View Full Version : The 601st "Millionaire's Squadron" Wasp blue history?

06-12-2009, 08:14 PM

The =FI= are following the 601 RAF squadron's history in a campaign. It will soon be time to move to Malta via the USS Wasp. Now, I know the exact blue deck paint shade/hue is in contention. That's not my question.


Apparently, there were other squadrons based/transferring through Malta soon after that time. This adds to the confusion in my research. I read that some of the 601st were kept blue, some were repainted green/brown, some were painted the desert scheme.

So, what we want to know is, do any of you wise ol'folk know what happened in the case of the 601st and in general, pics would help, after other Spitfire squadrons arrived in Malta? What about the details? Was the blue washed off? Did they simply paint over them and add another 2-300 pounds to the aircraft?



06-13-2009, 02:54 AM
As far as I can find out the blue paint was left on and not over painted, mainly due to the fact that as soon as the aircraft landed they were more than likely back in the air withing 30mins to fend off Axis attacks on them

The main reasons the paint wore so quickly on some Spitfires is that it was 'thinned' out while on the aircraft carriers due to running low on stock and also the complete lack of cover from the sun while on malta, added to this was the constant sand blasting and lack of cleaning time while on the ground.

Hope this helps

06-14-2009, 10:15 AM
Thanks Chris,

Kinna what I figured. We need to decide on one skin type for the Malta segment of the campaign for convenience. I s'pose whatever we found, the blue was cool. I mean, where else are you going to have a chance to fly a blue Spitfire?

No, we're not going to have a twenty-plus aircraft photo-recon campaign.


Yep, it helps, thanks again,

=FI=Fal "Stu" con

06-14-2009, 01:10 PM
When did 601 go to Malta mate?

I made a pack flown from USS Wasp in May 42 as part of Operation Bowry, never released them.
Yours if you want them.





06-14-2009, 06:42 PM
April, '42. Our mission designer explains that the 601st was the only squadron to retain their original two letter codes, [UF].

As always, your skins are great. I'll be doing these though; see above. From what I've found, even the spinners were painted.



"Operation "Bowery" involved the use of the USS Wasp and HMS Eagle. Prime Minister Churchill had made an arrangement with President Roosevelt to use their larger carrier to carry Spitfires along with HMS Eagle. The Wasp could carry 50 to Eagle's 17, in any event only 46 were on board. In an effort to conceal the operation the AOC Malta (ACM Keith Park) had only 12 hours notice of the landing time. RAF Squadrons 601 (County of London) and 603 (City of Edinborough) were chosen to fly the 46 aircraft to Malta."

06-14-2009, 10:36 PM
One thing to check is that when the aircraft were deployed to the aircraft carriers they were assigned a single letter code (C in the Op Bowry case, G for Op Calender etc), Sqn codes were only applied once the Spits made it to Malta.

06-15-2009, 10:08 AM
Ahh, I see! That explains a lot. I have seen pics of ac with the "C" code on the Wasp deck with the caption (601 sq) and then later , operating over Sicily, with the [UF] codes. Man, could they make this stuff more confusing?

Well, if you want to get involved, we're flying Hurris over Beachy Head now on Thursday and/or Friday nights (US time). You're invited to join any time. Visit our website for the details.