Airship versus Submarine

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GrauGeist, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I was doing a search a little bit ago, and came across this interesting story. I know that Allied airships played a crucial role in spotting U-Boats while protecting convoys and shipping lanes, but I had never heard of an Airship actually engaging an enemy during the war.

    This occurred off the coast of Islamorada in the Florida keys on 18 July, 1943.

     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Why on earth did they reprimand Grills for attacking an enemy U Boat. What did they expct him to do with four bombs, save them for Thanksgiving!!
     
  3. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Many thanks for your post GG. Very interesting. One of the singular things about this story is the shark attack. "Experts" today tell us that sharks only attack humans by accident, thinking they are marine mammals. Yet over and over we hear of humans being attacked and killed during marine disasters and many are far from shore where marine mammals are not common. Could the "experts" be wrong?
     
  4. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    #4 bobbysocks, Feb 8, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
    sharks usually recon by the mouthful and most likely they will hit in the dusk or dawn where visibility isnt the best. they hit and take a bite...then find out its not a seal or turtle, etc and usually just let it go. but that is of little comfort or solice since a tremendous amount of damage is already done. their method is to hit hard and then let the prey bleed out. that way there is no chance of it fighting back. experts can be right but these are still wild creatures and will do what they think they have to for a meal or to survive.

    its a great story....i wish they were able to pin point where the blimp went down. might make for a great dive if its in shallow enough water. that part of the keys is pretty warm and clear.
     
  5. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that Stessel may have been wounded during the U-Boat's return fire...that was alot of firepower the Germans were hurling up at the airship, and the crew aboard the airship had almost nothing in the way of protection.

    The fact that no one was killed during that exchange is nothing short of a miracle...

    Also, as far as shark attacks go, my Uncles told stories about sharks attacking shipmates in the water during battles (Pacific Theater) and they all carried "shark knives" at all times for that reason. (Shark Knife = K-Bar)
     
  6. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting story Dave. Thank you for sharing, and I had not heard of that either. You would think with as odd and rare as this happening is someone would have made more of this by now.
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    The shark attack stories always give me the willies! But its a great story. Thanks for posting it.
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Interesting story, thanks for sharing. :salute:
     
  9. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    I have read a lot about shark attacks and am aware that "experts" say all the stuff about how a shark bites something and may not like the taste and then leaves. That may be true with some species like the Great White but I wonder about the mid ocean species like the Oceanic White Tip that seem to be responsible for the problems like the Indianapolis disaster. A recent book published about a B24 crew that spent 45 days in a raft before being "rescued" by a Japanese ship tells of sharks that continually tried to climb into the raft and had to be beat off with paddles. Does not sound as if they were intent on "sampling" the meat in the raft but rather knew what they wanted to eat.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I've heard that a number of species, White Tip included, are just aggressive, period.

    The Bull Shark and Tiger Shark are the most dangerous followed by the White Tip and Black Tip Sharks...the Lemon and Hammerhead are in there as well. All are big and most aren't interested in tasting...they simply eat whatever's in thier path...
     
  11. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the article GG. It was a new one for me. Shark stories do give me the willies though.


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  12. Nikademus

    Nikademus Member

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    Then you definately won't want to read about the fate of many of the crew of the USS Indianapolis.
    :(
     
  13. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Read it already. That's why shark stories give me the willies.


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  14. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The Indianapolis story is pretty well known, perhaps possibly because of the mention in "Jaws" I have also read that at Leyte Gulf survivors in the water suffered badly from sharks and also the survivors of the Juneau. Over the years I have developed a bit of a phobia about sharks, although as a youngster I used to swim a lot pretty far out in the Gulf of Mexico. I feel pretty safe here in Arizona at 5000 feet above sea level.:)
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Both of my Mother's older brothers served in the USN Pacific Theater during WWII (one submarines, other Destroyers) and had quite a few stories regarding sharks and why they always carried thier "shark knives" on them.
     
  16. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    what you have in those instances is a lot of blood in the water from dead and wounded. and that is a dinner bell for sharks. they can smell it for miles and miles away which brought hundreds of them to that site. that is a recipe for a feeding frenzy and when that happens sharks will eat a goodyear tire and go for the spare. it would be a horrific thing to be in or even near. the history or discovery channel had a show about the indy tragedy....it may have even been on "shark week".
     
  17. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I think you might be remembering In Search of the U.S.S. Indianapolis (TV 2001) - IMDb


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  18. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    In the newly published book, "Unbroken" which is basically a biography of Louis Zamperini, he was in the crew of a B24 which ditched in the Pacific. He and another crew member were on a raft for 47 days and previously I mentioned their experiences with sharks. These sharks were actually trying to get in the raft by coming over the sides of the raft and the two men were pushing them back in the water with paddles. I only read an excerpt from the book and I don't believe there was any blood in the water during the period when the sharks were attacking. Fascinating story. Zamperini ran the 5000 meters in the 1936 Olympics. After he was "rescued" by a Japanese ship he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp and when brought home he was skin and bones. Perhaps he exaggerated the shark story or maybe was hallucinating. He is still alive and I saw him interviewed for the book on TV. He did not write the book.
     
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