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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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"OPERATION BOWERY"
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 05:39 PM UTC
While cleaning up my bedroom, I had a chance to straighten up the book shelves also. Started looking at all of the magazines, periodicals, Squadron In Action, and reference books I became interested in rereading several again. I have always loved the F4F’s early WW II history so I pulled the Squadron F4F in action down and started to go through the pages slowly looking at the photos and reading their captions.

I came across a photo of a Spitfire with a Vokes filter on the USS Wasp running up its engine being held by US Navy deck personnel next to an F4F. My curiosity started to run around and I next went to Google and searched for Spitfires on the USS WASP which gave many photos of the USS WASP, SPITFIRES, F4F, and “Operation Bowery”. I did not know that the USS Wasp made two trips to Malta for the UK ferrying Spitfires.

Never having constructed a diorama I thought this would interest me enough to go through some trial and error for an end result. All that is needed now are an F4F4, Spitfire Vc, kits, some material for the carrier deck and personnel.



md72
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 06:49 PM UTC
That's kewl. I 'knew' the wasp spent time in the Atlantic ferrying A/C.Just never knew it was Spits.
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 07:10 PM UTC
Hello, Mark. I have been surfing the web for carrier deck offerings and not much there. I did find this color photo of a Spit Mk. V.
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 08:01 PM UTC
Very Interesting picture of the Mk.V. Look at the external fuel tank. You don't see that very often. You got me interested in the 'Operation Bowery'.
Way cool it is.
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 08:05 PM UTC
Now in preparation of the Lend Lease campaign, I wonder... How did the FG 52 & FG31, American Sptifires Mk. V & Mk.IXc, get to Tunisia in 1943?
Bigrip74
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 10:29 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Now in preparation of the Lend Lease campaign, I wonder... How did the FG 52 & FG31, American Sptifires Mk. V & Mk.IXc, get to Tunisia in 1943?



That is a good question Robert.

1. Notice the slipper tank is gray and not sky as the underside.
2. Caption read: WASP 975 -5-42. Spitfire’s brakes will not hold the plane when the throttle is opened momentarily. Plane handling crew holding Spitfire in take-off spot while pilot revs up engine prior to take off. Observe weight on tires caused by the overloaded condition of the plane.
3. Someone chalked "Bobs The Boss?" on the right side of the cowl.
phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020 - 11:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello, Mark. I have been surfing the web for carrier deck offerings and not much there. I did find this color photo of a Spit Mk. V.



Colour photos of a Spitfire on the Wasp are rare indeed! Good find. There's a lot of controversy surrounding the shade of blue they were repainted in. I'm of the school of thought it was the same as used on the carrier's own aircraft. This photo certainly seems lighter than the RAF Dark Med blue that has been suggested.
Another first for the Wasp on this operation, was the first Spitfire carrier landing. One had a faulty fuel pump that only made itself known after take off. Rather than ditch the aircraft, the pilot (a Canadian I believe) circled till the deck could be cleared and made a perfect landing. Amazing when you consider that VC's had no arrestor hook or strengthened undercarriage!

Bigrip74
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Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 01:46 AM UTC
My Special Hobby Mk. V kit shows two markings at Malta which were Azure Blue underside, Dark Earth and Midstone upper with Thinned Azure Blue sprayed over that.

Bob

phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 04:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My Special Hobby Mk. V kit shows two markings at Malta which were Azure Blue underside, Dark Earth and Midstone upper with Thinned Azure Blue sprayed over that.

Bob




Do the instructions say that one was flown in on the Eagle? Tried zooming in on my phone but it was a little blurred. That one was undoubtedly painted with mixes from RAF or FAA stocks either on carriers or on the island. Blue Malta Spitfires are a real conundrum and it's anyone guess! I think for an aircraft flown in on the Wasp, US blues are the best bet. I plan on doing one when Airfix issue their new tool.
Bigrip74
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Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:13 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

My Special Hobby Mk. V kit shows two markings at Malta which were Azure Blue underside, Dark Earth and Midstone upper with Thinned Azure Blue sprayed over that.

