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Thread: Got a relative who has a connection to B-24 Liberators? Help solve a wartime mystery. | Forums

  1. #11
    Senior Member ImMoreBetter's Avatar
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    Have you read this yet? They mention the same antenna.

    Some of the links to the pictures that they have are broke'd, but I found them here.

    I tried sifting through it all. Didn't make much sense to me, perhaps you will understand it better. Be sure to read the whole thread.

    Airspeed, altitude, or brains; you always need at least two.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Waldo.Pepper's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ImMoreBetter:
    Have you read </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yup. Been reading emails from them and others for a few years now. Also in contact with the owner of this site as well.

    http://jproc.ca/ve3fab/b24rfit.html

    It is a collective effort to solve this. And I thought that I'd involve the big brains over here in the Il-2 community as well.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member Waldo.Pepper's Avatar
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    My theory briefly stated. (This IS brief! I have omitted some supporting info.)

    Part 1

    This is SCR-521, an ASV (Anti-Surface Vessel) radar, as installed on a B-17.



    And this is "****y."

    [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/Radar/****yfulllength.jpg[/img]

    ****y is or rather might be a really special ship. If you look closely, you can see a Yagi Antenna on the nose. The Mystery antenna on the cheeks. And --

    [img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/Radar/****y_rearaerials.jpg[/img]

    -- on this close up, which is of better quality of the rear of "****y," there are the remaining antenna of what looks like the standard SCR-521 install. (The only difference is that the homing receivers are replaced with the mystery ones below the flight deck.)

    So this implies that these mystery antenna are receivers. Just determining that is progress. (Can I have a big woo hoo? - Sure WOO HOO!)

    Part 2.

    In Radar in World War 2 - Guerlic on page p 377 writes -

    "A program to equip two B-24's with BASV (bombing ASV), or LAB (low-altitude bombing), as it was later called, was instituted immediately." ... and ... "The ASV used was the SCR-517 ... and ... "The same day the plane was ordered to Africa; a new plane was not received until December, thus setting the project back two months."

    This website ID's "****y" as one of two... etc.

    http://www.b24bestweb.com/****y1.htm

    So could this mean that this was the same aircraft used to develope LAB in the Guerlac qquote above? Maybe.

    The Joe Baugher Serial number search site -

    http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html

    Has the following entry for the serial number for "****y"

    "40325 (90th BG, 320th BS) condemned in accident Jun 4, 1945.
    Also listed as being lost Aug 1, 1943 on Ploesti raid but this may be 42-40375."

    Thus opening the possibility that "****y" was lost on the Ploesti raid. Which could mean that it could have been the one that was yanked away from the development program and shipped to Africa. As a precursor to participating on the Ploesti raid.


    There are aircraft seen with all the antenna of the "****y" install. Except for the nose transmitter Yagi and the Search transmitter along the spine of the fuselage.

    They have the cheek ones and the ones along the sides of the fuselage below the waist gunners.

    On the "****y" install all these would be receivers. Which means that there is a missing transmitter. Whose duties are taken over in my theory by the SCR-717 transmitter located in the position of the ball turret.

    But the cheek ones are also retained to act as the Homing antenna during the final stages on an anti-shipping strike. Sometimes the rear fuselage receivers are also retained. But also sometimes they are deemed superfluous.

    All a theory with no proof. Bugger.
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  4. #14
    This excerpt from an interview might help with your research, I cant remember where I got it from ages ago but the DMS-1000 reference is interesting.

    This could be why I originally quoted MKII IFF

    Dr. Denis Robinson

    ASV Radar

    Robinson:

    Oh, unbelievably so. I was able to follow that in the anti-submarine/anti-U-boat war. That became more important to me than anything else.

    Bryant:

    One of the things that the Tizard Mission brought was a 200-megahertz air-to-surface vessel (ASV) radar, and it was installed on American aircraft. And places such as Philco Corporation manufactured thousands of the ASV Mark II.

    Robinson:

    I went through the Philco Labs at that time.

    Bryant:

    So our first operational ASVs were the 200-megahertz radars with the Yagi antennas outside the aircraft.

    Robinson:

    We know that they were better than nothing, and they gave the U-boats a lot to worry about.

    Bryant:

    So when was microwave ASV first operational?

    Robinson:

    I can't give you a date. I know that I went to some place in Devon or Cornwall, and there was a whole squadron that had microwave 9-centimeter magnetrons.

    Bryant:

    Was that British manufacture?

    Robinson:

    Some of them were British, and some were U.S. I haven't told you this: When I told DuBridge what I'd been sent over to do, he said, "Fine, we'll arrange that — we'll make ten of these things for you here in Radiation Lab." They were called DMS 1000. Nothing to do with my name. I was given complete authority to have it designed the way I wanted it and so on, to be put in the B-24s.

