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Old 03-09-2019, 07:39 PM
Butelczynski's Avatar
Butelczynski Butelczynski is offline
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Question to Don:

Stars in fuselage of most of F4Fs seem to far larger than on other US aircraft,especially those without "meatball" and before bars were added.Was there a reason for this or this is regulation size that looks big on smaller F4F?
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:31 PM
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Don Boose Don Boose is offline
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Karol - Quick answer is that after Pearl Harbor, and the shoot down or damage of several Navy aircraft by U.S. antiaircraft guns, the Pacific Fleet instituted measures to make U.S. Navy aircraft more identifiable. This included painting red and white horizontal stripes on the rudder, the application of large star national insignia on all four wing surfaces, and the application of a 50-inch star on the fuselage. Hence the big star insignia. There was more than one directive, there was some leeway in the placement of the stars, and units used some individual interpretation, so you will see a lot of variation in photographs of the time.

I can also show you images of SBDs and SOCs with oversized stars. And the standard 50-inch star does look bigger on the little Wildcats.*

Since the Japanese national emblem was red, it was believed that AA gunners and fighter pilots were tending to shoot at anything red, so after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the red centers and red rudder stripes were removed. After Midway things settled down a bit, but as you know, there were a number of further changes as the war progressed - bars added in the belief that the round national emblem could be confused with the Japanese Hinomaru emblem, red outline, then red outline replaced by blue, and then pure white stars and bars on Navy Blue aircraft.

That's the short version.

How's the 28th Bomb Squadron B-18 coming along?


* One of my grandsons played the violin and the other played viola. The viola-playing grandson once asked me, "Do you know why violas are bigger than violins?" His answer was, "They're actually the same size, but violin players have bigger heads." rim shot
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:32 PM
Burning Beard Burning Beard is offline
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Some of the stars on the F4Fs where absativley posolutely huge.
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