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Rlangham

RAF vehicle camouflage

Question

I've seen this asked on another forum so thought I might give it a go here. In WW2, what colour would the emergency vehicle's at RAF bases (especially the fire tenders) be painted in? The Airfix kit of an Austin K6 fire tender says it should be in red, but the Fordson fire tender I saw the other day was a sort of olive drab, and i've seen models in RAF blue, can anyone help out?

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3 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

The lime green on Tony's Fordson; was it an official colour or just something available when the vehicle was converted to a Trucktor in WW2?

Fordson Trucktor.jpg

I would hardly describe that colour as 'lime' green, more of a light olive drab. Why don't you ask Tony?

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The  green & brown where the colours that I found under the layers of paint that where removed very  carefully . The paint was copped as close as possible  .

None of paint came close  to any BS standard  The  truck was built late 1939  DAGENHAM  in RAF blue  . Where  or witch  Co  it went to  I would like to know .Did it go to ALLEN TAYLOR  for conversion  or was it done at the FORD factory  ???  . After  BRIGGS  made  the body   .No blue  paint  on  body  .   Wood primer -  green & brown    T CORBIN 

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The “lime green” seems to be (or close to) Green G5, although my understanding is that this was usually used as a disruptive colour over khaki green G3 rather than being used with SCC2. Never say never though!

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On 16/10/2017 at 7:25 PM, LarryH57 said:

79x100

Many thanks for posting.

Regarding the reference after Khaki Green No 3, does anyone know anything more about 'WD Specification MC205'?

Is there any mileage in researching it regarding RAF camo?

 

I don't recall seeing the MC 205 reference anywhere else but I'll have a look through my motorcycle contract records. Bearing in mind that it was a Motor Cycle contract, I wonder if the M C meant simply that.

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Thanks all for your replies; 

I guess Tony your vehicle was converted at a time when RAF camo was yet to be formalised, so I suggest pre-1941.

Is that the likely time for the conversion?

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I agree with Simon, the "lime green" does appear like it should be Light Green No.5. the downside of using in-situ  paint examples is the colour change over time- unless a preservative layer was put over it before the next layer of paint then it does unfortunately change eventually.

The conversion would have been performed by either Allan Taylor, who converted both the WOT3 and Thames 7V, or Reynolds who only worked on the WOT3. There were differences, but i don't have the relevant databook to hand at this moment. 

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This is an interesting thread but all of the above appear to expect colours of ex-military vehicles be exactly as the colour card in some quoted ministry pamphlet. With an assumption a degrading of colours even that found on panels out of the light hidden behind overlapping bodywork. Someone may already have mentioned paint is rarely applied straight from the tin unless by brush and then in order to get more from the tin a suitable thinning agent is used. Mixing thinners to paint the temperature and humidity can affect colour. I’ve mentioned before after the first gulf war Land Rovers returning to where I worked for conversion came in many different shades of sand from almost white to quite pink and every shade in-between same with WW-II equipment for a scheme that doesn’t look as you might expect look at the colours of the Royal Navy’s Martlet  (Wildcat F4F) at FAA-Museum

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The WOT 3  has a  FORD  data plate / ALLEN TAYLOR /  BRIGGES  BODY  plates on it. So I know its manufacture ,I.would like to know wot location  it was converted . 

FORD  ===DAGENHAM

ALLEN TAYLOR ++++ WANSWORTH

BRIGES MOTOR====== DAGENHAM 

T CORBIN

Any information would help trying to find out where it was converted

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Baz48,

Your comments are very useful, in relation to vehicles that have been repainted, and if I understand you correctly MV owners cannot trust the colours they find under layers of paint as they may have either been 'watered down' versions of official colours or may have been faded colours that were covered up with more paint.

I suggest the only true colours to trust are those applied on the production line as a manufacturer isn't going to allow such wild variations as you would find in field workshops, and presumably like aircraft production there would have been a man from the ministry to ensure SCC.2 was near as dam it the same on a Bedford as on an Austin.

Also there is a difference between vehicles camouflaged in a hurry for an overseas campaign and vehicles retained on home stations, where supplies of paint to workshops would not be so fraught as say supplies shipped to the Med and at risk of U-Boat attack. 

Incidentally my aim is to try to get a reasonable chronological order of RAF Camo colours hopefully by finding the AM orders to give a reasonable time frame of such changes.

Edited by LarryH57

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Tony, Allan Taylor did the actual conversion work according to the RAF, so i would presume Wandsworth.

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The scourge of many airfield museums around the country - a well detailed 1/48th scale model aircraft surrounded by RAF Blue vehicles such as the Austin Tilly, which reputedly was never issued to the RAF, as they used Morris and Standard Tillies 

Tamiya 1-48th scale RAF Austin Tilly.jpg

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It was actually largely the Hillman tillies that were used by the RAF.

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Oh yes Bryan I missed off Hillman, which is strange as I was working on one for a friend not so long ago!

As for my suggestion that the RAF never had Austin Tillies (nor Austin K2 Ambulances in the UK during WW2) would the RAFM be able to confirm these 'facts' from their records?

