Wednesday, July 1, 2020

It’s a Tiger.... schwere Panzerabteilung 506, Sd.Kfz. 182

Off the desk for the Mausmann John Dowman memorial build. John passed away in February unexpectantly. John was a stalwart on the 20mm forums, from showcase 20 through both Version Guilds and then the Wargamers forum.

As a memorial members have been asked to build a heavy tank, for me I decided to build a tiger II that was part assembled when I finished I found I had missing parts, these will be in a spares box somewhere hopefully, one exhaust, tools, tracks and  a commanders cupola. Painted with MiG Ammo paints. Plus the first time I have used and weathered with their oil based weathering stains, a bit of a learning curve but very happy, it will join my Arnhem collection.





Cheers
Matt

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Allied Fighter Aircraft over Normandy IV P51D 1/72


Allied Fighter Aircraft over Normandy IV P51-D 1/72

Sometimes I get the opportunity to model a relatives or friends aircraft. After chatting with one of my American friends he mentioned his father had served in the ETO with the 9th Airforce, 354th fighter group 355th Fighter squadron (pugnacious pups) predominately flying bomber escorts. I will pick up a P51-D then either buy, make or paint 355th FS decals so I can honour a friends family.


The Revell kit I will build

Below I have put together bits, predominantly from the now defunct 354th Fighter group history page, sadly no longer hosted.


COL. ROBERT B. CURLEE

A Tribute By Chris Curlee 

Robert B. Curlee was born April 20, 1915 in Ben Hur, Texas, one of twelve children. After finishing his primary education, he enlisted in the Army in 1936 and as a trooper served in the 7th Cavalry, F Troop. At the outbreak of the war he went to join the Army as an Infantryman, then joined the United States Army Air Corps as a flying officer. He would fly both the P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt in combat.



As a flight instructor at Luke Field, Arizona Lt. Curlee helped trained Nationalist Chinese pilots before volunteering to fly combat in Europe.


After passing basic flight instruction, he was assigned as an instructor at Luke Field in Arizona and helped train many pilots, including some Nationalist Chinese pilots. As D-Day approached 1st Lt. Curlee volunteered to fly combat in Europe.

On June 6, 1944, 1st Lt. Robert B. Curlee arrived at the Lashenden Advanced Landing Strip, in south eastern England. One of six replacement pilots assigned to the 355th Fighter Squadron. It would be six days after arriving that he would fly his first combat mission which involved dive bombing targets near La Mans, Pays de Loire, France.

On his third mission he flew in a long-range escort to Berlin, on this five hour mission Lt. "Bob" Curlee flying P-51B-7 Mustang GQ-O, SN 43-6559, made his only aircraft claim of the war an ME- 410, a twin-engine fighter damaged on June 21, 1944.

Lt R Curlee in a P51-D Mustang

For new pilots arriving into fighter squadrons it was standard procedure to be assigned wingman positions to gain combat experience. The wingman's job was to stick and cover his leader even through extreme High-G manoeuvring. This resulted in many lost opportunities for air kills, but he preformed his assigned job without a hitch. On one occasion, he did get to fire his guns on a ME-262, but speed allowed the advanced jet to escape combat. The Luftwaffe’s engagement rules insisting air combat with fighters to be avoided also played a role in the jet’s escape.

Captain R. Curlee

On January 5, 1945 he was to fly his last combat mission as Red Flight Leader. Capt. "Bob" Curlee led twelve P-47 Thunderbolts and successfully bombed the Schaafheim Airdrome without any losses.

During his combat tour, he participated in long-range escort of heavy bombers, ground attack missions, fighter sweeps and also one mission involved leaflet dropping near Nantes, France.

In January 1945 out of Rosières-en-Haye, France (A-98) a dozen tour-expired pilot went home among them was Capt. Robert Curlee. All during the war, he was a Reserve Officer, and one of the first Reserve Officers to be offered a Commission in the Regular Army Air Force. Capt. Curlee finished his tours in Europe and advanced in rank after the conflict had ended, finishing his military career in 1966 as a full Colonel.


