color photo of the P-51 cockpit

Cockpit Colors of WW2 US Army Air Force Aircraft

USAAF Camouflage Reference Contents:

WW2 USAAF Aircraft Cockpit Colors

Delving into the hues that adorned the cockpits of USAAF aircraft during World War II is a journey rife with controversy and speculation. Setting the stage, the earliest directives on cockpit colors date back to September 9, 1938 (Specification No. 98-24113-A), outlining practices that would become widespread in USAAF aircraft.

The primary color on the palette was 'Yellow Green,' officially known as Green Zinc Chromate. It found its place on aircraft with open cockpits or sliding enclosures, a common sight on fighters and single-engined aircraft. For aircraft with enclosed cockpits, integrated into the fuselage like bombers, Bronze Green No. 9 took the spotlight. This color, introduced as early as November 1919 (US Army Specification No. 3-1), was a very dark olive green shade resembling black-green, although it appeared lighter on closer inspection.

Fast forward to September 12, 1942 (Spec. No. 98-24113-A Amendment No.6), a significant alteration occurred. Green Zinc Chromate held its ground for open cockpits, but a newcomer named Dull Dark Green, having debuted in USN service, ousted Bronze Green for closed cockpits. This color, speculated to be a darker version of Medium Green No. 42 with a bluish hue, added a layer of complexity. Its appearance varied widely, sometimes resembling a turquoise-like blue-green. The color, close to aged bronze, further blurred lines with Bronze Green.

Late in 1942, Green Zinc Chromate morphed into Interior Green ANA 611, standardized by the USN and introduced to the ANA palette on September 28, 1943.

A final wartime adjustment, on April 6, 1945 (Specification No. 98-24113-B), mandated Medium Green ANA 612 for visible cockpit areas, replacing Dull Dark Green. Glass-reflected areas were to be Black ANA 604. This meant the upper halves of cockpits were painted black. Just before the war's end, on August 18, 1945, an amendment formalized Interior Green ANA 611 as the replacement for Yellow Green. Given the curtailment of aircraft production in 1945, it is likely that very few aircraft received ANA 612 cockpits.

The path to consistency proved elusive, as not all USAAF manufacturers adhered to the guidelines. Curtiss Cockpit Green and Northrop Cockpit Green emerged, each a proprietary deviation. Curtiss Cockpit Green leaned towards a more tinted version of Green Zinc Chromate, appearing slightly brown. Northrop Cockpit Green, was closer to the standard version of Green Zinc Chromate. Republic's color, approximating Bronze Green and later Dull Dark Green. Bell Green, a dark shade which was similar to Medium Green. While early P-38s with Olive Drab cockpits added the diversity.

WW2 Cockpit Colors by Aircraft

Here is summary of main cockpit colors for major USAAF aircraft.


  • P-39 Airacobra (All versions): Bell Green.


  • B-17E and early versions of Flying Fortress: Bronze Green,
  • B-17F/G Flying Fortress: Dull Dark Green,
  • B-29 Superfortress: Dull Dark Green.


  • B-24D Liberator: Bronze Green,
  • B-24E and the late Liberators: Dull Dark Green.


  • P-40 Warhawk (All versions): Curtiss Cockpit Green.


  • A-20 Havoc: Green Zinc Chromate or ANA 611 Interior Green. However, the color appears browner than regular ANA 611,
  • A-26 Invader: Interior Green.


  • P-38E and F-4 Lightning: Dark Olive Drab No. 41,
  • P-38F and later: Green Zinc Chromate / ANA 611 Interior Green.


  • B-26 Marauder: Green Zinc Chromate or ANA 611 Interior Green.

North American

  • B-25B/C/D Mitchell: Bronze Green,
  • B-25G and the late Mitchells: Dull Dark Green,
  • P-51A Mustang: DuPont Gray Green 71-036,
  • P-51B Mustang: Dull Dark Green,
  • P-51D Mustang: ANA 611 Interior Green,
  • P-51D(late)/H Mustang: ANA 611 Interior Green and ANA 604 Black.


  • P-61 Black Widow: Northrop Cockpit Green


  • P-47C Thunderbolt and P-47D Razorback: Republic Bronze Green,
  • P-47D/M/N Bubbletop: Republic Dull Dark Green.

Photographic evidence of cockpit colors from this era is rare, and even rarer are color photos, complicating efforts to pinpoint exact shades. Restoration adds another layer of complexity, with repainted aircraft potentially deviating from the original. Therefore, all information presented remains speculative and should not be considered definitive on this contentious topic.

