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  • Little known WWII facts.

    Just a thread where anybody can chip in a factoid of WWII for 'fun'.

    Here are three to begin with:

    1) During the Battle of Kula Gulf; the USS Helena was struck by FOUR torpedoes from the Japanese. One was a dude and failed to explode.



    2) More Seafires were lost to landing accidents than combat loses.



    3) There was more Fairey Albacores in the FAA than Fairey Swordfish.



    Bonus: Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier in WWII, was rejected by the Marine Corps, Paratroopers and the Army Infantry didn't want him because he was too short.




    Feel free to post your own factoid. Or correct mine if I am mistaken.
    Last edited by RichardS; 02 Nov 07, 18:55. Reason: Corrected the spelling of Fairey Aviation Company. :)
    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RichardS View Post
    Just a thread where anybody can chip in a factoid of WWII for 'fun'.

    Here are three to begin with:

    1) During the Battle of Kula Gulf; the USS Helena was struck by FOUR torpedoes from the Japanese. One was a dude and failed to explode.



    2) More Seafires were lost to landing accidents than combat loses.



    3) There was more Fairy Albacores in the FAA than Fairy Swordfish.



    Bonus: Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier in WWII, was rejected by the Marine Corps, Paratroopers and the Army Infantry didn't want him because he was too short.




    Feel free to post your own factoid. Or correct mine if I am mistaken.
    Nope, you pretty much nailed it. Re: the USS Helena. After she sank, her bow broke loose from the main part of the ship and given that its water tight doors were still dogged shut and full of air, the bow broke to the surface and was used as a massive float for many of its survivors.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RichardS View Post
      Just a thread where anybody can chip in a factoid of WWII for 'fun'.

      Here are three to begin with:

      1) During the Battle of Kula Gulf; the USS Helena was struck by FOUR torpedoes from the Japanese. One was a dude and failed to explode.




      Feel free to post your own factoid. Or correct mine if I am mistaken.
      Ahh you clarified it as specific to the Kula Gulf battle this time I see. All kidding aside, I'll add to the Helena's story by adding that during the Pearl Harbor attack she was also hit by a torpedo. From www.hazegray.org
      HELENA, assigned to the Pacific Fleet, was at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attacked. She was moored at 1010 Dock Navy Yard on the east side of the harbor, outboard was minesweeper OGLALA (CM-4). By chance, HELENA was in the berth normally assigned to PENNSYLVANIA
      (BB-38) and thus became a prime target for the Japanese planes. Within 3 minutes of the time the first bomb of the attack fell on Ford Island, a lone torpedo plane launched a torpedo that passed under OGLALA and hit HELENA on the starboard side almost amidships, just as the crew raced to battle stations. One engine room and one boiler room were flooded. Wiring to the main and 5-inch batteries was severed, but prompt action brought the forward diesel generator up within 2 minutes, making power available to all mounts. Immediately, they sent up a heavy fire that keep her free of further damage. Outstanding damage control work, and the fact that watertight integrity was promptly insured by the closing of the doors and hatches throughout the ship, kept HELENA afloat.
      Bill

      "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy"

      Billy Currington

      Comment


      • #4
        USS Oglala, moored next to the Helena capsized from the concussion of the torpedo hitting the Helena. The sailors said that the Oglala 'died from fright'.
        Last edited by RichardS; 03 Nov 07, 08:40.
        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

        Comment


        • #5
          At 0900 of the day of the Pearl Harbour attack the crew of the Dutch liner JAGERSFONTEIN opened up with her anti-aircraft guns, becoming the first ally to join the US in its' involvement in WWII.

          http://www.rememberingpearlharbor.org/attack.html
          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

          Comment


          • #6
            A Dutch Liner was in Pearl Harbor?

            Well, talk about lucky! Didn't those Dutch catch a single break in that entire war?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
              A Dutch Liner was in Pearl Harbor?

              Well, talk about lucky! Didn't those Dutch catch a single break in that entire war?

              She was just offshore and inbound during the attack.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

              Comment


              • #8
                JohnBryan, you are correct, even so, Exorcist is also correct, the Dutch just couldn't catch a break!

                While we are speaking of little known facts about air raids on ports:

                The day after the UK declared war on Germany, a group of RAF Wellington and Blenheim bombers set off to attack the German naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. There they attacked the pocket battleship Scheer, and cruisers Hipper and cruiser Emden. One of the Blenheim bombers (N6119) crashed on the Emden's deck. By a strange coincidence the pilot's name was Flying Officer H. L. Emden.

                http://www.lancastermuseum.ca/prince.html
                Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                  The day after the UK declared war on Germany, a group of RAF Wellington and Blenheim bombers set off to attack the German naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuttel. There they attacked the pocket battleship Scheer, and cruisers Hipper and cruiser Emden. One of the Blenheim bombers (N6119) crashed on the Emden's deck. By a strange coincidence the pilot's name was Flying Officer H. L. Emden.

                  http://www.lancastermuseum.ca/prince.html
                  Now that is a cool if not bizarre fact. I never heard that one.
                  ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
                  ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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                  • #10
                    Built in 1907, she was originally a passenger steamer named Massachusetts that was later bought, converted to a minelayer, commissioned into the US Navy in December of 1917, & renamed USS Shawmut in January 1918. She was sent to Great Britain in June 1918 to assist in planting a gigantic anti-submarine mine field in the North Sea.


                    USS Shawmut returned to the states at wars end & served as an aircraft tender, in addition to her minelaying mission. She was also upgraded with internal combustion engines which eliminated the need for one of her stacks. She was renamed USS Oglala in January 1928 to avoid confusion arising because of another vessel with a name sounding quite similar... USS Chaumont. She served as principle minelayer in the Pacific Fleet until her wounds received at Pearl.



