Ground crews....

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Lucky13, Mar 12, 2007.

?

Most ingenious WWII ground crews?

  1. USAF, USN, USMC

    9 vote(s)
    16.1%
  2. Luftwaffe

    20 vote(s)
    35.7%
  3. Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily (Red Air Force)

    5 vote(s)
    8.9%
  4. RAF

    11 vote(s)
    19.6%
  5. IJN, JAAF

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  6. Reggia Aeronautica

    2 vote(s)
    3.6%
  7. RNZAF

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. RAAF

    4 vote(s)
    7.1%
  9. Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force)

    4 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Before I introduce myself I thought that I make a wee poll here, just for fun.
    I have noticed that there's alot of different polls about best fighter, best pilot etc. etc. But aren't we forgetting someone? What about all those ground crews that kept our beloved birds and heroes flying AND painted all that fantastic noseart? So, who do you think was the most skilled at solving the problems that they faced? Thinking of shortage of materials, missing tools, weather conditions etc....
     
  2. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    My vote goes to the RAAF and USAAF groundcrews in the PTO. These blokes had to overcome not only enemy action but the harsh conditions of the jungle which took there toll on not only the men but also the machines. This coupled with vast supply lines which stretched replacements and spares were all obstacles that had to be overcome to keep the a/c in the air.
    I've read many instances where RAAF squadrons had to beg, borrow and steal American tools and equipment and even dumped a/c wrecks just to maintain their a/c. 75 sqn RAAF ground crew had to mount steel tubing to their P-40's as a crude gun sight because the reflector sites where U/S is one example.
     
  3. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Hello Lucky13! Nice to see someone new from the Commonwealth. Good thing that it's not just Yanks here.

    I dunno yet what to vote for. I suppose the USA would be the on the spot one, because so many US pilots and aircrews praised them so highly.

    I don't know as much about ground crews from other countries.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Well my vote goes for the Luftwaffe. I believe the USAAF had the best airforce of WW2 but the reason I go with the Luftwaffe for ground crews is because it simply was amazing what they had to do to keep those aircraft in the air in the later parts of the war.

    I completly agree though that the ground crews are well deserving of mention. I myself was a Blackhawk Crewchief in the US Army. Granted I did plenty of time flying missions on the Blackhawk but when we landed it was my job to maintain her and keep her in the air.

    Without groundcrews that aircraft is not leaving the ground.
     
  5. csrruss

    csrruss New Member

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    Well in the beging of the war i would say that German air force had the best ground crew ,but towards the end of the war the U.S did. But i am placing my vote with the Germans.
     
  6. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I vote for USAAF, USN, USMC only because they were all listed together. If USAAF were listed alone, I would vote for the Germans.

    The USMC operated in conditions as austere as any.
    The USN had unique challenges

    I think the 8th AF crews must have had a terrible time keeping those bombers in the air.

    Split them up and the Luftwaffe has the edge. The Allies as a whole never experienced the constant harassment that the Jerry’s had to experience.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Without maintainers, pilots are nothing more than good-looking pedestrians with expensive sunglasses....8)
     
  8. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    LOL!

    I agree. Maybe I'll vote Lutwaffe too.

    The Allied ground crews in Britain had few worries from the Luftwaffe to deal with and lots of supplies to boot.
     
  9. bigZ

    bigZ Member

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    Went for Finland for managing to keep those allied made aircraft flying throughout the continuation war. Still using the Brewster uptill 48 and solved a problem plaguing the Wright Cyclone engine by inverting one of the piston rings in each cylinder, thus enhancing the engine reliability.

    Is the victory ratio of 26:1 for Finnish Buffallos the highest in WWII?
     
  10. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    No I have to go with the RAAF ground crews once again. In particular what Wild had said about not only RAAF but also our American Allies as well in the Pacific and Asian Theatre of War. Once saw film clips of I think it was RAAF 25 Squadron (City Of Brisbane) having dire problems with their aircraft. Trying to taxi though glutonous mud on the strip after heavy rainfalls and monsoon weather conditions and ground crews trying to keep the aircraft moving and not getting bogged down and working under tropical condtions to keep the aircraft airworthy. I suspect our American Allies had similar problems in the Pacific and Asian region. Vote goes for RAAF Ground crews with our American mates close second by a knats breathe
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    You also just dscribed another place that however is not tropical and a lot colder....

    ..The East Front.
     
