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B-17 question


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21 hours ago, New Englander said:

The RAF used a different bombsight. It was a stabilized sight but I don't think it operated the autopilot. The Norden sight actually worked well at lower altitudes but from the 20s, not so much. If I recall correctly the bunker busters the RAF dropped were from relatively low altitude. They were so big that even close would inflict serious damage.

Tallboys (5 tons) and Grand Slams (10 tons) are the earthquake bombs and were dropped from around 20,000 feet - or as high as the hot rodded Lancasters could get them.  They sunk to around 100 feet or so below ground before exploding.  Major deliverers were 617 Squadron after their dam busting efforts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallboy_(bomb) - links to a description of the bomb sight used too

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Slam_(bomb)

Paul Brickhill, "The Dam Busters"

Later 

"had the bomb aimers so well trained in the S.A.B.S. that from 15000 feet at night they could guarantee 2 direct hits on any target, 15% of bombs within 25 yards of the centre  and 75% within 80 yards"

As to accuracy one raid quoted there on a bridge the deck was hit either end and lifted off the piers and then hit in the middle of the span by another.  The CO's comment was "I hope we don't have to do that again to prove it"

Later later

If the markers were put in the right place and they ended up doing that themselves

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I looked up and read the article on the Japanese B17's. Very interesting. Their evaluations showed they were superior to their aircraft in all aspects. Except the Norden bombsite. They found what they were using was just as good. They tried to copy and add turbochargers to their engines but failed because of a shortage of quality raw materials.

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Our crop duster when I was a kid was an old pilot from WWII. Claimed to be a fighter pilot. He was a daredevil for sure. He could really make a radial engine really go.

A neighbor was also a pilot in WWII. I have no idea what he flew. He never talked about it.

Thx-Ace 

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2 hours ago, cedar farm said:

I looked up and read the article on the Japanese B17's. Very interesting. Their evaluations showed they were superior to their aircraft in all aspects. Except the Norden bombsite. They found what they were using was just as good. They tried to copy and add turbochargers to their engines but failed because of a shortage of quality raw materials.

Did you read that their auxiliary tanks were called "tokyo tanks", I laffed and laffed and laffed and, well you get it.

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Outside of Clyde Park, Montana there is an abandoned mine where they mined the clear mineral that was used as the lens (I think) in the WWII bombsights. For the life of me I can't remember the name of the mineral. The mine entrance is still there if you know where to look. (my kids graduated from Clyde Park.....typical Montana ranch community till the Californians found it)

My neighbor here flew bombers in WWII. He told me about the search lights over some of the German cities, and the night raids getting caught in the search lights. He had a framed picture on his wall from a Look magazine during the war. It was a picture of his plane after a raid. It looked like something that only a scrap dealer would love. The tail was only half there, there were holes in the wings, a big hole in the fuselage, and part of the nose was blown off. He said they came home on a single sick engine. They barely made it over the channel. I think he said 3 crew killed and the rest injured from flack or the fire in the fuselage. He never got a scratch. He said flack took off the nose and killed his copilot, but he was sitting right next to him and didn't get a scratch.

He has passed now, but every year he looked forward to a reunion with the guys that flew in WWII. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and listened to the stories they told.

 

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6 hours ago, dads706 said:

 

He has passed now, but every year he looked forward to a reunion with the guys that flew in WWII. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall and listened to the stories they told.

 

. ..I had the good fortune to attend   RAF   Squadron's  681 and 684  reunion in 1987...This in the UK 

..I was there as a guest..obviously...and because Dad was a Wing Commander of 684  (PR Mosquito's)   Dad was a Kiwi   (NZer ) seconded to the RAF 

...Two extraordinary days for me...quite emotional, with a visit to the Mosquito Museum  at Hatfield   (Now British Aerospace...)...and getting to sit in a Mosquito with Dad's    Navigator....One Ray Smith..

Ray told me on a subsequent visit to NZ,,,(as, by then,  a very old English  'Gentleman'..).that he and Dad had completed 45 missions, together..A scrutinizing of Dad's log books, confirmed this

As @dads706  implied.....the stories were nothing short of spell binding....as all we really knew about our Dad was ''that he flew a plane in the war..."

..all those old gentlemen  have passed..long since...even back then (1987)  they had few ''tomorrows''   only ''yesterdays''...thus they would talk

RIP ...all you brave Airmen

Mike

..Picture been on here before.....One of the old blokes showed me  this  particular photo...and said in his upper class English accent..."'Typical bloody Colonial  chappie.....bloody battledress undone  etc ""....but then added ..''but my word they were damn good pilots....fearless, you know ''

farm and family 568.JPG

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11 hours ago, mike newman said:

. ..I had the good fortune to attend   RAF   Squadron's  681 and 684  reunion in 1987...This in the UK 

..I was there as a guest..obviously...and because Dad was a Wing Commander of 684  (PR Mosquito's)   Dad was a Kiwi   (NZer ) seconded to the RAF 

...Two extraordinary days for me...quite emotional, with a visit to the Mosquito Museum  at Hatfield   (Now British Aerospace...)...and getting to sit in a Mosquito with Dad's    Navigator....One Ray Smith..