                    Actually, the old girl just heeled over & passed out from the concussion after being moved aft of USS Helena, this, to keep her from pinning the cruiser to 1010 dock.



                    Her hull was only 8' from USS Helena's when the torpedo struck the latter vessel.


                    She was raised, permanently repaired on the west coast & re-designated ARG-1 in May of 1943. USS Oglala was recommissioned in February of 1944, & sent into the Pacific to help take the fight to those that had accosted her in company with USS Helena. She arrived at Milne Bay, New Guinea, in April 1944, where she began tending patrol, mine, & landing craft. In July 1944, she moved to Hollandia, New Guinea, & then to Leyte, Philippine Islands in December 1944.



                    USS Oglala was decommissioned on the west coast in 1946 & remained in reserve until sold for scrap in 1965.


                    Though she initially suffered with the deficiencies stemming from her civilian origins, they were corrected after her resurrection at Pearl & repair/upgrades on the west coast. USS Oglala was a tough old girl & served proudly.

                    An excellent thread, Richard!

                    Y'ARR!

                    Last edited by Admiral; 04 Nov 07, 23:45. Reason: Spellin & clarity
                    On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                    ACG History Today

                    BoRG

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Admiral View Post
                      Built in 1907, she was originally a passenger steamer named Massachusetts that was later bought, converted to a minelayer, commissioned into the US Navy in December of 1917, & renamed USS Shawmut in January 1918. She was sent to Great Britain in June 1918 to assist in planting a gigantic anti-submarine mine field in the North Sea.


                      USS Shawmut returned to the states at wars end & served as an aircraft tender, in addition to her minelaying mission. She was also upgraded with internal combustion engines which eliminated the need for one of her stacks. She was renamed USS Oglala in January 1928 to avoid confusion arising because of another vessel with a name sounding quite similar... USS Chaumont. She served as principle minelayer in the Pacific Fleet until her wounds received at Pearl.



                      Actually, the old girl just heeled over & passed out from the concussion after being moved aft of USS Helena, this, to keep her from pinning the cruiser to 1010 dock.



                      Her hull was only 8' from USS Helena's when the torpedo struck the latter vessel.


                      She was raised, permanently repaired on the west coast & re-designated ARG-1 in May of 1943. USS Oglala was recommissioned in February of 1944, & sent into the Pacific to help take the fight to those that had accosted her in company with USS Helena. She arrived at Milne Bay, New Guinea, in April 1944, where she began tending patrol, mine, & landing craft. In December 1944, she moved to Hollandia, New Guinea, & then to Leyte, Philippine Islands in July 1944.



                      USS Oglala was decommissioned on the west coast in 1946 & remained in reserve until sold for scrap in 1965.


                      Though she initially suffered with the deficiencies stemming from her civilian origins, they were corrected after her resurrection at Pearl & repair/upgrades on the west coast. USS Oglala was a tough old girl & served proudly.

                      An excellent thread, Richard!

                      Y'ARR!

                      What a fine, old gal'!
                      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                        2) More Seafires were lost to landing accidents than combat loses.
                        If I recall correctly accidents and failures caused more aircraft losses on all sides than actual combat losses.
                        Wisdom is personal

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                        • #13
                          Excellent stuff Wes. I love my second service almost as much as the 1st and really enjoy the "old ones" history's
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's an odd one of a "WWII Witch" named Helen Duncan. She had classified knowledge of a sunken ship, HMS Barham, supposedly because she talked to the ghost of a sailor that died on the ship.


                            "In March of 1944 Mrs. Helen Duncan, a well-known Scottish spiritualist and medium, went on trial in London’s Old Bailey for conspiracy to violate the 1735 Witchcraft Act."

                            "During one séance held shortly after the Barham’s loss in late 1941 she reportedly summoned the spirit of a sailor who announced, “My ship is sunk” to the astonished audience. The sailor reportedly wore a Royal Navy hatband with the name “HMS Barham.” This episode occurred while Barham’s loss remained a heavily guarded secret. When news of the event reached the Admiralty, they feared Duncan’s séances would unravel their extensive measures of concealment."

                            Here's the WWII Magazine article that I first read about it and the source of the quotes above.
                            http://webatomics.com/jason/barhamconspiracy.html

                            And a couple related links.
                            http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/helend...rafttrial.html

                            http://books.google.com/books?id=NDP...U#PRA1-PA44,M1

                            I should have posted this one for Halloween....


                            Enjoy!
                            Battles are dangerous affairs... Wang Hsi

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                            • #15
                              Just some more Mini-tidbits.

                              1) In October of 194o, US Conscripts were writing OHIO on barracks walls. OHIO=Over (the) Hill In October; it referred to the end of the period of draft in the US Military.

                              2) The Draft was extended by ONE vote in Congress. Every vote does count in this case.

                              3) The first enemy plane confirmed shot down by the British in WWII was a DO-18 flying boat coded K6+YK shot down by Skuas from Number 800 and 803 Squadrons FAA.

                              K6+YK


                              Skua


                              4) The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) was not completely restored to the Admiralty till 24th of May, 1939. The previous Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) was joined with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) to form the Royal Air Force on April 1st, 1918. Which was refered by the Royal Navy as a great disaster for the navy.

                              5) The only difference between the Roc and the Skua was the Skua had the 4 guns mounted in the wings. That and the turret of the Roc made it a disaster to fly. Oh, the Skua could be used a dive bomber. Skua's sank the German cruiser Konigsberg.

                              Konigsberg on fire and sinking.



                              A most excellent page on the Skua from which most of the images are found.
                              http://freespace.virgin.net/john.del...kburn_skua.htm
                              Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                              "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                              What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                              Comment

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