Mustangs and Mosquitos

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by MAW-Z, May 20, 2012.

  1. MAW-Z

    MAW-Z New Member

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    For a few years now I have been trying to trace an anecdote written by a P 51 driver. This anecdote reads somewhat as described below.

    This particular Mustang pilot begins by complaining of orders requiring escorting fighters to stay with the bombers forcing him to break off previous enemy engagements.
    On one occasion towards the end of the war he was given the job of escorting Mosquito bombers. The Mosquitoes had no sooner finished unloading when they were bounced by long nosed FW 190’s.
    The mustang pilots comments, “Stay with the bombers? There were no bombers to stay with, those things (Mosquitoes) were gone……………….. The only thing left was them and us”

    If any of you can help trace the source of this or similar anecdote, it would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Not a common thing for P-51s to escort bomber Mosquitos. The RAF were using bomber Mosquitos almost exclusively at night when the P-51Bs first arrived. The USAAF only operated Mosquitos as photo and weather reconnaissance planes.

    Here is a description of a Mosquito encounter with Me 262s while being escorted by P-51s.

    German Jet Encounters

    It's the second story titled A second account of multiple encounters with Me262s that is of interest.
     
  3. MAW-Z

    MAW-Z New Member

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    Thanks wuzak ,

    I have come across this one before. Great discription of the mission. Interesting comparison on the economic cruise speed between the two types. Amongst a list of other factors it may suggest that the slipper tanks used on the Mossie were a little more conformal and less drag inducing than those used by the P-51.

    Cheers
     
  4. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Probably less of a percentage change in drag for the Mosquito than the Mustang. Assuming the Mosquito had them.

    I also believe teh Mosquito's cruise speed was better when both were clean.
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello
    RAF Mustangs sometimes escorted Mossies, for ex during the Shell house raid, also IIRC there were some CC raids against Norwegian targets which were escorted by USAAF Stangs, but the the CC raids were flown by both Beau and Mossie units, so I cannot definitely say that the USAAF Stangs escorted Mossies.

    Juha
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Most USAAF escort missions for Mossies were for recon flights - and mostly for USAAF Mossie equipped recon squadrons. The exception to that rule could be an RAF recon flight out of range of the Mustang III which wasn't equipped with fuselage tanks until the P-51B-7 came out with factory installed tanks in the middle of the -7 block
     
  7. MAW-Z

    MAW-Z New Member

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    Hello wuzak ,

    The Mossie could carry 50, 100 or 200 gal slipper tanks. The 50 and 100 gal tanks were common enough as shown. Mossie 50 Gal Tanks.jpg Mossie 100 G slipper tank.jpg

    Cheers
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    First thing that came to my mind was Black Thursday in early 1945. Mustangs escorted a few bombers to Norway and were bounced badly. But I can't remember if they were Beaus or Mossies.
     
  9. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    Coastal Command Banff and Dallachy strike wings operated regularly with Mustang III and IV from about August 1944 onwards. The P-51s operated as escort for the Mossies and Beaufighters, but reportedly had a hard time staying with the Mosquitos on return legs.

    Banff stike wing missions (from http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/sorties.html):

    November 21 1944.

    Thirty two Mosquito’s, with an "outrider" of 333 Norwegian squadron along with forty two Beaufighters from Dallachy, led by Wing Commander G.D. Sise DSO, DEC, escorted by twelve P51 Mustangs as Fighter cover from R.A.F. Peterhead fly an anti-shipping patrol but find nothing to attack.

    December 07 1944.

    A mixed strike wing effort by twenty five Mosquito’s from Banff forty Beaufighters from Dallachy escorted by twelve Mustangs of 315 Polish squadron from R.A.F. Peterhead, attack GOSSEN fighter airfield in Norway when the formation came under attack by twelve ME 109s and FW 190s. In the ensuing combats that followed 315 squadron claimed four ME 109s shot down while two FW 190s collided in mid air. Four strike wing aircraft were lost a Mustang, Beaufighter and two Mosquito’s. The Banff aircraft and crews lost in action were Mosquito "0" of 248 squadron with pilot Flying Officer W.N. Cosman DEC and his navigator Flying Officer L.M. Freedman and Mosquito "Z" also of 248 squadron, flown by Flying Officer K. Cecil Wing and his navigator Pilot Officer V.R. Shield R.A.A.F.


    December 19 1944.

    Mixed Mosquito force escorted by R.A.F. Peterhead Mustangs fly an armed sortie to Sulen in Norway. No shipping was attacked or fighter opposition met.


    March 03 1945.

    Rover patrol of 40 Banff Mosquito’s and 12 Mustangs patrol between Marstein Light and Lervik and also Skotning Light with nothing seen.

    March 07 1945.