Bob




Do the instructions say that one was flown in on the Eagle? Tried zooming in on my phone but it was a little blurred. That one was undoubtedly painted with mixes from RAF or FAA stocks either on carriers or on the island. Blue Malta Spitfires are a real conundrum and it's anyone guess! I think for an aircraft flown in on the Wasp, US blues are the best bet. I plan on doing one when Airfix issue their new tool.



It was transported aboard the HMS Eagle and you are correct about the blue color, it is anyone's guess.

Here is the exact wording on the color page of the instructions for this a/c. There is another Malta spitfire on this sheet also.
“Spitfire Mk. VC, BR323/ S, RAF No. 249 Squadron, Takali airbase, July 1942. This aircraft was delivered to Mediterranean onboard HMS Eagle and flown to Luqa as reinforcement in June where it received a sing-le letter “S” code. For most of its career, was personal mount of Sgt George “Screwball” Beurling. On July 6 mission Beurling shot down two MC. 202’s, one Bf 109 and damaged Cant Z 1007. These victories promoted him to ace status. At the end of the war Beurling’s score was 31 victories, 1 shared and 9 damaged. The aircraft wore standard Medi-terrean camouflage scheme that was on upper surfaces oversprayed by thinned Azure Blue that gave aircraft more bluish appearance.



Bigrip74
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Posted: Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 05:08 PM UTC
Found this photo of the USS Wasp with the HMS Eagle in the background. So could both carriers be transporting Spitfires to Malta at the same time?
MichaelSatin
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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 01:15 AM UTC
Very interesting idea, Bob!

Here's a listing of some carrier deck sections:

https://www.scalemates.com/search.php?fkSECTION%5B%5D=All&q=carrier+deck+section

There may be more, based on a different search criteria, and I don't know how many of these are still available, but it's a start.

Michael
Bigrip74
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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 08:59 AM UTC
Michael, thank you for the link.

My son is excited about this possible diorama. And has drawn out based with lexan covoers that he wants to construct for the a/c I have been building so I would be able to keep them by stacking the display cubes on top of each other.

Bob
Bigrip74
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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 12:50 PM UTC
Spitfires in the hanger deck onboard the USS Wasp 1942.

These do not look like there is any blue in he camo. Just the MTO scheme of Sky, Midstone, Dark Earth.

Notice the wingtips are removed.

phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020 - 06:59 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Spitfires in the hanger deck onboard the USS Wasp 1942.

These do not look like there is any blue in he camo. Just the MTO scheme of Sky, Midstone, Dark Earth.

Notice the wingtips are removed.





Wow! That really proves conclusively that the blue repaint was done aboard the Wasp. Especially if you compare with the previous photos. There are a new number of noticeable differences. First of which is the difference in light and dark tones. In the before photo, the Spitfires are all painted in midstone around the cockpit. In the previous photo with the Spitfires on the deck, that area is now much darker than the dark earth either side. So that suggests that the midstone was overpainted in dark blue. Certainly something that was darker in tone than RAF dark earth. It could even have been 2 shades of blue. The demarcation line at the rear fuselage could suggest that.
The coding on the fuselage is also a new addition. The number and letter was supposed to correspond with a specific revetment at the airfield they landed on. They were expecting to go into Malta fighting, so a quick and efficient system for a rapid refuel and rearm was needed once they got there. Spitfire 3M would have been taxied to revetment 3M and so on.
SpeedyJ
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Posted: Monday, June 29, 2020 - 12:27 AM UTC
Nice photo. In the background they are working on engines. They removed parts of the front fuselage. Nice detail on the wingtips.
All very interesting stuff.
Bigrip74
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Posted: Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 01:42 PM UTC
I found this photo last night while surfing the net.
It shows that the USS WASP also ferried some Fairey Swordfish.
Bigrip74
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Posted: Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 01:50 PM UTC
OOPS! wrong photo. I have lost the photo sorry, I will search for it.

Bob
Bigrip74
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Posted: Thursday, July 02, 2020 - 02:04 PM UTC
Looks like Ive been having a senior moment. Found the photos.