Where were guns on SpitfirePRXVII?

Discussion in 'Weapons Systems Tech.' started by Alban, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Alban

    Alban New Member

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    #1 Alban, Nov 29, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
    Hi, am researching the Spitfire PRXIII ok it was a rare bird ony 20 or so made, but quite an interesting history fighting in the battle of Malta and diding a good deal of the Recce work for D-Day. Intrestingly also I think both in RAf and FAA service.
    I've come up aginast a bit of a hitch. Where were the guns located? It had reduced armament of
    4XBrowning 303's but I can't find exactly were the guns were from the photographs i have. The natural place would be the inner 2 gun ports from the 5a's which were used for conversion purposes but there were also 5c's and even VII's used. The outer ports were not the greatest place for guns, the wing flex and convergance seen to this. Actualy in US service the outer guns were very frequently deleted the saving in weight being considered of greater value than the fiirepower.
    A but stumped as to which gun stations were used, any info from you chaps? I can make a guese but no more than that.


    All the best
    Alban
     
  2. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Of the twenty-six Spitfire PR.XIII conversions, seventeen were from Mk VBs which had their cannon deleted leaving four machine guns. W3112 was an ex-MkVA, L1004, X4615, X4660 were Mk VAs that had been converted from Mk IAs, P7505 was a Mk VB that had been converted from a Mk IIA, R7308, R7335 were PR.XII/Type G converted from MK VAs, X4021, X4766 were PR.XII/Type G converted from MK VAs that had been converted from MK IAs.

    According to Wojtek Matusiak ‘A’ wing conversions retained the full eight gun armament. Dr. Alfred Price states that the armament of the PR.XIII was reduced to four machines guns in the outer positions. If he is correct then this can only apply to the ‘A’ wing conversions. Spitfire 70, Flypast Special states that some early conversions retained all eight machine-guns.

    AD354 was the first PR.XIII into service reaching Benson on 21st April 1943. 541 and 542 Squadrons were the first operators of the PR.XIII but they were mainly used for training until the summer of 1944. Apart from that they were used for low altitude photography of the French coastline prior to D-Day. From December 1943 onwards 4 and 400 (Canadian) Squadrons used them for pilot conversion from Mustangs to Spitfire PR.XIs.

    In 1944 eleven PR.XIIIs were handed over to the FAA. In February and March these were used at Lee-on-Solent and Henstridge by 808 and 886 Squadrons for training in PR and gunfire spotting duties. At least of some them went to 761 Squadron, AKA No.2 Naval Air Fighter School, at Henstridge, where they were used between March and June 1944. Six were used from June 1944 at Henstridge by 718 Squadron which underwent several re-namings – Army Co-operation Training Unit, from October 1944 Army Co-operation Naval Operational Training Unit, from April 1945 School of Naval Air Reconnaissance and finally after relocating to Ballyhalbert No.4 Naval Air Fighter School. It was there that the FAA career of the PR.XIII came to an end in October 1945.

    The PR.XIII was declared obsolete by the RAF in early 1945. The RAF discarded specialised low altitude PR Spitfire variants about the time of D-Day replacing them with fighters modified to carry photographic equipment and given the significant role designator FR (Fighter-Reconnaissance).

    I have seen no mention of any PR.XIIIs being used in Malta. By the time the PR.XIII came into service in 1943 the Siege of Malta had ended,
     
  3. Alban

    Alban New Member

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    Great answer dude, evertything I wanted. I'm surprised about the eight gun armament being retianed but interestiing. Also surprised about the guns being located on the outer rather than the inner gun bays, with the problems the spit had with wing flexiing leading to poor accuracy with the outer guns. but if that's where they were then that's were they were.
    Can you put me onto an image of where the cameras were located. I have the two fusalge cameras but the other remains a bit of a mystery, i've been unbale to get more than a few photographs of this type. Not surprising due to it's rarity or an image of another PR version which shows how the third camera was located? Also can you direct me to an image of the markings on the cocpit canopy that were used to aim the cameras, I imagine this was generic to all PR types?

    With thanks and apreciation for the trouble taken.
    Alban
     
  4. Graham Boak

    Graham Boak New Member

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    On some of the PR types the inner gun bay held a camera. I suspect this was why the outer guns were retained on the Mk.XIII.

    Wojtek Matusiak has written two excellent booklets on PR Spitfires for Ventura Publishing: I strongly suspect they will have examples of the wing-mounted cameras.
     
  5. Alban

    Alban New Member

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    Thanks agian you folks a are a gold mine of Gen.


    Cheers
    Alabn
     
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