PDA

View Full Version : Hardly riding into battle on a white charger.



Waldo.Pepper
10-16-2007, 07:46 PM
I do a lot of reading on Radar and counter measures during the war and I came across this tidbit a little over two years ago. The story appeals to me with my natural predilection to potty humour.

When the B-29 was designed it made history in many ways, one of which was in a very specific aspect of its design. The B-29 was the first plane designed and put into service with internal capacity set aside for future installations of Radio Counter Measures (RCM today is of course referred to as Electronic Counter Measures). The realization of the need for this was in itself an important milestone.

While the designers left space for the equipment they did however omit space for one important aspect of this cunning assessment of future needs. Namely the placement of a crew member for the operation of the equipment. Of course this person did not exist on every B-29, perhaps only one plane per squadron was so equipped. As a consequence of this minor oversight the RCM operator had to persevere and operate in some pretty primitive circumstances. The RCM operator rode into battle perched on the chemical toilet without the benefit of seat belts or dedicated oxygen system.

"The countermeasures equipment had been a late addition to the B-29's inventory, and in spite of its great size there was little spare space inside the pressurized compartments. The racks for my equipment had been squeezed in between the bulkhead and the chemical toilet. As the twelvth man in the aircraft my seat was the lid of the toilet itself a subject for numerous wise cracks on the appropriateness of my position!"

One report sent to Washington is fairly dripping with understatement.

"The radio-countermeasures, observers operating position (on the chemical toilet) has proved uncomfortable and not conductive to good observations. Several of the men have obtained permission to remove the toilet and replace it with a salvaged radar operator's seat."

Later on in the B-29 bombing campaign against Japan, when doctrine was more fully developed, the effectiveness of RCM was seen in the statistics. Flak damage dropped from 60% to 10%. When this effectiveness became well known within the crews, their assessment of the RCM crew member shifted dramatically. Overnight the status of the RCM Officer went from "mere passenger" to "fantastic guy."

I think that these men must hold some sort of record for the most ignoble ride into battle ever.

-HH- Beebop
10-16-2007, 08:01 PM
my natural predilection to potty humour.
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif

Great post though. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Thanks.

BfHeFwMe
10-16-2007, 09:27 PM
Ever been strapped to the floor with a cargo strap? I have. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

BadA1m
10-16-2007, 10:06 PM
I'm terribly sorry, but someone has to say it: What a crappy job that must have been.

Excellent post M8, a nice reminder of the human element in warfare.

GIAP.Shura
10-17-2007, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by BfHeFwMe:
Ever been strapped to the floor with a cargo strap? I have. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Your sex life is off-topic. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

willyvic
10-17-2007, 03:13 AM
Originally posted by BfHeFwMe:
Ever been strapped to the floor with a cargo strap? I have. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

As a matter of fact, yes. Used to get strapped to the deck in our P-3 right by the port overwing hatch. Very hard on the rear what with a 4.5 to Cubi Point and all. But the destination was worth the ride. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

WV

HotelBushranger
10-17-2007, 09:26 AM
Originally posted by GIAP.Shura:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BfHeFwMe:
Ever been strapped to the floor with a cargo strap? I have. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Your sex life is off-topic. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Divine-Wind
10-17-2007, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by GIAP.Shura:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BfHeFwMe:
Ever been strapped to the floor with a cargo strap? I have. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Your sex life is off-topic. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

han freak solo
10-17-2007, 11:14 AM
"Hardly riding into battle on a white charger."

Perfect. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

Divine-Wind
10-17-2007, 11:26 AM
Well how do you know the toilet wasn't a white porcelain affair?