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View Full Version : How to attack an Airfield. in a Corsair - True tales.



Waldo.Pepper
08-23-2004, 06:17 PM
From Carrier Pilot by Norman Hanson.

A carrier pilot from who flew from the Illustrious.

How to attack an Airfield. in a Corsair pages 142-143.

"We practiced flying as a Wing, both squadrons together, in the manner of RAF Ramrods which flew over northwestern Europe enticing the German fighters to take the sky and give battle. In this we were to be unlucky for, at this stage of the war, the Japanese were already feeling the lack of fuel and aircraft, and in our experience could be drawn into battle only when some cherished prize was at stake. Cork, however, knew what he was doing when he drove us on and on in low-flying exercises. Fighter schools in our days didn't teach ground strafing, as we would have to fly in action. There, we had been taught to dive at the target from a considerable height and to open fire when down to about 400 yards. After firing, we had to pull up sharply and disappear from the scene at high speed and low altitude.

There were two fundamental dangers in this method. First, to dive from height was simply begging to be shot down, for we were to find that Japanese short-range flak gunners were good and needed no second invitation. Secondly, a monoplane (and it must be remembered that many of our instructors had learnt their trade on biplanes) has an inherent characteristic at the point of pullout. After the joystick has been pulled back to raise the elevators and thus recover from the dive, it carries on for x feet in the same plane as the line of the dive itself and only after a second or two does it change its line of flight to that demanded by the new position of the controls. This continued downward trend was known as 'mushing'. If one tried to pull out too near terra firma, the 'mush' would put the aircraft and its occupant firmly but untidily into the ground; very often through the target itself.

We were to find that most of the Japanese airfields we attacked were 'single-strip' jobs, carved out of virgin jungle. The enemy knew very well that, in order to attack such a runway successfully, we were obliged to fly down the field longitudinally. A lateral attack at high speed would have flashed us across the field before we had time or room to bring our guns to bear. With this in mind, the enemy positioned his flak weapons and grounded aircraft accordingly. The fields were generally armed very heavily at both ends, with a liberal scattering of weapons down each of the long sides. The best life policy was obtained by flying low and fast-and the faster and lower the better!"

That's theory here's practice.

Pages 233-234.

"My binoculars showed me what could be a juicy Myrtle at the end of the runway. We carne down from 10,000 feet and did a fast run across the field at about 5,000 feet. This was no dummy, for there was quite a gaggle of Japs buzzing about her. As we disappeared out to sea, I sized up the situation and turned to Baker. On a job like this he was invaluable; intelligent and courageous. 'You saw her, Johnny?' He nodded. 'Trouble is, the guns are right behind her. I want you to do a dummy attack from the east when I tell you. Make it look really good.' He knew what I wanted; he didn't even reply. When he had heard me out he gave me the 'zero' sign with finger." {ed. Presumably the 'OK' sign}and thumb. I wheeled away from them and climbed out to the west. When I had got myself organized I went on the R/T again.
'Tell me when you're all set, John. Start from about three miles out.'
'OK. Wait.' Seconds passed. 'All set. Say when.'
I lined myself up on the runway from way out and took the compass bearing.
'Now! GO!' I rocketed down from 10,000 feet, tearing a great strip down the sky. As I crossed the coast I was low down, cracking along at 300 knots. I knew exactly where the Myrtle was. I was lined up on her, well out of range, when I saw Johnny and his boys steaming down in a great fast arc drawing, it seemed to me, all the flak north of the Equator. Then I was there. I opened up at long range and saw tracer going straight into the Myrtle. There were ladders up against the engines-they were putting new props on her; she must have nosed over on landing. Now I was really hitting her; men, ladders, chunks of metal were flying all over the place. Something like a miniature explosion blew up when the cone of my gun pattern hit her. There were flashes from ricocheting tracer around me as I pulled over the aircraft and dropped down again, to flat-hat out to sea.
They had been so engrossed with Johnny's attack that I doubt if they knew I was there until it was all over.

Looking forward to trying that. Too bad the AI gunners won't be fooled by that sort of tactic.

Waldo.Pepper
08-23-2004, 06:17 PM
From Carrier Pilot by Norman Hanson.

A carrier pilot from who flew from the Illustrious.

How to attack an Airfield. in a Corsair pages 142-143.

"We practiced flying as a Wing, both squadrons together, in the manner of RAF Ramrods which flew over northwestern Europe enticing the German fighters to take the sky and give battle. In this we were to be unlucky for, at this stage of the war, the Japanese were already feeling the lack of fuel and aircraft, and in our experience could be drawn into battle only when some cherished prize was at stake. Cork, however, knew what he was doing when he drove us on and on in low-flying exercises. Fighter schools in our days didn't teach ground strafing, as we would have to fly in action. There, we had been taught to dive at the target from a considerable height and to open fire when down to about 400 yards. After firing, we had to pull up sharply and disappear from the scene at high speed and low altitude.

