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ms-kleaneasy
02-09-2011, 09:25 AM
The rise and fall of gun turrets

Since the birth of air combat, shooting at other planes has always been at the center of technological and tactical evolutions. Today we're taking a closer look at an essential component of this equation: gun turrets.

When fighters and bombers first appeared during World War I, pilots and engineers had to find ways to shoot enemies down. It started with just handguns, each pilot trying to aim at his opponent while flying. Then came the idea of using bigger guns, which gave birth to fixed guns (shooting forward) and swivel mounts, which soon evolved into Scarff rings.

At that time it appeared that turrets had a distinct advantage over fixed guns: you could aim at the enemy irrespective of where your plane was facing. So turrets evolved, gaining shielding and power operation which allowed for even bigger guns.

In the years before World War II and the Battle of Britain, the RAF had been experiementing with the concept of turret fighters and soon introduced the Boulton Paul Defiant where the armament (4 x 0.303 inch (7.7 mm) machine guns) was in a turret mounted behind the pilot rather than in fixed positions in the wings. In parallel, all bombers were being equipped with an increasing number of turrets.

However, when faced with the reality of air combat during WWII, air tacticians soon found out that maneuverability and speed were far more important factors than directional firepower. Aircraft equipped with turrets had a higher drag and weight, and also meant more human losses if they were shot down. As such, turret fighters disappeared and bombers did not leave for missions without a proper escort.

Sources:
• Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_turret#Aircraft)
• FlightGlobal archives (http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/search.aspx?ArchiveSearchForm%24search=turret&ArchiveSearchForm%24fromYear=1938&ArchiveSearchForm%24toYear=1941&x=21&y=13)

pupo162
02-09-2011, 09:28 AM
interesting read,

does this means we get to fly the Defiant? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

M_Gunz
02-09-2011, 09:37 AM
Somebody forget about 'the B-17 experiment'. Also that turreted guns existed on bombers right up to the end of the war, count how many on a B-29.

pupo162
02-09-2011, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Somebody forget about 'the B-17 experiment'. Also that turreted guns existed on bombers right up to the end of the war, count how many on a B-29.

are you talking about the "no-escort raids" ? if not, please enlight me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

Romanator21
02-09-2011, 12:08 PM
Somebody forget about 'the B-17 experiment'. Also that turreted guns existed on bombers right up to the end of the war, count how many on a B-29.

I didn't know the B-17 was a turreted fighter...

Besides, after WWII, you see turrets disappearing completely.

horseback
02-09-2011, 12:14 PM
It took a while for fire control systems to catch up with the speeds that aircraft were attaining in WWII; also, you have to take into account that as gunnery platforms, a heavily laden bomber flying at those higher speeds and especially altitudes was less than ideal.

In the First World War, gunners were shooting at fighters moving less than 30mph faster than the aircraft they were in, and no one was going more than 140mph (280kph) in level flight. Given the relative speed differences and the fragility of the targets, a flexible gun was reasonably effective, and that had a lot of influence on the tactical thinkers and aircraft designers of the between-wars period.

Modern era fighters were faster relative to the bombers, harder to hit and more heavily armed, and once hit by defensive fire much less vulnerable than their wood and cloth predecessors. In the case of the participants of the Battle of Britain, both participants misjudged the weight of fire necessary to disable their intended adversaries.

Hopefully, this will mean that the godlike abilities of the ai gunners in Il-2 Sturmovik '46 will not raise their ugly heads in COD.

Of course, it will probably also mean that the near perfect response of fighter mounted guns in the earlier games will also not be granted. Air to air gunnery was a lot harder than we have experienced in the virtual skies.

Hopefully though, the fighter will enjoy a more pronounced advantage than before in this series.

cheers

horseback

KG26_Alpha
02-09-2011, 12:40 PM
Hopefully fighters will have learnt not to sit behind a bomber to attack it and will have learned to use tactics to attack from high/low quarters and head on.

There's nothing wrong with the Ai gunners in IL2 1946 only poor attacking tactics from fighters.

