Flying Bombs V Allied Fighters

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Readie, May 18, 2011.

  1. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    The Flying bomb could be caught by a few fighters and 'tipped' so they crashed before their intended targets.

    The Tempest and late Spitfires had the speed.
    Do you know if the Thunderbolt or Mustang engaged in 'tipping' ?

    cheers
    John
     
  2. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I believe the P51 did, but I don't know about the P47. I've never heard of it being used in that manner.
     
  3. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    I found this information on the web:-

    Between June 1944 and March 29, 1945, a total of 9,251 V1 flying bombs were launched against England. Only 2,419 of them made it to their intended targets. Over 2000 of them had been shot down or knocked off course by Royal Air Force fighter aircraft. Spitfire pilots learned that by placing the wing tip of their fighter plane underneath the V1's outer wing, that this would often upset the missile, tumble the gyros, and send it crashing out of control into the English countryside. An additional 1,971 V1's were shot down by anti-aircraft guns and 278 were snagged by barrage balloons that dotted the approach paths to the south of London.

    and this:

    1944
    31 January : The 357th Fighter Group moved to RAF Leiston exchanging with the P-47D "Thunderbolts".of the 365th, 366th 367th squadrons in the 358th Fighter Group. The 358th was also transferred into the Ninth Air Force. At Raydon the group's mission was to attack enemy communications and fly escort missions with the light bomb groups of the 9th.
    April 13 : The 358th transferred to RAF High Halden.
    April : RAF Raydon transferred to the 8th AF control and The 350th, 351st 352d Squadrons of the 353rd Fighter Group, transferred in from RAF Metfeld, The 353d was assigned to the 66th Fighter Wing, at Sawston Hall, Cambridge.
    July : During the Battle of Normandy, the 353rd supported the breakthrough at Saint-Lô
    September : The group received the Distinguished Unit Citation for supporting the airborne attack on Holland when the group contributed to the operation by protecting bombers and troop carriers and by strafing and dive-bombing ground targets.
    October 1944, the group converted to the P-51 "Mustang". About this time Raydon was known colloquially as "Bomb Alley" due to the number of German V-1 "Doodlebug" flying bombs which flew directly overhead on their way to London. One V-1 blew up as it went over and the engine narrowly missed the bomb dump in Raydon Great Wood.
    December 1944-January 1945 : The group continued its fighter-bomber, escort, and counter-air activities, participating in the Battle of the Bulge

    and this:

    Operation Crossbow

    In the predawn hours of June 13, 1944, a jet-propelled German missile, designated the V-I, left a launching pad in the Pas de Calais area of France and sputtered across the English Channel, landing near the center of London. Within twenty-four hours, the Germans launched almost 300 of these flying buzz bombs against the United Kingdom. The Allies react- ed, under the operational name of Crossbow, by attacking the launching sites with fighter-bombers. Later, in addition to using fighter patrols, radar-controlled antiaircraft guns, and barrage balloons, the British re- quested the use of heavy bombers to destroy the launch sites. Spaatz objected to the diversion of his heavy bombers away from the strategic mission, but in response to British losses Eisenhower ordered Spaatz to attack the launch sites.

    In September 1944, the problem worsened because the Germans began launching the V-2, a rocket-powered ballistic missile that flew at almost 4,000 miles per hour and descended without a warning noise. The Allies responded by bombing not only the launching sites but also the support installations. Regrettably, these bombing attacks were largely ineffective and the German "vengeance" weapons were not neutralized until the Allied ground armies overran the launch sites. The raids cost the lives of more than 700 Allied airmen and destroyed at least 154 aircraft.


    But, I cannot find specific reference to the USAAF engaging the 'flying bomb'....
    Unless 'Allies' includes the RAF and USAAF.
    I'm intrigued...

    Cheers
    John
     
  4. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #4 tyrodtom, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    According to Wiki, I know, not the best source, but the same article is at other sites also.
    Tempest 638 V1s
    Mosquito 623
    Spitfire 303
    Mustang 232
    Meteor 13
    others 158

    Thats just the ones brought down by aircraft.
    That article doesn't specify whether those are RAF Mustangs, or USAAF P-51s, but since it calls them Mustangs, I'd guess RAF.

    According to this article the tip the V1 over manuver was only done 3 times.
     
  5. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    I'm very interested too. Can't wait for other members to add to this topic.
     
  6. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    The numbers of downed Flying bombs almost agree but,I would have thought the USAAF would had some role here.
    I expect some one has the answer....

    Cheers
    John
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    #7 tyrodtom, May 18, 2011
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
    I read the Wiki article again, it doesn't say only 3 V1s were brought down by the tipping manuver, it states at least 3 V1s were brought down by that manuver.

    Whatever method was used, either was hazardous. The V1 was small, and had a 1800 lb warhead. So the aircraft had to get close to hit it, but not too close, because the warhead was armed, and could easily explode. Tipping them over wouldn't be so safe either, it had to be performed in very rough, low altitude air, and the wings of a V1 were very robust, any hard contact would do more damage to the fighter than the V1. No contact had to be made to tip the V1, but having to get within 6 in. was hard to do in rough air, with a probably boobing target.