Colonel R Curlee

Robert Curlee began to suffer from health problems in 1984. A doctor performing exploratory surgery on him found that he had an advanced case of pancreatic cancer. The doctors gave him six months to live and Col. Curlee passed from this earth on May 28, 1985.

354th Fighter Group


The Pioneer mustang group



The 354th Fighter Group was constituted on November 12 and activated on November 15th, 1942 at Hamilton Army Airfield in California. The Group trained with the Bell P-39 Airacobra, one of the principal fighter aircraft in service at the time. The group transferred to Tonopah Army Air Field, Nevada in January 1943, Santa Rosa Army Air Field, California in March 1943, and Portland Army Air Base, Oregon, in June 1943. The Group moved to RAF Boxted in England between October and November 1943 and was attached to the Ninth Air Force. The group was assigned P-51 Mustang aircraft and was the first to use them in combat.

In late November 1943, new P-51B Mustangs with the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine began arriving at Boxted Air Station in standard USAAF ETO theatre camouflage scheme of Olive Drab on the upper surfaces and Neutral Gray on the undersurface. The 8th Ferry Service Command delivered the first five P-51 B's to the 354th Fighter Group on November 11, 1943 and by December 1st, the group had received 57 P-51's and flew its first operational fighter sweep with 24 planes over Knocke-St. Omer, near Calais, France.


The 354th was then used as an all the way escort for long-range heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force. The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its activities up to May 1944. The Group then moved to RAF Lashenden in April 1944.

By Spring 1944, American fighter units began to exhibit their own unit identities by applying bright colour markings on their aircraft. The 354th Fighter Group was no exception, by D-Day combat aircraft were displaying brightly coloured spinners and distinctive nose band designs on olive drab and natural metal finishes.

On D-Day the flew in support of the US parachute and Glider Landings, then flew in the ground attack and support role throughout Normandy, Brittany and Pays de Loire.

The Group was the first fighter group stationed in France at Cricqueville Airfield A2 (south of Point de Hoc and Grand Camp Maisy) in France in June 1944, to Gael Airfield, Brittany in August 1944, Orconte Airfield, in September 1944, and Rosieres En Haye Airfield, in December 1944.

The 354th received a second Distinguished Unit Citation for destroying a large number of enemy aircraft on the ground an in the air in support of the airborne attack on Holland in September 1944.

The Group participated in the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945 supporting ground forces and supported the crossing of the Rhine between February and May 1945. The Group moved into Germany in April 1945 to Ober Olm Airfield (Y-64) then to Ansbach Airfield and to AAF Station Herzogenaurach in May 1945.

James Howell Howard (April 8, 1913 – March 18, 1995) the only fighter pilot in the ETO in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor. He single-handedly defending a formation of B-17 bombers of the 401st Bomb Group against 30 German fighters on January 11, 1944. Howard had the rare distinction of being an ace in two operational theatres during World War II, with over 6 kills with the Flying Tigers of the American Volunteer Group in the Pacific and 6 kills over Europe with the United States Air Force

The 354th achieved the highest record of 701 enemy aircraft destroyed in air-to-air engagements. 

MARKINGS OF 354TH COMBAT AIRCRAFT



This North American P-51B-1-NA Mustang is in the standard European Theatre camouflage finish, white squadron code letters and yellow painted serial numbers. "Peg O'my Heart" was assigned to Maj. George R. Bickell, Commanding Officer of the 355th Fighter Squadron, Boxted, December 1943.



