Operational Appearance: April 1945
“Green 9”, as deduced from the green color of its identification number, became operational within Stab/JG 301 presumably from April 1945 onwards. The assignment of the aircraft to this unit resulted in a few changes of its appearance that, however, were in accordance to the current standards.
The identification number was applied in RLM 25 Hellgrün outlined in black on both sides of the fuselage, right above the wing trailing edge. Unit recognition bands were added on the fuselage section immeditely aft of the fin. For JG 301, the band was composed of two red and yellow 450 mm wide stripes. The exact location of these stripes it is not specified by any known directive. However, looking at the photographs of this and of other Focke-Wulf fighters (Fw 190 D-series), there is a certain propensity to align the rear edge of the stripes (closer to the tail) with the fuselage insert that had been added to these aircraft for rebalance its trim after the introduction of the new Jumo 213 engine.
As already mentioned, the identificative number of Ta 152 W.Nr.150168 was a “9” painted in RLM 25 Hellgrün outlined in black. That is also the case of “Green 4” (W.Nr.150010). It was positioned above the trailing edge of the wing root. This can only be deduced by observing the over-painted portion of the fuselage which stands out in the photos of this aircraft taken at Farnborough. Unfortunately, the exact shape of the number “9” is not known with certainty as it is seen over-painted in all photos and only portions showing through the paint. What is possible is that its shape can be estimated by comparison of the same number as observed on other aircraft.
Geschwader Recognition Bands
Like all Luftwaffe day fighter units, JG 301, starting from October 1944, introduced the usage of unit recognition bands.In the case of this unit, it consisted of two vertical 450 mm wide bands positioned on the rear fuselage ahead of the fin in yellow and red (front to back). In the case of the Fw 190 D and the Ta 152 H, the rear strip, in most cases, coincided with the 1 metre wide fuselage insert distinguished them, amongst other features, Focke-Wulf fighters with radial engines.
A particular feature that distinguished JG 301’s Gruppe markings was the application of a long thin horizontal band applied on the yellow/red tailband. The color of this strip indicated the respective Gruppe and provided a system of rapid identification during flight:
- Green = Geschwaderstab
- White = I. Gruppe
- Red = II. Gruppe
- Yellow – III. Gruppe
- Blue – IV. Gruppe
Olivier Menu was the first person to decipher the relationship between the colour of the horizontal bar and Gruppe. Though the original post is no longer available on the old Luftwaffe Experten Message Board (LEMB) due to a server crash in mid-2005, this information is well presented with additional information on number colours of individual Staffeln in Volume 1 of Jerry Crandall two volume series on the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 D.
JG 301 bands
Since “Green 9” was an aircraft belonging to the Stabschwarm of JG 301, it should theoretically have sported a green RLM 25 horizontal bar, similar to that observed on “Green 4”. Looking at the photos taken at Farnborough in October-November 1945, there is no trace of this detail, although the stripes of the RVT are clearly visible under the coarse repainting carried out by the RAF operators. However, a photo taken of it on 14 July 1945 at Schleswig shows the trace of a horizontal bar under British paint and in the correct position.
Conclusions: The Camouflage of the Ta 152 H-1 “Green 9” (W.Nr. 150168)
The following diagram summarizes the camouflage and markings information discussed in this article. For further chromatic reference, see this article.
- Al: “Albondur” (aluminium, copper and magnesium alloy).
- Al?: darker metallic alloy.
- ??: unknown dark green.