354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group

Unit Histories

Army Navy Aircraft (ANA) and Quarter Masters (QM) Colors

Insignia  White
QM #601
R255 G253 B250

Insignia Blue
ANA #502
R38 G48 B66

ANA #515
R44 G41 B38

Olive Drab
QM #6613
R85 G79 B68

Neutral Gray
ANA #603
R128 G129 B135

ANA #505
R255 G199 B0

ANA #501
R24 G100 B147

ANA #509
R163 G43 B47

Additional reference material on World War II Army Navy Aircraft (ANA) and Quarter Master (QM) colors visit these websites:

Modeling Resources for the 354th Fighter Group: IPMS - Santa Rosa.

Camouflage & Markings: Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-1945
IPMS Stockholm.org

Simmers Paint Shop: ANA/GM Color Swatches of US Aircraft 1919 - 1945

Home  |  History of the 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group during World War II - Valor in Combat

Battle Colors 

Color Markings of 354th Combat Aircraft

In late 1943 Mustangs arrived at Boxted Air Station in the standard USAAF ETO theater camouflage scheme of Olive Drab on the upper surfaces and sides with Neutral Gray on the undersurfaces (See Fig 1 below).

By late spring 1944, American fighter units began to exhibit their own unit identities utilizing bright color markings. The 354th Fighter Group was no exception, by D-Day Mustang aircraft of the Pioneer Mustang group were adored with brightly colored spinners and nose band designs.

Fighters began appearing in natural metal finish. Markings which had been applied in white and yellow were applied to these natural metal aircraft in black. With natural metal finishes glare became a problem for pilots. Anti-glare panels on the upper, forward fuselage were painted olive drab.

The 354thpmfg.com website has developed color plates based on a publication by Walt Fink, Doug Gifford and Jim Pierce - International Plastic Modelers' Society Journal: The 354th Fighter Group in World War Two.

Early P-51B/D Mustang Color Markings - Late 1943 to Late 1944

Fig 1: The 354th Fighter Group received their Mustangs in regulation olive drab paint and neutral grey underside. All 354th Mustangs wore this color scheme.


USAAF fighter aircraft were ordered to paint their spinners white with a 12" white nose band. All 354th Mustangs wore this color scheme.


353rd Mustangs: Yellow spinner with a 12" wide yellow and black sawtooth nose band on natural metal finish.


355th Mustangs: Blue spinner with 12" wide blue and white checkerboard nose band on natural metal finish.


356th Mustangs: White spinner with white stars on a 12" wide black nose band on natural metal finish.


P-47D Thunderbolts Color Markings - Late 1944 to Spring 1945

On November 13, 1944 the Pioneer Mustang Group received word that they would have to transition from Mustangs to the Thunderbolts. The P-47s coming in were a mixture of bubble-top and razorback models.

It was at A-98 Rosieres-en-Haye that the Group would begin using their "Thunderbuckets" as they became known on dive-bombing, strafing and supporting troops on the ground but that did not deter 354th pilots from aerial engagements against the Luftwaffe. 


353rd Thunderbolts: All yellow cowling with black cowl flaps and  winged skull and crossbones which would became one of the most memorable designs on a Thunderbolt.


355th Thunderbolts: Blue and white diamond pattern on the cowling with a blue nose band and cowl flaps. The 355th also adorned their cowling with a black grinning bomb.


356th Thunderbolts: Applied the same design as they had on their Mustangs, white stars on a black cowling band and white nose band.

Late P-51D Mustang Color Markings - Spring 1945 to End of War

In mid February a welcome sight appeared over the base, Mustangs! The Group celebrated their return and in a few days were back to flying missions in their beloved Mustangs. 

Markings placed on their Mustangs were very reserved and uniform and would remain that way through to the end of hostilities.


353rd Mustangs: Yellow spinner with 12" yellow nose band on natural metal finish. 


355th Mustangs: Blue spinner and 12" blue nose band on natural metal finish.


356th Mustangs: Red spinner with12" red nose band on natural metal finish.




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Modelers' Society Journal - Special Limited Edition: The 354th Fighter Group In World War Two; Walt Fink, Doug Gifford and Jim Pierce; IPMS/USA.