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Duncan_Doenitz
08-09-2004, 07:04 PM
An interesting chance meeting took place today...

While loading some electrical supplies into a customer's truck, we had to move a box out of the way. It contained a bunch of small old movie reels.

The old guy, George, almost didn't mention what the films were, but just before he drove away he said, "Those are films from my gun camera."

George looked to be in his eighties. I asked if they were WWII footage and what he flew.

"Well I flew for the Royal Air Force at first, then flew US later. At first I flew Hurricanes, then the P47."

"Wow! The P47 was big and tough, eh? I understand they were used a lot against ground targets when they were returning from missions, making use of the ammo still aboard."

You should've seen George's big smile when he replied, "Yeah... our group was responsible for starting that!"

Unfortunately we both had work to do and so that was the end of the conversation, but George will probably return to our shop again in a few days. This could get interesting.

Dunc

Duncan_Doenitz
08-09-2004, 07:04 PM
An interesting chance meeting took place today...

While loading some electrical supplies into a customer's truck, we had to move a box out of the way. It contained a bunch of small old movie reels.

The old guy, George, almost didn't mention what the films were, but just before he drove away he said, "Those are films from my gun camera."

George looked to be in his eighties. I asked if they were WWII footage and what he flew.

"Well I flew for the Royal Air Force at first, then flew US later. At first I flew Hurricanes, then the P47."

"Wow! The P47 was big and tough, eh? I understand they were used a lot against ground targets when they were returning from missions, making use of the ammo still aboard."

You should've seen George's big smile when he replied, "Yeah... our group was responsible for starting that!"

Unfortunately we both had work to do and so that was the end of the conversation, but George will probably return to our shop again in a few days. This could get interesting.

Dunc

GR142_Astro
08-09-2004, 07:24 PM
If he will agree to it, see if you can have a video studio convert those. Be aware that they may disintegrate on the next pass through a projector so you may only get one shot.

I wonder how many rolls of gun film are sitting in dusty attics or car trunks out there. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

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____________________________

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T_O_A_D
08-09-2004, 07:30 PM
Oh very interesting. It would be awsum to get him to get them turned over and reproduced into a more stabil archive. You should do your best to befreind him. If he is in his eighty's there isn't alot of time maybey, at that age you just never know.

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Duncan_Doenitz
08-09-2004, 07:33 PM
Thanks for the suggestion... it does make sense to try to archive the footage on something more stable than the old film.

I'm a bit of an old fart myself, and I can't remember exactly what George said, but something he said gave me the impression he just recently obtained these films. It'll be interesting to learn if he has viewed the footage, and whether, for example, they are predominantly aerial combat or ground attacks.

Just speculating, but maybe he was already on his way to get the films copied, since he was hauling them around. Anyway, the next meeting with George should be interesting for sure.

Dunc

AztekWrath
08-09-2004, 10:03 PM
Tell George that you have a bunch of guys here at Il2 forum that admire him and his deeds. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Freycinet
08-09-2004, 11:30 PM
hehe, funnily, the old film is a much better medium than whatever we invent these days. Where will your cd's, dvd's and videos be fifty years from now?

However, by all means get him to put them on a digital medium and let's have the stuff posted!

You should show the old man FB-AEP if you can, he'll surely enjoy the Jug.

Duncan_Doenitz
08-12-2004, 09:26 PM
Well George stopped by our shop again today, and luckily it was noon, our lunch break. We got to talk for half an hour.

George lives in or near Duluth, Minnesota, which puts him near the new **** Bong Memorial Center in Superior, Wisconsin. I urged him to visit the center with his films.

The films have always been in his possession, but a family member recently retrieved them from their forgotten storage place and returned them to George.

He said that after fighter pilots logged 200 combat hours they rotated out. One thing was really surprising... even though it was dangerous, he and others in his group "shorted" their hours so they wouldn't be discharged before the D-Day invasion. They were looking forward to it and didn't want to miss it! He estimated that he had officially logged about 187 1/2 hours when the invasion took place.