There were two fundamental dangers in this method. First, to dive from height was simply begging to be shot down, for we were to find that Japanese short-range flak gunners were good and needed no second invitation. Secondly, a monoplane (and it must be remembered that many of our instructors had learnt their trade on biplanes) has an inherent characteristic at the point of pullout. After the joystick has been pulled back to raise the elevators and thus recover from the dive, it carries on for x feet in the same plane as the line of the dive itself and only after a second or two does it change its line of flight to that demanded by the new position of the controls. This continued downward trend was known as 'mushing'. If one tried to pull out too near terra firma, the 'mush' would put the aircraft and its occupant firmly but untidily into the ground; very often through the target itself.

We were to find that most of the Japanese airfields we attacked were 'single-strip' jobs, carved out of virgin jungle. The enemy knew very well that, in order to attack such a runway successfully, we were obliged to fly down the field longitudinally. A lateral attack at high speed would have flashed us across the field before we had time or room to bring our guns to bear. With this in mind, the enemy positioned his flak weapons and grounded aircraft accordingly. The fields were generally armed very heavily at both ends, with a liberal scattering of weapons down each of the long sides. The best life policy was obtained by flying low and fast-and the faster and lower the better!"

That's theory here's practice.

Pages 233-234.

"My binoculars showed me what could be a juicy Myrtle at the end of the runway. We carne down from 10,000 feet and did a fast run across the field at about 5,000 feet. This was no dummy, for there was quite a gaggle of Japs buzzing about her. As we disappeared out to sea, I sized up the situation and turned to Baker. On a job like this he was invaluable; intelligent and courageous. 'You saw her, Johnny?' He nodded. 'Trouble is, the guns are right behind her. I want you to do a dummy attack from the east when I tell you. Make it look really good.' He knew what I wanted; he didn't even reply. When he had heard me out he gave me the 'zero' sign with finger." {ed. Presumably the 'OK' sign}and thumb. I wheeled away from them and climbed out to the west. When I had got myself organized I went on the R/T again.
'Tell me when you're all set, John. Start from about three miles out.'
'OK. Wait.' Seconds passed. 'All set. Say when.'
I lined myself up on the runway from way out and took the compass bearing.
'Now! GO!' I rocketed down from 10,000 feet, tearing a great strip down the sky. As I crossed the coast I was low down, cracking along at 300 knots. I knew exactly where the Myrtle was. I was lined up on her, well out of range, when I saw Johnny and his boys steaming down in a great fast arc drawing, it seemed to me, all the flak north of the Equator. Then I was there. I opened up at long range and saw tracer going straight into the Myrtle. There were ladders up against the engines-they were putting new props on her; she must have nosed over on landing. Now I was really hitting her; men, ladders, chunks of metal were flying all over the place. Something like a miniature explosion blew up when the cone of my gun pattern hit her. There were flashes from ricocheting tracer around me as I pulled over the aircraft and dropped down again, to flat-hat out to sea.
They had been so engrossed with Johnny's attack that I doubt if they knew I was there until it was all over.

Looking forward to trying that. Too bad the AI gunners won't be fooled by that sort of tactic.

p1ngu666
08-23-2004, 07:12 PM
nice http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

http://www.pingu666.modded.me.uk/mysig3.jpg
<123_GWood_JG123> NO SPAM!

VW-IceFire
08-23-2004, 08:37 PM
Oh they can be fooled...just not as easily. I also look forward to doing this sort of thing. Should be great fun...especially when its just a small island and you go from open sea to airfield and jungle in seconds and then back to sea in a few more seconds. Absolutely wild.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~cczerneda/sigs/tmv-sig1.jpg
RAF No 92 Squadron
"Either fight or die"

VF-3Thunderboy
08-24-2004, 01:46 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>After the joystick has been pulled back to raise the elevators and thus recover from the dive, it carries on for x feet in the same plane as the line of the dive itself and only after a second or two does it change its line of flight to that demanded by the new position of the controls. This continued downward trend was known as 'mushing'. If one tried to pull out too near terra firma, the 'mush' would put the aircraft and its occupant firmly but untidily into the ground; very often through the target itself.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ahh- This is done in the sim with the "NULL ZONES"! I think that Ill 2 had em, so Im not worried! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Baco-ECV56
08-24-2004, 03:10 PM
Actually AI gunners can be fooled, We use that technique every time aggaints Wilbrewinds and Nimrods, I send a 2 planes flight in for a dummy attack and when the AAA is targetting them I come down with my own attack. The trick is to get in and hitém befor the dummy attack planes get out of range of the AAA. It works almos evey time The thing is that AAA in FB takes no time to acuairea new target, and ussually they do fir at you during tha last secconds of the attack.

The "mushing" is tehre too, try to pull upo form a 45? dive with a FW 190 or a P-47.. you´ll notice that it takes a few secconds to strart climbing.

What I didn´t know is that it was a monpoplane caracteristic, I thought it had to do with the weigh of teh aircraft and inertia.

Fliger747
08-24-2004, 10:56 PM
"Monoplanes" such as the F4U had a clean airframe and lots of inertia and higher wingloading compared to planes of the previous generation. Dive bombers were configured with dive brakes to prevent excessive speed accumulation in a STEEP dive. Some fighters such as the F4U were used in this role by utilizing the main gear as a speed brake.

Strafing was of course a get-in-get-out (keep the speed up) deal! Coordinated attacks from several directions and fighter supression of the AA whilst the bombers made their runs were more likely to suceed without casualty to te attackers.