70th Anniversary of D-Day

With the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion coming up tomorrow, I thought I would do a post on one of the most iconic characteristics of WWII warbirds, and that is the D-Day stripes. For those aircraft that participated in the invasion, 3 white stripes and 2 black stripes were painted on the aircraft to allow the men on the ground to tell the enemy apart from the friendlies as the pilots carried out their ground attacks. These stripes were nowhere near as perfect as they are today, as the stripes were painted onto the aircraft by whatever the ground crew could find. In many cases it was mops that were used to apply the paint, and as a result, was rather sloppy, but it certainly did the job. Most, if not all of the aircraft nowadays have very cleanly painted stripes, which certainly looks great, but isn’t 100% true to form. The image above is a P-51D Mustang “Bald Eagle” taking off in preparation for the Heritage Flight at the Rhode Island Air Show. You can see the stripes painted on the fuselage just behind the canopy as well as on the underside of the wings.

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