Why Were Stripes Painted On WWII Planes?

Why Were Stripes Painted On WWII Planes? | World War Wings Videos

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The Origin of Invasion Stripes

Friendly fire is a controversial subject that some people brush over often. Regardless, it did happen more times than you think. To counter this, some aircraft in WWII were painted with stripes.

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These stripes are called “invasion stripes” and were painted onto Allied planes before the D-Day invasion. Everyone knew that the skies would be filled with aircraft from different sides, especially during the first few days of the invasion. And with so many aircraft present, it would be difficult to distinguish friend from foe. 

The Allies didn’t want the enemies to know about the markings before the invasion, so they only started giving the order three days before it took place.

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Prior to that, some test planes featuring the invasion stripes were flown over the Allied fleet to test their visibility and effectiveness. The strips would later be removed from the top portion of the planes to make them less visible. However, it would be fully removed by the end of 1944.

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