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TOPIC: Bombs

Bombs 06 Feb 2018 14:46 #21

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Newark and one from Hendon (I think!)

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Bombs 06 Feb 2018 16:31 #22

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netcompsys wrote: I was asked the other day about bomb types on Halifaxs in 1944/45

The person asked, after seeing notes in a log book and diary, about amerian bombs being carried by the Halifaxs.

Was this common?

Did it present issues of compatibility to the armourers and bomb aimers?

What bomb types were used?


I came across references to American bombs being used by the RAF in my range research. As I can't recall which of the 400+ files it was in my memory is that the main difference was the attachment of the bombs and some sort of adaption so that both British and American bombs could be used without to much hassle. It also begs the question of what % were US types.

The only reference I have of regular bombs going the other way was just the small practice bombs so that they could be used on the smaller ranges by USAAF aircraft. I am ignoring any that may have been used in trial or for special purposes.
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Bombs 07 Feb 2018 08:12 #23

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netcompsys asked:

I was asked the other day about bomb types on Halifaxs in 1944/45

The person asked, after seeing notes in a log book and diary, about amerian bombs being carried by the Halifaxs.

Was this common?

Did it present issues of compatibility to the armourers and bomb aimers?

What bomb types were used?

At start of war the RAF were using the GP series of bombs but these were ineffective compared to those of the enemy due to low charge/weight ration. In development and coming into production was the MC (Medium Capacity) Series bombs having a higher explosive content but due, to manufacturing processes and high pre-war stock levels the GP series availability exceeded the production of the preferred MC series and continued in use.

When the US came into the war it was agreed that their manufacturing capacity would produce medium capacity bombs but compatible for use on both USAAF, US Navy aircraft and adaptable for use on RAF aircraft.

The US system of bomb carriage utilised two suspension lugs whereas the RAF system used a single lug. Consequently US manufactured bombs were provided with two lugs and 180 degrees around was a single lug, Due to bomb bay sizes the RAF, in some cases, could not use the US made Vane type Tail Unit and, instead manufactured special tail units, the Number 54 Mk 1 for the US 500 pound bomb and the No 55 for the US 1000 pound both being a cone and drum type.

The bomb types were the 500 pound AN M 44, M 65 and the 1000 pound bombs the AN M 43,M 64. These were classified as General Purpose (GP) bombs by the US but equated to the British MC series.

Sensibly, through coordination the bombs were built so that either the specified US Fuze could be installed or the British No 52 Pistol with a separate Detonator. There were other differences from the British MC series but generally the bombs were interchangeable.

Different bomb types used by both US and RAF were, as the result of trials testing, supplied with ballistic data and this was used to adjust the bomb sight controls with the differences.

From the armourers perspective apart from the alternate tail unit and choice of fuzing there was no significant difference. The RAF continued to 'fuze' bombs in the bomb store Fuzing Point sheds before transporting and loading in aircraft whereas the US policy, dependent of aircraft type 'fuzed' the bombs at the aircraft before loading or even after loading.
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Last edit: by PETERTHEEATER. Reason: Formatting

Bombs 07 Feb 2018 08:34 #24

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kebecker wrote: Newark and one from Hendon (I think!)


Trolley is a stripped down SABT (Standard Airfield Bomb Transporter.

Assembled bomb (alongside a Valiant) is painted as a live Yellow Sun (YS) nuclear bomb and the other pics show a drill YS with after body and tail unit removed. The term Yellow Sun referred to the bomb casing and tail unit since alternative physics packages could be installed inside.

As a young Junior Technician I gained a Specialist Qualification in 'Victor/Valiant Bomb Loading Techniques on which I was examined to qualify for promotion so YS and BD (Blue Danube) were our main loads. In just a few years, as physics packages became fusion and more powerful bomb sizes shrank to more manageable sizes hastening the demise of the heavy bomber.
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Last edit: by PETERTHEEATER. Reason: To correct a typo

Bombs 29 Jul 2019 19:30 #25

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I am still in search of a definitive answer regarding the filling of Grand Slam.

So far I believe they were filled at:

Thorp Arch
Glascoed
Chorley
Elstow.

Flower claims 99 were built of which 42 were deployed in WW2.

I would really appreciate comment regarding the sites suggested above, and any other known filling sites missing from the list.

Grand Slam used Torpex as the main charge, Does this help us qualify the above list and help us identify other possible?

All comments most welcome.

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Bombs 30 Jul 2019 07:48 #26

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Your list does not include Swynnerton (Filling Factory No 5) which filled many of the Tallboy bombs.

The filling of large bombs with TNT was simplified by its low melting point and it could be poured. Torpex being a mixture of RDX, TNT and AN was powdered and bombs were filled manually with the bomb casing nose down each layer having to be hand-tamped. The technique required skill and experience and I should think that teams were located only at a limited number of Filling Factories having the skills and the facilities with heavy lifting tackles and stands.

Invariably, the Torpex filling would have been 'imported' from ROFs such as Waltham Abbey which had the capacity to produce the mixture that was used also in many other air dropped munitions an Naval stores.

Other Filling Factories included:

Risely FF6

Kirkby FF7

Aycliffe FF8

Queniborough FF10

Brackla FF11

Featherstone FF17

Burghfield FF18
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Bombs 08 Sep 2019 10:18 #27

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I watched a documentary yesterday evening about the digging up of the wreck of a JU88 at Banks which is on the south bank of the Ribble estuary. During the dig they unearthed a 500 kg bomb. The EOD team were of course called out, but it was a Royal Engineers team that responded. Turned out the explosives in the bomb had burned out when the aircraft crashed. Now a question, why did the Royal Engineers respond? Im guessing it was because it was an aircraft bomb, as there is an RLC EOD team at Chester, or Im lead to believe there is I would have thought they would respond first then get the Sappers in?

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