Then everyone who had not reached 200 hours found themselves extended to 300 hours.

He also mentioned the Me 262's, how occasionally they would have a 262 make a high speed pass through their formation and disappear. He also mentioned that the dive speed of the P-47 was one of its best assets, and said he didn't know what he would be able to do if a 262 actually got on his tail, he seemed to be thankful that the 262's chose to maintain high speed and make slashing attacks instead.

Weather was also a big problem. On one flight, because the bombers were already aloft, they took off with a 50 foot ceiling. They lost 17 fighters that day (I think he said 50 or 55 took off), none in combat.

Flak... he had a burst explode so near his engine that it literally "blew out" his engine. No visible damage but the concussion pressure and vacuum shut his engine down. Even though he was at 18,000 feet he barely got the engine started again.

Dunc

Duncan_Doenitz
08-12-2004, 09:28 PM
Hahahaha.

I can say "Bong" but not "DickBong".

Okay, okay, okay. Richard Bong then.

Dunc

Fliegeroffizier
08-13-2004, 01:11 AM
Good start for real memories, etc..Looking forward to more...http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BUT...

What about the thread title??? What about the GunCam Films?????

ploughman
08-13-2004, 02:11 AM
Great story. Sounds like he was an Eagle Squadron pilot which makes him a 'playing out of the box' kind of bloke. Can't wait to hear more. Keep us all posted.

Cippacometa
08-13-2004, 03:52 AM
Interesting stories!
We want more! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

http://server6.uploadit.org/files/Cippacometa-gaz.jpg

Xnomad
08-13-2004, 03:54 AM
Duncan_Doenitz http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif That's one of the best names I've seen on this board. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/11.gif

http://www.xnomad.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/sig.jpg

LeadSpitter_
08-13-2004, 04:11 AM
bah shameless stupid spam names.

LilHorse
08-13-2004, 09:41 AM
BUMP! Please give us more info. on this guy and his guncam footage as you get it. Very intriguing.

Duncan_Doenitz
08-20-2004, 06:09 PM
George did tell one very disturbing story about his gun camera footage. They were usually allowed to keep the film. But in one case, the footage was quickly whisked away...

George was escorting a returning bomber flight, and of course the fighters tried to protect any stragglers on these missions. On this trip, a bomber was lagging behind the main flight and as they reached the Netherlands, it peeled off and headed back to enemy territory. There was no apparent reason for the plane to do this.

George said that both sides in the war would try to shadow bomber formations using captured planes. He flew closer along side the bomber for a better look.

Then the waist gunner opened fire.

Not knowing if the gunner simply made a mistake, George chose to shoot up the bombers engines to make sure the plane never reached an enemy airfield intact.

The bomber was a Red Tail and George later confirmed that they lost two bombers on that mission. That's all he knows and of course the film was confiscated.

Grim stuff.

A couple other things George mentioned, trivial information about flying the P-47. He said that his landings were never textbook landings. He would try to make a good three point touchdown (apparently the correct way to land the P-47), but he always smacked the runway with the tail wheel first.

I asked him if flaps were ever used on takeoff; if, for example, he would throw in a bit of flaps near the end of a runway for extra lift once he had picked up speed. Nope. To George, speed was more important than lift.

In our game of course the AI uses flaps for takeoff, but there is a label in the cockpit of the P-47 that says zero flaps for takeoff.

Oh, and he landed once not knowing that he was on fire. He had a P-47 that persistently lost three cylinders, running on fifteen instead of eighteen. This time, the trouble was more serious. As he circled to land, he couldn't see the flames which were all on the bottom side of the plane. To make matters worse, he had belly tank full of fuel.

But the ground crews could see the flames and one guy was already racing to rescue him as the plane touched down. Once on the field, the flames attacked the bottom of the plane, damaging one wing and collapsing the right side landing gear. The plane skidded sideways and the other gear also collapsed and the belly tank burned a trail along the runway.

