NAA field service representative experimented with B-25 aircraft guns

Discussion in 'Stories' started by daveT, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. daveT

    daveT Member

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    A civilian flying combat missions during WWII? It happened more than once. A civilian Technical Representative for North American Aviation Corporation named Jack Fox experimented with gun installations in the nose of B-25 Mitchell aircraft used by the U.S. Fifth Air Force during World War Two. Jack Fox also accompanied the early model B-25 Mitchells into combat with the 3rd Attack Group and often flew actual combat missions in New Guinea to see how his field modifications fared. Thus he earned the respect of all - engineers, pilots and ground crew. This story provides a detailed history of these efforts and how they contributed to winning World War Two_Open pdf to read the story. I welcome your comments
    DaveT
     

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  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Great story daveT. Most of the photos and models I've seen of the ground attack Mitchells had 8 nose mounts, 4 side blister mounts, and the top turret so it is interesting to see how it actually evolved and who got it started. I was always under the impression that this modification was done in the field by the men who flew the aircraft, I had no idea that an engineer actually designed this configuration. On top of that he field tested his product. That's ballsy.:salute:
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I have read a lot about Jack Fox. He is actually a distant relative of my wife. He was quite an engineer!
     

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  4. Doubl3Ac3

    Doubl3Ac3 Member

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    Wow its amazing to see the courage that people had back in the day. Its really nice to see people getting their hands dirty. Now in days its all laid out on computers
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I am pretty sure that on some of the first B17c raids an american civilian went along to use the bomb sight.

    I will see what I can find
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Very interesting info, thanks for posting it.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Found it. One Mr Vose of the Sperry company went on a mission to Bremen on the 2 September 1941 as the bomb aimer to see how the bomb sight was working under operational conditions.
    It was a gutsy move as this was a single unescorted raid and there had been a number of interceptions and casualties in the days before.
     
  8. daveT

    daveT Member

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    Civilian Technical Representatives supporting military activities wore special insignias to identify their status. Those operating with U.S. Forces during WWII, particularly overseas, often wore military clothing with other insignia indicating their function. Unique devices including hat badges, pocket hangers, and collar devices were also used. Civilian employees of the U.S. AAF were allowed to wear a modified uniform under specified conditions to identify their status and function. The original regulations (Change One to 1941 AR 600-35 issued 4 September 1942) authorized a special sleeve insignia with a white triangle with the letters U.S. in blue on a blue square 4 1/2 inches in size for civilians having a noncombatant status. Another change (Four of 23 October 1942) authorized a similar insignia with a red triangle for those with a combatant status. Under what circumstances the War Department believed that a civilian could claim combatant status would be interesting to know.
     
  9. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Ballsy, that's for sure!!! Makes one wonder, though, how they would have been treated if shot down and captured? PTO....probably been worked to death, if not killed on the spot. ETO....treated as soldier or spy?
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that he would have been treated as a spy remembering that the USA were not at war in Sept 41. No doubt the USA would have been able to lean on the Germans but its not a position I would like to be in.
     
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