All Fighter Groups in the European Theatre were ordered to paint their spinners white with a 12" white nose band and 12" bands on the upper/lower wing surface and elevator tailplane section to help bomber crews and other fighter pilots identify friendly fighters. The P-51B Mustang was often mistaken for a German ME-109. Mustangs of the 354th Fighter Group wore this colour scheme up to when they began receiving natural metal finished aircraft. This P-51-5-NA Mustang "DING HAO!", fitted with a Malcolm hood (a bulged Perpsex frameless canopy developed by R Malcolm & Co) was the personal mount of Lt. Col. James H. Howard, Commanding Officer of the 356th Fighter Squadron, Lashenden, April 1944. The Japanese kill markings are from his time with the Flying Tigers in 1941-42, officially destroying 2.333 in the air and four on the ground.





When natural metal finish Mustangs began arriving with 12" black nose bands from Air Service Depots, units applied black squadron code letters and black bands on upper/lower wing surface and elevator tailplane section. The top engine cowling panels were painted in olive drab to eliminate glare. This P-51B-15-NA Mustang "Easy Rockin' Mama", was assigned to Lt. James G. Burke, 353rd Fighter Squadron, Lashenden, May 1944.

P-51D MUSTANG MARKINGS - SPRING 1944 TO NOVEMBER 1944



The definitive colour scheme applied to 353rd Mustangs during this period on both olive drab and natural metal finish Mustangs was a yellow spinner with a wide yellow and black sawtooth nose band. Invasion strips were applied to all Allied aircraft for D-Day operations and would remain on aircraft through the rest of 1944. Other photographed colour schemes used before the one shown above saw a black spinner with a wide black nose band and another was a yellow spinner with wide black nose band. This P-51D-5-NA Mustang "Arsons Reward", was assigned to Maj. Wallace N. Emmer, Criqueville (A-2) Normandy, France, August 1944.




Mustangs of the 355th Fighter Squadron were painted with a blue spinner and wide blue and white checkerboard nose band on a natural metal finish with standard D-Day Invasion markings. Photographs also show Mustangs from this unit with the typical blue spinner, leading small blue nose band, followed by a blue and white diamond pattern on the engine cowling (Click the Reference Photos box below to view images). This P-51D-20-NA Mustang "KILLER!", was the mount of Maj. Robert W. Stephens, Commanding Officer of the 355th Fighter Squadron, Gael (A-31) Brittany, France, August 1944.



Mustangs of the 356th FS sported a white spinner with white stars on a wide black nose band on a natural metal finish. Note: Sgt. William W. Louie, the artist responsible for a significant number of the nose art on 356th aircraft stated that they began receiving natural metal finish Mustangs with existing black nose bands. It was Maj. Richard E. Turner, CO., who devised the design that would be used to identify the unit and so instructed S/Sgt. Mark Hanson and Sgt. Louie to paint a ring of white stars on the black band. The design would also be applied to P-47s in late 1944 (See Figure 9). This P-51D-20-NT Mustang "SHANTY IRISHMAN", was assigned to Capt. Franics P. McIntire, Jr., Gael (A-31), Brittany, France, September 1944.

P-47D THUNDERBOLT MARKINGS - NOVEMBER 1944 TO FEBRUARY 1945

On November 13, 1944 the Pioneer Mustang Group received word that they would have to transition from Mustangs to Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. The P-47s coming in were a mixture of bubble-top and razorback models.

It was at A-98 Rosières-en-Haye that the Group would begin using their "Thunderbuckets" as they became known on dive-bombing, strafing and supporting troops on the ground but that did not deter 354th pilots from aerial engagements against the Luftwaffe.



All yellow cowling with black cowl flaps and black winged skull and crossbones. This would became one of the most memorable designs on a Thunderbolt. This P-47D-28 Thunderbolt was assigned to Capt. Kenneth H. Dahlberg, 353rd Fighter Squadron, Rosières-en-Haye (A-98), Moselle, France, December 1944.