    Bryant:

    This was microwave ASV equipment?

    Robinson:

    Yes, with the magnetron and all. And it had the TR box. It had everything that MIT and TRE then had. And they started the first one of those, which was only a prototype. It was ready in March of 1942, and I flew with it across the Atlantic and took it first to TRE to show them but didn't demonstrate it there. They sent me to Northern Ireland with it, and we had a rather small British submarine on the lake there, one of the big lakes in Northern Ireland. And we got results, at all different heights, all kinds of this, that and the other. I flew back to London to see Air Marshall Joubert. Are you familiar with that name? I think he had the responsibility for all short-wave radar at the time. I went to see him at one of the big air bases, and he said, "Robinson, what the hell are you sitting there for? Get back across to America and get more of these!" I'd brought him the results, and they were clearly better than anything the British had then.

    Bryant:

    That's fast action! I mean, to have it operational in March [Chuckling] of '42. That's pretty remarkable.

    Robinson:

    That's right. And of course there were big quarrels between the Air Force and the other people as to who was to do it and so on. But the following year we had a big set-to about H2S and H2X. And I'd come to England and was sat down...

    Oh, I should have told you. I have to go back a bit. In 1943 suddenly DuBridge called me in and said, "Robinson, I haven't got any American to demonstrate the 3-centimeter search radar to Lord Cherwell, who is here with the Prime Minister in Washington. He wants to see it. I want you to go to Washington this morning and demonstrate it to him." [Chuckling] They were staying at the Mayflower Hotel. I was told to go to Room 506 or something and knock at the door. And sure enough, there was Cherwell. Morning coat, beautiful tie, stickpin, all the rest. "Oh, Robinson! I'm so glad you're here." We knew each other. "Please come in and sit down. I can't go until the PM is asleep." The PM — I knew this — took an afternoon nap, you see. This was about two o'clock, and he'd had plenty to drink. So I sat there for a few minutes chatting with Cherwell, and then an aide in a splendid RAF uniform came out and said, "Sir, the PM is asleep." "All right," says Cherwell, "We can go. Come on, Robinson." We went down the elevator, and there was a tremendous long Cadillac with diplomatic flags and everything. He said, "Get in." So I got in, and there was a nice Jamaican guy, and he tucked me in although it was not cold. I said, "Thank you very much. And he said in the most beautiful English, "Yes, we English do like our comfort, don't we, sir?" [Chuckling] So we drove off. We were to go to the Naval base. That was where the small AT-11 trainer was fitted with this thing [H2X radar]. The guards, overwhelmed by this Cadillac and all the flags, just waved us through. I was used to checking in.

    Then Cherwell said to me, "Well, do you know where this is?" I said, "Yes, you see over there? In the far distant corner." We went through without any permission or anything. We drove right over. There was this nice marine, a U.S. marine, who was the pilot. He knew me, fortunately. We got in, and Cherwell said, "Robinson, do you mind if I go up in the copilot seat until we're airborne? Then when it's really running nicely, tell me, and I'll come back and look." And I heard him on the intercom say to the pilot, "When we're airborne, do you mind if I take over?" [Laughter] Here was Cherwell in this perfect morning dress — bowler hat, everything. Anyway, Cherwell did take over. After a time, I had a most perfect picture. I'll just show you what kind of pictures we were getting then. This was the only 3-centimeter working unit, you see. The only one in the world. And I was demonstrating it to Cherwell. Cherwell was absolutely delighted. He said, "Robinson, I understand you're going to be in London next week. Before you do anything else, I want you to come to No. 11 Downing Street and see me." I was scared stiff because this was the sort of the picture that he had seen. But this photo shows the B24 plane that I actually went over in. You don't need to look through these. You've seen so many of them, these pictures.

    Bryant:

    And that's a radar map of the ground?

    Robinson:

    That's right. I had the Potomac. I've forgotten whether I've got the Potomac in here, but you could see every little thing. Here's Long Island, see.

    Bryant:

    A radar map of New York City, looking out to Long Island.

    Robinson:

    Yes. Anyway, it was perfect. You could see everything on the Potomac. So Cherwell climbs down out of this AT-11, and the Marine lieutenant stops a moment to say, "Gee," he said, "you got anymore in the House of Lords like that?" [Laughter] So I said, "No, not many." And I said, "How did he fly?" He said "He's all right. He's all right." So I said "Did you know that he was the guy that showed the Royal Air Force in the First World War how to get out of a spin?" Did you know that? Cherwell, yes. He was a courageous guy and a very clever one. He put the airplane in a spin, and then he showed them how to get out of it. So he was able to pilot anything. I said to the marine lieutenant, "Well, what did you expect, anyway?" He said, "Well, I did expect to see some ermine, a tiara, a crown or something with some red." [Chuckling]

    Just at this moment, while he was saying this to me, the admiral in charge of the base appears, red-faced. Wants to know how the hell we got on that base of his and into his plane without checking with him. You see, he was offended because here was the Prime Minister's No. 1 man who had come onto his base, and he wanted to be there to receive him. [Chuckling] DuBridge got this complaint the next morning. When I got back, DuBridge asked me, "How did this happen?" and then he said, "I'll settle it. Don't worry. He was just mad."

