt surprised in the least.
Over the years these Thunderbolts have been described as being painted in purple,plum,black, red brown,and a mixture of automotive paint stocks amongst others.
Ive always upheld that the best way to find out any information is to ask someone who was actually there.
Luckily I was able to do this, and made contact with Russ Kyler, pilot of HV-J "Lorene". This is one of the decal options of the Tamiya P-47M kit.


The following are extracts from emails I recieved from Russ at the time.
The ORIGINAL 61st FS P-47Ms were painted "FLAT BLACK". In some photos (due to light refraction)
they have a kind of "purplish" look to them. Roger Freeman lists them as being "Flat Black" as does the book
titled "BEWARE THE THUNDERBOLT" by David R. McLaren. (Both are correct).



The different 61st
color schemes that are floating around the web sites are of someone imagining WHAT the color was and making their own wild guesses.
"FLAT BLACK" is flat black. (Period). You can ask any artist & they will tell you that all colors take on a slightly different color under
different lighting conditions; hence the wild differences that people dream up !!!!!


So there you have it, the 61st FS P7-M's were painted flat black.

Heres a photo of a 1:6th scale R/C model of Lorene constructed and flown by Dave Gianakos,and the gentleman on the left of the picture is Russ Kyler.

Note how inaccurate the Tamiya noseart decal is when compared to the real aircraft and Daves R/C model.
The up and coming VFS P-47M promises to be the most accurate depiction of "Lorene" available in a kit to date.

The R/C "Lorene" is on permanent display at the Evergreen Aviation Museum,McMinnville,Oregan.


calvin2000
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Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 04:24 AM UTC
Well that should set that straight. I read where it was purple also. but everything else I read said flat black and as you say flat black is flat black.
Thanks
Kelly
lampie
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Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 - 08:30 AM UTC
As Russ says, sometimes the paint took on a purpleish hue in certain lights.
I'm going to building a 61st FS "M" soon and hope to show how many variations of colour can be obtained in different lighting conditions. It will of course, be painted black
Nige
BigJugs
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Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 08:57 AM UTC
Seems to be the in thing, just being black.

Remnant of Elusive Black Paint used on 61st FS 56th FG P-47M's - Photos
October 12 2005 at 3:10 PM mike dobrzeleckimike dobrzelecki (Login MDobrzelecki)
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My testimonial about the passing of Roger Freeeman apparently flushed out some additional research evidence. Even in death, Roger manages to stimulate discussion and presentation of unpublished information - now that's an aviation historian !

Okay, this info may have been shared previously, but on the off chance that it hasn't.......

My comments regarding the elusive plum-purple-black color painted on 61st FS 56th FG P-47M's prompted Hyperscaler Norm Flier to mention that Mike Gladych one of the Polish pilots who flew on attached service with Gabby's 61st is still alive and kicking, though very frail and in his 90's. Norm realted that a groundcrewman built a 1/72nd scale wood model of Gladych's P-47M Pengie during the war around the same time the full scale plane was painted and this gent used the same paint on the model as on the 1:1 scale original.

The model is remarkable for both its workmanship and the fact that it survived the war right up to now into the
21st Century.

If this is all true, it's remarkable.

The photos below are not superb resolution and interpreting colors from photos, even recent ones, is problematic at best. What is great about the model as related by Norm is that the color has the very chameleon quality that has bedeviled modelers for years in that it changes as one manipulates the model in the light and changes distance. This is more so than the average effect on color shift. Norm really describes it as a very-very dark blue that at a couple of feet away seems black.

Also notable is the HVM code repeated in black on the underside of the wing.

Norm points out that credit for the photos and the find belongs to John Schaaf who had befriended Mike Gladych and checks in on him every once in awhile in the Seattle area.

Gladych, by all accounts I've heard, has not really cared to discuss his part in the war for a long time, having become enamoured with eastern non-violent philosophies of life. I guess one can not begrudge someone who has seen so much destruction and death in cleaving to a way of life that rejects most trappings of the glory of war.

