Clash of the Titans

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GrauGeist, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #1 GrauGeist, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    While reading up on the Bv222 (I've always liked the large flying boats) I saw a mention about a battle between a Bv222 and a PB4Y and tried to imagine the epic slugfest between these two monsters.

    We always discuss the battles between fighters and while doing so, they bring to mind images of the aerobatics that these machines went through to get their enemy into the crosshairs...but for two leviathans to square off must have been an incredible sight!

    This battle (really can't call it a dogfight) happened on 23 October, 1943 over the Bay of Biscay between a Bv222 V4 of Aufklärungsstaffel (See) 222 and a PB4Y-1 (BU #63917) of VB-105.

    I haven't been able to dig up more details other than the fact that the crew of the PB4Y were lost (10 MIA)

    It would be interesting to see if there is more documented battles between giants that occurred during the war (all theaters)

    Blohm Voss Bv222
    Bv222[650x451].jpg
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #2 GrauGeist, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    Ok...here's another interesting battle involving a Flying boat. While it's not between two "heavies" it did involve large aircraft.

    (Taken from Wiki): This reputation (of being a Fliegendes Stachelschwein - "Flying Porcupine") was enhanced by an air battle between eight Junkers Ju 88C long range heavy fighters and a single Sunderland Mark III of No. 461 Squadron RAAF on 2 June 1943. There were 11 crewmen on board the Sunderland; nine Australians and two British. The aircraft was on an anti-submarine patrol and also searching for remains of BOAC Flight 777, an airliner that had left Lisbon the day before and had subsequently been shot down over the Bay of Biscay, killing 17, among them, the actor Leslie Howard. In the late afternoon, one of the crew spotted the eight Ju 88s. Bombs and depth charges were dumped and the engines brought to maximum power. Two Ju 88s made passes at the flying boat, one from each side, scoring hits and disabling one engine while the Sunderland went through wild "corkscrew" evasive manoeuvres. On the third pass, the dorsal turret gunner shot one down. Another Ju 88 disabled the tail turret, but the next one that made a pass was hit by both the dorsal and nose turrets and shot down. Another destroyed the Sunderland's radio gear, wounding most of the crew to varying degrees and mortally wounding one of the side gunners. A Ju 88 tried to attack from the rear, but the tail turret gunner had regained some control over the turret and shot it down. The surviving Ju 88s continued to attack, but the nose gunner damaged one of these, setting its engines on fire. Two more of the attackers were also hit and the final pair disengaged and departed, the only two to make it back to base[citation needed]. The Sunderland had been heavily damaged. The crew threw everything they could overboard and nursed the aircraft back to the Cornish coast, where pilot Colin Walker managed to land and beach it at Praa Sands. The crew waded ashore, carrying their dead comrade, while the surf broke the Sunderland up. Walker received the Distinguished Service Order and several of the other crew members also received medals. With the exception of Walker, the crew returned to Sunderlands - they disappeared without trace over the Bay of Biscay two months later after reporting that they were under attack by six Ju 88s.

    Short Sunderland:
    sunderland[650x488].jpg
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #3 GrauGeist, Sep 15, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
    Ran across a great battle, this time in the pacific, between a Japanese H6K "Mavis" and a U.S. B-17 (PB-1) in November 1942.

    The following is an account of that duel from the H6K's pilot, Lt. Hitsuji, 851 NAG, taken from his book "The Last Flying Boat" (ISBN4-257-17286-X):
    "Lt. Hitsuji's H6K made it back to Shortland, but taxing was something of a small adventure. After splashdown, as soon as the bow came down, water started gushing in from the hole in the bow. Since they did not have material to close the big hole in the bow, they stuffed their life jackets into the hole. This obviously wasn't holding up, and six men piled up on the life jacket-stuffed hole to stop the water. By the time they were beached, these men had their head barely above water. Everyone was covered with water, oil, and blood.

    Their plane #36 (could have been O-36 or 851-36 or 51-36) had endured ninety-three 50 caliber bullets.

    Lt. Hitsuji survived the war to become the last Japanese pilot to fly the H8K2 when he flew the big boat to Yokohama and where it was handed over to the US occupational forces. He was escorted by a PBY, but had to fly in zigzag pattern to keep from overtaking the PBY.
    "

    Kawanishi H6K:
    Kawanishi_H6K[650x364].jpg
     
  4. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Also a favorite topic of mine... harks back to the era of frigate vs frigate battles but in 3-D. These are photos taken during an engagement between a PB4Y-1 Liberator and an H8K Emily. This time the Emily lost the battle. photos on line from the Naval aviation museum.

    From:

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  5. ShVAK

    ShVAK Member

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    There's a reason why the Germans referred to the Sunderland as a "flying porcupine." Probably my fave flying boat of WWII, though the PBY, Emily and Wiking are all up there too.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very interesting topic. I have always loved the flying boats. Small and Large. Very interesting stuff. I will be honest, I have read very little about "combat' between the large flying boats, so I will be reading this thread with great interest.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Rare between large seaplanes during WWII. However it was an everyday occurance between small seaplanes during WWI. Some WWI seaplanes such as the FF.33L were designed specifically for aerial combat.

    Friedrichshafen Aircraft of World War One
    Friedrichshafen Aircraft of World War One
    Dornier then became the premier German seaplane manufacturer.

