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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ray Hindle

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About Ray Hindle

  • Birthday 03/19/1950

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  1. You may well be right, but tthis is not what this thread is sbout
  2. I nominate the Blackburn Botha, so bad tha I once heard a former wartime aircrew member say that the ones that made it back to crash on the airfield were the lucky ones! He was refering to the non-operational ones at that!
  3. If you research No 617 Squadron RAF (along with No 9 Squadron RAF) you will find that they destroyed the Tirpitz using the "smaller" big bomb Tallboy, which "weighed in" at 12,000 lbs. The largest single bomb capable of being carried by the B-17 due to its small bomb bay was 1000 lbs in wieight. (It should be remembered however that the US classified it's bombers not by weight carrying ability, but by size, armour protection and armament) These bombs were also used against the V1, V2 and V3 concrete bunker launching sites in France with pretty impressive results. The 22,000 lbs Grand Slam was first used in anger against the Bielefeld Viaduct only hours after the first bomb was tested in the New Forest in Southern England. In all some 40+ Grand Slams were used by the Royal Air Force in the last two and a half months of the Second World War in Europe. Targets included U-Boat pens in Hamburg as well as strategically important rail targets all over Germany. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the fitting of the Avro Lancasters of 617 Squadron with the Stabilising Automatic Bomb Sight. Some other Squadrons, most notably No 9 Squadron RAF, arguably, became as accurate with the Mk XIV bomb sight. It should also be noted that the RAF equipped all their bombers such that each aircraft aimed it's own bomb, there was no "toggling" when the lead ship dropped its load, this leading to greater accruacy than could ever be achieved with the "area bombing" technique used by the 8th Air Force bombers.
  4. Hey Dave I assumwe that what you are refering to is Flugzeugträger Graf Zeppelin, this ship was laid down in 1936 in Kiel but by 1940 work had ceased whilst it was still incomplete. Work was authorised to recommence in 1942, though there were many technical problems still to be overcome (not least being the lack of a suitable carrier borne aircraft). By February 1943 all work on the carrier ceased and the ship languished in various Baltic ports until being scuttled in Stettin (now part of Poland and renamed Szczecin) ahead of the advancing Soviet troops in 1945. For further information see: Burke, Stephen; Adam Olejnik (2010). Freedom of the Seas: The Story of Hitler's Aircraft Carrier - Graf Zeppelin. Stephen Burke Books
  5. Also, the Defiants had, by that time, been moved to the night fighter role, an area in which we were, at that time, woefully inadequately equipped. A few fighter type Blenheims equipped with very early marks of AI radar and day fighters operating at night using the "mark 1 eyeball" were just about it, we desparately needed the night fighter Defiants to help combat the night raids on Liverpool, Manchester and Hull etc (not many people realise that Hull suffered the worst blitz of any city in the UK). It was not until the advent of the Beaufighter and later the Mosquito aircraft, equipped with the later marks of airborne interception radar that we managed to get on top of the night raids. My personal opinion on the Defiant is that we would have been better off with Boulton Paul producing the Hawker Hotspur which was designed to have fa orward firing gun as well as a turret. Squadron Leader D H Clarke made this point in an article in the Royal Air Force Flying Review in the 1960s, using his experience flying the Hawker Henley (of similar performance) as the basis for his argument. The Henley could certainly hold its own against the Hurricane according to Clarke.
  6. Possibly the chap was thinking of the ever descending Lufbery Circle as used by No 264 Squadron. I do seem to recall the USN using Douglas SBD Dauntlesses (a torpedo bomber) in the same way (Dauntless crews were pretty aggressive towards fighters in the PTO). They did though, have the advantage of two forward firing 50 calibre and one or sometimes two flexible 30 calibres in the rear (not in a power operated tuirret though). I cannot remember where I got this information from though, it may have been word of mouth during one of my visits Stateside to Air Venture Oshkosh, but i would not swear to it.
  7. With reference to the British involvement on the Yang Tze River Patrol I remember a family friend (now sadly deceased) saying that he had served on HMS Petrel (or Stormy Petrel as he called her) in the 1930s and she had been active on the upper reaches of the river. How much of what he told me was fact and how much was "Jack Tar" embellishing for an interested teenager, as I was in those days, I do not know.