Leading blue nose band followed by a blue and white diamond pattern on the engine cowling identifies this Thunderbolt from the 355th Fighter Squadron. Some Thunderbolts painted a grinning bomb (see art work above) on the engine cowling. This P-47D-26 Thunderbolt named "Scatter Bain", was the personal mount of 1st Lt. Raymond P. Bain, 355th Fighter Squadron, Rosières-en-Haye (A-98), Moselle, France, February 1945. 1st Lt. George J. New and P-47 were lost in action on 10 February 1945. Lt. Bain's replacement aircraft was a brand new P-51D-20 Mustang, coded GQ-S (S/N: 44-63193) also named "Scatter Bain". On 21 February, Lt. Bain flying his new Mustang was hit by flak while pulling off the target. Trailing long vapor and a smoke trail his Mustang caught fire. He was forced to bail-out near the German town of Neustadt, becoming a POW.


The 356th Fighter Squadron applied the same design as they had on their Mustangs, white stars on a black cowling band and white nose band. This P-47D-30 Thunderbolt "Shorty Miriam", was assigned to Lt. Norman E. Davis, 356th Fighter Squadron, Rosières-en-Haye (A-98), Moselle, France, December 1944.

P-51D MUSTANG MARKINGS - FEBRUARY 1945 TO END OF HOSTILITIES

In mid February the group returned to mustangs. Identifying colours placed on their Mustangs were very reserved and uniform and would remain that way through to the end of hostilities in Europe.




Yellow spinner with wide solid yellow nose band on a natural metal finish. This P-51D-20-NA Mustang "MARGIE MARU" in 353rd Fighter Squadron colors, was assigned to Lt Col. Jack T. Bradly, Deputy Commanding Officer, 354th Fighter Group Head Quarters, Rosières-en-Haye (A-98), Moselle, France, April 1945.






Blue spinner and wide solid blue nose band on a natural metal finish. Some 355th Mustangs had the "Pugnacious Pup" emblem painted on the vertical tail. This P-51D-20-NA Mustang "Wee Speck", was assigned to Maj. Lowell K. Brueland, 355th Fighter Squadron, Ansbach (R-45), Germany, May 1945.


Red spinner with wide solid red nose band on a natural metal finish. This P-51D-5-NA Mustang named "Uno-Who?", was assigned to Maj. George M. Lamb, Rosières-en-Haye (A-98), France, March 1945.


354th Fighter Group videos

These are superb and worth watching as a lot of interviews and insights among the survivors of the group.






References and Books about the group

Modelers' Society Journal - Special Limited Edition: The 354th Fighter Group In World War Two; Walt Fink, Doug Gifford and Jim Pierce; IPMS/USA

THE PIONEER MUSTANG GROUP, The 354th Fighter Group in World War II, By Steve Blake

354th FIGHTER GROUP - Osprey Publishing: By William Hess

I HAD A COMRADE , By Paul M. Sailer (353rd squadron)

THE ORANGES ARE SWEET, Major Don M. Beerbower and the 353rd Fighter Squadron - Nov 1942 to Aug 1944, By Paul M. Sailer

ONE STEP FORWARD, The Life of Ken Dahlberg, By Al Zdon and Warren Mack

LIVE BAIT, WWII Memoirs of an Undefeated Fighter Ace, By Clayton Kelly Gross

ROAR OF THE TIGER, From Flying Tigers to Mustangs - A Fighter Ace's Memoir, By James H. Howard

BIG FRIEND, LITTLE FRIEND, Memoirs of a World War II Fighter Pilot, By Richard E. Turner

TARGET LUFTWAFFE, The Tragedy and the Triumph of World War II Air Victory, By William A. Ong

THEY ALSO SERVE, An Armorer's Life in the ETO, By John Henkels

HISTORY IN THE SKY, 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group, By Captain Arthur F. Brown, 354th FG Public Relations Officer


Cheers
Matt

Monday, June 8, 2020

DDay supply, Mulberry A and B

As a ex-engineer I am interested in the back story of D-Day, the engineering requirements and solutions really were extraordinary. This is a small piece that I put together for my Facebook page, French Wargames Holidays @l’hotel de Hercé.

