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

  1. #21
    I just had to dredge this up when I saw this picture today...



    All I know is that the picture was supposedly taken on Hawaii. No s/n or any other details, unfortunately.

    HINT: look under the co-pilot's window....
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  2. #22
    Senior Member Esel1964's Avatar
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    My Grandfather worked at the factory in Ft. Worth,TX,but his long since passed.
    I'm a licensed ham radio operator,and they appear to be of a length that would operate in the 400 Mhz range(assuming they're 1/4 wavelength,which is one of the most common),give or take a little.Many of the earlier posts seem to be dead on,they're either for radar(though modern radar yagis have many more elements),or radio navigation equipment.
    "There is what we refer to as a flying machine:in it I see the opening verse of the opening chapter of a book which has no end." Rudyard Kipling

    "Not lower level, arguably more violent." Quote from Euro forum visitor pertaining to Americans.
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  3. #23
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    It doesn't help, but I can add a few more B-24's to the list by their nose art name:

    Red Butts

    The Peter Heater

    Bomb Baby; B-24j 42-72976; Kwajalein July 1944

    Battling Hornet; Kwajalein July 1944

    Dumbo 2 the avenger, Kwajalein July 1944

    Fools Paradise; B-24j 42-73282;Kwajalein July 44

    Glenna Bee 2; Kwajalein July 1944

    Little Hiawatha; Funafuti, Ellice Island

    Merry Boozer B-24j 42-109945;Kwajalein July 1944

    Madame Pele, 42-109951, 26th BS 11th BG 7th AF

    Smokey Stover

    Salty Sal Kwajalein July 1944

    TARFU 42-109933 Kwajalein
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  4. #24
    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 jarink:
    I just had to dredge this up when I saw this picture today...



    All I know is that the picture was supposedly taken on Hawaii. No s/n or any other details, unfortunately.

    HINT: look under the co-pilot's window.... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The caption for this picture from the original location has this to say about the picture.

    "B-17F*near*Hangars*3*and*5*at*Hickam*Field,*7th*Air* Force,*Gunnery*School,*c1943-1944."

    The car in the background looks like a 1941 Dodge coupe to me (but it could be anything I suppose.) Still this all seems to add up to a scene from 1943-1944 Hickam Field like the caption states. From here.

    http://hawaii.gov/hawaiiaviati...?b_start:int=48&-C=*



    Steve Birdsall posted the picture to an aviation website and had this to say about the plane.

    "Assuming*that*she's*a*veteran*of*the*11th*Bomb*Gr oup,*the*possibilities*are*pretty*limited*41-24426,*41-24446*Jezabel,*or 41-24535."... also ..."a pretty typical sea-search antenna array below the kill markings."

    I wonder where he determined THAT from?
    If this was a sea search radar then why was it used only in the Pacific?
    I wonder what the CC on the engine cowl is all about. Anyone have any theory?

    Assuming he is right then about the serial numbers then Joe's site has this to add about ... *

    24426 (5th BG, 42nd BS) returned to USA in 1944.
    24446 (5th BG, 23rd BS, "Jezebel") returned to USA

    I guess I have to track down Steve Birdsall now to pick his brain about how he knows about the aerials being a 'pretty typical sea search radar'.

    Thanks for the picture Jarink. Potentially very helpful.
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  5. #25
    I was going through some (very) old letters and finally found what I was looking for.

    Jack W. Rivers served in the 380th Bomb Group, and described 42-41243 Battle Weary as "our B-24".



    He wrote:

    This plane assigned to our crew #15 was originally called Fascinating ***** but after being shot up so many times was changed to Battle Weary. Notice the Yagi antennas directly below the cockpit window. These antennas were for (ASV) aircraft to surface vessel radar which I operated. It was used primarily to locate Japanese ships but could detect large formations of aircraft.
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  6. #26
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
    Because it only is seen on PTO aircraft, I see that as a valuable clue which leads to this question.

    What was different in the PTO, compared to Europe? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If this was a sea search radar then why was it used only in the Pacific? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Since it hasn't been stated by someone else, I'll point out a very fundamental, and indeed obvious, difference between sea targets in the ETO and PTO.


    In the ETO, the targets where u-boats.
    In the PTO, the targets where *ships*.


    There is a HUGE difference in size in all directions between a u-boat and a typical 5k ton merchantman, nevermind a warship.

    Perhaps said piece of equipment was deemed worthless when trying to pinpoint that kind of target and they where just never used in the eto because of it.

    If it was in fact a piece of radar range-finding equipment linked to the bombsite, it would probably be even more useless when used to launch a depth charge attack or dropping Mark 24 torpedoes (which also entered service in 43, with the first sinking in the first quarter).
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  7. #27
    Some very useful info here:
    US ASV Radar sets

    Could these antenna mountings on the fuselage sides be modified SCR-521s? Maybe an alternate mounting that didn't interfere with nose guns and/or gave better performance?
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  8. #28
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    USAAF did very little anti shipping work in the ETO proper; much of the Army Air Force's ASW patrolling was done from domestic shores, and that lacked the glamor and drama that gets books written. Chances are that the more extensive and sensitive ASW type air to surface radars were used more often there as well.

    In the Pacific, however, the USAAF was very much engaged in long range antishipping patrols, and putting in that much high priced (and rare) electronic gear wouldn't have been practical on that many bombers.

    The Yagi installations appear to me as a pretty basic relatively low cost method of picking up larger surface type ships and trawlers from the air. Much more practical and less expensive for widespread use against Japanese shipping in the Pacific, China Sea and Indian Ocean than the better documented 'Fancy Dan' ASW air to surface radars used in the Battle of the Atlantic.

    cheers

    horseback
    "Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944
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  9. #29
    Here's a photo that I've always found intriguing . . . a very early B-17E that has been considerably modified to patrol those "domestic shores" . . .

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  10. #30
    That is the port side of a Yagi antenna used by the ASE Radar on Navy PB4Y1's (B-24's slightly modified by the Navy). There was an identical antenna on the starboard side. I was first Radioman on a Navy PB4Y1 (BuNo 42-32143) in 1943/44 and we were equipped with the ASE radar and the yagi antenna. That old (prehistoric) radar had an "A" scope presentation about 5 inches in diameter at the Radioman's position. The "A" scope was a vertical line representing range in thousands of yards, and targets appeared as "blips" on the range line. A target on the port side would cause a blip on the left side of the line and a target on the right would show as a blip on the right side. A target dead ahead wouldhave identical blipson the range line, at the distance of the target. I was in a photographic squadron and we NEVER used the radar; I knew many fellows in bombing squadrons and I don't believe they used it either. I tried it one time on a night flight out of San Diego, tryng to see Cataline Island and I could not find it, so we never used it again.
    Happy to answer your questions if you want more.
    Tom
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