By the time the plane stopped, the Jeep reached him. George was out on the wing before the guy could get out of the Jeep. But his radio cable was still plugged in. He had to reach into the burning cockpit to free himself, but he walked away unhurt.

Dunc

PS: It's hard to shake that sick pit of the stomach feeling when thinking about George's "friendly fire" story.

Chuck_Older
08-20-2004, 06:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GR142_Astro:
If he will agree to it, see if you can have a video studio convert those. Be aware that they may disintegrate on the next pass through a projector so you may only get one shot.

I wonder how many rolls of gun film are sitting in dusty attics or car trunks out there. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

http://members.cox.net/kinetic/SigImages/LockheedLightningMed.jpg

____________________________

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limosine anyway." ~TheClash~<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Also, nice to see another Clash fan http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/11.gif

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Killers in America work seven days a week~
Clash

T_O_A_D
08-20-2004, 06:22 PM
Good info! And wierd situation.

Have you checked your Private Topics recently? (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=ugtpc&s=400102)
My TrackIR fix, Read the whole thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?q=Y&a=tpc&s=400102&f=49310655&m=15310285&p=1)
Commanding Officer of the 131st_VFW (http://www.geocities.com/vfw_131st/)
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LimaZulu
08-20-2004, 07:50 PM
Advise him to have the film digitized, not transfered. A digital film recorder will digitize it one frame at a time and therefore be much gentler. A real-time transfer to video could end in disaster. The cost will be much higher with a film recorder but he should be able to have a small production company or stock footage company pick up the tab for a big piece of the rights.

LZ

... oh, and give him my thanks.

Waldo.Pepper
08-21-2004, 01:30 AM
Re this

"George said that both sides in the war would try to shadow bomber formations using captured planes. He flew closer along side the bomber for a better look."

The Germans Veterans have CONSISTANTLY denied ever doing this since the end of the war.

A veteran of KG200 is very clear on this point, saying that it was far too dangerous to do this. (see KG200 the Real story for more). There has never been any record found or memoir to back up such Allied claim either.

Just as consistantly members of the USAAF and RAF to this day belive that the Germans did just that. Such a belief was very very common!

I am sure that 'George' and other veterans beliefs are sincere, but misguided.

BTW what is George's last name?

F19_Ob
08-21-2004, 05:15 AM
PLZ! Advice your friend to "convert" those old films as soon as possible. (Or why not help him fix that).
They may easily get ruined if exposed to temperature changes and/or moisture (even little). Some of those were flamable also. (heard that many combatrecords went like this).

When he/you convert them, ask if its possible to make a copy on a cd too. (likely possible nowadays).

Interesting meeting http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

GH_Klingstroem
08-21-2004, 05:28 AM
Duncan tell him that there are hundreds of us really really intrested to see that stuff!! he would probably be very happy to know that so mnay young people today find what he did very amasing!! pls try to get those!!do whatever u need to... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Petey78
08-21-2004, 08:30 AM
I agree, it might cost some but it would be a tragedy if those films were lost, keep up the updates on your friend's wartime experiences, there are too few veterans left, especially those who are prepared to speak about their memories.

All the best,

Pete

Duncan_Doenitz
08-21-2004, 11:05 AM
Today I'll make a trip to the Bong Heritage Center to see if George has visited them. I'm sure that if he did, they would have a strong interest in his films and would know best how to help him preserve the footage. If he hasn't been there, I will try to contact him.

He certainly sounded positive about bringing the films to the Center. On the other hand, he was apparently not interested in computers or our simulated combat, although I bet he would enjoy flying his beloved P-47 on screen. I know that at the Bong Center they have some kind of computer generated flight sim, maybe I can arrange to go there with George; I'll check out what's available there today too. If he can experience something like IL-2, he may be more interested. We really didn't discuss it much, I let George talk and just listened.

