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Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by NYC Fred, Dec 17, 2018.
Very cool! Those gunners had balls harder than steel. There's no way, no way I would last 5 min hanging in the air in one of those.
My vertigo is kicking in now...
Ike- I think claustrophobia would be more of an issue than vertigo.
I'll bet that you would last every bit as long as those who did their assigned duties 76 years ago. The focus of everyone at that time was to do whatever had to be done to overcome the threat. Fear was shoved to the back of the mind but not all of it stayed there. Duty assumed more importance than self and the fear of failing one's duty in the face of the enemy was more fearsome than anything. Survival was an unexpected bonus that hovered in the distance, wounding and / or death was the expected. You simply did what you had to do and hoped for the best.
Very well put Bob.
Many of my relatives fought on both sides of both great wars, they did just as you said. I'd like to think that given those circumstances I would get in that ball and so what I had to do.
Taz has been there done that and there are a few more in this forum, too.
Something I've always wanted...
The guy has also done a wonderful job restoring a PV-2D Harpoon http://warbirdinformationexchange.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=38160&sid=b825ded1f388d84fc3d598f450b5c043
Bob- Fighter jock's prayer: Dear God, please don't let me screw this up.
and mostly all for naught ! they shot down relatively few attacking fighters ! ( i read ) the .50 against a fast moving fighter is a unequal contest ! it was mostly to discourage the fighters they said
"Against a fast moving fighter...." Correct. Establishing, range, elevation, and lead was almost impossible except when the target was dead astern and holding. Most of the time it was a case of filling a space with enough rounds in hopes that the fighter would run into some of them. Fighters with 20mm cannons nullified the cal.50.
The heavies shot down quite a few fighters and the .50 cal was a very effective air to air weapon. Note all our late WW-II fighters were outfitted with 4-8 .50 cals, and even the F-86As in the Korean war used .50 cals to very good effect (14:1 kill ratio) in the early 1950s.
The bombers did not shoot down anywhere near the number of fighters they claimed, though, because naturally several (many) gunners would claim the same fighter. 30 mm cannon used by the German bomber killers far outranged the .50 cals, but most kills of bombers came at fairly short ranges to maximize hit probability and reduce exposure time. Could not afford to stick around a bomber formation long because of the sheer number of large .50 cal projectiles the fleet would put in the air.
Air to air cal.50's were very effective fighter to fighter with a good shooter. But it was still very difficult to lock on an incoming fighter making a lateral sweep or a 180 deg reverse sweep where they flew parallel to the target and when far enough ahead make a hard bank reversing direction and rake the target. Tough as hell to do anything but fill the space ahead of them with .50's and let them run into it. It isn't good to get hit with a bunch of cal.50 rounds because they are a mean weapon., still are. An old P-38 Ace that I knew said that his airplane was damaged many times from flying into the debris of enemy fighters that disintegrated when he hit them. P-51's and P-47's were the same when the target was in the point of convergence and many times when they weren't.
That’s the sanitized version...
So you could shoot it yourself
I got to thinking about being present on the air to ground gunnery range and watching P-40's practice strafing. Two incidents are prominent. The first was seeing a 10 foot square target disappear in a shower of splinters, tracers, and sand when 6 streams of .50's converged at that point. The other was a truck that was left behind a target and got strafed, again at the point of convergence. It looked like a piece of metallic swiss cheese that held too much gas. All from a 3 second BRUURP from the P-40.
Bob- Affirmative, the .50 cal, especially a bunch of them focused on one spot, really tears up things. I have fired a single shot .50 cal Armalite a couple of times and the kick on that thing was pretty unbelievable, even with the rifle weighing 28 lbs. Can imagine what that finger sized bullet did on the other end.
Note, not rebuilt, New Old Stock!