Xiolablu3
02-09-2011, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
Hopefully fighters will have learnt not to sit behind a bomber to attack it and will have learned to use tactics to attack from high/low quarters and head on.

There's nothing wrong with the Ai gunners in IL2 1946 only poor attacking tactics from fighters.

I think many people get used to arcade games like heroes of the Pacific and get used to being hit over and over with no problem.

Many studies were done to try and make the fighter a harder target for bombers gun turrets, they didnt just attack straight in from the tail and sit there for all the gunners to shoot at.

I'm not sure that the IL2 gunners arent pretty realistic. The only issue I have it that the spread of the bullets from the turret is too concentrated for a rapid fire machine gun, even on a mounting. With a mouse in IL2, its so simple to keep the pipper on the attacking target and hit exactly where you are aiming. Real gunners fired in bursts as the recoil threw off their aim. IL2 gunners should do more of this I feel, and the general spread of bullets for humans manning the turrets should increase the more they hold the trigger down, much like an fps game.

horseback
02-09-2011, 01:38 PM
Nonsense. Being hit at all by a rear-facing pintle or ring mounted light machine gun on an aircraft moving over 250 kph at ranges exceeding 300m is ludicrous at any angle. If what you say were true, US bombers would never have needed an escort to fly over central Europe, much less bomb with any illusion of accuracy. The LW fighter force would have been destroyed en masse by the fall of 1943, because there was almost no angle of approach not covered by the guns of USAAF heavy bombers.

Aircraft of the WWII era were far less stable than a modern pickup truck driving straight down a well-paved road. They literally corkscrewed through the air, the pilot(s) constantly compensating for sideslip, climb or dive the whole time.

Trying to hit a fixed stable target on the ground was very hard; hitting a fighter plane sized target moving over 50kph faster than you at varying angles and rates of closure bordered on the impossible at any meaningful range. A fighter pilot aiming his whole aircraft at his target enjoyed an enormous advantage in real life over the gunner bouncing and jerking around unpredictably through the air.

Bombers quickly learned that their best defense was an aggressive fighter escort, and failing that to fly in tight formations in large numbers permitting several gunners to target each attacking fighter on the basis that one of them was bound to get lucky. Defensive gunners fired many times the number of rounds for enemy aircraft downed compared to fighters.

The gunnery problem as depicted in the current Il-2 simulator series is vastly simpler for the defensive gunners vs the fighter's, which stands the contest on its historical head. The ai gunner sits in a perfectly stable aircraft flying a perfectly predicatable path and enjoys perfect knowledge of the attacking fighter's range speed and vector. Using the computing power of a modern high speed processor, it computes its aim instantly better than any deployed aerial military fire control system available prior to the 1990s.

Of course the result is an ahistorical and unrealistic advantage to the flexible defensive guns of multiseat aircraft vs the fixed guns of single seat fighters.

cheers

horseback

horseback
02-09-2011, 02:23 PM
I've fought this battle before: hopefully Oleg and company were listening:

A Modest Proposal (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/5291037645/p/1)

cheers

horseback

TS_Sancho
02-09-2011, 03:51 PM
No proper aircraft gun turret thread would be complete without mention of the pinnacle of 1940's defensive armaments, the 16 20mm cannon housed in remote-controlled retractable gun turrets of the B-36 Peacemaker.

http://pic.phyrefile.com/c/cr/crazyrussian540/2010/11/14/2038563791_71600df20a_o.jpg

http://www.7bwb-36assn.org/turrets.jpg

Here is a commentary I believe unique to Convair's "Aluminum Overcast"..


Recoil vibration from gunnery practice often caused the airplane's electrical wiring to jar loose or the vacuum tube electronics to malfunction, leading to failure of the aircraft controls and navigation equipment. This contributed to the crash of B-36B 44-92035 on 22 November 1950

B-36B 44-92035, South of Carswell AFB, Texas, November 22, 1950 (http://www.air-and-space.com/b-36%20wrecks.htm#44-92035)

Ba5tard5word
02-09-2011, 04:06 PM
Even better:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1c/BellYFM1Airacuda.jpg

Ok not exactly a turret but it's kinda funny that the only reason to have a man on the wing cannons was to reload them.

