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Camouflage, Colors and Markings Topics related to Camouflage, Colors and Markings of WWI aircraft

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Old 13 January 2024, 06:38 AM   #1
Chocks Away
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S.E 5a Serial Number Location

I would be interested in any reference RFC marking standard for serial numbers,
The location and Rudder fin markings if any.

I am seeing many variations in position size and additional numbering / colours.

Basically I am looking for the serial standard Sept,Oct 1918 for the E XXXX
serials. On a S.E 5a, may be of 56 Sqd.


I am trying to tie down on the rear fuselage serial in white E XXXX, on olive, with a Black XX on the white bar of the tail fin.

No letter E apparent, just No. XX on the middle white of the tail bar red/white and Blue tail marking.

Can anyone confirm this No.XX would be the last two digits of the serial number, and not the sqd. Number.


Thanks.
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Old 18 January 2024, 09:19 AM   #2
Wace
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Do you have the serial number or a photo?
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Old 19 January 2024, 08:55 AM   #3
Chocks Away
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Tail fin 85 on the white vertical bar.

Serial number E ?2(?)8(?)5
E*285 may be, if I can confirm the tail number, is the last two numerals, of the serial number. Not the SQUADRON number.
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Old 19 January 2024, 04:08 PM   #4
Wace
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The E series S.E.5a's had the serial repeated on the tail fin. Overpaint might account for only 2 of the serial appearing or crash damage. I believe the only possibility is S.E.5a E1285 a Vickers built machine and also fits your description of the serial and placement. This is the only S.E.5a that had a 285 in that sequence. The '85' might appear in a different position depending on if you are looking at the starboard or port side. I've seen examples of this happening. None of the other E series production batches had any form of 285 in sequence and there was no E2000 series. This aircraft appears in the time frame you are inquiring about going to 56sqn on 11 Aug 1918 and crashing on landing on 19 Oct 1918 at Lechelle. It was sent to salvage 3 days later on the 22nd of October 1918. The only other possibility but I doubt it in this instance because it was salvaged, are batches of S.E.5's that were sent back to the USA for testing and evaluation. They had an additional 'P' number painted on the tail standing for Project number. I believe there were only 52 aircraft that had this though. As far as squadron identification, the fuselage markings identified the squadron.
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Old 20 January 2024, 05:33 AM   #5
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and the winner is E-1285

Thank you for the informative reply. I have seen on coloured prints/drawings the last two numbers of the serial number on the white bar of the tail.

High In The Empty Blue, page 418 squadron markings, p417 loss details.


E1285

Hit Ridge turned over and damaged landing.To 2ASD.
delivered 11 Aug 18 s.o.s 19 Oct 18.

http://www.airhistory.org.uk/rfc/index.html

E1285 SE5a 200HS 772 56Sq 19.10.18 Hit ridge and o/t on landing from practice. Lt RD King Ok AIR 1/860 cas rep 23/img_5306 cas rep


Two days previously having damaged B8521, how unlucky!



SE5 56Sqd LT RD King E1285 crashed 19-10-18.jpg
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