Is "USAF" Correct?

"The Air Force is the youngest of all U.S. military services. Its birth
date is September 18, 1947. On that day, the National Security Act
became law. Signed by President Harry Truman, it set up the National
Military Establishment, which was renamed the Department of Defense
(DOD) in 1949."
Thus starts my post on this... I saw the Modeling Madness webpage
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"Euro Decals 48104: Occupation USAF in Germany". No dates are provided
on the Mustang or Thunderbolt units to serve postwar but it was my
understanding the U.S.A.A.F. changed to USAF in 1947, as stated above,
stolen from website that popped up when I Googled 'USAF history'.
So, would these Euro decals be correct? When did our occupying forces
leave? Wouldn't the USAF have been applied in late 1947 at least?
Just wondering...
Frank Kranick
Reply to
Francis X. Kranick, Jr.
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Well, it does say that the F-47Ds are shown as marked after 1947, implying that the P-51Ds were as marked immediately postwar (also implied by the squadron/aircraft codes being painted on the wings).
That's correct. The sheet's title is somewhat misleading since the P-51Ds featured weren't technically 'USAF' but 'USAAF' aircraft.
The decals are fine as is.
The then West Germany became fully sovereign in May of 1955 at which time West Germany joined NATO and US forces there became subject to a SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) as NATO troops, ending their status as occupation forces.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if not even all of the national insignias had been updated by adding the red stripe before then. I'm not sure when the 'USAF' wing markings started being used but they weren't _officially_ sanctioned until 1955 (!) although they obviously were in widespread use well before then.
Reply to
Al Superczynski
Technically I think the sheet's authors are wrong to use the USAF in the title. Only the P-47s appeared to be in USAF markings. The first one with the 'FE' buzz number is definitely in the Air Force because P-47s would still have a 'PE' buzz. Thus, it's an F-47. Also the red stripe in the bar insignia came in around the same year as the Air Force. Most of those Mustangs are in WWII-style finishes.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
Reply to

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