Netherlands Naval Aviation National Markings
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National Markings

This section describes and illustrates the various national insignia used by the MLD since it's formation:

First World War
A plain orange disk was used as national insignia from the formation of the MLD in 1917 until around 1919-1920. The orange colour derived from the Royal 'House of Orange' traditional colours. The disk was displayed in the standard six positions (ie above and below each wing tip and on the fuselage sides), with no rudder marking.

Interwar Period
During the 'twenties and 'thirties, Dutch aircraft carried the original version of the familiar three sectored disc with an orange disc in the centre. This was displayed in the standard six positions on the wings and fuselage sides. The rudder carried the national colours in horizontal stripes, as on the flag.

Second World War - Neutrality Period
Following an incident in late September 1939, in which a MLD aircraft on Neutrality patrol was shot down by a German fighter, the national insignia was changed to an orange triangle with thick black outline. The rudder marking became orange with a similar black outline. This change was intended to avoid any confusion with the circular insignia carried by British and French aircraft.

Second World War - Far East
The national flag was used as a national insignia in the Netherlands East Indies between 1942 and 1950. The orange disk in the centre of the normal roundel could allegedly be confused with the Japanese 'red meatball' national insignia. Its use continued until Indonesian independence in 1949.

The end of World War Two saw the re-introduction of the sectored disk marking. This was displayed in all 6 positions on aircraft - but on the fuselage sides only on helicopters. A fin flash was carried at first, but discontinued around 1960, when a switch was made to USAF-style 4 position roundels. Navy types carried the service title KON. MARINE on the fuselage sides.

The roundel is displayed USAF-style in 4 positions on fixed wing aircraft, (ie above the port wing and below the starboard wing, and on each side of the fuselage) - but on the fuselage sides only on helicopters. There is no fin flash. Around 1982 the service title was changed to the unabbreviated form KONINKLIJKE MARINE on the fuselage sides (with the addition of ROYAL NETHERLANDS NAVY on the Orions) .

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First Created: 12 September 1996 - Last Revised: 26 February 2008
Copyright © 1996 John Hayles.     e-mail: