Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

Colors & Markings
of the Hawker Sea Fury
in Royal Canadian Navy Service

Part Six - The Oddballs 2

by Jennings Heilig


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron


Canadian Sea Fury Camouflage and Markings


The Oddballs - Part Two

The RCN training unit for the Sea Fury was VT 40.  As specified, VT 40 used codes in the 800 series to denote its training status.  This FB.11 (whose serial is, unfortunately, not known) carried a unique white spinner with a red star motif during September of 1955.  Note the orientation of the star points to the prop blades.  There is speculation that this might have been the aircraft assigned to the Commander (Air), HMCS Shearwater.  If anyone has information on the serial number of this aircraft, please contact the author.



When the new RCN marking scheme was implemented in 1952, aircraft code numbers were supposed to follow a definite pattern.  For operational squadrons, the first digit denoted the number of crewmembers the aircraft normally carried, while the second two identified the individual aircraft.  The Sea Fury being a single seat aircraft (the RCN never operated any two-seat Sea Furies), it naturally received code numbers in the 100 range - usually.  For reasons yet to be discovered, several aircraft wore codes in the 200 and 300 range.  FB.11 TF996/294 of VF 871 circa May 1955 illustrates one such application, while WZ636/354 illustrates another.  The latter aircraft was delivered from Hawker with this decidedly non-standard number and number style.  Also note the British style single line service identifier on the aft fuselage.  This seems to be an issue about which Hawker never did get the message.  Also note that WZ636 has smaller than normal maple leaves in its fuselage roundels.



Hawker seemed to have real trouble with following RCN markings standards from time to time.  The following illustration shows one of the last Sea Furies delivered to the RCN, WZ634. While the code number in the 100 block is correct, just about everything else is wrong.  It had squared style codes similar (though not identical) to those seen on WZ636 above, despite the fact that the RCN specified the exact same post-war rounded style codes as were in common use by the RN and RAF at the time. The service identifier was still on a single line, the "2" in the fuselage code on the left side was misaligned, the lower wing roundels were 24" in diameter instead of 36, the lower wing codes were 24" high instead of 36", and the code and "NAVY" were on the wrong wings!  In short, the airplane was a mess.  We can only hope they painted it in the correct camouflage colors at least.



One last oddity.  An FB.11 coded "125" (whose serial is also unknown) was involved in a minor mishap aboard the Maggie on 25 May 1953.  The starboard outer wing was damaged, necessitating its replacement before the aircraft was returned to service.  The aircraft was in standard 1952 markings, but when the replacement outer wing panel was fitted, it was still painted and marked in the pre-1952 pattern!  Photos clearly show the 18" diameter yellow-bordered roundel on the upper surface, and we can assume that the ICAO code "VG" was probably still present on the lower surface.  Since the aircraft's other markings were standard, this gives us an aircraft with a lower wing reading "VGY" on one side (the “Y” being the last letter in “NAVY” on the fixed inboard wing section) and "125" plus a roundel on the other!



Text & Images Copyright © 2007 by Jennings Heilig
Page Created 03 April, 2007
Last Updated 02 April, 2007

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reference Library