Blue on Blue/Friendly Fire incidents.

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by J.A.W., Mar 17, 2013.

  1. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    #1 J.A.W., Mar 17, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    When did the US 8th AF start painting the tails of their PRU Mosquitos red?
    I recall seeing [B&W] P-51 gun camera footage of a F/F Mosquito shoot down.
    I guess that going natural metal meant the US-made aircraft stood-out some,
    but British camo-finish planes had added yellow rings to their national markings due to F/F issues.
    didn`t the 56th FG add an extra wing white star to their [camo] P-47s too?
    There were a number of USAAF vs Soviet incidents also, but hushed up for propaganda reasons.
     
  2. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    This is a F/F incident descibed by a Kiwi Battle of Britain veteran, Sqd Ldr Bob Spurdle [CO 80 Sqd late `44] from his memoir 'The Blue Arena';

    "On Sortie 551 some USAAF Mustangs jumped us.
    Enraged, I turned on my particular tormenter scared him fartless by firing bursts 1st on one side then on the other while he twisted turned,
    helpless against the far superior Tempest.
    Formating alongside I shook my fist at the stupid jerk then zoomed away.
    We should have hacked a few down to teach them aircraft recognition.
    We were sick of their trigger-happy stupidities."
     
  3. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    There was some US 8th AF gun cam footage posted recently on this site, about 30 minutes worth.

    I didn't watch all of it, but there were at least two different Mosquitos and one Spitfire (Mk IX or later) getting some rough handling.

    Friendly fire incidents were quite common in WW2. The first Fighter Command KIA during the war occured during the "Battle of Barking Creek", when a Hurricane was shot down by a Spitfire just three days after the declaration of war.

    RAF Typhoons were quite often the victim of friendly fire when the type was introduced. With its square wing profile and relatively short nose profile, it was quite often identified as a FW 190 and chased by ADGB/Fighter Command Spitfires.

    The worst aviation friendly fire incident I can think of was when some He 111s bombed and hit a German destroyer. It may have then been bombed again by the He 111s or hit a mine. While sinking, its sister destroyer went to its aid, hit another mine and was lost as well.

    There were lots of incidents of the RAF being ordered to avoid US Army formations over North Africa and Sicily due to the amount of AAA that they tended to send the way of anything without stars on its wings.
     
  4. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    #4 J.A.W., Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    Didn`t the USN flak massacre the paratrooper carrying C-47s on the Sicily invasion too, Navies were notoriously trigger-happy though..
    The top-scoring Typhoon ace Johnny Baldwin led his wing in a F/F decimation of Navy minesweepers, so that gave some back.
    Typhoon pilots shot down by Spitfires after a chase sounds a bit unlikely, probably on landing approach, it used to be a joke that the Napier Sabre engined Hawkers had a landing speed akin to the the Spitfire's cruising speed that Spitfires in clean fighter configuration 'escorting' had difficulty keeping up with bomb carrying Typhoons..

    9th AF ground attack P-47s used a star under both wings for an extra recognition factor.
     
  5. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    The Hawker Typhoon adopted black and white stripes under the wings and (briefly) a yellow stripe above because of numerous "friendly fire" incidents with Spitfires; apparently the Typhoon bore a resemblance to the Fw 190 from some angles. RAF Allison engined P-51s were forced to adopt a yellow wing stripe, while Mustang IIIs adopted white wing and tail stripes, all because the razor-back Mustangs resembled the Bf 109.

    In one "friendly fire" incident that took place on 27 August 1944 Typhoons attacked four RN minelayers, sinking two and severely damaging a third:

    The tragedy was that Wg Cdr Baldwin, the Typhoon Wing Leader, radioed several times to query the id of the ships, only to be told that they must be enemy, because there were no RN ships reported to be in the area.
     
  6. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    'Raked with machine gun fire'.. they wished, it was those 20mm Hispanos, the Navy RAF were interested in the effects, which were fairly severe..as the Panzerwaffe knew only too well..
     
