Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paint It Black

Okay, so a more accurately descriptive title for today's installment of 'TWW' would probably be 'Paint it a Couple'a Shades of Green'. But that doesn't quite roll off the tongue as nicely as the title of everyone's favorite Vietnam-era Rolling Stones tune... besides, in certain light and/or at a certain distance, the birds featured here probably did look kinda black instead of green. Oh, and did we mention that the title for today's installment of 'TWW' is somewhat appropriate because it's also the title of everyone's favorite Vietnam-era Rolling Stones tune?

Is there an echo in here? - echo in here? - in here? - here?

Goofiness aside... in late 1965 the U.S. Navy experimented with green camouflage paint, applying it to aircraft from at least three different carriers, Constellation, Enterprise, and Kitty Hawk, which were cruising around near an area that we shall refer to as 'SEA'... Southeast Asia.

Here's a couple'a shots of green-painted A-4Cs from VA-113 'Stingers' aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) as part of carrier Air Wing 11, during a combat cruise which lasted from October 19th, 1965 to June 13th, 1966.

This first image is rather crapola, but is good reference for any artists or modeler types out there in showing how the oil streaking out of the oil breather has removed the green paint from the rear fuselage and inner rear portion of the wings.

National Naval Aviation Museum

Here's a nicer image showing A-4C BuNo.148458 of VA-113 about to trap aboard Kitty Hawk after dropping things that go boom on Victor-Charlie. This particular Skyhawk was retired to the boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB in 1975, but was later purchased by Singapore and re-manufactured by SAMCO (Singapore Aerospace Maintenance Company) as an A-4SU for the Republic of Singapore Air Force.

National Naval Aviation Museum

The obvious point of trying out this camo was to make it harder for the enemy to spot our birds over the lush greenery of SEA. After a fairly short period of time, however, it was concluded that the only folks who were having any true difficulty in seeing the airplanes were the deck crew aboard the Navy's flattops during night ops, and that the 'protection' afforded by the camo in combat was negligible. So it wasn't too awful long before the green was removed and gull gray once more ruled the day.

Fade to Gree... errr... Black...

No comments:

Post a Comment