Korean War B-29s with black undersides - was "USAF" repainted on lower wing?

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Korean War B-29s with black undersides - was "USAF" repainted on lower wing?

Joined: October 16th, 2005, 8:51 pm

April 16th, 2018, 9:29 pm #1

Hello to all,

I used the Search function here and tried Google, no luck. I am wondering if the USAF B-29s in the Korean War would have had "USAF" repainted on the undersurface of the wing when they were painted black. The Academy boxing has the marking, but I don't have that boxing. I have a Kits-War decal sheet for Korean War B-29s and it doesn't have any USAF markings for the wings at all. Thanks for your help and

Best wishes,
Brendan
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Joined: March 19th, 2005, 9:12 pm

April 16th, 2018, 11:20 pm #2

The Tech orders would specify that it be applied on the lower wing in Red. I suspect that a lot of them were painted in the field and getting them Black on the bottom was far more important than complying with the specifications.Daylight bombing was resulting in prohibitively high loss rates and with the switch to night bombing the Black, to help prevent searchlights from seeing them was important.

I have no less than 23 books on the B-29 (kinda suggests over indulgence doesn't it?!) Only a couple cover the Korean War and none of them have a photo that shows the wing under surface of a Black one.

Some have the proper Red S/N on the vertical tail, And National Insignias on the fuselage sides and the whole "proper" layout. Others appear to just have Black undersides and it covered everything with no effort made to restore anything other than the neat nose art.

Norm
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Joined: September 18th, 2007, 5:50 pm

April 17th, 2018, 12:59 am #3

and was surprised by the photos of B-29s with natural metal undersides over Korea. Captain Robert Krumm's #045 seemed to have the black undersides, but Miss N.C. seems to be natural metal with the national insignia visible. (able 3 position over Namsi. Maj. Griner's 44-86295 shows battle damage to the under fuselage which is natural metal. Do you happen to have any helpful fotos of Krumm's B-29 on the Namsi Raid? I don't know much about 29's and my interest is in Krumm which was a pilot from Iowa who died on that raid.
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Joined: October 16th, 2005, 8:51 pm

April 17th, 2018, 4:14 am #4

The Tech orders would specify that it be applied on the lower wing in Red. I suspect that a lot of them were painted in the field and getting them Black on the bottom was far more important than complying with the specifications.Daylight bombing was resulting in prohibitively high loss rates and with the switch to night bombing the Black, to help prevent searchlights from seeing them was important.

I have no less than 23 books on the B-29 (kinda suggests over indulgence doesn't it?!) Only a couple cover the Korean War and none of them have a photo that shows the wing under surface of a Black one.

Some have the proper Red S/N on the vertical tail, And National Insignias on the fuselage sides and the whole "proper" layout. Others appear to just have Black undersides and it covered everything with no effort made to restore anything other than the neat nose art.

Norm
I wondered about painting the USAF on the underside, since everything I've read seems to indicate that the black undersides were done quickly. I have a decal sheet for Command Decision and there's a photo in the Osprey volume on Korean B-29s that shows it with extensive black painting, the whole tail is black. I'm thinking of doing that scheme.

Best wishes,
Brendan
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Joined: February 24th, 2002, 12:50 pm

April 17th, 2018, 9:41 pm #5

...with black tails like that. One in the background of a pic of my Dad's B-26 on the way home from Korea, and one in an obscure book on USAF special operations or something of the kind. The black goes almost all the way up the fuselage, but the top of the fuselage and the tops of the flying surfaces are NMF. They're not overall black.

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