The manned wing turrets on the Me-323 and Wikin, and the engine ones on the Pe-8 were kinda neat too.

M_Gunz
02-09-2011, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by pupo162:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Somebody forget about 'the B-17 experiment'. Also that turreted guns existed on bombers right up to the end of the war, count how many on a B-29.

are you talking about the "no-escort raids" ? if not, please enlight me http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup, a bunch of B-17's had to get shot down to prove the whole idea of Flying Fortresses not needing escorts to be deeply flawed.

Most B-17's did have a powered ball turret last time I checked. Some had the 'chin' turret. There is the top turret too.
And here's pictures. (http://www.mrprophead.com/wwIIB17.htm)

I knew a man who flew in those until he moved up to B-29's. You steered the turret to aim the guns by pushing on 'paddles' to activate the turret motors.

Skoshi Tiger
02-09-2011, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
Hopefully fighters will have learnt not to sit behind a bomber to attack it and will have learned to use tactics to attack from high/low quarters and head on.

There's nothing wrong with the Ai gunners in IL2 1946 only poor attacking tactics from fighters.

+1

The RAF tactic of fighters comming up from the rear of the bomber a staying in position until they a) disabled the e/a, b)expended all their ammunition or c) sustained damage that prevented them from continuing the attack was obviously obsolite and was abandoned very early in the war.

Fighter pilots need to learn the weak spots of their targets and attack from outside firing arcs of the defensive guns.

If the bomber is traveling at 300kph and the fighter is comming in at 400kph from the rear, we have a relative velocity of 100kph or about 28 meters/second. To close a gap of 250 metres takes about nine second at that speed.

Although I've never had someone shooting at me (with anything bigger than an air rifle that is http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) I'ld say nine second is an awfully long time to have someone shooting at you with a machine gun.

Cheers!

horseback
02-10-2011, 10:34 AM
And yet, even though the Brits initially made predictable ‘canned’ attacks from the rear against aircraft in large formations, they took nothing like the casualties a player in Il-2 ’46 would take if he tried exactly the same tactics (i.e., 99% of the time he’d be shot down or disabled). A real-life casualty rate of near 10% made a predictable, close in attack from 6 o’clock a bad idea when attacking formations. Making the same attack on a singleton or a pair was much safer, which was why the tactic of breaking up the formations was the first priority.

Why was the attrition rate actually lower?

Look at any video of WWII era aircraft trying to fly in formation. From the point of view of the camera, every other aircraft is bobbing up and down, and sliding back and forth. This is with the pilots working very hard to maintain a constant position relative to each other in a relatively routine situation.

Now imagine yourself in one of those aircraft as a gunner, sitting, standing or kneeling at a gun facing to the rear while your pilot is trying to maintain his position in formation while being shot at and line up on his bomb run—I expect that his attempts to hold position would be a bit more abrupt, what with the adrenaline pumping and the occasional flinch when a flak burst came too close. So the platform you are trying to aim at is bouncing and jerking around unpredictably. Keep in mind that unless you are in a Dornier, your vertical tail is directly in front of your gun, and you really want to avoid shooting it off.

Now add a Spitfire or Hurricane making an attack on you from a “level six”. From your point of view, that target is bouncing and making circles, dodging behind your tail and ducking beneath the fuselage, and some of the rounds he’s firing at you are smacking into the airframe, kicking up dust and spraying metal splinters, making distracting little sparks and you can’t quite ignore the possibility that they might be making holes in you at any moment.
Neither of these aircraft’s fuselages are more than 130cm (4 feet) wide or more than 180cm (6 ft) high; at 500m, that’s a pinpoint that will grow to the approximate width of your thumbnail by the time he breaks off his attack at about 150m. You will be aiming at a circle defined by the aircraft’s wingspan (which is occupied primarily by empty space), and missing it entirely most of the time. He probably won’t notice any hits on his wings, so unless you get one through his windshield or hit some vital engine part, he won’t break off early.