Ray told me on a subsequent visit to NZ,,,(as, by then,  a very old English  'Gentleman'..).that he and Dad had completed 45 missions, together..A scrutinizing of Dad's log books, confirmed this

As @dads706  implied.....the stories were nothing short of spell binding....as all we really knew about our Dad was ''that he flew a plane in the war..."

..all those old gentlemen  have passed..long since...even back then (1987)  they had few ''tomorrows''   only ''yesterdays''...thus they would talk

RIP ...all you brave Airmen

Mike

..Picture been on here before.....One of the old blokes showed me  this  particular photo...and said in his upper class English accent..."'Typical bloody Colonial  chappie.....bloody battledress undone  etc ""....but then added ..''but my word they were damn good pilots....fearless, you know ''

farm and family 568.JPG

Thanks Mike, I dunno if youve heard the term "happy tears" but thats what your story did for me, it brought back my kitchen table dinner talks with the old man and my mother wen I wuz a widdle kid, both had their horror stories but there were some boyz will be boyz stories also, this isnt the proper thread to hijack but maybe one time a thread can start with war stories that can encompass the good old boy "hold my beer" stories from a different time, because I can tell you there is no difference from us growing up minus the war.

Another thing I wanted to mention was the battle dress the two flyboys in the picture are wearing, my gurl has and wears (november 11) her grandfathers battledress, she gets some great comments when she tells peeps she didnt get it at a surplus store, its the real deal that her G'dad wore for his time overseas, take care my friend.

 

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5 hours ago, Delta Dirt said:

Real interesting thread going here.

Never had realized the enemy had captured and flown any of the big bombers either.

Thanks for all of the info.

 

DD

Russians cloned B29s that diverted there - wouldn't give them back and reverse engineered them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4

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12 hours ago, Dasnake said:

Thanks Mike, I dunno if youve heard the term "happy tears" but thats what your story did for me, it brought back my kitchen table dinner talks with the old man and my mother wen I wuz a widdle kid, both had their horror stories but there were some boyz will be boyz stories also, this isnt the proper thread to hijack but maybe one time a thread can start with war stories that can encompass the good old boy "hold my beer" stories from a different time, because I can tell you there is no difference from us growing up minus the war.

Another thing I wanted to mention was the battle dress the two flyboys in the picture are wearing, my gurl has and wears (november 11) her grandfathers battledress, she gets some great comments when she tells peeps she didnt get it at a surplus store, its the real deal that her G'dad wore for his time overseas, take care my friend.

 

....thanks Jake......and I am aware of your term  "happy tears ""

....seeing a huge 'picture '  on the wall  in one of the rooms at the Mosquito  Museum...a ''blown up ' picture of my Dad    and Ray Smith...sitting on the starboard   wing of the Mosquito...a picture probably around six feet square....reduced me to quiet tears...for a brief moment or four...Not a good look but...hey..I knew my Dad for about 17 years...before some drunken rectal orifice killed him.... (Met him when I was four....in late 1946...).....

The picture mentioned above....and Dad on the right in the previous picture

Go well Jake  

Mike

image0-2.JPG

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11 hours ago, mike newman said:

....thanks Jake......and I am aware of your term  "happy tears ""

....seeing a huge 'picture '  on the wall  in one of the rooms at the Mosquito  Museum...a ''blown up ' picture of my Dad    and Ray Smith...sitting on the starboard   wing of the Mosquito...a picture probably around six feet square....reduced me to quiet tears...for a brief moment or four...Not a good look but...hey..I knew my Dad for about 17 years...before some drunken rectal orifice killed him.... (Met him when I was four....in late 1946...).....

The picture mentioned above....and Dad on the right in the previous picture

Go well Jake  

Mike

image0-2.JPG

So top pic your dad on the left, bottom pic he is on the right? Very cool, Ive got some pics of the old man in uniform and one pic of him and the seaforth soccer team during the war, that was my point with the boyz will be boyz reference, in the middle of a bloody helll and they find and take time to play games not knowing whats around the corner, the OP started this about bombers and flyboys and pappy was armoured but the threats for EVERYBODY were real and an everyday occurrence, for me, and this is just my opinion, age has a lot to do with your fears when in a tense situation, I know my thinking changed as I progressed through my career, but to live everyday with a multi year war not knowing what can happen the next minute, the next hour, the next day would/could/should wear on anyone and to have a light at the end of a tunnel with the aformentioned 25 or more sorties and then go home must have given a lot of young men hope, take care ya auld fart😉.

 

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5 minutes ago, Dasnake said:

So top pic your dad on the left, bottom pic he is on the right? Very cool, Ive got some pics of the old man in uniform and one pic of him and the seaforth soccer team during the war, that was my point with the boyz will be boyz reference, in the middle of a bloody helll and they find and take time to play games not knowing whats around the corner, the OP started this about bombers and flyboys and pappy was armoured but the threats for EVERYBODY were real and an everyday occurrence, for me, and this is just my opinion, age has a lot to do with your fears when in a tense situation, I know my thinking changed as I progressed through my career, but to live everyday with a multi year war not knowing what can happen the next minute, the next hour, the next day would/could/should wear on anyone and to have a light at the end of a tunnel with the aformentioned 25 or more sorties and then go home must have given a lot of young men hope, take care ya auld fart😉.