Nevertheless, Gladych has kept the model and I suspect some other mementos of his service in WWI. Here are the photos of the model, which appropriately enough is mounted on a piston from an R2800.

To all P-47, Polish Air Force, 56th FG and 8th Air Force fans:

Enjoy

Mike Dobrzelecki


Black 56th FG 61st FS P-47M's - Another Country Heard From
August 29 2008 at 1:55 PM Michael Dobrzelecki (Login PolishMikeD)
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Every year I try to not miss one airshow - the World War II Weekend airshow-military vehicle meet-reenactors get-together and aces and heroes lectures. Did I mention the militaria flea market, too?

This year's show as held on a blazing hot weekend 95 deg F. and 95% humidity. By the time I finished photographing the static displays, I was whipped - time to head for the hangar where the P-61 Black Widow is being restored and see what famous vets were there. I was not disappointed - Bud Anderson, several originals from the "Band of Brothers" 506thPIR and a host of others. Rounding one of the corner tables, I met a tall slim gent in a straw cowboy hat sporting a 56th FG name-tag - it was none other than Russ Kyler a fighter jock who flew , amongst others, the Black P-47M named "Lorene", markings for which are featured in the Tamiya 1/48th scale kit. It turned out he was not one of the featured guests, just another show attendee, who happened to be in the area, heard about the show and decided to give it a look-see.

I related how I knew Gabreski and his Polish pals, Tadeusz Andersz (who just passed away last fall in October 2008) and Tadeusz Sawicz, pretty well and had met several other 56th FG vets over the years - Zemke, Klibbe, Mike Jackson, Leo Batiste, Bud Mahurin, etc., and told him of my interest in the Polish pilots who flew with the 56th FG. and asked is he would consent to impromptu interview. Lucky for me, he agreed. Russ is still sharp as tack and remembered his missions in great detail and was accurate in dates and also managed to throw in some color and asides to his stories.

Russ Kyler was long on praise especially for the Polish ace Mike Gladych(Boleslaw was his real first name). Gladych taught him how to survive in aerial combat. Russ was Mike's wingman for several missions. Russ also flew several missions with another Pole in the 56th - Lanny Lanowski (who arguably flew the most distinctive black P-47M). Russ told me that Mike Gladych was still alive as of May 2008 and Russ called him and told him that he's coming to see Gladych next year for his birthday. Mike, who is well into his nineties, replied - "I don't do birthdays, anymore." Russ told him - "I'm coming anyway." Mike Gladych adopted the Buddhist religion, reportedly, and does not really care to talk about the war anymore.

Of course, I asked Russ about the famous P-47M black paint shade. Russ just laughed stating he had heard that question many times. He was absolute in his response, too - dead flat black - polished to high sheen to add a couple of MPH to his speed. No plum, no purple, no midnight indigo blue, either. He pointed out that the misinterpretation of the color was due to the usual reasons - difference in sunlight conditions and intensity, as well as, reflected colors from the surroundings. The late great 8th Air Force author, Roger Freeman, told me the same thing. As you might recall from my earlier posts, Roger used to bicycle around the Boxted field making notes on colors, markings and serial numbers with his mates. Roger told me he used to own a piece of panel from a scrapped 56th FG 61st FS black P-47M and it was as Russ stated - plain black - no other hues added.

Running into Russ was a great example of synchronicity and went along way to relieving the effects of the sultry weather that day.





calvin2000
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Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 10:11 AM UTC
The use of polish probably added to the sun's effect on the color also. Thanks for adding this Big jugs as I want to do Lanowski's bird in the build that is up coming..
Kelly
lampie
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Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 - 11:11 PM UTC
Thanks for a great post!
Its information like this that will go a long way to making this website the best P-47 resource centre on the internet.
Russ is certainly a lovely guy, and occasionally visits this website.
I tried to access your photos but they were unavailable. Could you email them to me and I'll post them for you.
nigel.julian@kitmaker.net

Nige
warlock0322
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Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 - 10:16 AM UTC
Well I guess that solves the purple/ black debate. Who better to kow that the man that actually flew her.