DDay plus 1, while the foothold was expanding in France, the supply planning swung into full action, 132 tugs departed england on the evening of the 6th of June with the parts for the two mulberry harbours.



Mulberry A team, the US construction seebees had a hard time at Omaha, still under fire and the port location was full of obstacles that required explosives to remove.


Mulberry B team, British No 1 construction and repair group started to work quickly at Arromanches.
The first task was to survey the location of the caissons and pier heads, then mark them with buoys.


The first components to arrive were the blocking ships, scuttled in overlapping patterns to avoid wave penetration and excessive scouring.





The LST pier heads and Whale roadways were in place by the 9th and heavy vehicles started using them on the 14th.




The harbours arrived off the coast and by the 13th, Gooseberry 1 at Utah was unloading ships, followed by Gooseberry 3 at Arromanches, 4 at Courselle (Juno) and 5 at Ouistreham (Sword).



The bombardons strings were in place by the 17th.





The Phoenix departed England on the 10th and by the 18th 75 were in place, one was damaged by a tug during a night collision.







Ten days after the landings the harbour was almost complete. Then on the 19th a great storm hit Normandy and lasted for three days, Mulberry A at Omaha was completely wrecked and abandoned except for some pier heads and whale roadways. I watched a documentry some time agao and it seems that at Mulberry A, quite a number of instructions by the construction team particularly the overlapping of the blocking ships and the anchor points for the Phoenix units was ignored or missed.

Mulberry B 10 months after D-Day, and over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of supplies were landed before it was fully decommissioned.

cheers
Matt

Sunday, June 7, 2020

D-Day and Arnhem, supplies from the sky! Airborne CLE canisters and Baskets

British Airborne CLE supply canisters


Coming up to D-Day this year I have started to revamp and add some bits to my 20mm British Airborne units, gliders and paratroops. As an ex Para, I have a lot of these chaps, I have already built two regiments of paras (120 odd figures) and a battalion of Glider borne troops for Arnhem, plus I have the Canadians and Poles not painted yet sitting in the unpainted pile, but my goal this year is really to add the fluff to the collection and mini dioramas to my British Parachute division collection.

First up will be some Central Landing Establishment or C.L.E supply canisters (postwar called container light equipment) plus a few larger wicker panniers along with the coloured parachutes for my supplies. With the advent of the British Parachute units supply was seen to be an issue so they simply copied the german idea of supply canisters, this is primarily for my reference but happy to share. I will also do an American supply article to coincide with my US airborne revamp.

C.L.E container

The delivery of the containers was in a variety of ways. The C-47 Douglas Dakotas were fitted with 6 attachment hard-points for canisters to be dropped with the parachutists, often missed by modellers who build a C-47 with parachutists deploying under canopy.  Any bombers or fighters could use the hard bomb points to deliver supply canisters also. 


C-47 Dakota with CLE containers attached


Loading CLE containers onto hardpoints

parachute inspection before loading 

note the red cross on the container

Lysander resupply type H container

Basket drop Arnhem 



supply drop Stirling Bombers

The C.L.E. Containers were all very similar, basically a hinged tube, one end had a hollow fitting for the parachute, and the other end had a percussion crash dome attached. The metal percussion head was a primitive shock absorber with rubber inserts; with a rounded end it was designed to roll with the fall direction or even collapse upon impact with the ground if there was no wind (common because of the British parachute design), this reduced the amount of force on the container’s contents.  The percussion head also could house a flashing light for night drops, it was also detachable so it could be replaced, and the container could be reused.






The C.L.E. Mark I Container was made from a metal framework faced with plywood; constructed in two halves that were then hinged together to form a hemispherical cylinder with four carry handles. Internally it had structural ribs and could be divided up into one large, or alternately two or three compartments with plywood dividers, allowing either smaller containers or smaller items to be packed separately. It was closed with two external latches. The Mark I was 6 feet 2 ½ inches in length, with a diameter of 1 foot 2 inches; it weighed 103 ½ pounds empty, with a maximum loaded weight of 350 pounds. Typically 12 rifles, or eight rifles and either a Bren or vickers MG with 1000 rounds of 303 cartridges. I have seen them RAF blue-grey, white and OD green.











