drab / neutral gray) coloring, because the 55th

FG converted over to Mustangs later, meaning

that their machines would have been delivered

in natural metal and aluminum spray. The arc of

green on the fuselages of 343rd FS Mustangs

was often edged with dark red or yellow. On

occasion, this coloring also appeared on the

aircraft of the 338th FS. On the other hand, at

the end of the war, the 343rd FS often had its

machines only in bare metal coloring, only with

a checkerboard pattern on the nose. Also, the

38th FS in 1945 was abandoning the full coloring

of the tail surfaces. Instead, identifier colors

were applied to the rudders– 38th FS red,

338th FS light green and 343rd FS yellow.

339th FG

Fowlmere April 1944 – May 1945

The 339th FG was among the newer units of the

8thAF, and therefore arrived in England already

wielding P-51 aircraft. Fowlmere, near Duxford,

became its base throughout its operational

deployment in Europe. The P-51Bs and Cs used

Photo: Museum of Air Battle over the Ore Mountains, via Russ Abbey

BG. Until the summer of 1944, the unit flew

the P-38 Lightning, which was replaced by

the P-51D Mustang. A number of pilots of this

unit thus flew in combat on both types. The

identification marking applied up to the P-51

was initially a black stripe on the front of the

engine cowl and a black spinner. This was soon

replaced by a yellow-green checkerboard

pattern and stripes of the same colors on the

spinner. A distinguishing feature of the unit

was also the color differences in the fuselages

of the Mustangs of the individual squadrons,

a practice that was abandoned especially by the

later months of the war. While the 38th FS had

horizontal and vertical tail surfaces painted

olive green, the 338th FS flew mostly without

any coloring of the tail surfaces. The most

impressive livery of this unit were the Mustangs

of the 343rd FS, whose anti-glare panels in front

of the cockpit arced back to encompass the rest

of the fuselage, with the entire fuselage behind

the cockpit being sprayed the same olive green.

These were not remnants of the OD/NG (olive

P-51 Mustang flight from 503rd FS, 339th FG.


INFO Eduard

July 2023