    Forty Mossies from Banff attacked self—propelled barges in the Kattegat with cannon and machine gun fire followed by 251b rockets. Twelve P51 Mustangs provided fighter cover with two Warwick’s of 979 squadron on hand to drop lifeboats to any ditched crews. Four aircraft of 333 squadron led the way with the fire suppression Mosquito’s following behind. The strike force attack with rockets against the vessels. Several Mosquito’s had to return to base with faulty jettison fuel tanks. Four German Gun Barges were sunk each averaging approx. 130 tons. The German Flak ship INNSBRUCK Vp 1610 of 256 tons was also sunk. Two Mosquito’s were lost in the attack, Mosquito "0" of 235 squadron flown by Flying Officer S.C. Hawkins and Flying Officer F. Stubbs is believed to have collided with Mosquito "R" of 248 squadron flown by Flight Lieutenant R.G. Young and Flying Officer C.V. Goodes, during the attack. Both crews failed to return.

    March 12 1945.

    Rover patrol of forty-four Mosquito’s and twelve Mustangs fly to the Kattegat area. Nothing was seen shipping wise, and the strike force was attacked by a formation of approx. 8—10 ME 109s off Lister during the return journey. Two enemy fighters were claimed shot down with one probable. The strike force lost one Mustang escort and ore Mosquito. The Banff aircraft was "Q" of 248 squadron flown by Warrant Officer R.W. Moffat and Flying Officer B.A.S. Abbot.

    March 23 1945.

    A strike force of forty two Mosquito’s and Twelve Mustangs attack shipping found at Stadlandet, Aslesund and Dalsfjord, resulting in the sinking of1 the Norwegian Merchant Vessel. LYSAKER of 910 tons and three other Merchant Vessels damaged. These were the German ship INGA ESSBERGER of 1827 tons, another German ship ROTENFELS of 7854 tons and a Norwegian ship ROMSSDALE of 138 tons. During the action, intense accurate flak was experienced from the shore positions. After the attack, Mosquito "R" of 143 squadron was seen to be on fire and dived into the sea. Pilot Officer K. McCall and Warrant Officer J.A.M. Etchells were lost with the aircraft. Another Casualty of 143 squadron was Mosquito "W" which was successfully ditched with the starboard engine smoking. The crew, Flight Lieutenant R.H. Lowe and Flying Officer P. Hannaford were taken prisoner. Mosquito "W" of 235 squadron attacked shipping in Dalsfjord, and was seen to crash into the sea immediately after— wards. Flying Officer Turner is buried in Stavne Cemetery, and a plaque erected near his grave in memory of Squadron Leader Reid, whose body was not recovered.

    March 25 1945

    Mosquito "G" of 333 squadron, flown by: Lieutenant Commander K. Skavhaugen and Flying Officer A.H. Bobbett, and aircraft "V" of 248 squadron flown by; Flight lieutenant A. Mcleod and Warrant Officer N. Wheeley. Were members of a strike force, which was returning to Banff from Vilnes Fjord after failing to find any targets, in Position 6117N 0455E,whilst flying at 3000 feet, the formation was attacked by approx. twenty FW 190s. In the ensuing dogfight both the above aircraft were lost and failed to return. The Mustang escorts claimed three enemy aircraft destroyed and one damaged, for the loss of one Mustang.
     
  10. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    These all seem to be examples of Mustangs escorting fighter bombers (FB.VIs), which I know was done.

    The Amiens prison raid was, for example, escorted by Typhoons.

    Were there any examples of any fighters escorting pure bomber Mosquitos? Were any RAF PR Mossies escorted? I always thought RAF PR flights operated by themselves?
     
  11. mhuxt

    mhuxt Active Member

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    Have not read anything about Mustangs escorting Mosquito bombers, however USAAF P-51s escorted Recce Mossies of 60 SAAF from Italy to targets in Austria and Southern Germany.
     
  12. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Assuming the engines were basically the same, and that the specific fuel consumption for the engines are reasonably close you can make the following assumptions - then test based on published data.

    1. Two engines-same settings = ~ 2x thrust. For the Mossie at higher speed, the thrust won't be quite 2x the Mustang.
    2. The drag on the Mossie is significantly higher than the Mustang. A good illustrative proof point is that the Mustang is simply faster with only one engine.
    3. The Mossie will have a much higher spc rate with the two engines but will be able to cruise faster.

    If both ships started out with same fuel, Mossie would drop out of the sky long before the Mustang - but would get to the crash site faster at cruise settings.
     
  13. MAW-Z

    MAW-Z New Member

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    Dear All,

    Thank you for your input. You will have to forgive me for my exact recall of this anecdote. I would suggest that the P-51 pilot was USAAF as he was complaining about staying with the Bombers, B-17's or B-24's I would suspect. The Me 262 threat towards the end of the war necessitated an escort for daylight Mossie's. The "glint" off the shiny Perspex nose for the Bomber or PR aircraft was a giveaway that it couldn't fight back (but it could run like he..). Given that this occurred towards the end of the war I would guess they were either PR or BXVI's or PR32's.

    Cheers
     
  14. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    My only question is - I didn't think that fighters were tied that much to bombers on the Allied side. Learned that lesson from the BoB. They escorted but were allowed to freiejagd almost the whole time.
     
