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Effectiveness Of Straffing Aircraft Against Ships


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#1 17thfabn

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 2118 PM

How effective were straffing runs against ships?

 

It seems like this mostly happened in World War II.

 

Straffing aircraft could easily take out unprotected personnel. This would include personnel manning light AAA weapons.

 

Could straffing aircraft do any structural damage to ships? I would think cruiser and up would not be very prone to this type of attack on their structures. But destroyer and smaller ships not being as well armored, how much damage could straffing attacks do to them?


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#2 shep854

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 2136 PM

Strafing with heavy MGs and aircraft cannon can be devastating against most ships, which dont have armored hulls or superstructures.
Read up on the Battle of the Bismark Sea and British anti-convoy rais in the North Sea; merchies and light escorts up to destroyers were shredded.
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#3 JasonJ

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 2202 PM

During the Battle of Guadalcanal, ISTR that US fighters strafing reforcing Japanese troop transports were effective. As a response to the loss of transports, the Japanese resorted to use destroyers for transporting troops. Destroyers were of course better armored and faster but they couldn't transport heavy weapons. Japan was still able to use troop transports again later in the campaign which delived a few Chi-Ha tanks on island Those would be destroyed by US 75mm half-tracks. But yeah, strafing by the fighters had fairly good result, unless I'm getting mixed up with the fighters sinking the transports with bombs rather than strafing.

Edited by JasonJ, 09 May 2019 - 2203 PM.

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#4 rmgill

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 2206 PM

B25's with the 75mm and 8+ forward firing .50s.




I would rather suspect the barrage of MG fire would suppress the crew and damage the ship enough to make DC efforts difficult and the damage by the 75 to make enough holes to put the ship at risk. Then the bombs that they'd hit the ship with would spell doom.
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#5 sunday

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 2312 PM

.50 cal AP ball was very effective punching holes in water tubes of propulsion boilers, rendering merchantmen dead in the water.


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#6 Josh

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0035 AM

It wouldn't be super effective against a battleship, but if you read First Team, which covered the first six months post Pearl Harbor in the Pacific - they might have hated Wildcats for being slower and less maneuverable than zeros, but the one universal compliment was they felt the .50s could carve out anything a Wildcat could find to shoot at, airborne or surface borne. Top decks aren't armored and a destroyer doesn't have much between its deck and its machine spaces. At the least, everyone above the hull is going to have to duck.


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#7 Nobu

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0055 AM

I would not want to be the target of a strafing run on a destroyer, but the returns are going to diminish rapidly if the DD has functional AA armament and trained gunners relative to the expertise and training cost of the fighter pilot.

 

Marseille taking the water route back to base to strafe British DDs would probably get him court martialed.


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#8 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0130 AM

The challenge with warships and being strafed is that it's a VERY tight space and sheet metal isn't cover from things like .50 AP. The crew are bunched up which is bad.

From the accounts of well placed rifle fire during ARA Guerrico's transit of the S Georgia Island harbor, multiple aircraft putting fire into a single ship would be bad news for the ship.


From what I understand of Pappy Gunn's operations methods, the Top Turret was arranged forwards so 10 MGs firing foward with the tail gunner used to fire Parthian shots as they flew past the targets.

I've seen more footage of this stuff, let me see what I can find...


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#9 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0137 AM

Here's a video on operations and issues.




Looks like the waist gunners also get in on the firing as they fly past.

Edited by rmgill, 10 May 2019 - 0147 AM.

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#10 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0158 AM

Here's an account:

http://sunsetters38b...nn-and-the-b-25

As we were filing a clearance to return to our station, Col. Gunn walked into Opera­tions and asked for the crew of the 38th Bomb Group B-25 parked nearest to Opera­tions and due to leave that day. We iden­tified it as our aircraft and Col. Gunn stated in no uncertain terms he expected that airplane, 2500 pounds of gun mounts. 12 mechanics from the 38th BG, their baggage, tool kits AND us to be off his base before noon. We protested the airplane could not hold all that stuff, but Gunn ignored our comments, and Base Operations personnel assured us "What Col. Gunn wants, Col. Gunn gets--and we had better "git".
With a frantic effort, transportation was found for 10 mechanics and their baggage on a C-47. The rest of the material and our crew had to fit into that B-25. When the last tool box was squeezed on board, the tail of the aircraft started down as the nose wheel lifted from the parking ramp. The crew was certain the plane could not get off the ground with that load, particularly since because of runway repair the last 1,000 feet was unavailable. We were again reminded everything HAD to go and that "Pappy" often flew with a tail heavy aircraft--just loaded the back end while engines were run­ning which kept the tail from going down. We were also informed EVERYONE used the shortened runway with heavily laden air-craft, and as we had a wind in our favor, no problem!

