I've read a lot of information about the Westfield Compax paratrooper bicycle and saw the very nice restoration project of Bozman.
I'm a bit confused. Johan is sure about it that this bike didn't see any action in WW2. As I understand, they were tested by the military.
Now my question : were the "test-bikes" painted OD (whatever shade) or not? Westfield Compax paratrooper bikes that I've seen in pictures were either blue or red. Is this the color postwar? And if so, were they re-painted/sprayed with these colors when they came out of the US Army after the war(as I have heard)? In that case, there should be an OD color under
the red or blue paint. I can't image that the US Army used blue and/or red bikes in the testperiod. So there must have been another color (OD? black?)
If there is no proof of OD painted Westfield Compax paratrooper bikes, then I wonder what the example was Bozman used in restoring his bike.
I'm not speaking for Jim regarding what he used as an example for his compax repaint, but I can say with EXTREME certainty that NO evidence exists that Columbia (take down) Travelers were ever used during the war. Like you, I've only seen them in red & blue. I agree the military would not paint them that color. You can sand all you want & you will not find any OD on one (to my knowledge). I would like to see evidence that they were tested by the military ...as I've never seen this, personally. IMO..Columbia's ad showing the "paratrooper" on the bike was just that....only an ad! I think Jim's bike is neat, in fact, Jim has sent me quite a nice (& I mean REALLY NICE!) pic of his Traveler. (By the way Jim I still look at it quite often
!) There is no right or wrong way to make a military configuration of the bike since (IMO) no military version existed to judge it by.
As for the question...What's black (parkerized, etc.) & what's OD?...I agree with what the others have stated, BUT....gun blued, parkerized items often got xtra coats of paint in the shop. I think it was SOP to give everything a coat of OD when it went in for repair/maintenance. So at some point in a bike's life, parts that were not originally OD suddenly became OD as evidenced by the few "unrestored" examples that are out there with there hubs, necks, seat tube, & bells all being OD.
Parkerizing is not a difficult task. There are "do it yourself" kits available. I opted for primer & flat black on my bike I restored simply because of the ease of application (& I was in a hurry to get it rolling!
) You can always blast & parkerize anytime. Just make yourself happy with your bike, I'm certain whatever paint scheme you choose you're gonna turn some heads with an OD bike & no one can tell you this is right or that is wrong! They'll just think you got one sharp ride!
Hope this helps...