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Woke_Up_Dead
11-09-2009, 01:11 PM
There is an interesting article about a Canadian bomber crew in one of Vancouver's free newspapers this week: http://www2.canada.com/vancouvercourier/index.html.

An interesting bit related to this board's discussions on how to attack bombers: this crew removed the gun from the front of their Halifax because firing it caused the cabin to fill with smoke and because they never got attacked from the front anyway.

Low_Flyer_MkIX
11-09-2009, 02:21 PM
Interesting read - thanks for sharing. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

AndyJWest
11-09-2009, 02:35 PM
Good stuff. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It is worth remembering that Halifaxes were almost solely used as night bombers, so attacks from ahead would be much less likely than during daylight raids, and if they did occur, closing speeds and poor visibility would probably make a forward-facing MG fairly useless anyway.

Woke_Up_Dead
11-09-2009, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by AndyJWest:
Good stuff. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

It is worth remembering that Halifaxes were almost solely used as night bombers [...]

I was under the same impression, but in the article it's also mentioned that the Luftwaffe fighters would often fly alongside them, observing them to see who is not paying attention and perhaps breaking formation. Sounds like something that could only be done in daylight.

Ba5tard5word
11-09-2009, 02:43 PM
As an aside I saw "The Dam Busters" last weekend, great movie. Supposedly Peter Jackson might make a remake though I can't imagine it would be as good.

Low_Flyer_MkIX
11-09-2009, 02:51 PM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
As an aside I saw "The Dam Busters" last weekend, great movie. Supposedly Peter Jackson might make a remake though I can't imagine it would be as good.

Still going ahead apparently.

Latest news is Stephen Fry's doing the script and it might well be in 3-D http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

Waldo.Pepper
11-09-2009, 10:21 PM
Interesting article from which a number of points were notable for me.

About where the attacks came from - "No one ever attacked us from the front--it was always from behind or from above."

This sounded really odd to me, at first and this initially surprised me as overall the preferred direction of attack for the Luftwaffe was from below and behind. In fact this is true for all night fighters from any nation during the war. Attacking from this vector is safer as it is harder to detect an aircraft visually under normal lighting conditions at night when it is at a lower altitude.

But that is the typical situation. In this case the prey aircraft was a Halifax, which typically did not fly at such lofty altitudes as the Lancaster. Consequently any German night fighter tasked with countering the bomber stream would have been positioned above the bulk of the Halifax aircraft.

"The Luftwaffe fighter pilots would watch from a distance to see who was napping or not paying attention and select them as targets."

This is typical night fighter behavior. Prewar test conducted at Farnborough concluded that aircraft could be identified at 2000 feet. But on those nights in which there was no moonlight, or the moon was obscured by cloud cover this range dropped to a thousand feet, or less. The same environment prevailed for the Luftwaffe as well, and the wise night fighter crew would take their time in the attack watching a potential target aircraft looking for complacency. So this observation is quite accurate and interesting that the Halifax crew would be astute enough to pick up on this.

"Underhill received many a 'Target Token' from Bomber Command for his accuracy."

The awarding of a "target token" interested me greatly as I had never before heard of this minor recognition of considerable skill. So I went and searched it out. Most bomber command aircraft carried cameras which tripped on bomb release. These pictures were used to evaluate bombing accuracy. Subsequently they were used secondarily in the awarding of these target tokens - some of which are available on the internet and I included here.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/book/target%20token/1944-Nov-21_Target_Token-Castrop_Ra.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/book/target%20token/1944-Nov-21_Target_Token-Castrop_Ra.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/book/target%20token/Venner_William_Gordon_certificate.jpg


Lovely article Woke, thanks for posting it.

Here it is as a cleaned up PDF for any interested parties.

http://rapidshare.com/files/30...27/Fly_Boys.pdf.html (http://rapidshare.com/files/304805827/Fly_Boys.pdf.html)