As I taxied out for take-off, the airplane seemed heavy, the runway extremely short and my position in life most perilous. On the bright side, here was a chance to emulate Jimmy Doolittle's aircraft carrier takeoff. With full throttle, flaps up and cowl flap cracked open a little, I released the brakes for a "Tokyo Raid take-off"--but we didn't fly off the runway as expected--we just rolled along. I called for flaps as we approached the break in the runway and pulled the airplane into the air to avoid the broken spot; however, the plane settled back down on the runway and it took the last 1,000 feet to get airborne again and we slowly gained altitude. At Pappy Gunn's insistence, we pulled a "hot pilot" stunt and had lived through it.

Stories about Gunn were legion. He liked to work on airplanes, often as boss mechanic on a repair or modification job. Having broken his right little finger, he had it set at the hospital with a splint. The splint got in the way as he worked on an engine, so he removed it. The finger healed crooked and bothered Gunn's holding the throttle of an airplane or a wrench or putting his hand in his pocket. He had the finger re-broke and reset, again with a splint--and again it prov­ed so troublesome, he removed it. Back at the hospital he asked that the finger be removed. The staff agreed to fix the finger but would not amputate, whereupon Gunn reportedly cut it off with a pocket knife and had the hospital tidy up. (Legend?--perhaps--but the finger WAS missing.)

Gunn's contributions to the war effort were exceptional. It was he who installed 4 forward firing 50-caliber guns in the nose plus 2 in packets on each side. He also tried 30 water cooled 30's in the bomb bay pointed down to strafe troops in slit trenchs, vibration loosed the skin around the bomb bay dictating abandonment. The first package guns were belt fed from racks inside, barrell ends behind the props. Test fire peeled skin from the fuselage around the guns, the under wing and inner portion of the engine nacell--Gunn corrected that by extending blast tubes beyond the props. First used in the Bismarck Sea , it was a spectacular sucess. Half of the B-25s used as low level bombers, (first called "masthead" later, "skip' bombing) were modified with 8 forward firing .50 caliber guns, but the 38th planes had only one flexable gun in the nose (navigator manned), and a few with a 50 cal pilot- fired. With such a limited armament, the B-25s followed Aussie Beaufighters for strafing pass protection on their bomb runs.

The strafing configuration made the B-25 a most formidable weapon giving it a new lease on life despite it's relative short range. Again Gunn came to the fore-since25s were now low level strafers/bombers, he reasoned they did not need a lower turret. It was removed and a large steel fuel tank was hung from a bomb shackle fixed to the ceiling. The main tanks were refilled from this auxillary source and that tank jettisoned just before reaching the target area. This made possible the Wewak raids in mid-March "44, breaking the back of the Jap air force in New Guinea--they had not anticipated B-25s could reach Wewak and most of their planes were caught on the ground. The system was messy with fumes permeating the fuselage as the tank tore away from the hose fittings, and it was breezy with an open hole in the floor, but it was a spectacular sucess, as witnessed by Gunn installed cameras in B-25 tails, turned on by the pilot after dropping his bombs, resulting in some of the war's most dramatic strike photos.

As a strafer with 500 rounds of ammo per gun in the nose, the center of gravity shifted forward. Gunn reportedly received a wire from Wright Field stating the modification was dangerous and the planes should be grounded. Legend has it Pappy wired back, "Put center of gravity in storage for the duration--we have a war to fight" However some precautions were necessary including keeping the nose wheel on the runway to 120 MPH instead of the usual 80 or 90, and making turns at 170 instead of 120.

Gunn was the first to put the 75 MM in the nose of a B-25. He flew the modified cannon on a raid with the 3rd, his old Group and hit the fire control unit of a Jap destroyer which required it's guns to be controlled individually and ineffectively. The ship was then sunk with a 1000 pound bomb altho Gunn insisted in all official proclamations that he had sunk it with an airborne 75MM. In any case, the incident sold the army on developing the B-25G.

A special purpose weapon, the G was particularly effective against small boats, barge traffic, buildings and fuel depots. Even with an inexperienced navigator as a loader, 3 or 4 rounds could consistantly be put in an 8' circle during a 4000 yard run, altho the manual loading in a rocking airplane was not an enviable task. ( On a test with an army ordinance specialist, Grover got nine shots away on a simulated run emphasizing how crucial was loader ability.)