 

...other way round,Jake...top picture Dad on Right...you can see the "Navigator " emblem  thingy  on Rays battle dress on the left in the top picture...Dad was 31/32 yrs ..Ray was 20

...Yeah...while they were in England ..before being deployed in India and Burma...Dad was playing service rugby..between the flying sorties...

Mike

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20 hours ago, New Englander said:

Russians cloned B29s that diverted there - wouldn't give them back and reverse engineered them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4

Its a little known fact we supplied 100% of the Soviets high octane gasoline so they could fly their planes. Their gas was so poor, the Germans couldn't even use to run their vehicles. Let them steal our planes. We should have cut off their fuel supply towards the end of the war.

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21 hours ago, New Englander said:

Russians cloned B29s that diverted there - wouldn't give them back and reverse engineered them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4

Lots of interesting stuff being forwarded here, my question, why did the 17 stay around longer than the b24? It was pulled out of service almost right after the war but the 17 stuck around for a period after the war, and with the advent of the jet engine were all parts of engines and frames and bodies all melted down.

 

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5 hours ago, Dasnake said:

Lots of interesting stuff being forwarded here, my question, why did the 17 stay around longer than the b24? It was pulled out of service almost right after the war but the 17 stuck around for a period after the war, and with the advent of the jet engine were all parts of engines and frames and bodies all melted down.

 

 

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Seems that I am not alone in considering "The Best Years of Our Lives" the best WWII movie made, and far better than ANY than those that "General" John Wayne ever starred in.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAQ3fubRn68

And, the MEDIA did NOT spit on those who returned.

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On 9/16/2022 at 4:04 AM, New Englander said:

Russians cloned B29s that diverted there - wouldn't give them back and reverse engineered them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupolev_Tu-4

So I can see how Russia would get their hands on one...but how did Germany and Japan manage to do that?  I would have thought we would have done all possible to prevent that, to the point of destroying them if necessary. 

You don't leave good equipment behind for the enemy to get their hands on and use against you, if you want to win.  And back then (at least) we wanted to win.

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44 minutes ago, TN Hillbilly said:

 

You don't leave good equipment behind for the enemy to get their hands on and use against you, if you want to win.  And back then (at least) we wanted to win.

...Correct  Hill Billy..lots of anecdotal   and visual evidence of that from  WW2 years

..policy in more recent times have shown considerable benevolence to the 'enemy'', however..................

Mike

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3 hours ago, TN Hillbilly said:

So I can see how Russia would get their hands on one...but how did Germany and Japan manage to do that?  I would have thought we would have done all possible to prevent that, to the point of destroying them if necessary. 

You don't leave good equipment behind for the enemy to get their hands on and use against you, if you want to win.  And back then (at least) we wanted to win.

I once saw an article on a Short Stirling that the Germans retrieved from where it crash landed in a swamp 

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If anybody gets Dish Network, there is a good documentary about the 8th Airforce in England. Discusses Tibbets and Lemay as well as others. Grab a cup and put your feet up, well worth your time. 

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We got a Zero that crash landed in Alaska, and having our hands on that helped in the refinement of the tactics used against it by those brave guys flying the F4Fs and F6Fs.

I figure the B 17s in the pics with German and Japanese markings were probably one-ofs, and, like the Zero, were used to help them understand the strengths and weaknesses in order to help them develop tactics against the B17s.

"What the Akutan Zero did, though, was to provide information that let American pilots make the most of the Hellcat’s advantages. History.com described one ace, Marine Captain Kenneth Walsh described how he knew to roll to the right at high speed to lose a Zero on his tail. Walsh would end World War II with 17 kills. The Zero also had trouble in dives, thanks to a bad carburetor (the famous Spitfire also had carburetor problems)."

https://www.wearethemighty.com/popular/how-the-f6f-hellcat-became-americas-answer-to-the-japanese-zero/

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They captured the B17s that crashed or landed behind lines (severely damaged). They were rebuilt using parts from other plane wrecks. There were plenty of down planes to work with.

The US saw the Japanese marked B17 and thought they were jap built planes. They didn't realize they were B17s until after the war!

Thx-Ace 

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My Dad was in a 445th B24 squadron stationed in Tibenham England.  On one raid over Schweinfurt (sp?) they sortied all of their planes and none came home.  Some crash landed or landed at outlying airfields, but the squadron was non-operational until new planes and crews were assigned to them.  Fortunately my Dad was in "Codes and Ciphers" (responsible for the radio frequencies and bomber codes) or I might not exist!  

Remember it wasn't until 1943 that the P51 really became operational in Europe.  Before that not many made the 25 mission goal.  After that it steadily got better as attrition took out the Luftwaffe.  Flak and accidents still killed many, but not nearly as many as early on!

https://www.445bg.org/

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