RAF 65 squadron 0.50 caliber headstamps

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Bergen, May 15, 2015.

  1. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    In search for a lost Mustang from RAF 65 squadron we have found a 0.50 cailber shell which we suspect are from a mustang from this squadron.

    Its stamped DM and 43 and has red tracer in the tip.

    Are there anyone out there knowing what production batch was used in the 65th squadron ?






    Last summer we located another Mustang from this squadron, more on that here:
    Gaijin Entertainment Forum

    0.50calDM43.jpg
     
  2. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    Woah, I hope that isn't live
     
  3. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    here is the scoop

    DM = Des Moines Ordnance Plant - Ankeny, Iowa, where it was produced
    43= 1943 the year it was produced
    plain red tip would indicate a tracer round

    the only way to determine the original lot numbers would be if you had the original packaging for the round HTH
     
  4. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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  5. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    #5 norab, May 15, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
    HTH =Hope This Helps.

    Hate to rain on your parade but with lot numbers there is a bare chance you might be able to trace it to squadron level (very unlikely) it may have been broken up for belting back in the US or anywhere in between. Without the lot numbers, I don't believe you can reliably track it to anywhere except Ankeny.
     
  6. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    Guess there is nothing further to get from it then.

    But I guess it must be from the missing Mustang, and will conduct further ground search for any other parts...
     
  7. norab

    norab Well-Known Member

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    Hope you are very sucessful
     
  8. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    What is strange is that is a "loose round". No others or belt links.

    50CalBelt_-_600.jpg

    While the force of crash (or even the impact of enemy shells in flight) could certainly break belts and eject parts of the ammo belts from the aircraft and scatter them over a wide area it seems strange that this is a single round without even a remnant of link on it. Or marks (difference in corrosion) from were a link may have rusted away.
     
  9. BiffF15

    BiffF15 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, it's most unusual there is not link. I think however that it's an example of the extreme forces encountered with impact.

    Cheers,
    Biff
     
  10. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    Yes I have wondered about that to, but the case of this Mustang was that it was shot down by a FW 190 at low altitude, and seen crash into the sea.
    I guess this shot must have hit the wing and ammo compartment in a way that the shells fell out before impact.
    I will try to search the area for further debris....
     
  11. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    And still being puzzled. Further 16 shells found recently. All red tracers and no clips !
    I thought tracers only where used in-between other ammo.
    Could it be the the Wing leader load all tracers, or that one gun on each site where all tracers ?
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Individual pilots often arranged their ammunition load so that the last five rounds per gun, as an example, showed as tracer, to indicate out of ammo, or low on ammo. In the latter instance, it might be that, again as an example, five (or six, or eight etc) rounds of tracer would be belted near the end of each belt, say with another 20 mixed rounds remaining per gun.
    When the pilot saw a continuous tracer stream, he would know he was near the end of his ammo.
    It seems very unusual to find such an amount of tracer in one location, without links or other related debris, and without other ammo types being included. It may well be that this find is un-related to the crash, although that would be a heck of a coincidence.
     
  13. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    Thanks airframes for your reply.

    This actual pilot and plane was engaged with, and shot down a FW 190 before he was shot down himself by the fw 190´s wingman.
    So I guess it might be possible that this was a hit in the ammo compartment, and he was so low on ammo that only tracers was left as he was at the end of the belts of 3 guns. That would be 6 or more on each gun.

    The lack of other debris still puzzles me, but i guess the shells where heavier and had less air restitance then other parts that fell of. Maybe a wider search area may give us more finds.

    We also have now eyewitness accounts of a burning plane crossing the area, crashing into sea.
    So I guess this must be from the plane, also because we have no other sources of the 50 cals in the area.
     
  14. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    I find it odd or he had the ammo for only one gun left that had ammo. I know a lot of pilots like the last 20 or so rounds on the belt to be tracer like was mentioned above. if it was a 4 gun version of a mustang the outboard guns had ~ 280 each and the inboard had 350ish. on the D model the 2 outboard on each side had 270 and the inboard had 400. he could have been down to his last rounds on his inboard gun OR it could have just hit that ammo compartment(s) that were low. but you still should have found metal links. it makes me think that someone had taken a those rounds out of a belt....for what purpose I do not know.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yes, it's the lack of links that's the strange thing.
    OK, they're light metal, and would corrode quicker than the heavier rounds, but even after 70 years, there should still be some evidence of the links. I've found links and empty cases (and live rounds) in the past, on various sits, dating from WW2 which, although rusted, were still identifiable as links.
    Linking a round into a disintegrating-link belt is fairly easy, even by hand, but extracting a round from a link, or links, is more difficult, so for the rounds to become separated, even by explosive force, seems rather odd.
     
  16. Token

    Token Active Member

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    Pictures of any of the other rounds found? As others have stated, the lack of links is intriguing. I have found ammunition from crash sites with links still present, the links may be twisted or broken, but some have always been there. If just the ammo has been found, unlinked and with no loose links present, that strongly suggests to me that these were intentionally not linked, and that points away from a crashed aircraft.

    One other possibility, someone got to the crash first and delinked the ammo, leaving the tracers only and taking the rest. Just a thought.

    T!
     
  17. Bergen

    Bergen New Member

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    Thanks for participating guys.
    I feel I should share some more information about this due to your help.
    This link provides info regarding the air battle where W/C I.G. Stewart was lost.
    Focke Wulf 190 Lutelandet


    Pictures of the ammo found on a stretch go 150 meters on farm land follows.
    Could plowing these fields cause the absence of clips ?
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    If the ammo as originally linked, then the links, or at least some of them, should still be there somewhere, even if scattered by ploughing or other disturbance.
    It may be that, if this site was excavated at some time before you found it, the ammo was separated deliberately, and left in position, possibly deliberately 're-buried' as a safety precaution, due to the potentially dangerous qualities of the rounds, being tracer.
     
  19. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    I don't see any signs of those rounds having the links rust away from them...the finish of the cartridge is too uniform in color. if there was a link on them that area should be slightly discolored. and the only reason I can think of rounds like that being unlinked was if they were to be used in a 50 gun that was either single shot (and why would you use a tracer in that anyways unless to mark a target ) or something that took a box mag like a boys anti tank gun ( which was 50 cal but bigger iirc ).
     
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