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"Yellow line on Luftwaffe A/C tail?" Topic

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Comments or corrections?

Trojan Points25 Jun 2015 10:37 a.m. PST

Probably common knowledge but I just can't figure it out!

I've been googling away for more than an hour and can't find an explanation for it…

What's it for? Are there specific parameters (period, theater, unit…) that govern the presence/absence of that line?


athun2525 Jun 2015 11:01 a.m. PST

Yellow theater band could be for either Eastern Front or Balkans, depending on the shade. White was for the Med and Western Front.

Fatman25 Jun 2015 11:03 a.m. PST

They are an ID marking for Axis aircraft on the Eastern front. Often wing tips and cowling were painted in the same color. Those in the Med, and I think the Caucasus, had a white band.


Fatman25 Jun 2015 11:05 a.m. PST

That's what I get for talking to my wife half way through typing a post.


JimDuncanUK25 Jun 2015 11:31 a.m. PST

Tail Bands

In 1941, tail bands were added as part of the markings for aircraft on the Eastern Front and the Mediterranean. A white band round the aft fuselage was carried by aircraft in the Mediterranean and southern Russia; a white band was carried in central and northern Russia and Scandinavia. Often wing tips and cowling were painted in the same color. In mid 1944 a more complicated system of 'Reichsverteidigung' (defense of the reich) tail bands was introduced for fighter units.

JG=093 : Single white band
JG=094 : Black, white and black band
JG=095 : Black and yellow band
JG 11 : Yellow band
JG 27 : Green band
JG 51 : Green, white and green band
JG 52 : Red and white band
JG 53 : Black band
JG 77 : White and Green band
JG 300 : Blue, white and blue band.

The 'Gruppe' within the Jagdgeschwader was identified by markings within the band; a narrow horizontal stripe was added for the II. Gruppe and a narrow vertical one for the III. Gruppe. The Gruppe markings were placed inside or on top of the bands. According to the book, the total width of the band was 900mm. This was often ignored.

Extracted from:


Fish26 Jun 2015 2:27 a.m. PST

Same reason why German allied Finns had the same yellow band on fuselage (and yellow wingtips in the underside) during Continuation War.

Trojan Points26 Jun 2015 6:51 a.m. PST

So they're besicaly (in their earlier incarnation, before the 1944 "Reichsverteidigung" system) there to reduce friendly fire? Just like Allied invasion stripes?

Rabbit 327 Jun 2015 2:06 a.m. PST

More or less.
Probably worth noting that Luftwaffe aircraft in Western Europe didn`t have tail bands.
Likely because the RAF started painting sky coloured bands round the tails of its fighters from the end of 1940.

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