[WWI] Back to modeling reality- Was Voss' Cowl

Michael Scott mds549 at pacbell.net
Wed Jan 19 00:47:38 EST 2005

It's mighty good to get away from copyright, lawyers, scum-sucking corporate bean counters, and all the trappings of 21st century earth, and back to the important questions in life - Voss' cowl.
Nothing like this to bring me out of deep sleep mode. Thanks.
Now, my two pfennings: If you haven't done so, read September Evening. The author gives considerable play to this question and, no surprise, doesn't claim to have the answer; however, he raises some interesting points.
Attempting to deduce color from turn of the century black and white photography is a chancy game at best. One is better off working from what documentation is available. A couple of interesting observations are that Voss' mechanic remembers nothing unusual about the cowl on Voss' final day, it is possible that the cowl was replaced in the due course of maintenance on the machine, so even if there was a yellow cowl with the 'face' on 103/17 at one time, it may not have been on the plane that day. None of the after-action reports from the British pilots mention a yellow cowl or face, and, significantly, when Voss' machine was finally recovered and described in some detail, no mention was made of the cowl at all.
Personally, I discount all deductions made from photographic "color" inferences. Unfortunately, the lack of other documentary evidence leaves us reasoning from the negative, or absence of evidence, which, if I remember my logic classes correctly is not logical at all.

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