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Thread: Paint Colour of South African vehicles North Africa WW2?

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    Really Senior Member RobD's Avatar
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    Paint Colour of South African vehicles North Africa WW2?

    Dear Forummers
    my brother is restoring a South African 1942 Harley Davidson; does anybody know the correct tone of the paint he should use for a vehicle used in North Africa / Ethiopia?
    many thanks
    Rob


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    I would say with a degree of certainty that it would be the same as the Britishicon service vehicles. Simply because the while the Australians, NZers and SAfricans supplied the troops, the vehicles were supplied by the UK albeit that towards the end of the North African campaign, they came from the US as lend lease. Same as later when they moved up into Italyicon and took their vehicl;es across the Med with them. Just my 2cents worth

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    Really Senior Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    As Peter says, same as Britishicon Army.
    From 6 October 1941, a letter was issued by Staff Duties Branch of GHQ Middle East Forces concerning the policy on painting of vehicles in view of the shortage of paint in the ME theatre. Thus one colour should be applied to all vehicles, artillery and afv's, specifically a colour called Light Stone, British Standard Colour No.61 and known as ME Standard Colour No.23. (as an amusing aside, the latter also noted that, in order to expedite painting with the minimum of delay, "the practice of throwing sand on the paint will be discontinued")

    The only other thing I would say is though, is only the RAF received the Canadianicon WLC models, not the Army, so I'm not sure there would have been any WLC's in British or Commonwealth service in the Med theatre....??

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    Really Senior Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
    The only other thing I would say is though, is only the RAF received the Canadianicon WLC models, not the Army, so I'm not sure there would have been any WLC's in Britishicon or Commonwealth service in the Med theatre....??
    OK, scrap that, just checked my book on wartime motorcycles, and noted that SA bought a load of 1200 side-car outfits and 750 solo, all civilian models as the order was direct with HD before USAicon entered the war. So, not supplied under lend-lease or via British WD.
    Must be ultra rare to find one of those.........very cool

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Used in North Africa would be the same colour as the forces they were part of, otherwise it would be too easy to identify them. In Ethiopia/Abyssinia where they operated on their own to a large extent, it could be anything particular to the force at that time, but most probably olive drab or similar.

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    Really Senior Member RobD's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Yes, it is a 1200cc "U" model, plus left-sided sidecar - uniquely South African, I understand.
    Many thanks for those useful suggestions, everyone.
    Rob

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Blue?
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    In Ethiopia/Abyssinia, the South Africans were still supplied by the Brits. So were the Kenyans with 'em.
    Didn't read it but there might be a mention of colours.
    http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol101em.html
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Same colour as mine , but mine is 1995
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	DADS HARLEY DAVIDSON s-l1600.jpg‎
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    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    Really Senior Member RobD's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks, Sunray - I had the article "Harleys in Khaki", thanks for posting it on the forum.
    That article mentions 156 drab olive-green 1200 cc Harley-Davidsons with side-cars ... &....another order of one thousand 1200 cc Harleys with side-cars. These left-sided combinations are unique to S Africa, it seems.
    To 22Sqn: not sure I understand - can you explain why blue might have been used for SA infantry vehicles? Do you mean for SA Airforce or Navy use?
    To all: Does anyone know if "Light Stone, Britishicon Standard Colour No.61" is also known as "BS 361 light stone"?
    As in CAMO Matt Nato Camouflage Military Paint BS 361 LIGHT STONE 5 LITRE | eBay
    or BS 381C - 361

    many thanks
    Rob

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