  7. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    I'm afraid I can't give you an accurate date for the red-paint on the USAAF Mossies, as I haven't yet bought Norman Malayney's book. So much of what's "out there" about the American Mossies comes from Martin Bowman, and is in a number of aspects inaccurate.

    The filmed friendly fire incident involving the Mosquito was a 140 Sqn. craft, so would have been PRU blue. It was claimed as an Me 410 by two 4th FG P-51s.
     
  8. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    Thanks, almost understandable, too...[`cept zero return fire]..
     
  9. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    Bob Spurdle also wrote this about F/F;

    "One of the wing's pilots painted a white star on his machine adding it to his string of swastikas. He was told to remove it.
    The squadron commanders of the wings under A.V.M. Broadhurst's [2nd TAF] control were assembled at Eindhoven for a general briefing on future operations on the war's progress. the A.V.M., in passing told us that if our aircraft were subjected to anymore bouncing by our gallant allies, we could retaliate no enquiry or disciplinary action would be taken. An extraordinary scene followed - cheering, back-slapping, laughing pilots surrounded our popular commander.
    We'd had more than enough of this sort of aggravation."
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Those gun camera photos prove nothing, they've been around so long and mixed up with others.
    Just the recent Rata clip from U-tube is a good illustration of this, it shows well known allied gun camera film, and tries to pass it off as gun camera film shot from a I-16.

    You'll be watching some gun camera film shot over Europe, and suddenly there's a Zero, or a B-17 in some allied clips. It's been so intermixed it proves nothing about friendly fire.
     
  11. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    Plausible deniability? Doubt it, since those P-51 jocks put it in as a kill claim...
     
  12. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    There's a version of that particular clip with the names of the pilots involved, their unit, and the date, folllowed by the attack on the Mossie, which is then filmed as it hits the sea. Same pilots show up in the USAAF victory credits file, on that date, with a half share destroyed each, and a potted history of their unit describes th location and what German aircraft they claimed to have shot down.

    Sorry, but there's no doubt about that one.
     
  13. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

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    Hardly an objective point of reference to analyze American fighter piloting skills and behavior in general.

    Without the benefit of electronic aids and recognition radar as it's the norm in the present time and just their eyeballs as the only recognition tool in a portion of sky crowded with planes that on many instances looked alike, friendly fire incidents were prone to happen on all belligerent sides during the war.

    As far as I can remember the razorback Mustang's resemblance to the Bf-109 when first introduced early in 1944 caused many inconveniences.
     
  14. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    Well, after 551 Operational Sorties ol' Bob might have been getting a bit grumpy,
    while the 2nd TAF did have a good local ground-air radar-guided control network [Kenway],
    I don't know what the USAAF deal was, maybe 8th AF FGs just ran post-escort free-jagd routines?
     
  15. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Type 16 and Beachy Head control - all iffy at 150-200mi. Most of the directed vectors were wild goose chases particularly over east france and lowlands.
     
  16. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    Another example of the need to use paint schemes to hopefully avoid blue-on-blue incidents occurred in the SW Pacific:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Resulting in the following change:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    In the Soloman Is, RNZAF aircraft wore similar white tail schemes, -for the same reasons.
     
  18. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    #18 J.A.W., Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  19. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Banned

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    From Air Enthusiast mag P.21;

    "The Tempest was a relatively new aircraft a problem developed over the recognition of the type by other Allied pilots."

    P. 26, "F/L G W Green was allegedly shot down by American P-51s after being hit by flak on the same patrol. No 486 Sqd also had trouble with P-47s south of Munster but managed to destroy 2 Bf 109s."
     
  20. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    distance and angle can play tricks on IDing a plane. I read one report where the lead element of a couple 109s wagged his wings at an approaching 51....thinking he was also a 109 and signaling for him form up with them. it didnt work out too well for the 2 109s.
     
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