The concept of bombing via radar originated as a solution to the problems noted in the Butt Report, as researchers under Prof. Phillip I. Dee noted that their ground-based, short-wave radar stations showed strong returns from nearby towns. II V Spencer-Churchill CP on 15 September authorized H2S for operational usage, demanding radar-equipped aircraft by 15 October This goal was not met and the first sets went to aircraft of Coastal Command, thought to be the safer option.
Regardless of these concerns, an intact radar is recovered by the Germans on 2 February - the night of H2S's second usage. While large cities and bodies of water give strong readings on the scopes, other images are more difficult to interpret.
The US later adopts its own variant, H2X, in late, favoring the Pathfinder system of radar-equipped lead bombers. This is the first daylight air raid on Berlin. Having completed 11 sorties under 2LT William J. Crumm, the crew is chosen to author a report entitled "Bombing the Nazis," instructing ETO-bound crews on what to expect overseas.
While her crew returned home, Jack The Ripper stayed behind, shown here with another crew. This day also sees the first use of twin-engine night-fighters like the Ju and Bf in the day fighter role against US bombers.
The astounding resiliency of the B proves a difficult problem for German interceptors. The Battle of Britain had highlighted the deficiencies in coupling.
Early interceptions revealed the ubiquitous MG 17 7. Day fighter variants designed to compensate generally feature large bulges in the nose and wings to accommodate the larger armament, with the Bf G-6 entering service later this month and the FWA-6 entering service in July. Note the gun pods mounted beneath the belly and the missiles beneath the wings. These missiles are first used on 21 May She survived and returned home. The first test pilots, Eddie Allen and his team had final say over all aspects of aircraft design at Boeing.
Allen, is killed along with 27 others. Despite her short visit, no B sees combat in the ETO. Erwin E. Rommel conceived the push through the Kasserine Pass as a means of slowing the Allied advance in Algeria, which up to this point had encountered little resistance, while also using the opportunity to resupply Axis forces in the region. The Battle for Kasserine Pass is the first major US engagement against German forces in the war and it proves to be a disaster.
Fredenhall, whose command is temporarily taken over by MG George S. Sir Harold R. US forces reoccupy Kasserine Pass on 25 February The so-called "Writing 69th" familiarize themselves with their flight gear. Post Walter L. Cronkite, Jr. Homer W. Bigart Paul Manning. This operation had been delayed over a week due to poor weather and still yet, poor weather forces the bombers to divert to their secondary target: the submarine pens of Wilhelmshaven. This strike sees the first instance wherein press officials are allowed to accompany an 8AF combat operation.
Bowing to pressure from the American news media, the USAAF required a select group of reporters take a week-long course in high altitude survival training prior to the operation. One of the reporters, Bob P. This directive is eventually relaxed in the coming months. Arnold has the first of a series of heart attacks that will eventually take his life. At 56 years old, he looks far older, a testament to his fiery temper and exhaustive work ethic.
Kai-shek dismissed the Germany-first policy and, amidst a host of other outrageous demands, insisted on concentrating all the power in China under favored US commander BG Claire L. Upon return to Washington, DC, Arnold had traveled 27, mi in 40 days. Roosevelt D-NY grants Arnold a waver, allowing him to keep his job despite what should have been grounds for early-retirement.
Arnold during his inspection tour. Bissell 10AF. Susabella sits damaged by the explosion of 16 November Combat testing on 10 April over Wewak, New Guinea proves the success of the modification and all further Pacific-bound Bs are depot-altered this way before going into combat.
Consolidated later updates their design, with the first nose-turret equipped Bs — the Ford BH and the Consolidated BJ — rolling off the assembly-line in June This is the first raid of a sustained campaign against the cities of the Ruhr Valley interspersed with strikes outside the valley to confuse German predictions.
Lacking the long winter nights necessary to launch deep-penetrations, OBOE at least offers the possibility of accurate bombing within a range of miles. This tactic, with little modification, will be expanded upon and remain in use for the duration of the war. In fact, economically speaking, the Ruhr Valley campaign of is second only to the US Oil Campaign of in terms of crippling Germany's ability to wage war. Cities like Duisburg and Dortmund, heavily bombed on 12 May and 23 May, are crucial to steel production, with postwar surveys later acknowledging that a bomber offensive specifically targeting steel production had been a missed opportunity.
