Painting D-Day stripes, June 5th, 1944

Spitfire Site

A scene recorded on June 5th, 1944 in Tangmere, Sussex. Preparing Spitfires for D-Day, 411 Squadron RCAF ground crew members apply invasion stripes to Spitfire Mk. IXe, DB-R, serial no. RR 201. This aircraft was flown by F/L Jack J. Boyle.

A scene recorded on June 5th, 1944 in Tangmere, Sussex. Preparing Spitfires for D-Day, 411 Squadron RCAF ground crew members apply invasion stripes to Spitfire Mk. IXe, DB-R. This aircraft was reportedly flown by F/L Jack J. Boyle.

This picture was frequently included in various Canadian publications, but to my knowledge the names of the working airmen wasn’t mentioned until now: LAC Ken Applesby and Stan Rivers. Ken Applesby spent 3 years in the RCAF as ground crew for No. 411 Squadron in No. 126 Wing. He remembers black and white paint being issued to all ground crews with instructions to get all the aircraft painted a quick as possible. The effect of the time pressure can be clearly seen in patchy application of the stripes (no masking!).

The second picture shows Ken Applesby re-united with a Spitfire on September 16, 2006 at the Y2-K Spitfire project at the Comox Air Force Museum. We’ve been informed that when completed, Ken will be invited to help with painting the invasion stripes on the restored aircraft…

[Pat Murphy coll.]

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By Anonymous  |  2010-01-16 at 00:20  |  permalink

If I remember correctly, the storm that delayed D-Day also washed some of the invasion stripes off, so this may be the hastily done re-paint. Some units did not have or were not issued black and white in laquers some had to use water based paints that ran and washed off in inclement weather, post D-Day.

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