RAF 1940 Gun cameras

Discussion in 'Aviation Videos' started by CharlesBronson, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    From the Imperial War museum collection and completely unseen...at list for me.

    Notice the 1st clip labelled as "Cannon Spitfire" , so the Mk 1B was active in February 1940, I really didnt know that.

    RAF CAMERA GUN FOOTAGE Allocated Title (ARY 211-1)
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #2 stona, Jun 30, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
    The first clip of a cannon Spitfire is Spitfire L1007 which was the cannon armament prototype. It is the only possible candidate as the second Spitfire to be converted (P9505) was not converted until April 1940.
    L1007 was converted in April/May 1939, it was weighed in June and the same month tested by Vickers. Subsequently, via Martlesham Heath and the AFDU at Northolt, the aircraft found its way to Drem for squadron trials in 1940. Drem was probably considered out of the way!
    P/O Proudman with No.602 Squadron, shot down an He 111 using this aircraft on 13 January 1940. He was in action again on 22nd February, the alleged date of the film. I have a legible copy of the combat report to go with that film and will post it later.
    Proudman's aircraft is identified only as 'Red 2' in the report, though reference is made to his "experimental equipment", the cannon armament. 'Red 2' must be L1007.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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  3. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good stuff!
     
  4. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Here you go.

    The He 111 did go down, making a forced landing. It was an He 111P-2, WNr.1594, T5+OH.

    It was the observer Fw Fritz Sprigath who released the trapped pilot of 'Red 1' Sqn Ldr Farquar, for this humanitarian act he was mentioned in parliament. Considering he himself had just been shot down it was a remarkable humane act.

    It makes you glad that he and the rest of the crew (Lt. Erich Grote, Uffz Wilhelm Berger and Uffz Walter Bachmann) all survived, only Bachmann was wounded. They did set fire to their aircraft and the only picture I've seen shows the forward section, back to the wings, completely burnt out.

    Cheers

    Steve
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    Excellent research, baconed. So it was not even a proper 1b, just a prototype.
    Interesting to realiza how many guncams from the "false war" period the IWM has.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Some very serious doubts about Fighter Command's gunnery ability, or lack thereof, had been raised almost as soon as the first combat took place. Gun cameras confirmed the worst.

    Proudman's aircraft with its experimental armament would have had the camera fitted for research. The combat report explains why Farquar risked a landing, in order to prevent the Germans destroying their aircraft and preserve the evidence of the 20mm cannon strikes. How he would have done this I don't know. Lt Grote had ordered his crew to dismount the aircraft's machine guns in order to prevent anybody preventing them from burning their aircraft and at best Farquar would have carried a revolver. Had Farquar attempted to prevent them, things might have ended in a much more unpleasant incident.

    The first 'two cannon' Mk Is didn't arrive at No.19 Squadron until June, the first R6261 being rapidly followed by several others. The aircraft then rotated between the squadron and No.6 M.U. where they were examined and attempts were made to get the cannon working reliably.
    Eventually the squadron swopped the two cannon Spitfire for some eight machine gun versions.

    The official suffix for the two cannon Spitfires was CIG, initially the two cannon/four machine gun version was similarly denoted CMG before becoming the B wing (as in Mk IB).
    The first Mk IB to join a squadron was R6889 which rejoined No.19 on 3rd October 1940. This is probably why generally the cannon armed Spitfire, as in the B wing with two cannon and four machine guns, is considered too late for the BoB.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  7. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There's some film of Me 262s. I've also seen an Me 163. I think they may have been American rather than British. I've not seen any other jets or rockets and the Ta 152 would have been classified simply as a 'long nose' Focke Wulf, like the D series.
    Good luck with the search function at the IWM site, you might be lucky:)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  8. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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