Guide to WW2 USAAF Aircraft Cockpit Colors

Standard Colors

  • Green Zinc Chromate: resembled Interior Green but with a brighter yellow hue.
  • Bronze Green: Different sources specify the modern equivalent as FS 24050 or 24052, although these shades are different. If considering not only American ranges, the German RAL 6031, which is also labeled Bronze Green, might be a good fit.
  • Dull Dark Green: Despite the active use of this color, it was never added to the ANA palette. Some sources claim that FS 34092 is the closest analog from the FS palette. If analyzing real samples of US Air Force aircraft, this color has a more blue, turquoise hue resembling more FS 34058.
  • Interior Green ANA 611: This color evolved from Green Zinc Chromate and was intended to standardize aircraft cockpit paint from different manufacturers. The closest in hue is the modern FS 34151, although the latter has a duller and brownish tint compared to the original color.
  • Black ANA 604: It was a black color with a grayish tint, which was later transformed into the satin color ANA 622, intended for painting night aircraft. The closest modern analog is considered to be FS 37038.

Manufacturer Specific Colors

  • Curtiss Cockpit Green: Modern FS 34151 (which is often cited as the closest analog to ANA 611) is much closer to Curtiss interior color than ANA 611 because it has a more pronounced brownish tint.
  • Northrop Cockpit Green: This color was quite similar to the standard Green Zinc Chromate.
  • Bell Green: Bell aircraft cockpits were painted in a hue reminiscent of Medium Green No. 42 or its successor ANA 612.
  • Republic colors: The cockpits of Republic aircraft were painted with a paint resembling something between Bronze Green and a Dull Dark Green.
Original Paint
Green Zinc Chromate

Bronze Green

Dull Dark Green
ANA 611
Interior Green
ANA 604
General Cockpit Cockpit
General (Sep. 1942) Cockpit Cockpit
General (Sep. 1943) Cockpit Cockpit
General (Apr. 1945) Lower Cockpit Upper Cockpit
Post-War Cockpit
Gunze Aqueous - - - H58 H12
Gunze Mr. Color C351 - - C27 C33
Humbrol - (75) - 226 33
Model Master 1734 (2025) - 1715* 1749
Revell - (65) (48) - 04
Tamiya - - - - XF-1
Vallejo Model Air 71.094 71.013* - 71.137* 71.057
Vallejo Model Color - 70.897* - 70.850* 70.950
AKAN - (71076) - 72004* 78005
AK Interactive AK 2306 AK 2205 AK 2106* AK 2303 AK 735
AK Real Colors RC262 RC264 RC230* - RC001
AMMO by Mig A.MIG-220* (!) - A.MIG-077 A.MIG-220* A.MIG-046
Colourcoats ACUS22 ACUS30 ACUS24 ACUS09 C02
Hataka - - - HTK-_211* HTK-041
Lifecolor - (UA 111) - UA 004* LC 02
Mission Models MMP-068 - - MMP-059* MMP-047
Mr. Paint - MRP-132 MRP-229 MRP-131 MRP-171
Xtracolor - - - X117* X012
Xtracrylix - - - XA1117* XA1012
Arcus 512 550* 587* 527 595*
The cross reference chart of USAAF aircraft cockpit colors available in the model paint ranges. For an explanation of the designations used on this chart, see The Color Reference Designation Guide.

Photo Reference to WW2 USAAF Aircraft Interior Colors

color photo of the P-51D cockpit
The cockpit of the P-51D was painted in the then-standard ANA 611 interior Green. Although P-51 pilot seats, manufactured by subcontractors, were usually painted Bronze Green or Dull Dark Green.
Color photo of the P-47 Razorback cockpit under restoration
The cockpit of this P-47 Razorback, under restoration at the Dakota Territory Air Museum, is painted in a hue restored from the original unexposed paint of the cockpit parts.
a color photo of the B-25B cockpit
A photo of the B-25B cockpit clearly illustrates how dark Bronze Green could look.
color photo of the B-17G cockpit in Bronze Green
This B-17G from the National Museum of the USAF, cockpit still retains its original cockpit paint finish. It is painted Bronze Green, and a lighter Green Zinc Chromate can be seen on some parts.
color photo of the the b-17 cockpit in Dull Dark Green
This is the cockpit of another B-17G, also from the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Unlike the previous one, however, it is painted a dull dark green color. It remains a mystery whether it was originally painted this color or if it was a mistake by the restorers.
the cockpit of the B-29 Bockscar
The cockpit of the infamous B-29 Bockscar that dropped the Fat Man nuclear bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Although this aircraft was produced in 1945, the control column, pedals and other details are still painted Dull Dark Green. However, the side panels have already been painted in Interior Green ANA 611. The floors, on the other hand, retain the color of the original Zinc Chromate primer.


  • Archer, Robert D. and Archer, Victor G., USAAF Aircraft Markings and Camouflage 1941-1947, Schiffer Publishing (1997)
  • Bell, Dana, Air Force Colors Volume 1 1926-1942, Squadron/Signal Publications (1995)
  • Elliot, John M., ;The Official Monogram US Navy & Marine Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol 2 1940-1949, Monogram Aviation Publications (1989)
  • Rodrigo Aguilera, The World

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