Please repost the pics because all it got here was the dreaded Red X

Paul
lampie
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Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 01:39 AM UTC
I thought everyone would enjoy this photo of Russ

Nige
scarecrow
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Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 - 07:00 AM UTC
I mentioned this question to Rob Grey former 8th AF SIG leader and in regular correspondence with Roger Freeman over the years and his reply was, " According to Roger the paint was acquired from a local car repair shop and was a mix of what ever was in stock the result was a black with a purple tint which appeared plum coloured in certain light" Im not saying this is right but Rob is a man with a huge knowledge of all things Mighty Eighth his award winning Assembly Ships being a masterclass in research and detail so.... It seems to me that this sort of question crops up all the time in WW2 Dupont colours being another. Pilots recollection is not always infallible either Our branch sec's old man flew MkV Spitfires and swears they were all dk earth dk green somthing he has said for years so go figure.
lampie
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Posted: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 - 08:27 AM UTC
As they say, whats worse than having one good reference is having two conflicting one
Ive not seen mention of this "paint mixing" in any of Rogers books and theres this earlier quote from this thread,

Quoted Text

The late great 8th Air Force author, Roger Freeman, told me the same thing. As you might recall from my earlier posts, Roger used to bicycle around the Boxted field making notes on colors, markings and serial numbers with his mates. Roger told me he used to own a piece of panel from a scrapped 56th FG 61st FS black P-47M and it was as Russ stated - plain black - no other hues added.



All makes good thread content though
I know which side of the fence I'm sitting on.
Nige
BigJugs
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Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 08:01 AM UTC




calvin2000
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Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 - 09:26 AM UTC
She looks navy blue in one of the pic's and black in another. so I'd say black would be it.
Kelly
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Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 04:43 AM UTC
Hi All: I just came across another 61st FS pilot, Col. Vic Bast (ret.) I asked Russ Kyler if he knew of anyone who lived in the Florida area who might be interested in attending the upcoming investiture of my Fire Ball r/c model in the Valiant Air Command Museum in Titusville, FL on March 26. Sure enough, he called Vic, who winters in Sarasota and lives in Wisconsin in the summers. Vic is happy to attend the unveiling, and I"m delighted that he will be there representing the 56th FG.

I asked the question about the paintscheme of the M models that he flew. Vic said they were black. He is also calling another friend in Kentucky to confirm with him that they all were painted black. But he has a picture of his plane he's been carrying around for 60 years, and it is black.

I may be able to look at his picture file that he keeps at his home in Wisconsin sometime, and if there is anything that might be helpful to us modelers, I'll be happy to get a copy and post it, with Vic's permission.

Cheers,

davegee
lampie
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Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009 - 12:46 AM UTC
So here we have one, and very likely two more 61st FS pilots saying that the M's were painted Matt Black.
No doubt some "experts" will still persist in pushing the "purple/plum/car paint/matching the lining of a dinner jacket" theories though, but my personal take on this is that we are managing to prove them to be nothing but suppositions.
My own personal favourite is the "paint from a car dealers" one..
Nige

lampie
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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 12:40 AM UTC
Further to the last post, we now have THREE, (and very possible another on the way) 61st FS vets who have stated the P-47M's of the 61st FS were painted matt black.
If this were a "Court of Law" I reckon we'd have more than enough evidence to win the case
Lt Col (ret) Vic Bast gave Dave Gianakos a photo last week and he has very kindly given his permission for me to reproduce it here. It shows Herbert "Tex" Edwards of the 61st on a training flight in April 1945.
Its been copied many times and has lost a lot of colour and detail definition( the serial number on the tail fin has been lost),possibly due to an original slight over exposure and shadows etc.
What we can see, which is new for me on 61st FS "M"'s, is the red framing around the rear part of the canopy, and the lack of light blue bands around the star and bar as was usualy found on 61st FS "M"'s.