    I've read they flew at about 2000 ft. , so their speed of 390-400mph at that height made them very hard to intercept. Some anti-aircraft guns couldn't even slew their guns fast enough to follow it if it was close.
     
  8. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    I think 'tipping' wasn't actual contact, it was placing the fighters wing just underneath the flying bombs wings to disturb the airflow and hopefully confuse the gyro control system.
    They were frightening things and my Grandma's, who lived in Kent, used to tell me of the fear when the buzz stopped...silence and then boom.
    Cheers
    John
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Far as I know, only RAF squadrons of ADGB were involved, with USAAF units remaining on escort and tactical duties over the Continent.
    Spitfires were MkIX, MkXII and MkXIV, Mustangs were MkIII (P51B/C). The anti- V1 patrols were code named 'Diver', and took place mainly either over the Channel, or in the Diver Box, set between the Coastal Gun Belt and the London Gun Belt. Entry into these belts (by fighters) was forbidden, and to be avoided at all costs !
     
  10. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks AF,
    What about Tempests?
    Cheers
    John
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any information on how many of the V1s brought down by aircraft were " tipped over" ?
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Readie - all operational Tempest squadrons were employed on anti- Diver ops until the V1 sites moved up to Holland, when the A/C were then reverted back to 2 TAF.
    The threat was so great, especially on civilian morale, that some fighter units were diverted from AEAF duties just to combat this.
    Tom, there doesn't seem to be much conclusive evidence of exactly how may V1s were 'tipped', with the records showing ( as already mentioned) at least three, with photo evidence of one at least (Spit MkXIV), but there are reports of others, not confirmed.
    The tactic was to get above and behind the 'bombs', when they were incoming, and make a shallow dive to gain speed, then open fire at 300 yards astern, closing to (hopefully) break-off before the missile exploded too close.
    There are numerous reports and pictures of aircraft suffering the effects of the blast, and more than one aircraft being brought down, or obliterated, by same.
     
  13. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Air frames
    cheers
    John
     
  14. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's more or less my understanding also. The tip over maneuver was a publicity stunt. The real work was accomplished with AA fire and aircraft gunfire.
     
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    #15 Jabberwocky, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
    Hardly a publicity stunt. :rolleyes:

    More like a last minute act of desperation that became an accepted - if rarely used - tactic when ammunition was gone or guns jammed.

    There were actually several methods of 'tipping'. The first was if a pilot overshot the V1, he could try and use the slipstream of his aircraft to upset the V1 gyro.

    The second was to by bringing the fighters wingtip up and under and try to stall the wing by using the dirty air to upset the V1 gyros. The problem here was that some pilots actually made contract with the more heavily built V1, damaging their own aircraft. Paul Leva damaged his Spitfire wing tip this way and kept it as a post-war souvenir!

    The third was similar to the second method, but putting the aircraft wing above the V1 wing and try stall the V1 wing, causing it to stall to one side. This was reportedly the most effective and safest.

    Pilots known to have used tiping to bring down a V1:

    Ken Collier (Spitfire XIV)
    Paul Leva (Spitfire)
    Remy Van Lierde (Typhoon)
    Roland Beamont (Tempest)
    GE Kosh (Tempest)
    Peter Middleton (in a Mosquito)
    TD 'Dixie’ Dean (in a Meteor, first UK jet 'kill')
     
  16. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The V1 had no ailerons, it's guidance system just controlled the rudder and elevators, so it had a limited ability to recover from abrupt flight deviations.
     
  17. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    from another forum
    "When firing on it there was nothing to prevent the bomb exploding as it was exactley that: a bomb. Fighters were lost after firing to close to the V1 and it blew them out of the sky. Orders were then sent through that the fighter had to be a set distance from the bomb before firing upon it. That was when the tipping began. In reality the fighter wing never touched the bomb. What was done was to fly alongside and gently raise the aircraft wing so the air turbulence over the wing affected the bomb's flight, sending it off course. The Germans quickly got wind of this and changed the trigger to a balance mechanism as well. When the bomb tipped off course it would automatically detonate, destroying the aircraft which is still alongside it. Orders were then to shoot them down and not to tip."
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    True the wings didn't need to touch for tipping to work.

    But you're doing this at about 400mph at 2000-3000 ft, that's usually very bumpy, turbulent, air. It couldn't have been so easy to formate with a V1 and put you wing within 6 in. under or above and not make contact. And you had a limited time to do this, you couldn't go into the AA belts, you'd be a easier target than the V1.
     
  19. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    316 Squadron's WO Tadeusz Szymanski tipped one over with his Mustang III on 12 Jul '44.
     
  20. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    it would be interesting to see how many were brought down by coastal AA if the records exist. my dad was stationed at leiston and when he first got thery had begun having women man the AA guns ...which soon became the brunt of many a joke. he said every night you would hear a crap load of shooting followed a few minutes later by a buzz bomb zooming overhead. he would roll out of bed, grab a steel helmet and make a mad dash for the trenches. but practce made perfect because within a month or so everyone was impressed with the fact that very few were now getting by them.

    szymanski must have had a couple thousand feet of altitude to be able to catch it...kudos to him tho.
     
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