The first thing I did tell him, when he mentioned gun cam films, was that there was a huge online community that would be very interested in the films and his stories. So I can also let him know that the same community is providing advice on the best methods of preservation.

Sorry, I don't remember his last name, although I can track him down through our job connections. I just don't want to be too pushy.

Waldo P, the bomber was of course probably a friendly. On a similar vein, the stories of captured bombers being used by the enemy to bomb formations flying below... well the logistics... I dunno. Seems far fetched and extremely risky at best, although sorting out the facts can be difficult eh? Historians can't even seem to agree whether the Wright brothers made the first powered flight.

How many "friendly fire" incidents were rationalized away, blaming the enemy when things went horribly wrong in combat?

Thanks to y'all for some excellent advice.

Dunc

Waldo.Pepper
08-21-2004, 04:01 PM
Good find on the footage. Hope one day to see them.

I sure don't want an argument on anything, but the Germans experimented with air-to -air bombing using their own aircraft. They were so unsuccessful in their efforts using their own aircraft (i.e. they couldn't hit anything with them) they never did try with captured planes. A myth me thinks just like cannibal tribes in the jungle I'm afraid.

Duncan_Doenitz
08-24-2004, 06:32 PM
Well this is getting just plain weird.

You know, I met George and learned about his films while loading stuff into his truck.

Now on Monday I was loading more electrical supplies into ANOTHER guy's truck and told him, "the last time I was loading a truck like this the guy had gun camera films with him."

The guy smiles and says "I've got gun camera films too!"

And that was just the beginning. He not only had the films, he was involved in their use; he wasn't a pilot, he worked with the cameras. In fact, he still has a complete working gun camera today. Plus... get this. He can process the films cheap, if it is the right type of film. He says 8mm is OK but adds that it is probably 16mm but a type called "split eight", which he can do. Says he transfers them to DVD's!

What are the odds of bumping into these two guys just a few weeks apart, and then having the topic of gun cam footage come up in the conversation both times???

He did warn me, though. Most gun camera footage is not very impressive. He has only transferred one of his own reels, the others are really poor films.

Oh, by the way, before I forget... this story sounds like fiction, so just for the record, the guy gave me permission to use his name. He's John Stoll from Duluth Minnesota. And he adds that his real claim to aviation fame is some work he did in 1949. They intentionally flew a B-29 into the eye of a hurricane.

He said flying out of the calm eye was the worst part. They were at 18,000 feet and when they hit the wall of the storm, they were boosted another 11,000 feet and the B-29 was flipped upside down. Normally at this point they would have been doomed, since the plane was not meant to withstand being inverted and parachuting into a hurricane would've been hopeless too.

Both the pilot and co-pilot had to take their feet off the rudder pedals and brace them against the instrument panel, wrecking the panel in their efforts to get enough leverage to bring the plane back under control. When they did finally recover, they could see the whitecaps on the water.

More later, when George and John get together.

Dunc

meh_cd
08-24-2004, 06:44 PM
Wow. Some things are just meant to be, huh?

JG301_nils
08-24-2004, 08:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Freycinet:
hehe, funnily, the old film is a much better medium than whatever we invent these days. Where will your cd's, dvd's and videos be fifty years from now?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hehe right. I´m thinking about recording all my DVD´s and software CD onto LP´s http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

http://www.hjelmevoll.net/images/Max%20renders/Nils_logo.gif

F19_Ob
08-24-2004, 10:38 PM
Incredible! and fun too Duncan.

I guess we will have to apoint u to the darn luckiest Flyboy of the year on this board.
good show http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

It surely would be interesting to se some of those films someday.



THNX for keeping us updated!

[This message was edited by F19_Ob on Tue August 24 2004 at 11:40 PM.]

michapma
08-25-2004, 05:55 AM
I'm very interested to see what comes of this. I was thinking just yesterday I wish I had more opportunities to talk with veterans. Please continue to give my (our) greetings.

Regards,
Mike

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