WW2 Aviation Mythbusters

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by FLYBOYJ, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #1 FLYBOYJ, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
    We have had some good discussions regarding certain claims made over the years that were taken as "facts" on face value and when researched turned out to be myths, fabricated stories, or unsubstantiated stories. The purpose of this thread is to identify and discuss those claims and either validate them as fact or pass them off as a myth, kind of a "Myth Busters" of this site.

    I'll begin by listing a few of my favorites. Discuss these or bring up your own. Let games begin but remain civil while being firm!

    1. The Flying Tigers NEVER fought against the Zero (A6M).

    2. The term "Gabelschwanzteufel" or "Forked Tail Devil" was never used by Luftwaffe pilots to describe the P-38.

    3. Robert L. Scott (God is my Co-Pilot) was NEVER a Flying Tiger.

    4. The USS Arizona DID NOT have a bomb go down its smoke stack during the Pearl Harbor attack.
     
  2. cimmex

    cimmex Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I’m not sure about “Gabelschwanzteufel”. About1975 the grandfather of my wife who stayed as soldier in southern Italy used this term when he talked about his adventures during the war. I cannot imagine that he had this word from a book after the war. It sound more like a
    common word of a infantry solder who was attacked by P-38s
    Regards
    cimmex
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Great info! This sounds more like the truth rather than the term coming from the Luftwaffe, at least you heard this from an actual combat veteran!
     
  4. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,682
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    #4 mikewint, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
    very cool thread FBJ, Read Scotts book as a young kid and watched the movie. from Belden, Jack (1942-08-20). "Chennault Fights to Hold the China Front". Life: pp. 70.
    Scott was executive and operations officer of the Assam-Burma-China (Ferry) Command, forerunner of the famous Air Transport Command flying the Hump from India to China to supply the Kuomintang government. When the commanding officer left for China on June 17, Scott was actually left in command of the operation for several days. Anxious to get into combat he had obtained the use of a Republic P-43 Lancer, actually assigned to the Flying Tigers by Claire Chennault, with which he flew at least one high altitude mission over Mt. Everest. Scott began flying missions with the Flying Tigers, flying a P-40 as a single ship escort for the transports and flying ground attack missions. During this period, he frequently repainted the propeller spinner in different colors to create the illusion of a much larger fighter force in the area than a single aircraft becoming, in effect, a "one-man air force".
    Is flying WITH the same as BEING ONE OF?
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Yes, saw that! At this time he was actually in the AAF and was never shown as a real member of the AVG. Here's a site listing members, looks pretty complete.

    Flying Tiger Association Unit Rosters
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,768
    Likes Received:
    684
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    #6 DerAdlerIstGelandet, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
    How about the myth that the 332nd "Tuskegee Airmen" never lost a bomber.

    Hollywood seems to be running with that one now, and many people refuse to see that it is only a myth.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Good one! I was going to bring that up. Check out that Wiki has (with references)

    On 24 March 1945, during the war, the Chicago Defender said that no bomber escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen had ever been lost to enemy fire, under the headline: "332nd Flies Its 200th Mission Without Loss";[50] the article was based on information supplied by the 15th Air Force.[51][52]

    This statement was repeated for many years, and not publicly challenged because of the esteem of the Tuskegee Airmen, until 2004 when long-time Tuskegee admirer William Holton conducted research into wartime action reports.[53] Alan Gropman, a professor at the National Defense University, disputed the initial refutations of the no-loss myth, and said he researched more than 200 Tuskegee Airmen mission reports and found no bombers were lost to enemy fighters.[53] The Air Force conducted a reassessment of the history of the unit in late 2006.[53] The subsequent report, based on after-mission reports filed by both the bomber units and Tuskegee fighter groups, as well as missing air crew records and witness testimony, documented 25 bombers shot down by enemy fighter aircraft while being escorted by the Tuskegee Airmen.[54]

    One mission report states that on 26 July 1944: "1 B-24 seen spiraling out of formation in T/A (target area) after attack by E/A (enemy aircraft). No chutes seen to open." A second report, dated 31 August 1944, praises group commander Colonel Davis by saying, he "so skillfully disposed his squadrons that in spite of the large number of enemy fighters, the bomber formation suffered only a few losses."[55] William Holloman, of Tuskegee Airmen Inc., a group of surviving Tuskegee pilots and their supporters, a Tuskegee airman who taught Black Studies at the University of Washington, and who chaired the Airmen's history committee, was reported by the Times as saying his review of records confirmed bombers had been lost.[53] According to the 28 March 2007 Air Force report, some bombers under 332nd Fighter Group escort protection were even shot down on the day the Chicago Defender article was published.[51]
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,682
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired and living on the dole
    Location:
    Lakeview, AR
    #8 mikewint, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
    the Arizona "bomb down the smoke stack" is a pretty well known myth though how it got started is questionable since the actual evidence is indisputable. there were 4 bomb hits. The last bomb hit at 08:06 in the vicinity of Turret II, likely penetrating the armored deck near the ammunition magazines located in the forward section of the ship. Not enough of the ship is intact to judge the exact location. About seven seconds after the hit, the forward magazines detonated in a cataclysmic explosion, mostly venting through the sides of the ship and destroying much of the interior structure of the forward part of the ship. The explosion killed 1,177 of the crew touching off fierce fires that burned for two days.
    There are two theories about the cause of the explosion. The first is that that the bomb detonated in or near the black powder magazine used for the ship's saluting guns and catapult charges. This would have detonated first and then ignited the smokeless powder magazine which was used for the ship's main armament. Alternatively, the bomb penetrated the armored decks and detonated directly inside one of the starboard magazines for the main armament. The surviving physical evidence is insufficient to determine the cause of the magazine explosion.
     
