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As a matter of interest, those D-Day aircraft markings were painted on with water soluble paint. The intent was that they would be washed off after D-Day. But they proved such a good identification feature, they remained during the remainder of the War in Europe.

More trivia: The P-47 Thunderbolt carried the national markings, the star and roundel, on the underside of both wings. Custom was upper left, lower right. But to have any white showing on the upper surfaces was an indication of the white iron cross on both upper surfaces of the FW-190, which, to RAF pilots, the P-47 resembled.


Bob Wright
 

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The P51 was often mistaken for the BF109 as well.
 

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The P51 was often mistaken for the BF109 as well.
True. All US single engined fighters were painted with identification stripes upon arrival in England. These aircraft were in the USAAF schemes of olive drab/pale gray finish. The nose was painted white (and the spinner on the P-51) for about 12" back, and white bands, 18" wide, were painted at mid-span on the wings and tail surfaces. When the OD/Gray was abandoned, the stripes were black. In the MTO, the bands were yellow then black.
Further, then original US roundel carried a red disc in the center of the white star. This was dropped to prevent confusion with the Japanese rising sun insignia. Same for the British roundel for aircraft in the Pacific/CBI theaters.
 

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The German soldiers in Western Europe had an identification method for telling aircraft apart. They would tell one another if they saw brown airplanes they were British. If the planes were silver they was American. If they saw no planes at all it was the Luftwaffe.

Probably the most instantly identifiable fighter plane in Europe was the P38 Lightning...nothing else was like it outside of the P61 Black Widow but they were fielded in somewhat limited numbers and primarily at night.
 

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The German soldiers in Western Europe had an identification method for telling aircraft apart. They would tell one another if they saw brown airplanes they were British. If the planes were silver they was American. If they saw no planes at all it was the Luftwaffe.

Probably the most instantly identifiable fighter plane in Europe was the P38 Lightning...nothing else was like it outside of the P61 Black Widow but they were fielded in somewhat limited numbers and primarily at night.
A man could tell a P-38 from a P-61 just by listening. The Allisons had that whine, or howl, while the Pratt & Whitney Double Wasps had a deep growl.

Bob Wright
 

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Round engines have a distinct sound like few others.
 
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