He has eight times as many guns to shoot at you, and he isn’t the least bit concerned about hitting any part of his own airframe or being subjected to as many random bumps or jerks that you are, and he’s strapped tightly into his seat.

Let's not even bother with the amount of calculations of relative & actual speeds and angles of deflection you would have to make in your head to aim accurately, or how the recoil of your machine gun will affect you.

Who has the advantage?

cheers

horseback

ploughman
02-10-2011, 11:14 AM
On the subject of gun turrets, a B-52 did nail a Mig using its radar directed tail mount during Linebacker II and as far as I know that was the last tail gunner kill but was that the last 'turret' kill?

WTE_Galway
02-10-2011, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by ploughman:
On the subject of gun turrets, a B-52 did nail a Mig using its radar directed tail mount during Linebacker II and as far as I know that was the last tail gunner kill but was that the last 'turret' kill?

Depends exactly what you classify as a "turret" and whether you include ground vehicle kills.


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M_Gunz
02-10-2011, 02:32 PM
In all the bomber intercept videos I have seen, not once did the target bounce and jerk around unpredictably even in slow motion.

In IL2 I have been PK'd through my armored windshield more than a couple times. IMO IRL the bulletproof glass stopped the bullets even though it ruined the view.

I do have to agree that IL2 gunners do not seem to be affected by the motion of the bomber they are in, are unhampered by conditions of extreme cold, need to wear oxygen masks or deal with either inertia of their weapon or speed of any powered traverse mechanisms. Only good thing is the short delay 'noticing' a target and that may be due to my not-blazing-fast PC.

Once again, what did we have before and what alternatives are there? Some sims had little bit better AI, true. They also had FM-on-rails, simplistic DM and arcade gunnery.

Jaws2002
02-10-2011, 03:10 PM
While not used anymore as air to air weapon system, the gun turet is still present in most modern attack helicopters and is very effective.

horseback
02-10-2011, 04:39 PM
In all the bomber intercept videos I have seen, not once did the target bounce and jerk around unpredictably even in slow motion. Bomber intercept videos are taken from the point of view of the attacking fighter; the minor bumps and jerks are almost impossible to see from that range or in that scale, but a bump or sudden drop of a half inch is more than enough to spoil your aim if it comes at the wrong moment. There are a few videos taken from inside the bombers during combat; these are often considerably shakier than the ones taken by cameras mounted in the wingroot of a fighter. I have been on short flights in a B-17, a B-25 and several longer rides in DC-3/C-47s, and all of them were considerably less than smooth rides. They bump, rattle and shake in calm air, much more so than modern prop planes. The idea of trying to stand at your gun and make a deflection shot on a three foot wide target more than 100 yards away in one of these things while in flight is daunting.

I think that we could agree that trying to do so is a lot harder than moving a crosshair or dot with a mouse (and even that would be a lot tougher if we were playing the game on a rig mounted on the back of a 4WD traveling on an unpaved road, and doubly so if we had to stand up while controlling that mouse).
In IL2 I have been PK'd through my armored windshield more than a couple times. IMO IRL the bulletproof glass stopped the bullets even though it ruined the view. Me too, but as I have understood it, most armor glass could stop a LMG round in the 7-8mm range, but things got a lot more ‘iffy’ when struck by HMG or cannon rounds. I am far less happy with the ‘two thumps and the HUD message that I’ve lost my ailerons or elevator in a head on approach’ routine, particularly when the gunner makes that shot at ranges over 400m. In addition, the game is a bit less forgiving of hits to the player’s cockpit compared to the cockpits occupied by ai aircrew. What annoys me more is the way bullets magically go through the nose of the aircraft/engine compartment to demolish my instrument panel and/or wound/kill me.
I do have to agree that IL2 gunners do not seem to be affected by the motion of the bomber they are in, are unhampered by conditions of extreme cold, need to wear oxygen masks or deal with either inertia of their weapon or speed of any powered traverse mechanisms. Only good thing is the short delay 'noticing' a target and that may be due to my not-blazing-fast PC. Team Daidalos has indicated that patch 4.11 may do some more things to ‘fix’ the ai gunners; hopefully one of the things they will address is the ungodly accuracy at high ranges and off angles and the ability to shoot while their aircraft is maneuvering. It may be too much to ask them to give up their frictionless gun mounts and bullet-proof flight suits.
Once again, what did we have before and what alternatives are there? Some sims had little bit better AI, true. They also had FM-on-rails, simplistic DM and arcade gunnery. In short, they were a lot like Il-2 before the 4.0x series of patches. As for arcade gunnery, moving the crosshairs with a mouse and having your rounds go right to that point every time is the very definition of arcade gunnery. I have a hard time believing that with the greater available computer and RAM capacity we have now coupled with a new game engine, COD will be unable to do a lot better than the current game. As we have pointed out before over the last 5-6 years, a Battle of Britain campaign in the RAF will be very short (and grossly unprofitable, not to mention unrealistic) if the Axis bomber gunners are smacking down Spitfires and Hurricanes from greater than two or three hundred yards/meters.