  8. On the brutality in the Japanese camps for POWs in WW2, a point worth noting is the complete difference of those in WW1 when the Japanese were on the Allied side. At the Battle of Tsingtao, 4,900 Germans were captured and taken to Japan and imprisoned in Bandō prisoner-of-war camp where they were well treated. So much so in fact that on release in 1920, 170 of these prisoners elected to stay in Japan rather than being repatriated to Germany. For further information please see: Burdick, Charles (1984). The German Prisoners-of-War in Japan 1914-20. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8191-3761-6.
  9. Had the idea of the Maginot Line actually worked, the best fighter aircraft of the early war years may have been provided by mixed formations of Hurricanes and Defiants. My reasoning being that rather than defending against bomber formations, the Allies would more than likely have concentrated on offensive fighter sweeps to destroy the Luftwaffe in the air and on the ground. A mixed formation of these aircraft would have provided both nose and tail protection (and needed good aircraft recognitkion on the part of the Luftwaffe). However by the time of the Battle of Britain, the idea of two-seater day fighters only carrying guns facing rearwards was, at best, an outmoded concept.
  10. As I see it the big problem with the USA bomber program in WW2 was the lack of ability to carry a decent sized bomb, coupled with accuracy problems in aiming the bombs. The B-29 for instance could not carry the 22.000 lb "Grand Slam" internally, though able to be modified to carry two EXTERNALLY. (What the effects of two of these, mounted externally, on take-off performance would be I would rather not imagine, the B-29 was a bitch anyway on take-off due to having a non-steerable nose wheel, causing its engines to overheat after being used to steer the aircraft.) Accuracy is also something which needs to be taken into account, the idea of one aircraft aiming and the rest of the formation toggling when they see the lead ship unload would seem to be counter productive to accuracy. I realise that the discussion includes the proviso " What If if funding & tech issues No problem." However, as can be seen by looking at the engine reliability problems of the B-29 alone this is a very big "What if." With further reference to the idea of introducing squadrons of B-29s to the ETO, I admit that the ability to cruise above the flak and fighters is a nice idea, but given that the European weather is frequently clouded over from that height, accuracy of bombing (already suspect) would be further compromised except on the clearest of days. Even No 617 Squadron of the RAF, who had arguably the highest accuracy of any unit in the bomber offensive (No 9 Squadron bomb aimers would probably argue that one), had to bring their bomb back when they could not see the target, and this was from the much lower altitude of between sixteen and twenty thousand feet. Europe does not have the "gin clear" skies of the PTO, and even there the B-29s were attacking at medium altitude due to accuracy problems and also at night to try to bring down losses, as RAF Bomber Command had done much earlier in the European theater before the Americans entered the war. For further information see: The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany. 4 volumes. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1961. official British history and co-authored by Noble Frankland and Sir Charles Webster Bomber Offensive: The Devastation of Europe by Noble Frankland (Ballantine's Illustrated History of World War II. Campaign Book no. 7, 1970) Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan, 1942-1945, by Barrett Tillman, Simon & Schuster UK
  11. I completely agree with what you have written in reply Ron, but one point I would have added is that Hitlers plans to invade the United Kingdom were doomed from the date of the naval Battle of Narvik which left the Germans with virtually no light naval forces to cover an invasion anyway. By the way, this in no way denigrates the bravery of the RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain.
  12. Hey Roman, You may be interested in the following link with reference to the Le Prieur rockets as used in the First World War http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1960
  13. As Billy Mitchell died in 1936 Ron, I think You'd better check your sources.
  14. The DH 98 Mosquito was also used in the dayulight intruder role where it was pretty impressive in bringing down enemy aircraft including single engine enemy fighters, the late Wing Commander (acting Group Captain) J R D "Bob" Braham RAF was particularly successful in this role scoring at least 9 (unoficially 10) of his eventual 29 (unofficially 30) victories in daylight operations on this aircraft.see his book "Scramble! An Autobiography" by J R D Braham.
  15. The P-51 was going nowhere until re-engined with the Packard built (under license from Rolls-Royce) Merlin enngine, the same engine that powered the Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane and the Avro Lancaster bomber. At that time, and for many years after, the engines produced by the USA were no match for British designed ones.
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