The C.L.E. Mark I.T. Container made entirely of metal, it was 6 feet 2 ½ inches, it however it was a flat-bottomed cylinder. It was heavier ,135 pounds, but had the same maximum loaded weight of 350 pounds. Like the Mark I, it closed with two external latches. More commonly used for ammunition, Piat and mortar ammunition, petrol in specially designed round tins, and the welbike. After World War II, the Mark I.T. was referenced as the Mk. 1 (T) and was used up until the 1960s, with the last operational use in the 1956 Suez crisis. I have seen them painted OD Green and Raf blue-grey, white and black for resistance drops (with a shovel attached for burying)












packing small items and felt padding


The C.L.E. Mark III Container was 5 feet 6 ½ inches, completely cylindrical, with a diameter of 1 foot 2 inches. The Mark III was made of either all-metal or metal-framed plywood construction. The Mark III weighed 113 ½ pounds empty; the original maximum loaded weight was 350 pounds, but after extensive use the maximum weight was revised to 400 pounds. The Mark III had a twin internal locking mechanism; a rectangular cutout at the parachute end of the container gave access to the locking handle. It also had four lamps in the cone. By 1943, the Mark III was intended to replace the earlier containers, unless a specific load required the greater length. Post-war manuals reference the Mark III as the Mk. 3.  After World War II it was used up until the 1960s, with the last operational use in the 1956 Suez crisis.

I have seen them painted Green and RAF Blue-grey and white.







centre of gravity check, really important to prevent canister oscillation 



The C.L.E Mark III Type C Container was 5 feet 1 inches and exclusively used by the SAS, it was the same as the C.L.E mark III however, three external latches, it was painted black and had no cone, but rubber dampening pad only. The CLE mark III weighed 350lBs loaded, with a 205lb payload. The parachute deployment also differed it had a spring ejected auxiliary parachute that deployed the main chute, rather than a static line deployment, so it could be dropped under 400 feet.


A rare survivor in the resistance museum in Brittany.

CLE Mark III  type C SAS rubber tip vs round metal 



The Type E Container was rectangular in shape with a hinged lid, and was designed specifically for dropping the Number 18 wireless/telegraphy set. The sets were packed in felt pads and rubber absorbers. The 1943 manual does not list the size of the Type E, it does give the weight as 89 pounds empty, or 190 pounds when loaded with the No. 18 W/T set; the 1960 manual does not reference the Type E. Only seen these in OD green. 


The Type F Container was also rectangular, but longer than the Type E; it was 5 feet 8 ½ inches long, and 1 foot 2 inches tall by 1 foot 2 inches wide. The Type F could carry several different wireless/telegraphy sets, specifically the No. 11, 19, 21 or 22 sets. the sets were packed in felt pads and rubber absorbers. The container weighed 92 pounds empty; the loaded weight varied depending on the type of W/T set carried, but the maximum weight was 340 pounds. Only seen these OD green.

Type F container


Type H container designed for the for SAS, SOE and resistance, based on the CLE mark III. The type H container was much lighter than the other types, as the casing was not reinforced because of the cell nature of the container and the rubber bumper nose cone, a gross weight of 330 pounds (149 kg) loaded with a 235lb (106.5 kg) payload. 
The container was held together with a rods that threaded through the body, as each shell separated, the cell sections could easily be carried by one man by its carry handle or two cells could be connected with a webbing carry strap and slung over the body. The cell components were lettered for easy identification of the contents (see markings below), and easily passed out to the different resistance sections in a matter of moments at the reception area. The  original H 1942 model was 5ft 6 inches, but as the war progressed they could be adapted to any length of sections. Only the parachute and the rubber nose cone had to be buried on site with a spade strapped to the outside to aid in its burial. The parachute deployment was the same as the CLE mk III and had a spring ejected auxiliary parachute that deployed the main chute, rather than a static line deployment, so it could be dropped under 400 feet.