Personally, I think its the best in flight photo of a 56th FG ( and possibly ANY) P-47 that I've ever seen.
Many thanks for letting me post it Vic, and thanks to Dave for sending it me.
Nige


PS..............its black!
warlock0322
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Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 01:26 AM UTC
Wow Nige what a treasure to have. You are right about the court of law/ Parlament or whatever people have where they live.

They were black, how they got black is irrelevant they were black.

What's next the Red on the tail was really Mauve or some other shade of color color

See your point about the light blue looks like it just had the standard dark blue border around the insignia and it just got lost where it met the black.

Again great pic and a big thanks to Dave & Lt Col Bast for giving us the privelige of seeing it.

Paul
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Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2009 - 12:48 PM UTC
Hi Guys: this photo was really a little treasure from Vic Bast, one probably few people have ever seen, including me, until Vic gave it to me last week. I'm convinced other great photos are out there somewhere, and occasionally someone will come into one to let us view and add to our knowledge and history of these great planes and warriors. I was struck as Nige was, at the red painted canopy frame and the lack of the light blue surround around the star and bar on the fuselage. Not sure why the star and bar didn't get the attention that seemed to be standard amongst the other M models of the 61st FG, but it is interesting.

The discolored rudder in the photo can be attributed to the quality (or lack thereof) of the reprints, rather than taking any thought that the rudders were anything other than a solid red, in my opinion.

If I turn up more photos from Vic or others I'll post them for all the modelers to see.

Cheers,

davegee
rdriscoll
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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 03:50 AM UTC
Here's another color photo. It is nice and shiny and pranged. Note the incorrect midnight blue reference in the caption.
lampie
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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 04:46 AM UTC
Hi Rex.
Thats "Joy Boy"'s crash after a mid air collision on March 13th 1945.
Tragically both pilots involved, Lt. Luther Hines and Lt. Robert Tuttle were killed.
Heres another view.

Interestingly, Joy Boy wasnt Luther Hines assigned aircraft, and the Joy Boy artwork later appeared on another P-47 44-21202 HV-P.
Nige
lampie
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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2009 - 09:17 AM UTC
Just to finish up the story of this incident, you maybe wondering how the previous two photos show the same event.
In attempting a wheels down landing on rough ground, the P-47 flipped over onto its back.
The first photo, posted by Rex shows HV-Qbar after it had been flipped back over ready for recovery.
This last photo ( from a series on Little Friends), shows the operation to get "Joy Boy" back on its wheels.

Nige
FalkeEins
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Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2009 - 07:29 AM UTC

..excellent stuff guys ! Thanks for posting, great for modelling inspriation - shame I can't find a Revell 'M' anywhere !
rdriscoll
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 - 09:28 AM UTC
From Aces and Wingmen II:


Siderius
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009 - 10:13 AM UTC
http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/gallery.php?Group=56&Style=item&origStyle=list&Item=2&Temp=684&searchString=

Thought I would pass this on. Saw this, while reading about the 56th group. They also say 61st group is matt black topsides. Enjoy. Russell


EDIT.
HOT LINK
lampie
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 05:45 AM UTC
To continue the stroy of the HV-Qbar crash.
Here we see the fusalage being delivered to the boneyard at Boxted.

And another photo shows it being stripped for useable parts.

No sign of the section of cowling containing the noseart.
Very probably it had already been salvaged and fitted to 44-21202 HV-P which wore it until scrapping in August 1945.
Nige
lampie
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Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - 11:39 AM UTC
Any of this sound familiar?

Quoted Text


I see that in the preview of the ******* kit there is the mention that the overall colour of the ****** is in fact Dark Blue.
This isnt the first time this has been mentioned, and while the manufacturers colour description MAY be Dark Blue, the overall colour is in fact Black

I have wreckage from both an **** and an ****, and i assure you the paint chips are Black
A good approximation would be a 60/40 mix of Matt Black and Gunze Tyre Black.



No, its not a 61st FS P-47M thread.
Anyone care to take a guess?
Nige