    Personally I think it would be nice if Dornier had retained the famous Friedrichshafen name for their seaplane division. "Friedrichshafen" was pretty much synomyous with state of the art seaplanes during WWI.
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Here are a few more involving the Sundy, taken from Sunderland Squadrons of WW2 by Jon Lake:

    "...there were a few occasions when the Sunderland turned the tables on its attackers. On 3 April 1940, Flt Lt Frank Phillips of no.204 Sqn, flying N9046 did just that. The aircraft, on routine convoy escort was first attacked by two Ju 88s, which were driven off and then the Sunderland repelled four more as they tried to dive bomb the convoy. The flying boat was then attacked by a gaggle of sixmore Ju 88s, which engaged the Sunderland from astern as Phillips manoeuvred at low level. One was shot down by Cpl Bill Lillie in the rear turret, who also put the port engine of the second attacker out of action, forcing the Junkers pilot to break off his attack and turn for home, escorted by the four survivors. But even these half hearted attackes holed every one of the Sunderland's takls, destroyed its trimming gear and one bomb rack and injured some of the crew, although it did limp back to Invergordon, winning a DFC for Phillips and a DFM for Lillie."

    "On 13 July 1940, 10 Sqn RAAF's Flt Lt 'Hoot' Gibson (flying N9050/D) was attacked by a Bf 110, which his gunners drove off, trailing smoke after it had holed the Sunderland's tanks. Two days later the same unit's Flt Lt Hugh Birch encountered five He 111s attacking the SS City of Limerick south of Bishop's Rock off the Scilly Isles. Birch engaged the enemy aircraft, setting one alight and driving off the others. Finally more than a year later on 14 August 1941, Flt Lt Vic Hodgkinson again of 10 Sqn RAAF drove off an Fw 200, which left the fight trailing dense smoke and shedding large chunks of debris - an almost certain kill for the lumbering Sunderland."
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    ...and this was without a doubt their most famous one

    [​IMG]

    Friedrichshafen FF 33E Nr 841 Wolfchen carried by the commerce raider Wolf on its world cruise in 1917/18.

    Sorry about the thread diversion... On with the Buxom Boats battiling it out...
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    According to The Relucatant Radiers - by Alan Carey (about USN's VPB-109 Squadron), On May 7th, 1944 Lt John D Keelings' crew flying in a PB4Y had a running gun battle with a H6K Mavis and shot it down. Pics from pages 74 75 and taken by one of the waist gunners.

    H6K4_Mavis_shootdown_1944-W-15s.jpg H6K4_Mavis_shootdown_1944-W-16s.jpg
     
  11. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    Amazing photos Viking... :)
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good example of a heavyweight match...

    A Sunderland versus a Fw200 over the Atlantic!

    On 5 June, 1942, W3986/U of 10 Sqdn RAAF damaged U-71 with depth-charges as it dove forcing the submarine to the surface, where it strafed it. The U-boat fired back and damaged the Sunderland before limping back to base for repairs. Shortly after attacking U-71, the Sunderland came under attack by a Fw200 which sat just outside of the flying boat's MG range, hitting it with cannon fire.

    Flt. Lt. Wood and his crew kept thier nerve, however, and fired back when the Fw200 finally closed in at the end of the 75-minute running gun battle, finally driving the Condor off with one German crew member dead and another wounded.

    (info taken from the book titled: "Sunderland Squadrons of WW2" - pg 32/Jon Lake - ISBN: 1841760242)
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Great stories photos, guys!

    Gotta love the stories from WWI where the monster bombers as well as seaplanes used to mix it up with each other! That had to be extremely harrowing, since parachutes were either non-existant or scarce at the time.

    I did see a mention of a Fw200 versus Fortress account that happened over the North Atlantic, but it was more of a brief skirmish rather than an open brawl. It was in the momoirs of WOP/AG H.F. Tuckwood RCAF:
     
  14. Timppa

    Timppa Active Member

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    Of German losses:
    http://www.ww2aircraft.net/forum/stories/sunderland-vs-eight-ju-88s-7987-2.html#post483144
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    #15 Njaco, Sep 16, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Comiso used to come up with all sorts of cool stuff...miss seeing him around!
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    My money has always been on Curtiss for that honor. Their prototype America was a giant for its time (1914) with unprecedented legs at the start of WWI and the beginning of a line that went through the NC series into the 20's. but I'd be willing to hear your case. On the WWI thread of the forum. The reconstructed America flew out over Keuka lake in 2009 out of Hammondsport NY


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2sy5d4W-jI



    Got the book from my nephew for XMAS two years ago, very interesting read: The Wolf by Guilliatt and Hohnen. Especially interesting about the many relationships that developed between the crew and the prisoners.
     
  18. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    #18 nuuumannn, Sep 16, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    Yes indeed, fascinating story; they really should make a movie about it, directed by Peter Jackson to ensure accuracy (he does love a good aeroplane appearance in his films)! Interesting that despite the nefarious activities of the ship, most of the prisoners were intrigued by the operation of the seaplane and I read that when it crashed and required repair in the South Pacific, they were quite glad to see it up and running once the crew fixed it. Stockholm syndrome long before Stockholm...

    Thread drift....
     
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