cheers

horseback

ploughman
02-10-2011, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ploughman:
On the subject of gun turrets, a B-52 did nail a Mig using its radar directed tail mount during Linebacker II and as far as I know that was the last tail gunner kill but was that the last 'turret' kill?

Depends exactly what you classify as a "turret" and whether you include ground vehicle kills.


</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If a gunship shot an attacking fighter in the face that'd do.

Ground targets don't count.

I dare say an S-300P complex is more of an opponent than a single fighter but only five of one makes you an ace. Mud movers win wars. But aces score.

M_Gunz
02-10-2011, 10:45 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">In all the bomber intercept videos I have seen, not once did the target bounce and jerk around unpredictably even in slow motion. Bomber intercept videos are taken from the point of view of the attacking fighter; the minor bumps and jerks are almost impossible to see from that range or in that scale, but a bump or sudden drop of a half inch is more than enough to spoil your aim if it comes at the wrong moment. There are a few videos taken from inside the bombers during combat; these are often considerably shakier than the ones taken by cameras mounted in the wingroot of a fighter. I have been on short flights in a B-17, a B-25 and several longer rides in DC-3/C-47s, and all of them were considerably less than smooth rides. They bump, rattle and shake in calm air, much more so than modern prop planes. The idea of trying to stand at your gun and make a deflection shot on a three foot wide target more than 100 yards away in one of these things while in flight is daunting.

I think that we could agree that trying to do so is a lot harder than moving a crosshair or dot with a mouse </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I very much agree. The effect on the gunner even from a turret where the gunner is not holding the gun should be a good bit of scatter. If the gun barrel is moving up or down even a short distance then any round fired should have that motion component in its trajectory. The result should be a bit shotgun. But -- I should also expect that in bumpy air a fighter would be bounced around more than a loaded bomber (unloaded bomber has far less wing loading for a far bumpier ride) and you don't say that the bomber you rode in was flying high or loaded.

Joe Worsley had told me that in gunner school they fired 50's at targets on moving train cars and that the bullets scattered. I'm not sure that they used well-poured bullets for practice or that the bullets they used in air were any different as with so much scatter your chances of a hit would be higher. What he could see on the ground was not apparent high in the air.

As with any gunnery there is the skill of the gunner to take into consideration when averaging historic records but the sniper gunners are/were not 'du jour'.

jarink
02-10-2011, 10:46 PM
Here's one of any number of examples of actual combat footage from inside a B-17.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...feature=related]B-17 ( [url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp1teqL-TLc&feature=related%5DB-17") Air Combat[/URL]

Notice how the camera is rarely perfectly still. About the only time the planes were flown straight and level was during the bomb run. Any other time and they were bucking and bouncing all over the place from evasive action and turbulence.

