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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Default A History Mystery Green Ink in the Aviators Flight Log Book

So I’m re-reading Ironclaw again and I learn a little factoid about modern Naval Aviation. The color if the ink used to log the hours in a Naval Aviators Logbook have different meanings. Black is for a normal flight, red ink is used for instrument hours, and green ink is used for hours logged while flying combat. Don’t know why I missed this when I read it before, but I did

Anyhow, armed with this newfound (or maybe refound) knowledge, I go check my dad’s old logbook from his service in the Marine Corps in the mid 50’s. Low and behold he has some flights hours entered with green ink. These were for hours logged when he was assigned to VMF-115 in Korea, but they are during the months of May, June and July, 1954, which would around a year after the armistice was signed.

So my questions for all the Naval Aviation experts our there

How far back does the custom of logging combat flight hours with green ink go?

Do the Marines follow this custom or only the Navy?

About the only written account I’ve ever come across of VMF-115s activities in Korea post armistice was in Ginter’s book on Marine F9F Panther units. Anybody know of others?

Thanks!
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Last edited by Sabre Freak; December 13th, 2009 at 01:20 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:39 PM
easixpedro easixpedro is offline
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Default ye ol green ink

I don't know how long ago it started--but it still persists. You can also check the flight purpose code--it actually describes the mission flown. For example 6T8 or 6T5 would be a typical Prowler mission. Normal peacetime flights in the US are 1A1. These codes are at the front of the log book btw. Be interesting to see what they were logged as!

HTH
Peter
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:58 PM
Junkman9096 Junkman9096 is offline
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I don't know the answer to your general question but the one about green ink in 1954 has an answer if you think about it. Korea was, and is, still in a state of war. Its just the truce has been in effect for 56 years. It still runs hot and cold over there. And remember that the USAF was still shooting down MIGs into 1954-55, just not as often. So I could see instances of combat notations during that time.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Never heard of the green ink. The USMC (at least in my community) has been using red ink to designate combat hours for at least the last 20 years.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Gents,

Thanks for all the replies...

To answer your questions (and studying the character of flight)-

It was every flight logged from May 11th through July 8th. Character of flight is mostly 1A1 (Daylight Visual - Unit Training - Fundamental) or 1A2 (Daylight Visual - Unit Training - Instrument or All Weather). There was one that was 1W7 (Daylight Visual - Defense of own Base - Intercept Scramble)

I'll bet it was nothing more than they ran out of black ink or something.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:11 AM
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I knew I'd seen reference to green ink before today. The first chapter of the Osprey Air Combat book on the A-7 Corsair is titled "Green Ink in Lebanon" and has to do (naturally) with Corsair operations in 1983/84.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Not sure when it started, definitely still in practice today though with combat time being in green ink. In my experience red ink is night-time.

I'll scan a logbook page later.

Spongebob
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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As Sponge said, red isn't necesarily instrument - it's night. I've got plenty of instrument hours not in red because they were during the day...
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:51 PM
easixpedro easixpedro is offline
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Kolja,

We can introduce mass confusion and talk about Blue ink for NVG time...

We've been crushed down here due to Wx. About 30" in the past week. Let's just say NASF is struggling w/ the snow removal!

But enough of highjacking this post. Don't think I've ever heard of a 1A1 being logged as green ink. The 1W7 makes sense though.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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In the Army, we don't use ink to log our hours anymore. It's all ELAS. And the text on the screen is black, and doesn't change color for any type of flight. The only other color we use is red, for system faults in the equipment logbooks. I do keep my own personal written logbook, black ink. And it's gotta be a Navy only thing, the USAAF in WWII didn't do it as common practice.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Kolja Kolja is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easixpedro View Post
Kolja,

We can introduce mass confusion and talk about Blue ink for NVG time...

We've been crushed down here due to Wx. About 30" in the past week. Let's just say NASF is struggling w/ the snow removal!

But enough of highjacking this post. Don't think I've ever heard of a 1A1 being logged as green ink. The 1W7 makes sense though.
No, all my green ink starts with a six. That being said, I've never done a NATOPS or Instrument check on a combat hop (which, technically, is legal, I THINK). I've GIVEN an instrument check on a combat hop, though I honestly don't remember what TMR got logged. Also never did an FCF in Afghanistan or Iraq, though I hear those somehow counted as combat as well - not sure how they got logged.

I've heard it's been a rough start to the winter down there; on the other hand, I hear the Tahoe resorts are getting an early start. For our part, looking up from the recliner I can see snow accumulating on the skylight, so there's the possibility of a snow day tomorrow here at KNUW.

Quote:
In the Army, we don't use ink to log our hours anymore. It's all ELAS. And the text on the screen is black, and doesn't change color for any type of flight. The only other color we use is red, for system faults in the equipment logbooks. I do keep my own personal written logbook, black ink. And it's gotta be a Navy only thing, the USAAF in WWII didn't do it as common practice.
The web-based computer program the navy now uses for logging no-kidding actually will display entries in black, green or red 'pixels.' The program does it in a display that looks JUST like the logbook, so much so that my old command just printed them out on big labels and pasted them into the logbook. In my current command, some poor schmuck hand copies what he sees in the computer program into the logbook. Progress, or something.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 02:01 AM
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Yeah, like I said, a Navy thing. But I can see the hand copying. I do it for redundancy. They WILL lose your logbook thumb drive at some point, or something will crash or corrupt. Always good to have a hard copy of your hours.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolja View Post
In my current command, some poor schmuck hand copies what he sees in the computer program into the logbook. Progress, or something.
I always wondered about the variety of hand writing styles in his logbook...That would explain it. Wasn't his
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre Freak View Post
I always wondered about the variety of hand writing styles in his logbook...That would explain it. Wasn't his
I bet if you do see his handwriting, it'll be in any notes along the sides. Liike Kolja, some poor kid has to handwrite everything in--if it was a particularly memorable mission I write notes in the margin, most folks do as well. So I bet you could gleam some interesting things from there.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
I bet if you do see his handwriting, it'll be in any notes along the sides. Liike Kolja, some poor kid has to handwrite everything in--if it was a particularly memorable mission I write notes in the margin, most folks do as well. So I bet you could gleam some interesting things from there.
After finding some 8-yr old math errors, I gave up on the schmuck and just took care of it myself and got the skedso to "certify" it each month. Cleaned things up a lot.

Spongebob
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Old December 14th, 2009, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spongebob View Post
After finding some 8-yr old math errors, I gave up on the schmuck and just took care of it myself and got the skedso to "certify" it each month. Cleaned things up a lot.

Spongebob
Yup...Even 50 years ago...There are more than a few loose slips of paper with

xxx.x Tot
xx.x Over

Have no idea when he caught them. Most of them are while training
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Old December 15th, 2009, 01:40 AM
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LOL - last month we were out at sea and the carrier's skipper, a former Intruder and then Prowler guy, came flying with us and logged his 1000th trap. At one point in the ready room, one guy asked semi-rhetorically, "so, how many traps do you think the Captain REALLY has?" I looked at him quizically. He went on, "Well, how many errors have YOU found in your logbook???"

Point well taken. And I've only been doing this for 11 years. Over the time of the captains career, for all we know it could have been his 975th trap or his 1025th!!!
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