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Black Friday - June 1st 1945

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  • Black Friday - June 1st 1945

    What is thought to be the biggest single day loss of P-51 Mustangs and pilots took place over the Pacific on June 1st 1945. 27 aircraft and 25 pilots failed to return on this day. (One pilot who failed to return on June 1st was later rescued after 6 days in the water). And the losses were not due to enemy action but the weather. A reminder that it was not just the other guy you needed to watch out for.

    Loss record for one of the Mustangs

    506th Fighter Group's history of that day

    Last edited by CarpeDiem; 01 Jun 16, 08:11.

  • #2
    Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post
    What is thought to be the biggest single day loss of P-51 Mustangs and pilots took place over the Pacific on June 1st 1945. 27 aircraft and 25 pilots failed to return on this day. (One pilot was later rescued). And the losses were not due to enemy action but the weather. A reminder that it was not just the other guy you needed to watch out for.

    Loss record for one of the Mustangs

    506th Fighter Group's history of that day

    even with one pilot rescued those figures either mean that one aircraft was pilotless or one pilot returned without his aircraft!
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MarkV View Post
      even with one pilot rescued those figures either mean that one aircraft was pilotless or one pilot returned without his aircraft!
      My apologies for the lack of clarity in my first post. If you read the second link one of the pilots who failed to return was later rescued after 6 days in the water for an actual loss of 24 pilots. I will edit the first post to make that clear.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CarpeDiem View Post
        My apologies for the lack of clarity in my first post. If you read the second link one of the pilots who failed to return was later rescued after 6 days in the water for an actual loss of 24 pilots. I will edit the first post to make that clear.
        Makes the figures even odder - in that case two planes were unpiloted or two pilots came back without an aircraft!
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MarkV View Post
          Makes the figures even odder - in that case two planes were unpiloted or two pilots came back without an aircraft!
          Two pilots were picked up and returned to their units so they were not listed as failed to return. So yes two pilots did come back without an aircraft.

          Or to put it simply. The aircraft were lost and failed to return. On June 1st. The pilots were not lost and returned to their units. Just not in the aircraft they left in. So they were not listed as failed to return. For that day.

          So squadron records for that day would show that more aircraft failed to return on June 1st than pilots.
          Last edited by CarpeDiem; 01 Jun 16, 08:58.

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          • #6
            Here is another unfortunate mission (different aircraft) by the The Douglas TBD Devastator's during the battle of Midway 4 June 1942 in two days will be 74 years ago.

            Excerpts taken from here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_TBD_Devastator
            The Devastator performed well in some early battles, but earned notoriety for its catastrophically poor performance in the Battle of Midway, in which the 41 Devastators launched during the battle produced zero successful torpedo hits and only six survived to return to their carriers. Vastly outclassed in both speed and maneuverability by the Mitsubishi Zero fighters they faced, the vast majority of the force was wiped out with little consequence except to distract the Zeros from the much more capable (and survivable) SBD Dauntless dive bombers that eventually sank four Japanese carriers and a heavy cruiser. Although a small portion of the Devastator's dismal performance was later attributed to the many well-documented defects in the US Mark 13 torpedo, the aircraft was immediately withdrawn from frontline service after Midway, being replaced by the Grumman TBF Avenger
            At Midway, a total of 41 Devastators, the majority of the type still operational, were launched from Hornet, Enterprise and Yorktown to attack the Japanese fleet.[16] The sorties were not well coordinated, in part because Rear Admiral Raymond A. Spruance ordered a strike on the enemy carriers immediately after they were discovered, rather than spending time assembling a well-coordinated attack involving the different types of aircraft - fighters, bombers, torpedo planes - reasoning that attacking the Japanese would prevent a counterstrike against the US carriers. The TBDs from Hornet and Enterprise lost contact with their escort and started their attacks without fighter protection.[17][18]

            The Devastator proved to be a death trap for its crews: slow and hardly maneuverable, with poor armor for the era; its speed on a glide-bombing approach was a mere 200 mph (320 km/h), making it easy prey for fighters and defensive guns alike. The aerial torpedo could not even be released at speeds above 115 mph (185 km/h).[19] Torpedo delivery requires a long, straight-line attack run, making the aircraft vulnerable, and the slow speed of the aircraft made them easy targets for the Mitsubishi A6M Zeros. Only four TBDs made it back to Enterprise, none to Hornet and two to Yorktown, without scoring a torpedo hit.[20]

            Nonetheless, their sacrifice was not completely in vain, as several TBDs managed to get within a few ship-lengths range of their targets before dropping their torpedoes, being close enough to be able to strafe the enemy ships and force the Japanese carriers to take sharp evasive maneuvers.[21] By obliging the Japanese to keep their flight decks clear and to continually cycle and reinforce their combat air patrols, they prevented any Japanese counter-attacks against the American carriers, just as Spruance had anticipated. These windows of opportunity were exploited by the late-arriving Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers led by Lieutenant Commander C. Wade McClusky and Max Leslie, which dive-bombed and fatally damaged three of the four Japanese carriers about one hour after the first TBD torpedo attacks had developed.[22] While the Devastators faced the stiff defenses of the carriers and their fighters, their attacks served to distract the Japanese attention from the Dauntlesses, resulting in relatively lighter resistance and more effective attacks that crippled the Japanese carriers.
            Regards, Kurt
            Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
              Here is another unfortunate mission (different aircraft) by the The Douglas TBD Devastator's during the battle of Midway 4 June 1942 in two days will be 74 years ago.

