What did they do?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by [SC] Arachnicus, May 28, 2012.

  1. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Okay. This is kind of a stupid question but am curious if any of you ever read or heard WW2 fighter pilots talk about this. For the fighter pilots that were on long rang missions (mustangs for example), what did the pilots do to make sure they didn't have "A nature accident", while flying? I mean there were pilots that would have to fly several hours on long range missions, you have to think that some of those poor guys had to sit in their own urine and feces if a uncontrollable body function happened.

    That really had to suck. Grant it, I'm sure pilots made sure to not drink to eat certain things to help prevent that from happening. I do remember hearing soldiers in tanks eating lots of cheese to prevent them from having to go #2 in the battlefield.

    Again, I am sorry if I offended anyone but I am curious to what their solutions were to problems.
     
  2. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #2 FLYBOYJ, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
    Many WW2 fighters had relief tubes. As far as #2 - careful planning AFAIK
     
  3. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Agree with Joe and...

    Its a valid question, so don't worry about posting. Sometimes we forget about the obvious! :)
     
  4. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Don't know about the fighter jocks, but I do recall reading in a book entitled "Gunner" about gun position in various airplanes that the B-17 had a "piss tube" that was gravity feed to the outside of the airplane. The ball turret gunner was aft of the "effluent" and complained with the piss tube used because the urine would splash on the plexiglass and freeze at high altitudes.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yep, all true. Most aircraft had a bell-like 'cup', attached to a rubber hose, which fed into a tank beneath the pilot's seat. To use this entailed undoing the seat harness and parachute straps, and even then, it was somewhat difficult to manouvre into the right position to use it even partially comfortably. It was not unknown for aircrew to return in a rather 'damp' state.
    Bomber and other large aircraft normally had an 'Elsan' chemical toilet in the rear fuselage, which again was difficult to utilise whilst wearing heavy flying clothing. Also, being basically a can with a hinged lid on top, the effects of gravity during violent evasive tactics, had an obvious effect - rather unpleasant for the ground crew who had to service and clean the aircraft!
     
  6. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    #6 RabidAlien, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
    I've read several accounts, in the Pacific at least IIRC, where the pilots/crew would wander around behind the plane while the ground crew were finishing up, and proceed to "lighten the load" before flying out. One story had a crewman, after a lengthy trip made even longer by a damaged engine/prop/something-or-other, who hit the ground sobbing and barely got out of his flight suit in time to let fly...upwind. Or another plane passed by and he was the unfortunate beneficiary of prop-wash (got a whole new meaning after that!). As for #2, I've also read stories of B17/24/29(?) crews who would bring along C- or K-rat boxes for a mid-flight snack, and then "refill" the boxes when they had a moment. Then would drop the boxes out the gunner's window, or pile them on the bomb bay doors as an extra "ordinance" to drop on the Germans (can't remember if I read about -29 crews doing that over Japan or not, but it wouldn't surprise me....never underestimate the average grunt's ability to improvise when the time calls! Got a few stories from submarine days, myself...).

    ETA: Another anecdote I read somewhere involved crews who would "forget" to tell their crewchief that the pitot was used, leaving a rather messy surprise for him to find...the tubes operated off a sorta venturi-effect, the slipstream running past the plane's fuselage would create a sorta vacuum that would suck urine down the tube and expel it out the plane....well, a suitably "pissed" crew chief might "accidentally" reverse that pitot tube outlet, so that the slipstream was actually forced UP the tube! Aircrews usually got the hint after the first time their deposits were blasted back at them.
     
  7. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Well that was some great info guys, thanks! And you know some of those poor fighter pilots crapped themselves, but then again I heard that the C-rations were good at binding you up. Too bad disposable adult diapers were not invented yet.
     
  8. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I have a pic in a book with a LW pilot relieving himself on the tailwheel of his fighter. Caption read that it brought good luck. I dunno.......
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I wouldn't give that one much credibility RA. Pitot tubes are typically put far forward on the fuselage to ensure clean airflow for accurate measurements without complex calculations for compensation.
     
  10. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    Yeah, can't remember where I read it...might've been about P-38's, might've been online. I'll toss that one in the "skeptical" folder.
     
  11. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    The outlet for the relief tubes is usually located towards the rear of the cockpit area, clear of things like the pitot, or instrument venturi to prevent contamination.

    For some reason, there doesn't seem to be an image anywhere that I can find.

    The one we removed had a venturi outlet and was located under the fuselage, just aft of the rear seat. Reversing this venturi wouldn't have meant that the suction was reversed.
    But, most aircraft drains are a piece of pipe that has been cut off at 45deg, facing aft, which provides some suction. Reversing this one could have caused some 'blow-back' I guess, so it could be true.

    The thing is, who is going to have to clean the cockpit out after such a prank has been played?
     
  12. [SC] Arachnicus

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    Can you imagine your 6 hours into your mission escorting bombers long range. You feel that dreaded cramping and gurgling down below. You break into a sweat because you know that you are screwed.

    The horror of having to sit in your own mess. Bad times.
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    And if they did not have a relief tube, they could just do what we did. On the Blackhawk we did not have relief tubes, so we brought along bottles of water or gatorade. When one was empty, it became your piss bottle...

    I used many of gatorade bottles back when I was crewing. When you got to go, you got to go...;)
     
  14. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Here's what they used in a Lanc!

    It's called an Elsen toilet, and a warning, NO STEP.
    From a couple of Lancaster sites.
     

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  15. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I heard a story when I was instructing about one of the instructors who took his friends for a flight that was about 2.5 hours long. About 30 minutes after take-off, the (female) passenger in the back seat asked what to do if they needed to use the bathroom.
    Jokingly, he said "use the sick-bag"
    About 10 minutes later, he got a tap on the shoulder, and you guessed it, he was presented with a half-full sick-bag.

    So, out the window it went.
     
  16. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Certainly gives new meaning to "bombs away".
     
  17. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #17 oldcrowcv63, Jun 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
    Strangely enough, bowels and bladder performance have not been significantly improved since 1939! I can sympathize with the bomber crews doing missions from England to Germany or from Iwo Jima to Tokyo. My log book says my longest flight was 15.3 hours in duration and took place on 4/29/1983 during a pseudo-transpac from NAS Cubi Point to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska. The P-3 had a rarely used sit-down toilet that was essentially a repository for a garbage bag to be carried out by the offending crew member or a penalty would incur which involved purchase of large quantities of beer at a local establishment, TBD. The relief tubes were so corroded I am convinced they were recycled from WW2 P-47s but were frequently used. (hmmmm, a connection there with the level of corrosion maybe?). Operational maritime patrol typically lasted from 7-12 hours which compares well with the Regensburg mission for example except for the exploding sh*t surrounding the airplane which might have put a wee bit of additional stress on one's bowels and bladder. :oops: "Duralumin and fabric ships and iron intestined men (and women)." :shock:

    I expect that USAF MATS/MAC/AMC crews had similar facilities and/or lack thereof to make their equally long hauls all the more pleasant and interesting. :lol:
     
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Try having a "blue water" explosion on an aircraft, and having to clean it all out and remove the corrosion because the "crew" left it in the aircraft for a year...:lol:
     
  19. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting thread, with many movements it seems.
     
  20. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    OMG!!! :shock:
     
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