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Helldiver Debut at Rabaul

Details of the combat debut of the U.S. Navy’s Curtiss SB2C Helldiver dive bomber at the Battle of Rabaul from Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin, February 1944.

HELLDIVER
The Navy’s New Dive Bomber Makes Debut In Smash at Rabaul

The Navy’s newest air weapon, the Curtiss Helldiver (SB2C), is in action. With the Vought Corsair (F4U) and Grumman Hellcat (F6F) fighters and the Grumman Avenger (TBF) torpedo bomber, it completes, to date, the Navy’s war-born aerial attack team. All four planes incorporate the lessons of modern warfare taught by battle experience since Pearl Harbor.

A fifth Navy combat plane placed in service since America entered the war is the Ventura (PV) patrol bomber.

Helldivers on a carrier roll forward to take off.

Helldivers on a carrier roll forward to take off. Official U.S. Navy photographs.

In its first combat action, the 11 November raid on Rabaul, the Helldiver–bigger and heavier than any dive bomber previously used by our armed forces–accounted for the bulk of the extensive toll taken of Jap shipping.

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AAA Ground Recognition Signals

The following comments from the commander of the U.S. 5th Armored Division on the proper use of ground recognition signals were published in “Antiaircraft Artillery Notes,” No. 5, November 22, 1944.

Subject: Use of Ground Recognition Signals
Source: AA Section, Headquarters Twelfth Army Group

The following extract is taken from AAA Situation Report No. 98, First US Army:

*    *    *    *

“a. The following is quoted from a letter received at this headquarters from the Commanding General, 5th Armored Division:

“‘1. At approximately 1630, 2 November 1944, nine to twelve P-38s approached the CP of the 47th Armored Field Artillery Battalion located in a group of buildings about fifty (50) yards south of paved highway one mile southeast of ROETGEN (K-919273). After circling the CP twice, the three lead planes broke out of the circle and flew off in the direction of ROETGEN. The next three planes made a diving attack of the CP, dropping six bombs. ******* The 440th AAA thereupon fired six recognition flares, at which the remaining planes pulled out of dive without dropping bombs and dipped their wings and left the area.*******

“‘3 ******* AA did not fire on planes, other than recognition flares.’

“b. The AAA complied strictly with standing instructions, by firing flares and withholding fire of their weapons. The friendly A/C, recognizing the signal and the lack of fire from the ground, immediately ceased the attack. This exemplifies the manner in which such incidents must be handled.”

 

Italeri 1/72nd Short Stirling Mk. I

Italeri has announced a new 1/72-nd scale kit depicting the British heavy bomber Short Stirling Mk. I.

RAF Short Stirling Mk. I

 

New Iliad Design Decal Sets

Two new WWII aircraft decal sets from Iliad Design have been announced: 1/32nd-Scale: 7./JG 53 Bf 109G-6 “Cartoon Aircraft” and 1/72nd-Scale: Early P-40s & Tomahawks.

jg53-decals decals-p40-tomahawk

 

A-26 Invader Armor Diagram

A-26 Invader armor diagram, from: Pilot’s Handbook for Army Models A-26B and A-26C Airplanes, AN 01-40AJ-1, August 1945, revised January 1946.

a26-invader-armor-protection-diagram

 

P-47 Pilot Preflight Check

P-47N pilot’s preflight check, from: Pilot Training Manual for the Thunderbolt P-47N, Headquarters, AAF Manual 51-127-4, Army Air Forces, Washington, D.C., September 1945.

p47-thunderbolt-preflight-check

Pilot’s Preflight Check

The preflight check starts before you reach your airplane. Survey the proposed taxiing route for any possible future obstruction, such as a fuel truck about to move. Study the ramp area for stray equipment or rubbish and rags that might be blown into the airscoop or tail assembly by prop blast.

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Airframe Album – Fw 189 Uhu

Valiant Wings Publishing has announced the sixth volume in their Airframe Album series: Airframe Album No. 6: The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Uhu, A Detailed Guide to the Luftwaffe’s Flying Eye by Richard A. Franks. According to the publisher, the book will include numerous historical photographs; detail pictures; detailed study of the structure, equipment and armament; isometric views by Wojciech Sankowski of prototype and production airframes; color profiles and camouflage details by Richard J. Caruana; and lists of all model kits, accessories and decals in all scales. List price is £16.95.

focke-wulf-fw189-uhu

 

P-61 Black Widow Cockpit

P-61 Black Widow cockpit instrument diagrams from the Pilot Training Manual for the Black Widow, P-61, Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff Training, Headquarters AAF, Washington, D.C.

p61-black-wido-cockpit-front-panelControls, Switches, Instruments (Front Panel)

1. Remote compass
2. Airspeed indicator
3. Rate of climb indicator
4. Altimeter
5. Turn and bank indicator
6. Gyro horizon
7. Dials of automatic pilot
8. Pilot’s gunsight
9. Manifold pressure indicator
10. Oil temperature indicator
11. Oil pressure indicator
12. Carburetor air temperature indicator
13. Lower cowl flaps control valves
14. Upper cowl flaps control valve
15. Clock
16. Tachometer
17. Cylinder head temperature indicator
18. Fuel pressure indicator
19. Wheel and flap position indicator
20. Fuel gage
21. Oil cooler flap indicator
 

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B-32 Dominator

Introduction to the Consolidated B-32 Dominator heavy bomber from the training manual: Airplane Commander Training Manual for the B-32 Dominator, AAF Manual 51-126-7, Headquarters Army Air Forces, 1945.

b32-dominator

The B-32’s Past

The history of your B-32 Dominator starts in 1940, when the Army accepted Boeing, Martin and Consolidated Vultee designs for VHB aircraft. Martin designs were not completed, but the end results of those Boeing and Convair plans are the present B-29 and B-32 airplanes. Between the first 32 design and the airplane you’re flying today, however, is a long succession of changes.

The originally planned XB-32 was an airplane with several similarities to the present Superfortress. It had pressurization and remotely controlled turrets. It also had a double tail, wing guns and cannon, and other features which it doesn’t have today. The Army decided not to put all its eggs in one basket, but to have at first only one airplane with the new features of the 29, and to duplicate its purpose in another model of more conventional design.

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Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien / Ki-100 Book

kawasaki-ki-61-hien-fighterA new Kagero book release for November 2014 has been announced by Kagero Publishing: Monographs No. 58: Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien/Ki-100 by Leszek A. Wieliczko. The book contains 116 pages, 18 painting schemes, 105 archive photos, 19 pages A4 sheet of scale drawings, and two double A2 sheet with drawings.