    So we went back in this precious Cadillac, and I got off at the Mayflower. And Cherwell said, "Don't forget, the first day you're there you are to see me at No. 11." Of course you know and I know what No. 11 means — next door to the Prime Minister. So I thought: Robinson, this is the only working 3-centimeter airborne radar in the world, and it's working beautifully. But if I go in to No. 11, Cherwell will say, "Now, how can we get this instead of our H2S?" I knew his characteristics. He was going to have it all cancelled and get everything changed over. So I thought I'd better go to the Air Ministry first. And I did. And they said, Oh, my God! Oh, my God! [Chuckling] I told them this was beautiful. I showed them pictures. It's the only one that exists. It'll be nine months to a year before we get even enough for the American Navy alone — at least a year. So they said, "The last thing we want is to have questions get into the H2S [program]." The sets were just getting out into the field. So I didn't go to No. 11. They begged me not to go see Cherwell. Well, three days later I was at a big meeting at the Air Ministry. And there was one of these half-a-block-long green baize tables. Around it were all the air marshals and admirals and so on. Enough gold braid to give a perfectly good radar echo. [Chuckling] It was all very quiet and orderly.

    DuBridge had come across the Atlantic and was there. And Rabi, I think. And Dee — P.I. Dee — and the civilian hierarchy of the radar business. I've forgotten at what point — but I know that Dee got on his high horse. He was very, very direct, and he said, "I do not understand, sir." There was somebody — an air marshal — in charge. "I do not understand why we British are being forced to take the American 3-centimeter radar instead of the one we've got." And blah, blah, blah, you see. I thought, My God, they're being forced? Who's forcing them? The Americans haven't got them, so I appealed to DuBridge. I said, "Isn't the one I demonstrated to Lord Cherwell the only one in the whole United States?" "That's right." [Chuckling] DuBridge said, "I'm not aware that we're trying to force the British to take these. If we had any of them, we'd soon know where to put them." So then the big double doors of this magnificent apartment swung open. Aides side-to-side. And in comes Cherwell, complete with morning coat, stickpin and all. Everybody stood up. Every air marshal in the place. We all stood up. I didn't like it. I felt that this was the beginnings of some kind of fascism, you know, because he was just the representative. He was representing the big boss. But I stood up. Cherwell was sort of nodding to people. Then he suddenly saw me. He said, "You never came to see me!" [Laughter] That was all. But they knew, of course, by now everybody had the story. The H2S went on and did a good job, as you know. It would have been even better if it had been X-Band, but who knows? It would have taken a long time.

    Bryant:

    Operational use of the American X-Band H2X lagged the H2S by more than a year, did it?

    Robinson:

    Oh, more than a year for sure.

    Bryant:

    And in the meantime you made good use of the H2S.

    Robinson:

    Oh, no question. Of course, in the meantime, we'd had this whole business about the window, the chaff, you know. I wasn't particularly involved with that, but it was a great fight. [Chuckling] And then we also had the thing that we were supposed to have alongside every magnetron, a focused charge that was to blow up the magnetron.

    Bryant:

    For security, every equipment had a charge that would destroy the magnetron in case it crashed or something.

    Robinson:

    Yes, that's right. Now, I've talked a lot. Do you want to ask me some more, John?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member Dance's Avatar
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    So far I have only found another reference without detail, mentioning sea-search radar.



    "Shown with Sea-Search Radar with Perspex strip across the antennae"

    http://search.freefind.com/fin...&mode=ALL&search=all

    See the first item in the list.

    Your theory seems to fit pretty well given the shortage of information, though I'm not sure about the 'Yagi' reference. They are like t.v. aerials and point forward from what I gather.

