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285. Colouring in

06/03/2017

As regular readers know, 1264 has French cockades on the wings and fuselage, and the story of why a British aircraft is in French colours is one that continues to fascinate people.

Ron Saunders, researcher for the shortly-to-be-released film of 1264, has uncovered a couple of interesting snippets which add to the information.

Wikipedia says that the French adopted national markings as early as 1912 – something I was unaware of. They also explain the origin of the German Eisernes Kreuz (iron cross) – I had no idea that it was connected with Germany’s earlier incarnation as the Holy Roman Empire!

But apparently Ian Baker in a recent Britain at War article has spurred correspondence on the Great War Forum giving details of more dates. The RNAS adopted the Union Flag on 26 October 1914, followed by a new instruction in December 1914 for a red ring with a white centre, more or less at the same time as the RFC adopted the standard red-white-blue roundel.

The adoption of the French cockade, with a blue spot in the middle, was a later version, capable of being adapted from the earlier two-colour version, and more like the RFC roundel. It also meant that Nieuports being bought from the French could be put into service without further repainting.

Scout C 1259 or 1263 with No. 2 Wing at Imbros

Scout C 1259 with No. 2 Wing at Imbros with the RNAS two-colour markings. The tail of a Nieuport 11 in front can be seen with the Frenck cockade on the tail.

Bristol Scouts 1261 and 1264 at Imbros

Bristol Scouts 1261 and 1264 at Imbros. 1261 has no upper wing roundels, 1264 does.

 

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2 Comments
  1. The No. 1259 Scout C seems more like it should be in neutral DANISH service (Denmark was neutral in WW I)…the Royal Danish AF uses such a roundel (with a much smaller white center) to this day!

  2. I hope not. 1259 was my Grandad’s other favourite Scout until it had an engine failure on takeoff and he turned it upside down on landing. He might have been in line for a Danish medal…

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