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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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If it was a purely domestic vehicle, used for delivering the post or running stores around the station, would they even bother to repaint to match the current regulations. The van is unlikely to be in a "combat" situation and all the regulations seem to state that vehicles should only be repainted into a new scheme when the vehicle needed to be repainted. As a station runabout it might not have had a lot of hammer and the paint never deteriorated to the point where it needed another coat.

It is possible that it was requisitioned in early 1940 or was delivered to an post Dunkirk contract where anything with wheels was welcome so it might have been refinished or finished in blue-grey/black wings or KG3/black wings.

Just a thought

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Simon, the Fordson van were a "standard RAF type"  its not requisitioned.  that said AMOs state impressed vehicles were to be cam painted, re no need to repaint in new cam scheme; this was only applicable to changes in cam colour or pattern AMO aug 41 requires all vehicles other than certain grades of staff car to be cam painted. Ted

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I like the idea that the photo of the van with the serviceman in front shows marks in the indented part of the rear body caused by paper adverts being pasted there. Not necessarily for recruting but there were many campaigns to sell war bonds or avoid gossip or collect scrap metal etc.

David

Edited by David Herbert

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I believe this photo was taken in early 1940 so the RAF camouflage of vehicles must have started quite early, even on RAF Bomber Stations

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On 9/28/2018 at 3:05 PM, LarryH57 said:

I believe this photo was taken in early 1940 so the RAF camouflage of vehicles must have started quite early, even on RAF Bomber Stations

The photograph was taken in 1939, it's of 149 Squadron, Mildenhall, supposedly just after the Battle of Heligoland Bight. However, this was taken by a press photographer (from the Daily Fail no less) and is most certainly staged. There are three vehicles in that picture, two of which are not camouflaged. There is always the outside possibility that is a press vehicle, but regardless, we are aware of plenty of anecdotal evidence that local scale camouflage (e.g. at group or command level) came in early, it just took a while for it to all be collated and codified in one place (the AMOs).  

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1 hour ago, LarryH57 said:

I could only spot two vehicles!

Camouflage works then.😉

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2 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

I could only spot two vehicles!

It's more easy to spot if you look at a high res version.

The drivers window can be seen between the two airmen on the far right of the group, with a portion of the rear body between the second and third man. To be fair, that van could be camouflaged, but we just don't see enough of it to make a firm call.

As I alluded to before, this is Suffolk so still pretty close to the continent and the Luftie bomber boys. Hence the pretty extensive camouflage on the buildings as well.  

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Not exactly related to camo as the photo is too dark, but ignoring the civi cars and the Fordson Ambulance, what vehicle types are shown on the right; a GS 3 tonner that looks like the wind has made the tilt look like it has a rounded rear body and perhaps a crew bus? Im not sure if Fido was at Tempsford BTW

Fido Demo at RAF Tempsford.jpg

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I guess the 'unknown' 3 tonner in the photo is a Canadian Modified Conventional Pattern Truck, of which it seems the RAF got a few later in the war, from Ford, Dodge or Chevrolet etc.  I still wonder why the rear body looks a box body with a rounded front end. Is it solid or just the tilt blowing?

Edited by LarryH57

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Posted (edited)

Another RAF vehicle to identify, presuming it is RAF rather than Army?

I don't think the Army cleaned up after the RAF shot a Ju88 down.

Is it an impressed type?

RAF 6 wheeled lorry - London Oct 1940.jpg

Edited by LarryH57

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12 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

Another RAF vehicle to identify, presuming it is RAF rather than Army?

I don't think the Army cleaned up after the RAF shot a Ju88 down.

Is it an impressed type?

RAF 6 wheeled lorry - London Oct 1940.jpg

Apart from the sentry they all appear to be civvies in the picture.  I am not totally convinced that the dark patches on the body side are camo-  There are lots of pictures of civvy contractors removing wrecks- so my vote is civvy truck .

TED

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Not had one of these do you know what it is for a while. The darker patches on the tailboard and rear side of the lorry sides could be an attempt at camouflage that seems at odds with the apparent white side rail of the load bead. Sentry could be Army or Home Guard the men around the wreck appear civilian as dose the lorry (has a closed cab and looks to predate the war) a nice little earner for the contractor and any souvenir hunter among the local youngsters who no doubt got there first, if a friends anecdotes of that time are correct.

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In a mad rush to protect MVs in 1939-40 many were camouflaged and then in a mad rush to make them visible in the dark many had white edging applied. Apparently 1941 was the worst year for road deaths in the UK, namely due to the blackout.

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On 1/5/2019 at 8:05 PM, LarryH57 said:

In a mad rush to protect MVs in 1939-40 many were camouflaged and then in a mad rush to make them visible in the dark many had white edging applied. Apparently 1941 was the worst year for road deaths in the UK, namely due to the blackout.

I understand a 2" white band was required to be painted around  the wings front and back of civilian vehicles as an aid to being seen at night it's unusual to see one along the side and no hint of one on the front or rear wings of the subject vehicle possibly its purpose is to stop people walking into its side

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Posted (edited)
On 1/5/2019 at 11:31 AM, ted angus said:

Apart from the sentry they all appear to be civvies in the picture.  I am not totally convinced that the dark patches on the body side are camo-  There are lots of pictures of civvy contractors removing wrecks- so my vote is civvy truck .

TED

I agree with Ted, camouflaging civvy vehicles in the early years was quite common and both the British Industrial Design Group and the Ministry of Transport weighed in on the matter. One of the designs was to put a rural camouflage on one side of the vehicle and "urban" camo (brickwork design) on the other.

Besides, the RAF initially used civilian haulage firms in helping the recovery of crashed aircraft.

 

EDIT: This is 3Z+DK which crashed at Gatwick racecourse and later put on display at Primrose Hill     

Edited by RAFMT

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I've done some looking around, that photograph is of the Ju-88 after it went on display at Primrose Hill. It was usually commercial haulage firms used for that sort of job at that stage of the war.

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21 hours ago, LarryH57 said:

But equally I have seen MVs with white edging

Indeed in the UK unlikely in theater of operation - interesting photo all the same - 

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