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3 Sqn RAAF Mustang Mk.IVa (Page 3)
- The 'T.O.' Scheme


A very important photo taken in early Jan 45 (thus the 'B' type upper wing roundels) showing two P-51K airframes in the T.O. camouflage scheme. 
The airframe to the left appears to be coded CV*G which would make it serial KH679.  The camouflaged P-51K in the centre is either CV*E KH710 or CV*◊ KH677.
The code letter on KH677 was changed from 'P' to 'Diamond' when the new NMF CV*P KH716 (shown to left) was received.  [Photo RAAF Official ]

The T.O. scheme, which is illustrated in the P-51D erection manual, and the subject of an article in SAM Jul 2003, nominates how these P-51D/K airframes were to be painted.  It is a factory scheme which is believed to have been applied by North American to the airframes during production in the USA using the American ANA colours.  This gives a low contrast scheme in photos (which can make it difficult to interpret the colour demarcations).  One recognition point is the presence of the fuselage band in ANA 610 Sky Blue which seems to appear only on this scheme.

I have only located photos of 3 airframes which appear to have been painted in this scheme in 3 Sqn RAAF service. They are CV*G KH679, CV*P later CV*◊ KH677 and CV*E KH710.  These 3 aircraft along with CV*P KH716 (in NMF) were all delivered in 1944.  Later deliveries of camouflaged P-51Ks to 3 Sqn all appear to have consisted of the 'firewall' scheme which uses a different pattern (but still in the ANA colours).

While this is not the best photo (the original was not very good, thus not giving a very good reproduction), this appears to be the only photo that gives an overall photo of an airframe in this scheme.  Enhancement of the print shows that the colour demarcation lines follows the T.O. pattern and not the later 'Firewall' pattern.


Photo R. Moore


Mustang Mk.IVa, 3 Sqn RAAF, CV-E, KH710, Pilot: unk, Fano early 1945.
T.O. pattern using the ANA colours of 613 Olive Drab & 603 Sea Grey upper surfaces with 602 Light Grey lower surfaces.  White codes, Red Spinner & Black serials.  Medium Blue rudder (the White Southern Cross does not appear to have been applied yet in the photo).  The fuselage band is ANA 610 Sky Blue (being factory applied) and not British Sky.  The upper wing roundels are of the 40" 'C' type.

This is the only known photo of S/Ldr Murray Nash's first P-51K, coded CV*P serial KH677.  There has been some conjecture as to exactly which scheme this airframe is actually in due to the photo showing so little to go by.  The fact that it has the ANA 610 Sky Blue fuselage band, and that the serial is presented in the same style as CV*E KH710 above, leads one to conclude that it is really in this T.O. scheme as Dick Hourigan concluded in his APMA article.


Photo via D. Hourigan

I have drawn the starboard side of the airframe to show how the pattern is arranged on that side for those wishing to model one of these two machines.


Mustang Mk.IVa, 3 Sqn RAAF, CV-P, KH677, Pilot: S/Ldr M.Nash, Fano Nov 1944.
T.O pattern using the ANA colours of 613 Olive Drab & 603 Sea Grey upper surfaces with 602 Light Grey lower surfaces.
White codes, Red Spinner & Black serials. Medium Blue rudder with White Southern Cross. The fuselage band is ANA 610
Sky Blue (being factory applied) and not British Sky.  The upper wing roundels are of the 40" 'B' type.


Drawing to show the upper view of the T.O. pattern.  This is fairly typical of RAF marking practice with the small triangular areas
 of colour on the leading / or trailing edges to break up the pattern.

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