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  1. #1
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    1939 Australian 18 pounder HE streamlined cartridge with original paint

    Thanks to a couple of local collectors, including Ozziammo (thanks Pete), I am very happy to have been able to complete my 1939 18 pounder HE streamlined cartridge.

    All components were made, and or filled, in 1939 at the Maribyrnong factories in Melbourne, Victoria: MO - Maribyrnong Ordnance factory, MF - Munitions Footscray and ME - Maribyrnong Explosives factory (filling factory), which were all located very close together.

    The 117 Mk III fuze is stamped MF 6/39 (and was never filled).

    The shell is stamped:

    A (Unknown)
    MC (Unknown, but unlikely to be MC Finsbury, Adelaide SA)
    BHP 1- 1932 (Steel supplier and date)
    18 PR
    1C (Mark 1C shell)
    FS (Forged Steel)
    MO (Maker - Maribyrnong Ordnance factory)
    57 (Lot number)
    9-39 (manufacture date September 1939)

    The shell is stencilled:

    ME (Filled at Maribyrnong Explosives factory)
    10/39 (Filling date October 1939)
    26 in circle (Filling lot number)

    The case is an 18 pdr Mk IV made at MF in 1939, and the No. 1 Mk II primer was made at MF in 9/38 and filled at ME in 4/39.


    Shells with original paint are always nice and I hope you enjoy looking at it.

    Regards,

    Graeme
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Darkman For This Useful Post:

    Andysarmoury (20th November 2018), charley777 (25th November 2018), DICKAREN (26th April 2019), Falcon (28th April 2019), HAZORD (20th November 2018), MINENAZ16 (20th November 2018), ron3350 (20th November 2018), Snufkin (20th November 2018), TimG (20th November 2018)

  3. #2
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    Thanks for showing, and a great find well done.
    Cheers
    Andy

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    Darkman (20th November 2018)

  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkman View Post
    Shells with original paint are always nice...

    That's the understatement of the decade.




    Tom.

  6. #4
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    I love the original paint!
    ___HAZ/
    _____/ORD Hazardous Ordnance Recognition
    ________Saving Lives Through Education

  7. #5
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    She's a beauty ! Nice find ...

  8. #6
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    Graeme

    Thank you very much for posting these pictures.

    Back in 2011 I started a thread asking whether there was any evidence for the idea that HE shells were painted 'Buff'. I was specifically asking about the period of the BEF in 1939/40. Every artillery handbook I own or have looked at for the period 1931 to 1941 says that HE projectile bodies were painted yellow and the colour plates show this as a clear yellow colour, not Buff. This includes my copy of the 1940 handbook for the 18-PR Mks I, I*, II and II*.

    I know that colours can be deceptive, not least in printing and in photographs, and I can also see that there is a lot of age-related 'patina' on your shell, so I would be interested in your opinion of the colour. If you are up for it I could send you some painted cards for comparison.

    Regards

    Andrew

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    Darkman (27th April 2019)

  10. #7
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    No problems Andrew, but I'm in Australia.

  11. #8
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    Inter Service Ammunition and Ammunition Package Marking handbook 1948 (ISA&APM) (in Downloads )states that HE shell are marked to BS381C, Buff, Middle Colour Number 359. I do not know exactly when this colour started but DWS Notes 15/III printed April 1943 says that Bombs SBML 4.2" Mortar HE are painted Buff.
    This eventually ceased in the case of mortar, the natural body metal was varnished.
    RAOS Vol 4 Pam 1 of 1954 says that in the pre 1945 and the 1945 - 48 marking systems HE, AP and SAP all had a Buff basic body colour. In the 1948 - 51 system, only the HE were Buff coloured, AP being dark blue and SAP being light blue.
    All changed again in the 1960 edition of JSA&APM ('Joint' having replaced 'Inter') HE now being Deep Bronze Green to BS381C Colour Number 224.

  12. #9
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    Graeme
    That is no problem. If you PM me your address I will send you a few cards with different yellows and would be interested to hear which if any is a good match.
    Regards
    Andrew

  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE501 View Post
    Inter Service Ammunition and Ammunition Package Marking handbook 1948 (ISA&APM) (in Downloads )states that HE shell are marked to BS381C, Buff, Middle Colour Number 359. I do not know exactly when this colour started but DWS Notes 15/III printed April 1943 says that Bombs SBML 4.2" Mortar HE are painted Buff.
    This eventually ceased in the case of mortar, the natural body metal was varnished.
    RAOS Vol 4 Pam 1 of 1954 says that in the pre 1945 and the 1945 - 48 marking systems HE, AP and SAP all had a Buff basic body colour. In the 1948 - 51 system, only the HE were Buff coloured, AP being dark blue and SAP being light blue.
    All changed again in the 1960 edition of JSA&APM ('Joint' having replaced 'Inter') HE now being Deep Bronze Green to BS381C Colour Number 224.
    Thanks for this information. It makes it clear what was going on in the later period but it is difficult to confirm what was happening in 1939/40. As far as I can see, British Standard colours in the BS 381C range were not chosen for ammunition and packages until the Inter Service Ammunition and Ammunition Package Marking Committee reported in 1945. I have a single sheet listing the colours which I believe are from that 1945 report (attached below). It mentions colours with two digit references (like No 59 Buff), as in the original 1930/1931 BS 381C range. The other charts that can be found on this site with BS 381C colours are from the updated 1948 report of the committee or later and have new three digit references (like No 359 Buff, Middle) that were only allocated in the 1948 revision of BS 381C.

    If you look back to 'An Introductory Survey of Ammunition 1942', reprinted on 17 June 1944 - which seems to be the only version of this pamphlet around - it still mentions Army paint names that had been in use since before the war, including Light Green, Grey and Bright Red rather than BS 381C colours. It also says in the text, like all the manuals and handbooks in the 1930s, that the bodies of HE shells are painted yellow. (It doesn't mention the bodies of mortar shells.) It does, however, have a colour chart about the system of marking projectiles at Plate 8 where it says 'The empty body is painted all over with a colour to indicate the purpose for which it is intended eg HE Shell - buff.' So this plate is completely contradicting the main text. Perhaps in this reprinted pamphlet this plate was a 1944 replacement for the original 1942 version?

    I would be very interested if anyone has the original 1942 version of the Introductory Survey of Ammunition, 1942 which might shed some light on this contradiction or any other documents which clarify whether buff were used before 1943.

    I would also be interested if anyone has a source with the original 1945 colour chart from the Inter Service Ammunition and Ammunition Package Marking Committee report that would confirm the page attached below.

    Andrew

    Inter Services Ammunition Packages colours.jpg

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    AE501 (2nd May 2019)

 

 

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