By William B. Colgan
One of the offensive aerial missions hired in global struggle II, air-to-ground gun combating used to be some of the most precious. Strafing, which concerned the broad harm of floor, air and naval forces through pilots flying in lethal, low-altitude skies, helped the Allies to their victory. This old textual content examines the position of strafing in strive against, quite in the course of international warfare II, but additionally through the Korea and Vietnam wars. the character of gunnery, strafing and gunfighting are explored in the context of specific missions and activities. First-hand debts and gun digital camera movie facts give a contribution to the exploration of this most deadly kind of wrestle and honor the braveness of America's veterans who served as pilots or aerial crewmen.
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Extra resources for Allied Strafing in World War II: A Cockpit View of Air to Ground Battle
The center point of the four guns in each wing was just over 18 feet apart, firing outside a 12- or 13-foot diameter propeller. All guns were about four feet below the gun sight. Each gun had to be aligned inward to take care of some nine feet in azimuth, plus corrected for four feet in elevation. The procedure to do this was no quick adjustment on a parked aircraft. Each plane had to be jacked up and carefully leveled; then sight and guns were aligned by "bore sighting" (looking through barrels with a special device) to converge on a common point.
The second wave of 170 planes lost 20 (6 fighter, 14 dive-bomb). These Zero and Val losses were a marked increase over the first wave; and the difference in Val losses, 1 versus 14, is fair evidence that the second wave was a much different fight—more like the deadly nature of World War I strafing. S. forces in other parts of the Pacific. Wake Island was hit about noon, 8 December, by low-flying aircraft. Bombs and guns combined to destroy seven of the 12 F4F-3 Wildcat fighters of Marine Squadron VMF-211 based there.
Air Force). had scored bomb hits on two cruisers, one transport, and the destroyer Kisaragi, which exploded and sank with all hands. 50caliber guns. In the Philippines the initial Japanese high-level bombing attack on Clark Field on 8 December did extensive damage to base facilities. S. B-17s there actually escaped destruction or major damage and remained flyable. But when enemy Zero pilots, who had received recent intensive airground gunnery training in Formosa, followed up with aggressive and effective low-level canon/machine-gun attacks, most all B-17s were burned or otherwise destroyed.