The 17th PURSUIT GROUP in 1935, consisted of the 34th, 73rd and 95th Pursuit Squadrons.
These Boeing P-26’s were the most decorated and famous aircraft of their era. The group developed a style of markings which still allowed each squadron to retain its own identity. The main features to the style were the large tapered fuselage flash repeated in reduced scale on the wheels spats, and scalloped trim to the headrest and leading edges of the fin and tail planes.
The 34th applied their markings in black and white.
The 73rd used red and yellow.
The 95th used blue and yellow.
Each squadron retained their own squadron insignia on the fuselage and carried large ID numbers on the upper decking and belly, the upper number being the individual aircraft number and the lower the squadron number.
These colourful P-26’s were sadly only in service with the 17th Pursuit Group for only a year, after which they were transferred to other groups.
The 73rd Pursuit Squadron was one of the three squadrons of the 17th Pursuit Group at this time. Their colour scheme applied red and yellow fuselage stripes, fin, tail, and head rest scallops and wheel trims. They also followed the practice of the 34th Pursuit Squadron of displaying the squadron number on the fuselage belly and aircraft number on the fuselage upper decking. Radio equipment was still limited during this period, and many aircraft did not have the aerial wires and antennas. These were often reserved for squadron and flight commanders only.