    You've probably come across this book in your searches, but in case you haven't.

    http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/books/snoopers.htm

    I'll keep my eyes open in the meantime.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Waldo.Pepper's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by KG26_Alpha:
    I cant remember where I got it from ages ago but the DMS-1000 reference is interesting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I found it here.

    http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/in...obinson_Oral_History

    Neat story too isn't it. Love the description of Professor Lindemann aka Lord Cherwell. (He was such a d1ck! But he comes off as a pretty cool ol' bird in this interview though.)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dance:
    So far I have only found another reference without detail, mentioning sea-search radar. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    B-24 Best Web is an interesting site. I downloaded the whole site a while back using HT Track. All 554meg of it. (I am sure that the site admin loved me that day!) I have gone over it with a fine tooth comb a few times.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dance:
    Your theory seems to fit pretty well given the shortage of information, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks, but really if it holds up I'll be rather surprised. I think it is rather thin myself. I am rather skeptical, and I would not be surprised in the slightest if it falls apart.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dance:
    though I'm not sure about the 'Yagi' reference. They are like t.v. aerials and point forward from what I gather.
    </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Correct - here is a little summary on a typical Yagi antenna. (Though when used as a transmitter).

    Also - One of the great ironies of the development and use of radar during the war is that it was a Japanese engineer who invented the Yagi (and also lending it his name). But they did not think to use it in a radar application until Singapore fell. Then they had an intelligence windfall capturing a British SLC radar which used the antenna to aim searchlights. They also captured a document that in Japanese circles came to be known as the "Newman Document." Which was helpful in explaining the SLC radar. The Newman Document survived the war and is today preserved in Tohoku University.





    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dance:
    You've probably come across this book in your searches, but in case you haven't. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yup sure have, but I haven't got my hot little hands on it yet. I did arrange for my local library to bring into town for me. I only did this a few days ago. The process usually takes a few weeks.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Dance:
    I'll keep my eyes open in the meantime.
    </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Fala! (thanks).

    I am getting a little hopeful that if I shake enough trees, something may someday turn up. Fingers crossed.
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  7. #17
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    Seems to be a forward pointing array with the first two dipole directors, the third active and the rear one a reflector.


    If you have the dimensions of the dipoles it should be a relatively simple matter to calculate the frequencies the antennae was designed to work at.

    That should narrow down the possibilities a bit.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Waldo.Pepper's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
    If you have the dimensions of the dipoles it should be a relatively simple matter to calculate the frequencies the antennae was designed to work at. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nothing is known about them with any certainty other than what can be deduced, or perhaps only supposed from the picture.

    Determining the dimensions may be possible from the picture. But knowing them approximately would be nice. But then there is really no known place to take or go with the information, sadly.

    Also I neglected to comment fully on DME-1000.

    They made 17 of these. Fourteen of them went to the British for use in Liberators of Coastal Command. And so far as is known the program ends there. Page 276 of Guerlac describes it thusly.

    "At the end of July 1941, D.M. Robinson of the British Air Commission arrived at the Radiation Laboratory to explore the possibility of acquiring a small number of microwave ASV sets for use by the RAF Coastal Command. These sets were to be installed in Liberator bombers being supplied to Britain under lend-lease. Two specially modified Liberators, known as Dumbo I and Dumbo II because the bulbous radar dome beneath the nose enhanced the planes' already elephantine appearance, were equipped with prototype units of microwave ASV during the winter of 1941-42. The Dumbo I equipment flew for the first time from the East Boston Airport on December 11, 1941, the day Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. It was successfully demonstrated shortly thereafter to British and American officers and was flown to the United Kingdom in March 1942, where it underwent trials in Northern Ireland during April. The second Liberator was rapidly equipped and demonstrated at the end of April to the Secretary of War, General Marshall, General Arnold and other high-ranking officers. These two systems served as prototypes for a crash program of 17 similar systems manufactured by the Research Construction Corporation, of which 14 were for the British. The first of these DMS-1000 sets was handed over to the British representative in August 1942; the remainder were delivered by December 1942. They were able to play a valuable part in the battles against the submarines in the Bay of Biscay."



    This is the ASV install that they are describing. Note the bulbous nose which contains what it essential the same radar scanner which was developed for the H2S/H2X series.
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  9. #19
    Hi Waldo. Got another reference for you that might help--came across it by accident in an Amazon search.

    The B-24 in China, A.B. Feuer

    "This book records the World War II experiences of Captain Elmer E Haynes, who flew low-altitude night radar strikes against Japanese shipping in the South China Sea and daylight raids against various enemy land-based installations in eastern and central China. Haynes flew secretly developed B-24 Liberator bombers that were equipped with radar that had been integrated with the Norden Bombsight for night missions. These B-24s operated with the 14th Air Force - General Chennault's Flying Tigers. The bombing attacks were so accurate and successful that, in a little over a year, Haynes and his fellow pilots sank approximately a million tons of Japanese shipping."


    Jungmann

    "Oh, the monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga..."
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  10. #20
    Senior Member Waldo.Pepper's Avatar
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    Thanks Jungmann. I just had a look at the preview, read the whole thing. Not bad!

    I just found the book online for 2 bucks. If the book contributes a nugget or two, to an understanding, then that's 2 bucks of the household budget that was well spent! (My Wife may disagree - but what does she know.)
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