  9. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,481
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    I think the myth of the bomb down the smoke stack might have started from the famous film of the Arizona's magazine blowing, it shoots a tremendous shot of smoke out of one of it's smokestacks, some people probably mistook that for evidence that a bomb went down the smokestack and exploded.
     
  10. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,072
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I like this thread!
     
  11. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    The Bf109 was fitted with MG151 cowl guns and a Mk103.
     
  12. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    I'm intrigued about the Flying Tigers and the Zero. I accept that the AVG never flew against the Type 0 before December 1941, but I do know that Chennault is credited with submitting a report on its flying qualities. If his men never saw it, and the report was submitted, where did he get his information from?
     
  13. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Got the info from the Chinese when they flew against it in northern China before WW2 offically started.
     
  15. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,200
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    On 13 September 1940, the Zeros scored their first air-to-air victories when 13 A6M2s led by Lieutenant Saburo Shindo attacked 27 Soviet-built Polikarpov I-15s and I-16s of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force, shooting down all the fighters without loss to themselves. By the time they were redeployed a year later, the Zeros had shot down 99 Chinese aircraft
     
  16. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    #16 vanir, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
    I got this one. Price made the mistake of putting a photo of the first 109K prototype with the old 605D/C3 test motor and it had a couple of MG151. It wasn't flown afaik, just a mock up. Anyway he published it in the 60s and the caption reads 109K. Everyone thought the real 109K we know were the G10 back then, people heard of the K from German vets but few seemed to know what one was.

    You should see the size of de beule on that thing, you wouldn't have seen out the cockpit very well. They must've stuck outwards a foot from the plane each, gigantic breech bulbs in the cowl (think of the G6 bulges and add a seriously thick spacer under them to get the idea). I think it the reason for the mockup was to demonstrate to the RLM that they couldn't put MG151 in the slim 109 nose.
    Anyways what happened as far as the armchair experts went is fairly obvious, but it was dispelled in the 70s when the late war 109s were better understood. Still it persisted occasionally, the K with the cowled 151.

    The MK103m did get tested for the 109K, in a ground frame mockup testbed with a 605D2 engine iirc. The recoil was too harsh and kept tearing the frame apart, but it was okay with a heavier 603 engine/frame.
    So it was never fitted to single 109, even as a test. Never happened.

    How harsh is the MK103 recoil on a small fighter? When they tested them under the wings in Fw190 service trials, because they didn't fire synchronised to each other they yawed the plane so much, that not only didn't the pilot hit much of the target on any pass, but he almost crashed especially if the plane wasn't perfectly level and he didn't concentrate completely on fighting recoil-instability. On one pass as I recall he was on a slight bank so the recoil on the port wing almost stalled him right into the ground and gave him hell of a fright.
    It was actually already being installed on the forthcoming model, some dozen or so units were actually fitted at the time of the service trials and major serial fitment was underway, this kind of changed things and it was cancelled from production with no further examples for the rest of the war. Just that small batch in 43. Baugher talks about this in his really nice blogs on the series.
     
  17. vanir

    vanir Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    705
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne
    One of the funny things I heard about that (uh-oh I'm rumour mongering in a thread designed to prevent it), was that he got accused of turning native by listening to the Chinese reports himself. Popular myth goes that rejection of the Chinese reports on the Zero as fantastic and unreliable were part of the split between conservative elements in the AC/DoD and Chenault. True or False?
     
  18. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Still losing only 25 bombers during that time is pretty impressive. Like a lot of popular myths of the time, a lot of things were taken at face value without question. Later review and research disproves these things.

    Joe, you forgot to mention your research on the "greatness" of the Zero and it's myth of being darn near invincible early in the war versus the F4F.
     
  19. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Virginia, US of A
    13 September 1940 was before WWII started? ;)
     
  20. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,919
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    It actually goes further back than that vanir. Green had them in his 1950s Famous Fighters book.
     
Loading...

Share This Page