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VMFA-531 F-4B aboard HMS Ark Royal


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Many people have tried, with more or less success, to illustrate or build this really interesting aircraft.  She had cross-decked to the Ark, but then went unserviceable before the ship put into port in Malta.  The presence of a US aircraft aboard a British warship was problematic to the Maltese, so they repainted her tail and put craft paper over her stars & bars during the port call. 

 

I've been trolling the interwebs for some time using every combination of search terms I can think of, and I've never been able to find any photos clear enough to show me what the four circled areas actually say.  The 892 Sqdn emblem (a red rectangle with a white diamond and a black omega) is clear, but not the lettering above it.  Not sure what the significance of the "000" on the a/c intake is, but there's yellow behind it.  And then the crew names...

 

Anyone know of any clearer photos?  This dates from the time of instamatic cameras that gave you images with grain the size of basketballs (the inventor should be flogged, then drawn & quartered, and the individual pieces shot).

 

Tks!

J

 

MXNPMW.png

Edited by Jennings Heilig
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The 000 on the yellow painted intake would be 531's standard marking at the time for the gross weight values (xx,000).

 

Did you browse through the cruise book already for possibly some details:

https://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv59-73/index.html

 

Edited by ziggyfoos
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7 hours ago, Jennings Heilig said:

There’s a placard for aircraft weights.  That’s not what the “000” is.  The numbers are far larger, and in left to right instead of stacked vertically to have been for that purpose.  I’ve not seen this on any other Phantom.

 

It is for a/c weight. Yes the usual F-4 stacked multi place weight placard is normally on that intake, in this case there is no standard placard since they painted the whole thing squadron color yellow and added the 0s for only total GW (no fuel weight, stores weight, etc.)

 

There is similar practice of non standard forms of various 0s on the side of other carrier a/c like A-4s and A-6s, common one is minimum of only GW.

 

Here can be seen the markings on two with both sides showing ",000" (comma included). It looks to me, especially on 203, there is evidence of previous erased values (smudges) that were written in front of the ,000.

101.jpg

 

Additionally, also supporting it's GW, the left side (seen in 21x) is shifted to the rear of the intake to allow numbers to be added in front of the 0s, and the right side (203) is shifted front of intakes for the numbers again to be added in front of the 0s.

Edited by ziggyfoos
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Interesting stuff!  Thanks guys!  That last one is a great shot, and it does say "Bard" on it.  Strange.  If that hadn't been printed on that !@#$%&* 1970s textured photo paper you'd be able to read every single thing on it.  

 

Here's something REALLY interesting in that same group of photos.  A Royal Navy Phantom FG.1 with an AIR FORCE style inboard pylon!!!  I wasn't aware that either RAF or the RN ever possessed such a pylon, yet here it very plainly is...

 

l4v4Yc.png

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22 minutes ago, thierry laurent said:

Well I'm still seeing 'Bad' or 'Bart' but not 'Bard'! Look at the number of vertical lines making the letters. 'Bard' would ask for one more. 

 

It's there.  The photo is so fuzzy thanks to that idiotic textured paper that the narrow vertical strokes of the letters get lost.  But with super magnification you can see them...  Note you can barely make out that there's an omega in the white diamond.

 

yBEPAg.png

Edited by Jennings Heilig
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If by some miraculous chance we ever see a 1/32 F-4B kit...  Interestingly, the little thing inside the "0" on the modex looks to me for all the world like a VF-142 Ghost Rider zap, which is how I've interpreted it.  We'll never know for sure unless some high res scans of somebody's original Kodachromes show up, and I'm not holding my breath on that.  Still one of the more eye-catching Phantoms there ever was though...

 

Thanks to one and all for the assist on this.  It's been on my list for a long time.

 

ysOrDO.png

Edited by Jennings Heilig
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9 hours ago, Jennings Heilig said:

 

One wonders.  Shakespeare isn't something you normally associate with the United States Marines however ;)

 

 

Maybe the pilot was a great storyteller...?  Or the chap who applied the zap was?

 

 

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