Edited by LarryH57

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I'm surprised by the remark the RAF didn't use K-2's in the UK then what besides the WOT-1 and Albions - where as the American AAF did use K-2 Ambulances

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Somebody had better tell the RAF Museum as well as they have one in RAF markings on display at Hendon

 

sk

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1 hour ago, Baz48 said:

I'm surprised by the remark the RAF didn't use K-2's in the UK then what besides the WOT-1 and Albions - where as the American AAF did use K-2 Ambulances

The USAAF came over with Dodge WC54 ambulances. However, prior to D-Day they were replaced by Austin K2 on the grounds you didn't really need a 4x4 on an airfeild.  If I can get pictures back on the new forum I have a photo of WC54's  prior to D-Day, 'Somewhere in England.' 

wc54 in England 001.jpg

Edited by Tony B

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Larry you are correct, the RAF did not use (at least any appreciable numbers) Austin Tillies.

They also did not use Austin K2 Ambulances at home until 1945 (the first Databook entry I can find for them)

Baz - yes, indeed, the good old Albion and the WOT1. Other chassis that were used for different ambulances at home and abroad during the war were things like Ford F60L, C298QF and WOT2; Humber FWD; Morris Y; Standard 14hp...possibly more. The only pre 1945 photographs i have seen of K2 Ambulances on RAF home stations actually show Red Cross/St Johns/Other aid agencies, waiting to collect casualties being flown in.

Simon - couldn't you tell it was supposed to be overseas by the tropical North London surroundings? xD

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5 hours ago, RAFMT said:

Larry you are correct, the RAF did not use (at least any appreciable numbers) Austin Tillies.

They also did not use Austin K2 Ambulances at home until 1945 (the first Databook entry I can find for them)

Baz - yes, indeed, the good old Albion and the WOT1. Other chassis that were used for different ambulances at home and abroad during the war were things like Ford F60L, C298QF and WOT2; Humber FWD; Morris Y; Standard 14hp...possibly more. The only pre 1945 photographs i have seen of K2 Ambulances on RAF home stations actually show Red Cross/St Johns/Other aid agencies, waiting to collect casualties being flown in.

Simon - couldn't you tell it was supposed to be overseas by the tropical North London surroundings? xD

Always assumed the K-2 Ambulance was in widespread RAF service - reminder myself never assume - I know this is slightly off topic RAF vehicle camouflage colours interesting just the same

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20 hours ago, Tony B said:

The USAAF came over with Dodge WC54 ambulances. However, prior to D-Day they were replaced by Austin K2 on the grounds you didn't really need a 4x4 on an airfeild.  If I can get pictures back on the new forum I have a photo of WC54's  prior to D-Day, 'Somewhere in England.' 

wc54 in England 001.jpg

When the US-AAF first came to the UK they were short of some equipment the deficit being made up by using British kit such as 6 x 6 Tankers, Fire tenders, Ambulances, Lorry's 3-ton Truck's 15-cwt and Cars  before enough of there own stuff made it across the pond. I believe some British kit remained in service with them up to the time they left - no idea if they painted it Olive Drab or left it as delivered photos indicate the latter 

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It was actually agreed at the highest level from the outset - the Yanks would focus on bringing their operational equipment over to start with whilst we supplied the supporting elements as part of the lend-lease agreements. This has reminded me I really should note down where this stuff is when I find it - it'll take me ages to find the documents again!  

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When I had finished restoring the FORDSON  WOT 1  CRASH TENDER  in 2000. I was invited  to attend the RAF  . MT  section  at  STAFFORD  for their reunion of ex fire crew  . The RAF collected the WOT 1 . And I was given VIP tickets to attend  . Talking to some ex fire crew  they stayed with their crash tenders .even when the base was used by the USAAF Not shore  about the AUSTIN K2    T CORBIN

2000-01-01 05.34.17.jpg

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Tony,

So I'm reliably informed all USAAF bases in the UK were in fact still RAF Stations and on 'lone' to the USAAF, so there was an RAF Officer nominally in charge usually of the rank of Sqn Leader or above. As mentioned above British kit in USAAF service was quite normal even an Austin K2.

RAF Coles crane & Fordson Fire tender with USAAF.jpg

cr1.jpg

Edited by LarryH57

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Larry still so. Internal security is carried out by USAF personnel, external by MODPlod and either MGS or MPGS (Military Provost Guard Service) who were formed to act as armed guards in place of MODPlod.   In fact MODPlod HQ , AKA the College of Knowledge is at Wethersfield an ex USAF base.  Just thought, one reason for using British supplies is the USAAF didn't pay for them! However, we paid for any and all US supplied equipment. 

Edited by Tony B
Adding a gripe.

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I wonder if the Crash Tender in front of the Dodge is green or brown or even US OD?

The photo was taken at Halesworth

Halesworth - 63FG.jpg

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The colour looks the same as the Dodge to me although its difficult to see. I do think I see a difference on the tenders rear left cornor though.

The Dodge is a 1/2 ton ambulance.

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