P-39Q-1, 42-19467, 46th FS, 15th FG, 7th AF, Kanton atoll, Phoenix archipelago, August 1943
46th FS (originally 46th PS) was formed on Hawaiian Islands on December 1st, 1940, as a part of 15th Pursuit Group equipped, at that time, with Curtiss P-36 Hawk
fighters. It opened its combat score right on the first day of the War in Pacific, December 7th, 1941, defending the Pearl Harbor naval base against the Japanese attack.
In 1942 the squadron was re-equipped with Airacobras and in the spring of 1943 deployed to Kanton atoll in the Phoenix archipelago. Due to the conditions on the
island, almost completely lacking the vegetation, new Airacobras were repainted in the combination of the sand color on the upper and side surfaces while the lower
surfaces of the fighters were sprayed in light blue colors. Camouflage change was an idea of Lt. Benjamin C. Warren, a pilot and unit’s technical officer, who also supervised its application. In December 1943 46th FS left Kanton and after the over-water flight to atoll Makin carried on with the operations until mid December 1944.
At that time its Airacobras carried the Olive Drab coat on the upper surfaces again.
INFO Eduard - April 2021