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Bockscar’s markings - not so inaccurate after all

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Hi to all, long time no post :tumble:


I’ve been doing some googling about the 509th B-29s (collecting some references to build all 15 planes)


as we all know, Bockscar did not have its nose art until after the mission, where it wore the false triangle N of the 444th, red band on the fuselage, and no. 77 markings on the aft, contrary to what Academy and Monogram depicted in their kit decals...


or so I thought...


recently, I came across this site that contains dated photos of both A-bombers, but what caught my attention is this photo:





it shows Bockscar after the mission wearing its (now signature) nose art and no. 77 on the nose, but STILL wearing the 444th’s false triangle N on the tail... and it can be assumed that the red band is still there (albeit hidden in this angle)...


assuming that this photo is authentic, I guess it can be said that Bockscar being depicted on kit decals and online/print art aren’t so fictional after all... and that it’s ok to use those decals and you’ll still come up with a historically and reasonably accurate model of Bockscar...


just don’t put Fat Man in the bomb bay :whistle:

Edited by Hans
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Yeah, that's an accurate photo. I believe the fictitious unit tail markings stayed on the birds for a few weeks up until just prior to them returning stateside.


Here's a few more that show "Bockscar" :

This is ENOLA GAY just after returning from the Hiroshima mission...in the background, you can see "Bockscar" (77) already with the "N"...but no red stripe. I guess it was added in the coming days prior to the 9th of August.


Unfortunately I don't have a date on this one, but I'm going to guess it's sometime after both missions. In the background here, you can now see ENOLA GAY (82) with the 509th arrow back in place on the tail sitting in it's same hardstand as when it returned on the 6th.


This one is a bit unusual, "Bockscar" with the "R" on the tail?? I'd say these were taken back in the states, post war. They appear to be in storage (engines covered, alll the tie downs and sitting on pallets in the dirt. Though it is unusual that they have the "R" and not the arrow on the tail. Or, the photos may be touched up to show the "R" on the tail?


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  • 2 weeks later...
23 hours ago, hemspilot said:

The first of the last pictures shows a #82, wouldn’t that be Enola Gay?

Notice the partially erased art on the stbd side.

Yeah, that's ENOLA GAY on top...it was all one photo. I suppose I could have cropped it to avoid confusion. BOCKSCAR with the "R" on the tail and any evidence of "77" on its nose area makes me think this is a retouched photo to begin with.

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