This crisis included not only a halting of locomotive and shell fuse production as well as significant delays in tank and armament production but the reallocation of over 8, 88 mm artillery guns from the Eastern front.
Another recording is made aboard the same aircraft on the night of 20 April, during a raid on Stettin intended to divert attention away from the Ruhr campaign. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, upon seeing the ruins of his Essen plant following the night of 25 July , suffers a stroke from which he never recovers.
This spares him from a postwar trial over his use of slave labor. Grow right inspects a heated flight-suit prototype. CPT Edward F.
Group flight surgeons are instructed to submit reports on combat crew life expectancy, averaging rates of survival per mission. A report submitted to the JCS on 27 December calculates the average loss rate of 3. This latter issue is handled with surprising effectiveness. When the standard US Army policy of three day furloughs resulted in public drunkenness and misbehavior in , local English manors were rented and turned into rest homes.
Called "flak farms," these estates house groups of airmen in 10 day intervals, with psychiatric check-ups determining when they are fit to return to duty. This makes sense. While the numbers of replacement aircraft and crews steadily begin to grow in May , they do not overtake loss levels until the end of the year.
This is why, even though losses in early easily eclipse those of , these strikes never reach the same infamous status as those of the previous year — this is because the loss percentages drop. In response to these dropping loss rates, the 8AF tour-of-duty is eventually increased, first to 35 missions in July , then to 50 in December A point of confusion for many historians, Hot Stuff 's unit was actually on loan to the 9AF in North Africa at the time of the mission tour announcement.
This, combined with her racy noseart, results in Hot Stuff not reaching nearly as much press as later bombers who accomplish this same feat. Unfortunately, Hot Stuff crashes near Reykjanes, Iceland during the flight, killing all but one of her crew and passengers. Among those lost is Andrews himself, who many believe was slated to command the invasion of France the following year.
Hot Stuff and her crew. Eisel front row, second from left survives. Rather than return home, Roskovich accepts a commission as an officer, staying with the group until 4 February , when he is killed in an accident over Scotland. Distrusted by Allied pilots because of its large size and ungainly appearance, US Supermarine Spitfire units are nevertheless converted to Ps.
No enemy aircraft are encountered on either of these patrols — an occurrence common to all RODEO operations. This, combined with its superb armament, makes the P an excellent high-altitude dogfighter. Unfortunately, the new fighter still has teething problems. The fighter is markedly different from any of its predecessors, and while pilots slowly adjust to it, ground crews struggle to adapt auxiliary fuel tanks and VHF radio systems into the design. These issues are slowly corrected throughout summer but painfully slow progress is made increasing P's range.
Ps of the 56FG - the first 8AF unit equipped with the fighter. This day sees the first organized interception of US bombers, resulting in the highest losses yet suffered on an 8AF strike. Missing guests and drunken outbursts from the survivors result in a vocal crisis of confidence in the 8AF's ability to wage war. Eaker is not in attendance, being back in the US to present his plan to implement the Casablanca Directive.
One of the bombers lost is Invasion 2nd , 91BG , whose crew was supposed to attend the aforementioned party, held at her airbase. This was dangerous work, as cinematographer Harold J. Arnold suffers his second heart attack of the war. Max Andrews. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that our bombing outfit in the Eighth Air Force is assuming a state of routine repetition. Has Monk Hunter lost his spirit — his dash?
I know he is not the Monk Hunter I used to know. He seems to be playing it safe on most of his missions. Is not the same thing true of Bomber Command? Does it not lack an aggressive leader? GEN Henry H. Arnold at his desk in Washington, DC. Eaker's presentation in Washington 29 April had earned him some sympathy, but the conviction remained.
On 2 May - the day before Andrews's death - Arnold again warned:. These staffs will either make or break the commanders and in view of the complex and difficult job facing everyone in England, you will need to the best brains you can get, and emotion and friendship must not in any way be allowed to enter into the picture. Arnold had a reputation for impatience and the 8AF was certainly a habitual target of his temper.
The degree to which his failing health played into this is unknown, nor is the degree to which Arnold was receiving inaccurate intelligence reports. What is clear is that Arnold was pushing for operations beyond the 8AF's ability at the time. Hansell, one of the authors of AWPD, went so far as to recommend standing down all operations until the 8AF's numerical and fighter escort problems were met.