The English and Australian army were still using the H type containers in the 1990s when I served in airborne and special operations.







Baskets


Another item developed for dropping supplies was the wicker pannier, which was essentially a very large woven wicker basket  and a plywood base. Rectangular in shape L 36.2 inches x W 21.6 inches x H 15.7 inches, they were only be dropped from C-47 that had been adapted for their use and were on transport rollers in the aircraft due to weight. They were in two halves, the top was slightly larger than the bottom so it could fit over it and had four braided rope handles. The two halves were not attached; there were no latches or hinges. Instead, the two halves were lashed together with green webbing straps. This gave the advantage that the size of the load did not have to be precise; the pannier could be expanded as needed. The wicker pannier had a maximum loaded weight of 500 pounds.

Typically, two panniers were bundled together; the dispatchers commonly  referred to it as the “daisy chain” method, and naturally allowed for the panniers to be dispatched in half the time. One pannier was stacked on top of the other, and they were attached with lightweight cotton  ties. Each pannier had its own parachute, but with different lengths of static line; this would cause them to open at different times, breaking the ties and separating the two panniers for landing. Alternatively they could be grouped together in groups of two, four or six with two parachutes Type R Mk1. this required four dispatches to get them out of the plane fully loaded.

c-47 despatch rollers
despatch exercise 19th April 1944

basket contents





Parachutes 

The standard cargo parachute could be with made of silk, rayon or cotton blend, with heavy weight cotton thread in natural colour, and was standardised in 1942.

Type R Mk1 parachute - made from Rayon for light loads

GQ Irvin type X -the most common for canisters cotton blend.
Weight of delivery Up to 40lbs - 12 Foot Canopy
Weight of delivery 41 - 80 lbs - 16 Foot Canopy
Weight of delivery 81 - 120 lbs - 20 Foot Canopy
Weight of delivery 121 - 160 lbs - 24 Foot Canopy
Weight of delivery 161- 200 lbs - 28 Foot Canopy 

Heavy equipment parachute 42F - 42 foot canopy for multiple baskets, and heavy items.

Parachute colours 
The cargo parachutes were made originally in OD green in a variety of colours so that supply drops could be colour-coded. Different types of supplies, such as ammunition, rations, and medical equipment, could be designated by the colour of parachute and marked on the canister in a variety of ways; There was not a set system, and the colour-coding did vary for each operation.




DDAY

Red =Ammunition and ordnance
Yellow = medical supplies
Light Blue = Food
White = general supplies
Green = Signals

Arnhem
Red =Ammunition and ordnance
Yellow = signals
Light Blue = Fuel
White = medical
Green = Rations

Operation Varsity 


Black = SOE/Resistance drops


Markings 

The C.L.E containers carried a number of markings, from colour-code the tips of canisters and actual painted or sticker markings. More research required here!

motor cycle - motor cycle
C5 - Explosives
Medical - White red cross




SAS markings 
SAS canisters were divided into sections each section of the canister was marked on the outside.

H1 explosives and accessories
H2 machine guns and ammunition
H3 various armaments
H4 incendiary equipment
H5 sabotage equipment

Manufactures of containers

15mm
Flames of War/Frontline

20mm-1/72
S and S Models CLE canisters
https://sandsmodels.com/product/gb-para-cle-container/

Grubby Tanks - Britannia Miniatures canisters


28mm
1st Corps make some lovely kit

Warlord games, 

good painting refence from the 1/35th Black Dog selection 



I will be scratch building mine and making a mold for casting in resin as I need about 40 of them. the next article will have my attempts!


cheers
Matt’s