When Pappy put a 75 in a P-38, his test pilots all disappeared . However he test fired it on the ground and found the P-38 could not take the recoil--even B-25s lost 5 mile per hour momentarily when the gun was fired and an a crew member with his arm on an open side window ledge would have arm hair singed.

The B-25G's capacity as a strafer was more limited than other models since it had to fire at a greater distance from the target . In a strafing run, the regular strafer presented a 3-dimensional target until the nose was pointed at the target when it could out shoot the target with it's huge gun cluster. With a 75Mm, with in range to start firing at a destroyer, the destroyer had more guns than the attacker. As a special purpose weapon, the G could not serve general strafer purposes as could B-25cs and D'.

B-25 strafers destroyed sea traffic, stopped barge traffic and destroyed a large segment of the Japanese Air Force on the ground during the battle for New Guinea--a "loser" that turned into a great success thanks to Pappy Gunn's ingenuity and the diligence of the crews and support echelons.
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#11 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0202 AM

Here's another.

http://sunsetters38b...-mission-review

 

 

Mission #219-A-3 at briefing we were told our target would be enemy shipping in Pusan harbor, Korea, and all hopes for a milk run vanished - missions against enemy shipping could expect heavy gun fire. We would be the lead ship in the second element, Lt. Vandewier as our pilot, and carrying four 500# para demo bombs. The mission would take 8 hours. As you scan the sky from the top turret, your thoughts turn to the war ending and and returning to your loved ones. Then you get that feeling you get on every mission as you approach your target. Lt Vandewier makes his run at low level, bombing and strafing a destroyer escort and from the top turret as I strafe the D.E., all I could see was a wall of gunfire. As you go through that wall of fire you feel like you hit paydirt. On the way back we find our wing man is not with us. we learn later F.O. Bennett and his crew of F.O. Robert Maxon, 2nd Lt. Abraham Rangman , Sgt Lloyd Martin and Pvt Jack Hornback were all K.I.A.

When we landed at Yontan we found numerous holes in our nose section. At debriefing we were told that the mission was a success - the D.E. and other shipping was destroyed. You look forward to seeing the Flight Surgeon to get your alcoholic tranquilzer. After you come to your senses, you realize it could have been you - so close to the war ending. You go back to the tent and await another day and another mission.


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#12 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0207 AM

And another. 
 

http://sunsetters38b...he-bismarck-sea

Orland F. Gage

 

The Japanese never again attempted to reinforce New Guinea from Rabaul

BATTLE OF BISMARCK SEA

The month of March saw the 38th settled into 17 mile Airdrome, but still operating with only two Squadrons. It was to be a very busy month for both the 71st and 405th. The Japanese had lost the battle of Buna and were running short of supplies due to the incessant raids by the 5th AF on supply dumps and harbor installations at Lae and Finchaven.

 


The harbor at Rabaul was crowded with shipping and search planes were constantly monitoring the sea lanes for Japanese convoys attempting to re-supply Lae and Finchaven. On the 1st of March a B-24 located a large convoy of eight to eleven large merchant vessels being escorted by eight destroyers. The 2nd of March the convoy was located and attacked by B-17s and B-24s and two freighters were claimed sunk or damaged. The survivors were picked up and taken to Lae by destroyers. When the battle results were in after the 4th of March, they were the lucky ones.

 

The third of March found the planes of the 38th armed and ready to join the largest combined group of B-17s,B-24s, Australian Beaufighters, a-20s and B-25s that had ever been organized by the 5th AF. The Heavies were to bomb at 8500 feet , the 71st was to bomb from 5,000 ft and the 405th  and four squadrons of A-20s and B-25s of the Third Bomb Group plus Beaufighters of the Royal Australians Air Force were to strafe and skip bomb the flotilla.  The Third Bomb Group had A-20s and B-25s that had been converted to Strafers by Pappy Gunn and they were to prove their worth with a vengeance.

 

The first day of the month shows the 405th flying a 2 hour and thirty minute photo mission to Morobe and 90 photos were taken. The same afternoon the 405th launched one plane on a search mission. No missions were flown on the second day of March.  The morning of the third the 71st and 405th each launched seven (7) B-25s each loaded with four 500 pound bombs, each fused with 5 second delay fuses.

 

One of the 405th planes had to turn back, but the remaining 13 planes flew the Owen Stanley’s without mishap and the 38th joined the armada attacking the Huon Convoy. The P-38’s were flying top cover and kept the Japanese Zeros away from the bombers for the most part although the B-17’s were attacked and two planes were lost.

