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  #11  
Old 12-08-2018, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Boose View Post
I think that everything Garry and Maurice say makes sense.

In his Wildcat Aces of World War 2 (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 3, Oxford, UK: Osprey Publications, 1995), Barrett Tillman provides a side-view painting of Martlet III AX733/K, flown by Sub-Lieutenant W M Walsh, Royal Navy, of No 805 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, Western Desert, 28 September 1941, in Mid Stone upper surfaces and azure blue lower surfaces. This is the caption: “No 805 Sqn was a constituent part of the RN Fighter Unit which operated alongside RAF squadrons in the Western Desert during 1941 and 1942, operating with the Hurricane-equipped Nos 803 and 806 Sqns. The Martlets scored victories against three Savoia Marchetti SM.79s, a single Ju 88 and a Fiat G.50. The latter was downed by Sub-Lt W M Walsh, flying this Martlet III. Originally painted azure blue overall, the unit’s Martlets soon picked up stone upper surfaces to camouflage them against the desert. The Martlet III was also used by No 806 Sqn, which claimed four kills when it escorted the Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta during August 1942, flying from HMS Indomitable.” p. 95]

Since Tillman is a generally reliable aviation history writer, his statement here lends credibility to the belief that No 805 Squadron Martlett’s were in desert camouflage. However, as is almost always the case with these kinds of sources, Tillman provides no documentation for anything in the book, so we can’t tell what sources he used for this statement.

It also raises some additional questions. When and where was the azure blue applied over the original light non-specular gray? Did some or all of the 805 Squadron Martlett’s receive the dark brown shadow shading of standard Mediterranean camouflage?

I would imagine that the 806 Squadron Martlets, flying from an aircraft carrier, would have been in the standard FAA camouflage.

If we keep searching, perhaps some answers will come to light. One of us might try contacting Barrett Tillman to ask these questions and to ask what his sources were for his research.

All fascinating stuff to some of us, but as Garry indicates: if you want to build a Martlett in desert camouflage, Wire & Paper, there is enough evidence to support your decision and, even if there wasn’t, it will be your model and you can color any way you wish.

Don

Sure sounds to me like DB just volunteered to get hold of Mr. Tillman. I have all of his books and he really brings history to life.
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2018, 08:28 PM
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I hate to keep beating this poor nearly-dead horse, but two points occur to me:

1. Looking at the images of FAA Martlets of No. 805 Squadron, and with the Barrett Tillman information, it seems to me that you have more than enough justification to recolor a Martlet in dark brown and mid stone over azure desert camouflage.

2. You could make an interesting diorama of No. 805 Squadron aircraft. In January 1941, the squadron re-formed at Aboukir, Egypt, with Fulmar Is and Brewster Buffalos. In March 1941, the squadron carried out operations in defense of Crete and some unknown number of Gloster Sea Gladiators joined the Fulmars and Buffalos. The squadron returned to Egypt and acquired three RAF Hurricanes. Due to combat and operational losses, it seems unlikely, but it is possible that 805 was flying Fulmars, Buffalos, Sea Gladiators, and Hurricanes at the same time.

In July, the squadron was re-equipped with the Martlets and served as part of a provisional Royal Navy Fighter Squadron in the Western Desert under the operational control of RAF Nos. 264, 269, and 234 Wings, successively.

The joint unit was disbanded in February 1942, but No. 805 Squadron continued to operate in the Western Desert with Martlets. It moved to the Suez Canal Zone in August 1942, then to Kenya shortly thereafter. The squadron continued to fly Martlets until it was disbanded on 10 January `942 and the personnel dispersed to new units then forming. [Ray Sturtivant, The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm, Tonbridge, UK: Air Britain Publications, 1964, pp.180-181.]

Don
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2018, 10:01 PM
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The poor (rich) horse is alive and well and learning a lot!

What about Lysanders and Gladiators in desert colors?

Again the issue of B&W photography and conflicting schemes, and the available info is from models and paintings (interpretations).
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Old Yesterday, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wireandpaper View Post
Dear All:

Does anyone knows if the Wilcat/Martlet ever used desert camo?
I have seen many models and drawings of them but no photographic evidence. I say this because B&W doesn't show colors. It could be gray and green or stone and sand!
Any clues?

It's not so long I've drawn and sent to ecardmodels my repaint of Bruno's Wildcat - Grumman Martlet Mk. III from 805. NAS, Western Desert 1941. It's in Sand/Azure Blue camo. Unfortunately, due to Ecardmodels problems it isn't available now.
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Last edited by Gerry1966; Yesterday at 03:11 AM. Reason: Adding a picture
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Don Boose View Post
I hate to keep beating this poor nearly-dead horse....
Beat away Don. This thread is a nice education.
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  #16  
Old Yesterday, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wireandpaper View Post
The poor (rich) horse is alive and well and learning a lot!

What about Lysanders and Gladiators in desert colors?

Again the issue of B&W photography and conflicting schemes, and the available info is from models and paintings (interpretations).
Can't say as I have ever seen a Glad or a Lizzie in desert camo. (OK now you all can post away proving me wrong )
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