In light of Soviet Premier Joseph V. Stalin's fierce demands for a second front, this otherwise logical decision could not be done. Even while acknowledging the soundness of Eaker's presentation, Arnold questions Eaker's numerical requirements. Arnold returns to active duty on 27 May The crew of Hell's Angels celebrate the completion of their combat tour. BG Fred L. Anderson, Jr. Five By Five , 94BG. This day also sees the first major influx of replacement aircraft and crews from the US.
The new airmen perform poorly, abandoning the mission in droves when their lead bomber aborts under technical issues. It will take time for these replacements to learn their trade.
Partially in attempt to keep the flow of replacement aircrews at a high rate and partially due to the lack of experienced instructors, frightfully large numbers of airmen enter combat without instrument-ratings and experience in formation flight or multi-engine aircraft.
Likewise, aerial gunners are often trained with little more than shotguns and clay pigeons to teach the concept of deflection. Even the incident noted above is a common result of aerial gunners not being taught that aircraft weaponry cannot be lubricated lest it freeze at altitude.
Virtually all of the US air forces set up theater orientation programs to account for these issues. Even by the war's end, few commanders are satisfied with the quality of their replacement crews. Regardless of these failures, US air training is still more intense than the war's other combatants.
This brings an end to the North African campaign after two years, 11 months, and three days. Rommel, escapes capture, having been absent from North Africa for some two months. Wg Cdr Guy P. Gibson is later killed during a raid on Bremen, Germany at the age of Wallis of Vickers Wellington fame , who had developed a rather ingenious method of bypassing the torpedo-nets that protect the dams. Rather than torpedoing the dams, a 6, lb drum-shaped bomb UPKEEP is skipped across the water and torpedo-nets below , sinking at the foot of the dam and detonating where the dam is most vulnerable: below the waterline.
In order for the bomb to properly skip, an electric motor spins the bomb backwards at a speed of rpm prior to release. Gibson, to train and utilize his "dambuster" bomb. The bombers are to follow the rivers on approach, using a clever marker-light combination to determine altitude. The strike is comprised of three forces:. Some 1, people drown in the attack, with of them being foreign laborers and POWs.
Despite this setback, the raid is heralded as a great success by the British media. Todd as Guy P. The film is rather well-made in regard to accuracy and is regarded as something of a British classic. The mission tour-of-duty has been subjected to a great deal of misunderstanding in the years after the war. While the concept originated with the 8AF, this system was by no means applicable to all US air forces.
Likewise, combat tours based on sorties have been criticized due to the discrepancy in aerial victories made by Axis and Allied fighter pilots. Acknowledging that this discrepancy is at least in part due to different definitions of "aerial victory," it is worth noting that the US did not actually discharge airmen when they completed their tours.
Rather, they were usually given the option of staying with their unit or returning to the US to serve as instructors. The wisdom of this decision becomes blatantly evident later in the war when experienced German and Japanese airmen are increasingly killed and replaced with trainees lacking the skill of their US counterparts. The author of this website is proud to have played a small part in this restoration. The crew of the Memphis Belle pose with their aircraft shortly after completing their final mission.
William Wyler center stands beside Bad Penny , 91BG , which is carrying cameras in its nose, waist, tail, and radio positions. Spectators sign their names on Memphis Belle during a promotional tour stop across the US. Back row, left to right: Lt-Gen Hastings L. Dudley P. Marshall, Jr. With the fall of North Africa earlier this month, frictions come to a head between US and British leaders over the best strategy for invading the European continent. Churchill still favored an invasion through Italy, operations against which were already underway, whilst the US service chiefs favored a cross-channel invasion of France.
This latter act is helped by the approval of the "Eaker Plan," otherwise known as the "Combined Bomber Offensive. In doing so, they discourage using 8AF as a pool from other theaters can pull resources. While the bombers are intended to be on loan for no more than 15 days, they actually stay in North Africa some four months.
That will do for the moment. I played in a tournament last night at the local casino and won - so I will recount this feat in my next blog I started writing this a couple days ago before the tournament, so, within the breadth of this entry, I have gone from the darkness of bad beat despair and now can see, in the distance, the shining light of the poker gods.
Oh, and the difference between other blogs? Well, none really. My poker observations will be just as inane, my bad beat stories just as predictable ' and then he got a runner-runner flush!!! Sorry to get your hopes up. There you go. Happy now? Posted by The Royal Sampler at pm. Newer Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Additional Specs. Maximum Pressure psi. Interested in Ordering this Product?
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