 

The Australian Beaufighters led the low level attack strafing the antiaircraft positions on the destroyers and merchant vessels. Major Cheli led the 405th in their skip bombing attack followed by the Third Attack with their modified A-20s and B-25s.  The A-20s had been modified with eight forward firing .50 caliber machine guns in the nose. The B-25s had four package guns and four more .50 caliber machine guns in the nose. These planes created havoc when they strafed their way in and then skip bombed their targets.

 

The 71st bombed from medium altitude and scored well before leaving the scene of the slaughter and heading for Durand. The planes were hurriedly rearmed, and Col. O’Neill again led the group back to the area and the 38th continued to sink anything that was floating. Pittman and Middlebrook found a Jap Destroyer leaving the scene of battle and sunk it with a mast high run from bow to stern right down the middle of the destroyer. Garrett Middlebrook’s account follows:

 

The explosion was so great that I was startled in disbelief. Two bombs penetrated below deck into the interior of the ship and exploded a fraction of a second apart. The entire ship seemed to rise several feet, almost out of the water, while a series of other bombs, dropped by our wingman, exploded just along its hull on the opposite side from us sending up water geysers higher than the superstructures, and, at the same time, splitting the outer platting of the vessel with tremendous concussions.

 

The following day on the fourth of March, the 5th AAF returned sinking lifeboats, rafts and anything that the Japanese soldiers or sailors were using to stay afloat. The sharks were numerous and fed well for the next few days. Two more missions were flown by the 405th on 5 March looking for any Japanese who might still be afloat. Sherman stated it best when he said “War is Hell.”

 

The records show that in the period of 1 – 4 March 1943, the 38th in conjunction with other elements of the Fifth Air Force, participated in an attack on a Japanese convoy spotted in the Bismarck Sea.  The entire convoy of transport vessels, cargo ships and escorting destroyers, was completely annihilated; the official score of the 38th in this battle of the Bismarck Sea was four destroyers sunk or damaged and six cargo vessels destroyed or damaged.  For this outstanding performance the group won the commendations of the theater commander, General Douglas MacArthur and General George C. Kenney, then the chief of the Fifth Air Force.

 

(The following eyewitness account of an air attack on the Japanese convoy at the entrance to New Guinea’s Huon Gulf was written for the AP by Capt. W. S. Royalty of Peoria, Ill., navigator in a Mitchell bomber which scored a direct hit on a transport.  Three Japanese light cruisers, seven destroyers, a dozen transport and cargo ships and 102 planes were destroyed during the battle of which he presents one phase.)

 

      SOMEWHERE IN NEW GUINEA, March– We took off as No. 7 in a flight of B-25s about 8:30 a.m.  We had heard several reports as to what the convoy consisted of.  Naturally everyone was a bit nervous in anticipation.

      We knew from previous experiences, that there would be Zeros protecting the ships, but we also knew we were to have some P-38s for top cover.  After the way these P-38s have shown themselves in the past two or three months, it made us feel fairly safe from the Zeros.

Our planes were the first flight over the rendezvous point, which was some distance from the convoy’s last reported position south of Finschafen.  We circled around, waiting for the rest of the planes in the coordinated attack.

      Planes Swarm Out

      As we made the first circle we could see coming from the mountains an almost unbelievable number of planes.  A number of B-17s were getting into formation slightly above us.  Below us three separate flights of B-25s were already in formation and beginning to circle.  Below also were a great number of Beaufighters, A-20s and P-40s, all in formation more or less.

      A few thousand feet above, I counted a number of P-38s in formations of twos, threes and fours.  It was the most concentrated flight of aircraft any of us had ever seen.  After we had circled twice, all the planes started for the convoy at once.  Our flight followed two flights of three B-17s each.

      Cruiser Opens Fire

About 30 miles out, we saw some ships of the convoy.  Nearest to us as we came closer were what seemed to be two cruisers and three destroyers? These ships were making violent maneuvers and their wakes were stringing out 10 to 12 times their lengths.  I counted six transports and cargo vessels on the other side of these warships and at least two more warships still farther on.  The 

warships were moving fast, but the cargo ships seemed to be almost at a standstill.

      We followed along behind the B-17s as they flew parallel to the line of warships and the nearest cruiser threw three broadsides at us – it looked like the whole ship was lighted up.  As we got opposite this ship, the B-17s turned off to go over the convoy.

