LCDR John Thach Interview and Fighter Direction Training film circa ~1943

Discussion in 'Aviation Videos' started by oldcrowcv63, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    A member of this forum may have put this on the web or may have posted this in the past, so you have probably already seen this 3 part U-Tube video containing an interview with then LCDR John Thach describing his beam defense tactic and also an apparently early (1942 or 3) USN training film 'starring' Thach as an instructor describing proper tactics to be used by USN aviators to intercept IJ snoopers attempting to locate a US carrier task force. I think the music is from Wing and a Prayer so it may be even later. It's especially interesting for the Fighter Direction dialogue that is evident.

    In any event it seems worth another opportunity for anyone interested who has't seen it.

    Enjoy Lt Lug and his wingman, ill fated Ens. Hazy, as they fumble an intercept of a IJ mitsubishi twin engine bomber/recce aircraft (actually a Lockheed Hudson or Ventura) attempting to find a USN carrier task force.

    Part 1:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGSgbFyZPmw

    Part 2:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_vAr_dXMp8

    Part 3:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz8Q1yq-IxI

    I wish to thank the United Kingdom, RAF and FAA for their gracious sharing of their fighter direction techniques and technology that made this video possible. :salute: :salute: :salute:
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I believe most of the USN and USAAF radar controllers were trained in Canada at Clinton Ontario in the spring of 41 , before the school established there by the BCATP even opened for the 1st official class comprising of 25 USN officers and 36USAAF
    http://www.rquirk.com/cdnradar/cor/chapter3.pdf
     
  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. I didn't know that and will be happy to broaden my expression of appreciation thereby.

    To Canada and the RCAF: :salute:
     
  4. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Good stuff, oldcrow. You will notice that the gunnery runs made in the first two films were classic US Navy full deflection overhead or flatside runs. No other air force was trained as extensively to execute those full deflection runs.
     
  5. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    You mention that enough and I might even believe you one day
     
  6. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #6 oldcrowcv63, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
    No! No! pb, Ren is correct. Its true, its true, and even if it isn't don't bust our bubble. :) He and I may have gotten it from the same reliable source (John Lundstrom) who is extremely thorough in his research. One of the best, most detailed, historians I've read. Lundstrom is almost obsessive in his detail. Although, I really should go back and see whether that particular claim applies to just the USAAF and the IJN or the rest of the world's miltiary aviation training which I would expect to be more difficult to prove. He may have gotten it from an interview with one or more of his sources and simply passed it on. In that case it may be suspect. Services and servicemen can often promote a sense of elitism with less than accurate information. But I would be surprised if that were the case.
     
  7. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    Did all the surviving aces of WW1 forget about all they knew . i'm sure Collishaw with his 60 victories was still in the RAF remembered how to shoot , there are many others , the only thing different in WW2 over WW1 was the speed . Were all those Fairey Battles that plied the skies over Lake Erie as target tugs were for what reason. The Worlds first real aerial gunnery school was established about 10 miles away on Lake Ontario (same school used by US ARMY ) in WW1 .
     
  8. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #8 oldcrowcv63, Jan 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
    " as extensively" Those two words might make the statement more accurate than one might otherwise believe, but I don't know Lundstrom's sources and I sure don't know what the other services and countries were doing in the way of training for deflection shooting (and Lundstrom no longer answers my emails. :cry:)

    I would expect deflection shooting to be in the took kit of every great pilot but whether they picked it up on their own (possible) or had some training (most likely) it may not have been as intensively presented as in the USN. One thing that just occurred to me is the oft cited inferiority of naval carrier based aircraft before the war. Perhaps that provided the motivation for the USN's emphasis (???) It does seem possible that Thach's innovations may have been inspired by briefings on Luftwaffe tactics. It is also my understanding that much of USN prewar fighter tactics were developed by studying Rene Fonch, the great french ace, whose specialty was apparently deflection shooting. So there evidently was some emplasis on deflection shooting. How much more???
     
  9. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    OC, Lundstrom said " with the partial exception of the IJN" USN pilots were trained for FULL deflection gunnery more than any other Air Force, including the AAF. Part of that had to do with vision over the nose. He also mentions that some of the high scoring pilots in the other air forces became very fine high deflection shooters. I believe that it is accurate to say that in WW2, the USN put more emphasis on full deflection shooting than any other AF but that does not exclude any AF from having pilots who excelled in that art.
     
  10. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #10 oldcrowcv63, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
    Concur!

    PS Just received my copy of Bartsch "Every Day..." and Chris Shores' "Bloody Shambles" Now, when I finished reading Lundstrom's Fletcher Book, I can move on to Black Cats and the new arrivals!
     
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