  12. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    a mixed bag. It is a wonder that the US 9th AF nfs ever got as many P-61's airborne that they did as they an no extra spares and materails were far from being on schedule delivered.

    overall I would grad the Luftwaffe with an A + especially during the spring of 45 during the massive airfield strafing done by the 8th and 9th AF's pulverizing existing shown German a/c on the ground. Got to hand it to the "black" men for getting anything up and running and forming a/c from anything available as to parts. Jg 301 crews had a tuff time trying to service their Ta 152H's and Fw 190A'9's during the constant move sometimes every other week due to the onrush of the Soviets in the east side of the Reich. Kommando Welter also moved continually, pilots often going to already Soviet held zones to swipe a defunct but still flyable Me 262nf so it would not fall in to their hands and up again to ward off Mossie intruders and LSNF bombers...........the last days was against Spits on the northern frontier
     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I would have been nationalistic but couldn't so i voted Italian. The Pacific and CBI were tough but can you imagine trying to do maintainence outside at 20 below . Your hands would've been numb dropping tools cuz you couldn't feel your hands even threading in a screw is tough . I've never had problems starting a motor because it was to hot outside so i have to say working anywhere the climate was that brutal would have been far worse then working in a "tropical spa"
     
  14. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    A winter war would be tough on all I agree however given the situation of Tropical Diseases Tropical spa it is not working in temperatures of 100 Farnhiet plus then getting eaten alive literally by every bug that flies walks and crawls and sweat trickling down your face when stripping an engine or airframe. I know some would say frost bite and cold snows have their disadvantages but do not take it for granted Ground Crews working in the Tropics had an idylic time of it in the heat and monsoons of the Pacific and Asian region
     
  15. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    For me it is between the US and the Aussies in the Pacific and the Luftwaffe for keeping their planes in the air to the end. It is a hard choice but I will go with the Luftwaffe.
     
  16. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I don't mean to demean their efforts but until you tried going mechanical work in the cold with wind you just can't appreciate how hard it is . Imagine gas pouring on your hand in the cold . So cold you can't grip your tools you can't wear gloves because you can't feel what your doing with them on .
    And after you finish your task you try and thaw out the agony of your extremities thawing out is really very painful . I believe every one of those guys would have swapped for the southern climates at a drop of a hat.
     
  17. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    But then again have to look at the Ground crews working in the deserts of North Africa and Middle East. Imagine half way through stripping the engine from a P40 Kittyhawk for Desert Hussars RAF and a bloody sand storm broils up getting fine grit sand like talcum powder through the engine intakes and such. As FBJ said if it wasn't for all ground crews pilots are pedestrians with expensive sunglasses
     
  18. bigZ

    bigZ Member

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    Gets bloody cold in those North African deserts at night.
     
  19. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Can you imagine the black flies in summer Russia:shock:
    I know I'd much prefer to work in the heat and humidity or just plain heat. I work outside and don't use gloves on cold days and at the end of the day when my fingers are cracked and bleeding from the cold I pine for a an average summer day of 30c day with humidity. But still no matter what theatre these guys of all forces performed miracles with limited resources
     
  20. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    That I agree with totally with most of what you said Pb. But you want flies. You are talking to an Aussie about bloody flies. When you get 40 million blow flies assigned to each person and the bloody things take it in shifts to get every where and on anything. In North Africa flies were a constant problem for every one. Men had to eat drink **** and piss under cover and under extremes of temperatures and yes it does get bloody cold at night in the desert. then such lovley things like scorpions and snakes. water in short supply and no beer either and that applied just as much for the Italians and Germans alike. Desert didn't favour any one nor did the tropics for Japs and Allies. but same can be said for the European theatre as well just some differences of course. And Pb 30 celius heat is fine but you don't want to be working in heat 40 celius plus trust me on that. I have seen steel railway tracks buckle in heat like that and you could literally fry an egg on those rails they become that heated. thinking of which it must have been hell in a tank during African campaign. Pb I kid you not I have worked in heat like that 40 celius plus and the sun beats down like a bastard. And you see heat radiating from the ground in heat shimmies and every time you move you become a ball of sweat. You have to wear a hat or shirts etc to keep sun of you and constantly drink fluids to avoid heat exhaustion. It can kill you just as quick as hypotherma can in the cold, Oh the Hell With it. My gratitude to all ground crew. Especially the ones who maintained my Dad's Lancaster. Their work helped get him and his mates home
     
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