      Our flight went on for a minute or more and then turned in also.  As we turned, another broadside left the cruiser and immediately afterward, one of the bombs from a B-17 hit that ship at dead center and huge clouds of smoke billowed out.

I didn’t have the time to watch it anymore.  Below I saw almost an endless stream of planes strafing and bombing every ship in the convoy.  A B-25 scored a direct hit on a large transport – and the whole stern blew up and burned fiercely.

      We lined up on three transports and started a bombing run and then I saw seven or eight Zeros at about 12 o’clock (straight ahead) along them.  They started some good dogfights, but other things happening attracted my attention.

      We were just dropping our bombs at the middle transport of three.  Pictures showed later that we made a direct hit and some near misses.

      As we turned to leave for home, we saw at least five ships smoking and three of these flaming.  A-20s, Beaufighters, B-25s and B-17s were still strafing and bombing all the ships I could see.

The Rest of March

The rest of March was relatively quiet, several photo missions were flown to the Trobriand Islands and Dobodura .Weather recon missions and patrol activity we flown on almost every day.  On the 28th and 30th of March the 405th attacked Lae, Salamaua and Finchaven.

 

The 38th continued to fly a few medium altitude missions but were also flying more minimum altitude missions without nose guns. This continued into May of 1943 when the first planes were rotated south to have nose guns installed and the air crews took on a more optimistic view of skip bombing because they could strafe their way into the target. The use of Parafrag Bombs was experimented with and would soon be added to their arsenal of weapons. White Phosphorous had been used but napalm was also being developed and would see wide use in the coming months.


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#13 rmgill

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0211 AM

http://sunsetters38b...of-the-strafers
 

38BG Stories From The Front
 
By: Orland F. Gage
 
136 missions, 9 Zekes, 3 Ships accounted for in Almost Two years of CombatThe pride of the 405th Bomb Squadron “Green Dragon” strafer, the aptly named “Tokio Sleeper” has already compiled enviable combat record of 136 missions in slightly less than two years in the Southwest Pacific area. This is believed to be a world’s record for B-25 Strafers. During this time, she accounted for 9 Jap Zeros destroyed in aerial combat, and definitely sunk two large transports and a destroyer; besides destroying innumerable barges. It all started on a dark, murky night in early August, 1942 when the Tokio Sleeper first landed in Australia. She was one of a Group of B-25s which had just completed the long Pacific hop from the United States. This was the first time that the planes had been brought over with their own combat crews. Little did Captain Bob Herry of Sequin, Texas, realize that he had just brought in the plane destined to become the most famous B-25 in the history of the battle against Japan in the Southwest Pacific?
 
After a month of transition in Northern Australia, the Tokio Sleeper: officially known as B-25C-1, 41-12905, winged her way out of Horn Island on 15 September, 1942 on her first combat mission against the Japs. Buna was bombarded and 905 was successfully starting on a long and glorious career. During the next several months she compiled 42 combat missions as a medium bomber against Buna, Lae, Salamaua, Gasmata, Soputa, the famous Wairopi Bridge, Kokoda, Mambre, Gona, Finschafen and Malahang. Her first bid for SWPA fame came on New Year’s Eve of 1942, when she was the only plane to get over the Owen Stanley Range through very bad weather and bomb strongly defended Lae. Four Jap bombers were destroyed on the ground there by the lone attacker.
 
Shortly after this, all B-25 medium bombers were being converted into Strafers: a minimum altitude bomber fitted with 8 fixed .50 cal. guns in the nose. Before the Tokio Sleeper had a chance to become a strafer, a large Jap convoy was reported to be sighted in the Bismarck Sea. All 5th Air Force planes were alerted for action; and mast high bombing and strafing were to be used for the first time in the Pacific theater. It was firmly believed by General Kenny that the guns in the nose would sufficiently protect the low level Strafers against heavy machine gun fire. However the Tokio Sleeper had no guns in the nose for protection. But still and all, when the command came to attack the huge Jap convoy, she was right in the front line of the Mitchell Strafers.  Her feats that day are among the most famous in the Green Dragon history to date. Captain Bill Brandon of Fort Worth, Texas, and his crew skip-bombed direct hits into a Jap-laden transport, a big destroyer and a large oiler. The transport and the destroyer sunk shortly afterwards, while the oiler was listing badly.
 
