Spitfire spotters in the US Navy

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Click on the image to enlarge Another great example of the application of D-Day stripes is this Spitfire Mk. Vb, 4Q of US Navy ...

Click on the image to enlarge

Another great example of the application of D-Day stripes is this Spitfire Mk. Vb, 4Q of US Navy Cruiser Scouting Squadron Seven (VCS-7).

The VCS-7 was the only US Navy unit to fly Spitfires operationally. Its mission was to provide gun spotting support for the cruisers and battleships bombarding targets along the Normandy beachhead. VCS-7 was formed for the purpose with seventeen VCS and Battleship Observation pilots from the cruisers Quincy (CA 71) Tuscaloosa (CA 37) and Augusta (CA 31) and the battleships Nevada (BB 36) Arkansas (BB 33) and Texas (BB 35). The unit was stationed at RNAS Lee-on-Solent.

The aircraft used by the unit were second-hand Spitfire Mk Vs. All aircraft retained their ordinary RAF markings and paint schemes. The apparently hastily applied D-Day stripes obscured all the markings on the fuselage so the aircraft codes had to be replaced in front of the cockpit. Note also how the white stripes across the aircraft’s belly became dirty very quickly with debris from the airfield.

The swastika victory mark below the cockpit originates from previous use of the aircraft; it was evidently left out during the more recent repaint of the airframe.

Full story of the VCS-7, together with additional photographs, can be found in the article Spitfires of the US Navy. [US Navy]

 

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