TheGrunch
02-11-2011, 09:16 AM
Gotta agree with horseback here. Although 4.10 is definitely noticeably better than any previous patches the gunners are still remarkably, uncannily good. We've got to keep our perspective though, someone sitting in their warm office on a comfortable chair using a PC joystick with a maximum stick force of 2lbs if that, with a perfectly clear front windscreen and a computer abstraction of their aircraft's real flying characteristics doesn't face all of the real challenges they ought to either. It would be nice if there was a difficulty option for "master gunners" or something for those who like a challenge.

Sturm_Williger
02-11-2011, 09:39 AM
I don't even mind so much about the AI gunners' aim as their ability to not-die !
I have pounded a ton of 20mm cannon shells into a rear gunners compartment to no avail, he just keeps on shooting.
I can only assume that the physical space occupied by a bomber gunner in the code is quite small - maybe only a reference point.

I hope that TD look into the inability to kill gunners that have been a constant in IL2.

TheGrunch
02-11-2011, 09:56 AM
I think this has already happened in 4.10, Sturm_Williger. Certainly I seem to have had a lot more success with it.

horseback
02-11-2011, 11:22 AM
I checked this out pretty thoroughly about 4 years ago, and there's no evidence that it has changed.

The 'ai gunner' you can hit and kill has to be hit at least three times (by any caliber round) in the exposed portion of his 'body'. You cannot hit his guns and disable them, nor can you hit 'him' through the skin of the aircraft; you apparently MUST hit 'him' either through the (unarmored) cockpit glass or directly.

In practical terms, this means that you must hit him in the head or upper torso that sticks up above the guns. If he is in an armored glass enclosure (as in the B-17 tail gunner), you have to hit him through the side windows, either with shrapnel (good luck with that) or direct fire.

Hence the many comparisons to the late model Terminators. They all ought to look like Arnold, under the truth in advertising rules.

cheers

horseback

larschance
02-13-2011, 11:42 AM
Good points made. However the key element in the sim is playability versus reality.
From what I have read the USAAF and RAF analysed an average fighter pilot's success as getting POINT TWO PER CENT hits with ace pilots much higher at over TEN per cent. If this was applied to the sim most people would give up. The true turret gunners success rate was even poorer so he would in reality be almost useless unless in tight formation with other gunners where the odds of hitting increase with the number of guns forming a barrage.
I agree the programmers problem is to make the gunner more killable and his accuracy more hampered during manoeuvres, especially at mid to long ranges.

horseback
02-14-2011, 10:05 AM
Playability should still maintain some form of proportion. For me, the disparity between the mouse gunner riding on rails with perfect range/speed/vector data vs the virtual pilot juggling stick, rudder and trim stands the historical contest between fighter and multiseater on its head.

In the current game, mouse gunners and ai gunners enjoy ridiculous advantages over the in-game pilot; that is totally inappropriate in a fighter-centric combat sim.

I'm perfectly willing to accept a game that limits my accuracy in a fighter by adding turbulance, gunshake, and wing flex scatter of my rounds as long as the bomber gunners, both human and ai, suffer an historically proportional difficulty penalty.

cheers

horseback

Flying_Pencil
02-15-2011, 11:53 AM
Besides, after WWII, you see turrets disappearing completely.

Except TAIL turrets.

Those hung on till 70's.

1x B-52 was credited with 2x MiG kills with the stinger.

WTE_Galway
02-15-2011, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by Flying_Pencil:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Besides, after WWII, you see turrets disappearing completely.

Except TAIL turrets.

Those hung on till 70's.

1x B-52 was credited with 2x MiG kills with the stinger. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Actually the early '90s.

General George Lee Butler announced that the gunner position on B-52 crews was to be eliminated, and the gun turrets permanently deactivated, commencing on 1 October 1991. The reason was the risk of missiles locking onto the targeting radar of the rear turret.


The last accredited kill with a B52 turret was over North Vietnam on 24 December 1972 when tail gunner Albert E. Moore in the B-52 "Diamond Lil" opened fire on a MIG21. Moore was the last recorded bomber gunner to shoot down an enemy aircraft with machine guns in aerial combat.