Centennial Retro Paint Jobs…

I was asked via email to put up the retro paint jobs on the P-3’s so here they are…

The P-8 in the previous post is the ‘current’ paint scheme, e.g. haze grey (must have gotten a good deal on ship paint…)

The first is a P-3 painted in the original PBY blue paint (prior to the Black Cats). A bit of a trivia question- Does anybody recognize the number painted on it???

OBTW, this aircraft was painted in Atsugi, Japan; before flying back to the States…
And since I screwed up the order, this the the original P-3A colors. Black lower fuselage, wings, tail, white upper and the first full color insignia on the tail. In this case, VP-6 Blue Sharks from Hawaii…
And lastly, a P-3 painted in the black/white P-2V colors, note no tail insignia…
So… Any guesses on what that number means??? It’s actually pretty famous (or at least famous in the Navy)… 🙂


Centennial Retro Paint Jobs… — 14 Comments

  1. would that have been a reference to VP-44 who saw the Japanese sneaking up on Midway I believe it was?

  2. Ev- You win the prize… if I had one… 44-P-4 was the side number of Ens Reid’s plane, which is the one that found the Japanese Fleet. Thankfully, nobody at Atsugi noticed (bad political move if you ask me)…

    Keads- Yep… nice try!

  3. I designed and built a PAT trainer for the TACCO position on the P-3. Those are neat aircraft, and their crews were very dedicated.

  4. I remember those flying out of WGNAS when I lived in the area.

    What color were the Neptunes?
    Something in my mind remembers green.


  5. Mr. B- Do we know each other???

    ADM- Not many know that fact… Lots of folks want to attribute it to VP-23…

    Gerry- At that time they had gone to the “gray” lowers, that in the right light looked like a very light green…

  6. The only paint scheme I remember for the P-3 was the gray/blue ones that would occasionally have to overnight at that aleution hot-spot called Shemya, where I spent many a year sitting alert with Cobra Ball and Cobra Eye.

    Gary W. Anthony
    MSgt, USAF, Ret.

  7. I doubt that we know each other.

    I just worked for a contractor who sold them to the Navy. I did work with some of the crews though, and found them very professional.

  8. I’m glad they didn’t paint one of them in the dark blue, green and red that Northweset rolled out as a paint scheme back in the early 90’s. It’s pretty hard to make an airplane look like a bowling shoe but they managed.

  9. Snigs- 😛

    Gary- Ah, you just HAD to bring up Shemya didn’t ya… Spent a few days there myself in the mid-late 70s and 88-92… Got a couple of flights on ‘your’ birds from Eielson too.

    Mr. B- Anyway, thanks for what you did, they actually WORK! 🙂

    Brigid- Those things went beyond bowling shoe to butt ugly… I (thankfully) never had to fly NWA

  10. I remember that the P-3’s used to fly every weekend from Glenview NAS near my house. I never understood why submarine patrol planes flew from an inland base. I thought it was because the reservist pilots and crew were from the midwest?