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RAF Blue in WW2- Fact or Fiction



Over the last 30 years I have seen a fair number of WW2 MV's painted in RAF blue and I have often wondered how accurate they are in that colour.


When you study war time photos of the RAF in the UK you will see that from very early in the war RAF vehicles from staff cars to fuel bowsers were painted in disruptive camo that I believe was green & brown and that as the war progressed colours changed to match the Army with black disruptive paint over brown (?) and later mickey mouse type camouflage.


I have not found a photo of RAF blue & yellow cab roof either in WW2 though I did see a colour photo of an all yellow Beaverette used as crash rescue on a Bomber Command airfield circa 1944 (for use by firemen in asbestos suits to get in close)


So why is it that MV owners paint their 1942-45 era RAF vehicles blue and why for that matter does the film industry do the same! Is getting an award more preferable than accuracy?


Finally can anyone say for sure when RAF blue was first used-1918? And when did it make a comeback after WW2?

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8 minutes ago, ted angus said:

I think only 302' ,303, 308 and 315 with spits.  I am sure the caption stated the girls were all polish airwomen and it was a national celebration day.

Could well be.  And, yes, it's very likely the girls are airwomen and the boys airmen.  Great photo and full of interesting detail.  I don't want to rabbit on on this thread, but one last observation - back in 2003, I think it was, the Polish Navy sent an M28 Bryza maritime recce aircraft to the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford.  They painted it in the colours of a WWII Polish Air Force Wellington of Coastal Command, complete with codes and RAF roundels - it looked brilliant!

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On 9/3/2021 at 11:19 AM, MatchFuzee said:

Enlarging the photo of the WAAF driving a tractor pulling a load of 1000lb bombs, and looking at the mudguard (more blue grey than green), it definitely looks colourised, especially as there is a B&W photo. 



1961  -  I learned to drive on one of these Fordson , strange things - pedal half down for clutch and full down for brake.  AFAIK it was a civilian model.  I always call it the 'low' model because I advanced to the next model where you were sat very high (I hated it).  Then to the Standard Major which was best of all,  the two early models were well worn of paintwork but I would say they were very near to Navy Blue, the post WW2 Standard Major of course was the paler Fordson blue.  I remember the orange Nuffield that looked very similar to the Standard Major.   I may have seen the odd Fordson in a collection that was orange , if this collection still exists (1 mile up the road)  I have only viewed it once 2098 (the owners fitter showed me it on the sly , I don't think any attend shows or tractor runs)- there are about 30 early (style models originating before WW2) blue Fordson and possibly just a single one or two orange Fordson.

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On 9/4/2021 at 11:31 AM, ted angus said:

Somewhere I have a shot of an Albion Ambo at I think Odiham, which appeared to have Light Earth with light green cam,   I read somewhere RAE did a trial using these colours , so possibly the Commer with the green roof and the tiny shot of the Albion bowser  are vehicles left over from the trial ???  

The attached might be of interest !

Polish celebration.jpg

Polish involvement in Britain during WW2 is quite involved and I would say still part hidden. Including a 'guarded' camp (political prison) on Bute for Polish officers + two other similar for Polish rankers - locations in Scotland, leading to questions in H of P.  Very little is known about Josef Retinger (eminence grise / propagandist for Sikorski / some of London poles).  Due to the complexities - only somebody having strong Polish origins could best put to pen.  I should be able to give the titles of two books by authors of British origins - where this was revealed.   The full situation in general - best I have read is ,  Britain and Poland 1939-1943 : The Betrayed Ally by  Anita J. Prazmowska  (1995)

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Ted and co,


Thanks for all your replies. You have done a marvellous job clarifying the subject.


I'll have to dig out a few photos of WW2 RAF vehicles to post here.


NB - Have you thought about putting an article together for the MVT Windscreen or even here on HMVF?

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