              Excerpts taken from here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_TBD_Devastator



              Regards, Kurt
              The low speed when dropping a torpedo was a function of the torpedo design rather than the aircraft, The mechanisms inside the fish couldn't take hitting the water any faster. In WW1 some British torpedo attacks made from float planes were carried out by the aircraft actually alighting on the water before dropping the torpedo.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

              Comment


              • #8
                Incredible.
                I ignored that grim day totally.
                Thanks for the enlightement Carpe!
                That rug really tied the room together

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                  The low speed when dropping a torpedo was a function of the torpedo design rather than the aircraft, The mechanisms inside the fish couldn't take hitting the water any faster. In WW1 some British torpedo attacks made from float planes were carried out by the aircraft actually alighting on the water before dropping the torpedo.
                  Japanese WW2 air launched torpedoes were known for being able to be dropped at much higher speeds than their Allied counterparts.

                  45 cm (17.7") Type 91 (1931) Mod 3 Improved, Mod 3 Strong, Mod 4 Strong and Mod 7 Strong

                  Compared to Mod 3, Mod 3 Improved had a heavier explosive charge, the top side of the afterbody and engine room strengthened with longitudinal T bars to permit 300 knot launching speed. This was followed in 1944 by the Mod 3 Strong which had I instead of T bars for strengthening the top side of the afterbody and also the underside of the warhead nose, the air vessel was thinned with reduced pressure and range. These modifications allowed a 350 knot launching speed. Mod 4 was the same torpedo with a heavier explosive charge. Mod 7 Strong had a longer, heavier warhead.
                  http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTJAP_WWII.php

                  Although, it should be noted that such increases in the allowable drop speed would be wasted, as these would be higher than the maximum level airspeed attainable by the launch aircraft.
                  Last edited by At ease; 02 Jun 16, 06:59.
                  "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                  "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                  "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                  Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by At ease View Post
                    Although, it should be noted that such increases in the allowable drop speed would be wasted, as these would be higher than the maximum level airspeed attainable by the launch aircraft.
                    Except possibly the Aichi B7A2 Ryusei ("Shooting Star") "Grace"
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by At ease View Post
                      Japanese WW2 air launched torpedoes were known for being able to be dropped at much higher speeds than their Allied counterparts.


                      http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTJAP_WWII.php

                      Although, it should be noted that such increases in the allowable drop speed would be wasted, as these would be higher than the maximum level airspeed attainable by the launch aircraft.
                      But if they dove from altitude to avoid flak, leveled out and launched?

                      I doubt the Japanese went to that trouble if they didn't have a good reason.
                      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                      • #12
                        As far as I am aware, torpedoes needed to be dropped only after a steady, stable approach to allow the onboard gyros to settle.

                        A precipitous drop followed by a launch, or any pre drop flak avoidance, would not allow the gyros to settle - thus introducing errors into the guidance system.
                        "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                        "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                        "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                        Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                          Except possibly the Aichi B7A2 Ryusei ("Shooting Star") "Grace"
                          In common with all gear driven supercharged piston engined aircraft^^, it's speed at sea level will be less than that able to be obtained at critical altitude - where the air is less dense(= less aerodynamic drag) but the decreased air density being compensated for by supercharger boost.

                          The "Wiki" lists the maximum speed at 306knots(352mph), but this will be at rated altitude, not sea level and especially not when a 2000lb torpedo is hangin' in the breeze.

                          Most sources that are not comprehensive usually quote the highest speed as highlighted in bold below.

                          There is, of course, nothing wrong in that, as long as the wider perspective is clearly understood.

                          As a general comparison compare the speed increase with an increase in altitude as shown by a comprehensive test of an aircraft with a similar engine/gear driven supercharger - the F4U Corsair

                          Chance Vought Aircraft
                          Stratford, Connecticut
                          April 1, 1943
                          Report No. 6195

                          Detail Specification
                          For
                          Model F4U-1 Airplane

                          SUMMARY

                          High Speed at sea level, mph* 311
                          High Speed at 7,400 ft., mph* 336
                          High Speed at 8,250 ft., mph* 333
                          High Speed at 20,000 ft., mph* 378
                          High Speed at 21,100 ft. (mph)* 375
                          High Speed at maximum engine rated altitude,
                          21,500 ft. mph* 376
                          High Speed at airplane critical altitude,
                          24,350 ft. (mph)* 388
                          http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/f4u/f4u.html

                          Conversion knots to mph -

                          https://www.google.com.au/search?q=c...LcnN8geooZfwDA

                          Note that an aircraft as capable as the F4U in "fighter" configuration can only reach 270 knots at sea level.

                          I would be surprised if the Japanese aircraft, as promising as it seemed, was actually able to reach even this much when carrying a torpedo.

                          ^^ Exceptions being limited to aircraft such as the Merlin 45M powered versions of the Supermarine Spitfire known as "clipped, cropped, clapped" that were "overboosted" at low altitude and as flown at one stage by Pierre Clostermann.

                          http://spitfiresite.com/2008/05/clip...pped-yo-q.html
                          Last edited by At ease; 02 Jun 16, 12:20.
                          "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                          "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                          "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                          Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The reason the Japanese torpedoes were effective was because when planning for the Pearl Harbor attack they experimented and found that attaching wooden extensions to the tail fins stabilized the torpedoes and kept them from going to deep. This was an improvisational measure but it worked and was very effective. Pearl Harbor is actually a shallow bay and for that reason it was considered impossible for planes to drop torpedoes. It was this thinking that prevented the US Navy to install torpedo nets in the harbor. Of course the Japanese were well aware of this and spent many days testing and experimenting with the wooden extensions to get them "just right" for the close combat shallow bay raid that was to be executed on 7 December 1941.

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jcrwdc6w9A



                            Regards,Kurt
                            Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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