At the risk of (re)starting some controversy, what is the current thinking on the paint scheme for Gabreski's Thunderbolt from D-Day through his crash in July? I'm particularly interested in the underside color (or lack thereof) and configuration of the invasion stripes.
No controversy from my point of view. Its all documented in photos.
First of all,,the paint scheme.
"It was painted light gray on the bottom,dark green and medium gray on the top".Gabby Gabreski's own words .A Fighter Pilots Life. Schiffer.
Naturally full invasion stripes were carried at first.
These were removed from the upper wings and partially removed from the top fusalage surfaces prior to July 5th 1944 and a dark band was in evidence around the white stripes on the fusalage sides on that date as can be seen in this photo.
When Gabby bellylanded in Germany on July 20th the remaining white bands on the upper fusalage had been removed.
Gabbys final P-47 is extremely well documented in photographs, far too many people just guess and make assumptions without researching a subject in detail, and with the advent of the internet it hasnt taken long for many of these guesses to assume "fact" status.
Whoops,,,put the soapbox away Nige,
Hope this answers your question LT.