VF-17 national insignia, red, white and blue, or?…
October 1, 2016 in Uncategorized
As I continue on with my 1/32 Corsair project I have spent a great deal of time researching VF-17s F4U-1As used during their two tours in the Solomon Islands. Much has been written about US national insignia during 1943 and the addition of red surrounds, and then when they were removed so I will not re-hash that here. The object of my research is specifically if and when VF-17 had red surrounds, when they were painted over and with what color. Eagle editions decal sheets have been put out with both red and light blue surrounds. The logic here is that the red was over painted with light blue, and there are color pictures of other USN aircraft that show this feature. I have not seen ANY original color pictures of VF-17 aircraft. I have 4 books on VF-17 Tom Blackburn’s excellent memoir “The Jolly Rogers” 2 of Lee Cook’s excellent volumes on the subject “The Skull and Cross Bones Squadron” and “Fighting 17, a photographic history of VF-17 in WWII” as well as The AJ Press volume 3 on their first tour. VF-17s combat tours can be divided into two time periods late 1943 at Ondongo, and early 1944 on Bougainville. My opinion is that when we see what looks like light blue surrounds, it is either red, or dark blue with red showing through, either because of weathering of the dark blue over the red, OR because the dark blue mixed with the red during painting. Ever try and paint enamel over enamel with a brush and have the two mix? There also may be an argument that the way the painted over surround reflects light and photographs could be causing what we see. There is a VF-17 Corsair that was recovered many years later in the Solomons that shows red surrounds, but my feeling is time and weather wore the blue off and we are not seeing how the aircraft looked at the time it was lost. I think during the first tour there were some aircraft with red surrounds still, I believe that the picture of the squadron going through the Panama Canal shows red surrounds, and that at least by the second tour the surounds were gone and we see paint worn off and red showing partially through. So how will I paint my Corsair? I have NO CLUE! But I am working on a plan! Oh and I mis-captioned the last picture, it should say with the BLUE having worn off. I was too lazy to make a new slide!
6 additional images. Click to enlarge