Aircraft Markings of the Strategic Air Command, 1946–1953


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SKU: 9780786475162 Categories: , ,

About the Book

In the aftermath of World War II, the Continental Air Command was redesignated as the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as part of a plan to organize the Army Air Forces around three new organizations based on strategic, tactical and air defense missions.
Nearly everything about the SAC was secretive—its capabilities, strengths, order of battle and unit identities. Its aircraft were rarely photographed and those images that were captured revealed little information.
This book comprehensively documents SAC tactical aircraft markings from the organization’s inception in 1946 to the end of the tail-marking era in April 1953, a period when the marking schemes included large tail markings, vivid squadron identification markings and attractive, colorful unit insignia. The SAC’s history is described along with the evolution of its aircraft markings policy and basic definitions of markings terminology. There are individual unit sections on SAC’s bombardment, strategic reconnaissance and fighter groups and wings. The text is heavily illustrated and features many never before seen photographs of SAC aircraft in full war paint.

About the Author(s)

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Rick Rodrigues is the historian for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California. He lives in Lincoln, California.

Bibliographic Details

Rick Rodrigues
Foreword by Dana Bell
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 411 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7516-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0312-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii
Foreword by Dana Bell      1
Preface      3
List of Abbreviations      5

1. History of Strategic Air Command, 1946–1953      7
2. Basic Definitions—USAF Aircraft Markings      20
3. SAC Combat Aircraft, 1946–1953      28
4. Development of SAC Aircraft Markings Policy      41
5. Bombardment and Strategic Reconnaissance Groups/Wings      78
6. Fighter Wings      198
7. Separate Squadrons      224
8. Operation Crossroads      236

Appendix 1. SAC Wing Insignia and Squadron Markings Reference Table      243
Appendix 2. Strategic Air Command Order of Battle, with Tail Markings      248
Chapter Notes      257
Bibliography      263
Index      267

Book Reviews & Awards

“well-researched…most beneficial”—ARBA.