  15. MAW-Z

    MAW-Z New Member

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    Hi drgondog,
    Regarding your comments:
    1. "Two engines-same settings = ~ 2x thrust. For the Mossie at higher speed, the thrust won't be quite 2x the Mustang."
    OK... in broad terms I can agree with that.

    2. "The drag on the Mossie is significantly higher than the Mustang. A good illustrative proof point is that the Mustang is simply faster with only one engine."
    Can't agree with you here. The Mossie will have higher drag (it is a larger aircraft)....but I would not call it significantly.
    No disrespect, but your "good illustrative proof point is that the Mustang is simply faster with only one engine"...........is not a good example. Feathering a prop on any twin will create large amounts of drag.......not exactly an equal comparison.

    The Mosquito had a composite structure. There were no rivets, divots or panel lines to contend with. For its time, this was one ultra clean slippery airfoil (rockets, bombs and droptanks aside). There is a good video with a Mossie doing a climbing roll with one prop feathered...........all while rolling into the dead engine. Impressive...

    If you have the data, I would be interested in what the P-51's SFC is before and after punching off an empty droptank.

    Cheers
     
  16. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    The Mosquito was always considered to be nearly as fast, on one engine, never as fast, and certainly not faster. Low-level P.R. sorties might well have had an escort, but not the high-level types. Pilots were given multiple "targets," and it was left to each one to work out his own route, with him trying never to select the same route twice. Pilots also found that they could largely cope with the 262, since, having the observer's extra pair of eyes watching the rear and below, he could tell the pilot when to turn, leaving the 262, which was unable to match the Mosquito's rate of turn at height, to charge straight past.
     
  17. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    #17 drgondog, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
    P 51D Performance Test

    a useful report to give insight. The lowest rate of fuel consumption tested for air miles to gallon consumed = 4.91 miles per gallon at 281 mph TAS, 25000 feet altitude with two 110 gallon external tanks... 30" Hg at 1600 rpm. Calculating = he burned from 11020 to 10855 to get to 25k ~ 40 gallons of the 220 external. Once there he gets 4.91 miles per gallon at 281 mph TAS. Given no change to gross weight or drag he burns 64 gallons more to get 281 miles. for the next 110 gallons he gets another 540 miles when he drops tanks and increaseshis airspeed to 281 + 47 (part B of Report) = 328 mph. Assuming only step function range calc ---------> 821 miles on the 2-110's, then 328/4.91 = 66 gph for 269 gallons = 269/66 = 4 more hours at 328mph TAS/25K/30" 1600 rpm --------> 540+1312 miles - no combat, but no calculation for better sfc as fuel is burned and better altitude performance achieved.

    For that load and configuration (full fuel, ammo) the radius without reserve, head or tailwinds, combat, etc is greater than 1850/2 + 925 miles... and 7 hrs.
     
  18. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Mossie was one helluva airplane. My remarks were to crystallize the 'why' regarding faster cruise speed (two engines each operating at a very low Thrust per engine which in turn enabled it to cruise at a higher speed with reduced power), the 'why' for the difference in Total Drag between the two ships.

    There is one other point of noted performance contrast if the 'slippers' were not droppable on the Mossie. (I don't recall). If they remain with the ship when fuel is consumed, each slipper continues to impose the Profile Drag (versus clean wing) for the entire flight - not so for the Mustang which travels approximately only 35-40% of the entire mission with the drag penalty imposed by two x 110 gallon external tanks. In the AAF report I cited earlier the 110's imposed a 47mph cruise speed difference for the same fuel consumption.
     
  19. JoeB

    JoeB Member

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    #19 JoeB, May 21, 2012
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
    You can see LW losses among units based in Norway on this site:
    Luftwaffe in Norway
    Dec 7 ’44: RAF claimed 4 Bf109 and 2 Fw190 (collision); LW said Bf109G-6’s Werk no’s 410816 and 410818 went missing from 11. and 10./JG 5

    March 12 ’45: RAF claimed 2 Bf109. Bf109G-6 Wn 410780 and G-14 464231 of 13./JG-5 were 100% losses; three other 109’s suffered lesser damage in two takeoff accidents and one landing accident, LW records say.

    March 25: RAF claimed 3 ea. LW records say FW-190A-8’s Wn’s 350184, 732075, and 732217 of III./JG-5 were total losses due to air combat, with two pilots lost; one other FW-190A-8 was a total loss to reported mechanical reasons and 2 Bf109G-6/14’s and another 190 were reported damaged in accidents.

    So, the Allied claims in these three actions were accurate overall, 9-11 German fighters claimed as compared to 7 reported by the LW as lost in air combat or missing with no other reason given. But, the actual kill ratio v 9 Allied single and twin engine fighters lost in air combat was not so favorable for this stage of the war.

    Joe
     
  20. Edgar Brooks

    Edgar Brooks Active Member

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    Mosquito tanks were droppable; they were also made of wood, so imposed less of a weight penalty if the pilot decided to bring them back (or they failed to drop.)
     
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