The sensational luck of the Tokio Sleeper held out until the memorable raid on Lae, 26 June, 1943. The Japs tried hard to even up the score against old 905 that day. The Nips succeeded in hitting her with everything but the kitchen sink. They shot out her rudder and elevator cables, smashed the turret gunner’s dome and literally riddled her fuselage and right stabilizer with bullets and ack-ack shrapnel. During the ensuing attack by Jap Zeros, her crew shot down in flames two of the attackers. The Tokio Sleeper barely limped home over the Owen Stanleys that afternoon and the pilot, Captain, Ed Adkins of Bakersfield, California, made all of the other crew members bail out despite their strong protests. Captain Adkins then brought her in at 170 mile per hour and saved her for further combat, in one of the prettiest crash landings ever made. Technical Sergeant Clyde A. Gillenwater of Saltsville, Va.and the rest of his maintenance crew immediately started repairing her for another crack at Tojo.  After several days, the Tokio Sleeper was raring to go.
 
The Fifth Air Forces’ first devastating raids on Wewak began a few weeks later. On 17 August, 1943, a large convoy of Jap ships was reported in the harbor at Wewak. In the attack that day, the Tokio sleeper really did herself a masterful job. Lieutenant Roy Grover of Salt Lake city, Utah and his crew laid two 1000 pound bombs right into the side of a large Jap transport which exploded and sunk within two minutes. In pulling up over the stricken ship, Lieutenant Grover had to fly right between the masts and he brought back a long piece of the Jap radio antenna imbedded deep in the right wing of 905 to verify his startling account. The finest set of pictures ever taken by this squadron showed the Jap transport exploding and sinking out of sight within a few minutes.
 
Shortly after the Wewak successes, Yank Magazine conducted a contest to determine which bomber in the SWPA had the most missions to its credit. So the Tokio Sleeper had 77 bombs representing 77 missions painted on her side and was entered in the contest. She was awarded third place, just 7 missions short of the prize-winning entry, a B-24. This publicity stunt almost proved fatal to the career of old 905. The very next day while attacking Wewak again, Lieutenant Grover in the gaudily decorated Tokio Sleeper was picked out and savagely attacked by Jap Zeros. Two Zeros were shot down by the turret gunner in the furious battle that followed. Once again, old 905 limped home badly riddled. Needless to say, the bombs were hastily painted off her side that very same day.
 
The Tokio Sleeper has worn out seven engines so far, and has had many of her parts replaced several times. She has been shot up very badly on ten different occasions besides the many minor damages she managed to pick up along the way. She has hit all of the major targets in the SWPA, including Lae, Wewak, Rabaul, Cape Gloucester, Momote and Hansa Bay.
 
This morning she is winging her way to Hollandia as part of the first minimum altitude bombing-strafing attack on that strong Jap base.  It may well prove to be another famous chapter in the astonishing career of this aptly-named Tokio Sleeper.
   
JOHN F. McCARTHY, Jr.
Captain, Air Corps,
Statistical Control Officer,
405th Bomb Squadron (M).
 
 

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#14 Markus Becker

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0221 AM

As the others said, .50 is rather effective.

https://www.amazon.c...I/dp/0786448873

This author says a Japanese DD was immobilized, so was a merchant in the Adriatic. Both ships were lost.
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#15 Adam_S

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0517 AM

Fighters were used on strafing runs against the Tirpitz IIRC. While they didn't do much damage to the ship, it was reckoned to have caused considerable casualties to AA gun crews.


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#16 shep854

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0916 AM

Fighters were used on strafing runs against the Tirpitz IIRC. While they didn't do much damage to the ship, it was reckoned to have caused considerable casualties to AA gun crews.

During the Battle off Samar, Wildcats strafed the Japanese cruisers and battleships in desperate attempts to distract them from the jeep carriers of Taffy 3.

I believe strafing to suppress AAA was a rather common practice; if nothing else, it gave fighters a chance to get a few licks in.


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#17 RETAC21

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 0949 AM

Fighters were effective against S boats in the Channel, which were a difficult enemy for other boats and larger ships due to their speed and size.


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#18 shep854

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 1107 AM

Fighters were effective against S boats in the Channel, which were a difficult enemy for other boats and larger ships due to their speed and size.

Especially when the U-boats armed up to slug it out with ASW patrol planes, shooting down several.
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#19 Chris Werb

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 1322 PM

How would 8 or 10 x 0.50s compare to 4 x 20mm Hispanos + 6 x 0.303 or 4 x 0.50  in the anti ship role?  


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 10 May 2019 - 1330 PM

I remember when I built the Airfix RAF Rescue launch (a very fine model btw) that they fitted what looked very much like plastic armour on the cabin. Supposedly some of them had been strafed at dunkirk and suffered casualties.


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