B-17F "Reckless Mountain Boys" 41-24518 Tail
Larry Hickey adds:
"The de-icer boots were usually removed from bombers in the field mod depots either in Hawaii or Australia. This cut some unnecessary weight off the aircraft. The operative word here is usually. I can't categorically state that it ALWAYS happened. However, in the case of #518, I believe it has been removed, and the resulting bare aluminum area has been touched up with fresh OD paint or dark green paint. The 'tiger stripes' on the tail of #518 are dark green and were added to all bombers by an AAF requirement. See Dana Bell's Camouflage and Markings booklets from SQ/SIGNAL. This was also added to the tops of both the wings and the horizontal stabilizers of bombers after a certain date when it became a factory spec. It was added in the field usually at some point after that date. See page 97 of "Warpath..." for this on B-25 wings. The lighter color is actually the darker green paint due to the different reflectivity of the paint. It is not lighter but actually darker.This is probably a field interpretation of that regulation that you see implemented on the tail of #518."
Credit: via Rich Lane Date: May 7, 1943
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