Support the Site:


P-38 Instrument Panel

Diagram of the P-38 Instrument Panel from Pilot’s Flight Operating Instructions for Army Models P-38H Series, P-38J-5 and F-5B-1, T.O. No. 01-75FF-1, September 1943.

P-38 Lightning Instrument Panel

Labels: 1. Directional gyro; 2. Gyro horizon; 3. Compass indicator; 4. Fuel pressure gages; 5. Altimeter; 6. Airspeed indicator; 7. Turn and bank indicator; 8. Rate of climb indicator; 9. Manifold pressure gages; 10. Suction gage; 11. Hydraulic pressure gage; 12. Turbo overspeed warning lights; 13. Ammeter; 14. Tachometers; 15. Coolant temperature indicator; 16. Fuel quantity gages; 17. Clock; 18. Combination oil pressure and temperature gages (fuel pressure indicator not connected); 19. Flap and landing gear position indicator; 20. Space for BC-608 Contactor; 21. Carburetor air temperature indicator.

P-51 Mustang in Full-Scale Wind Tunnel

A full-size P-51 Mustang in the Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. (NASA Photograph.)

P-51 Mustang in Full-Scale Wind Tunnel at Langley

P-51B Mustang with Wing Gloves

A North American P-51B Mustang with wing gloves for research into low-drag performance in flight at Langley. Photograph courtesy NASA.

P-51 Mustang Research Wing Gloves

SBD Dauntless Cockpit

Photographs of the Douglas SBD Dauntless cockpit from the Pilot’s Handbook Model SBD-3, Douglas Aircraft, 1942.

Douglas SBD Dauntless Front Cockpit and Instrument Panel

SBD Dauntless Pilot Seat and Cockpit

Walther PP & PPK Police Pistols

The following report on the Walther PP & PPK Pistols was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.65-mm Walther Pistols Model PP and PPK

Walther PPK Pistol

The Walther models PP and PPK were the official German police side arms from 1929 until VE-day. Both models were widely adopted by the police departments in numerous other European countries. They are almost identical in appearance, but the model PP is 5/8-inch longer and weighs 4½ ounces more than the PPK. A loading-pin indicator, similar to that found on the Walther P-38, is found on both models of this weapon produced prior to World War II, but on many wartime models of the PPK no indicator pins were furnished. Because of the excellent balance, dependability, and compactness these pistols were widely used by German military personnel. Both models are recognized by: (1) Their streamlined receivers; (2) a barrel which protrudes beyond the forward end of the slide; (3) and a barrel mounted solidly to the receiver.

Continue reading Walther PP & PPK Police Pistols

WWII Armor Books from Oliver Publishing

Two new WWII armor books from Oliver Publishing have been announced on the Oliver Publishing Group Facebook page: To The Last Bullet: Germany’s War On 3 Fronts. Part 2, Italy and Case Yellow: German Armour in the Invasion of France, 1940.

To The Last Bullet: Germany's War On 3 Fronts. Part 2, Italy Case Yellow: German Armour in the Invasion of France, 1940

Sauer Pistol M1938

The following report on the Sauer Pistol M1938 was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

7.65-mm Sauer Pistol M1938
(7.65-mm SAUER PISTOLE, MODEL 1938)

Sauer Pistol M1938

The Sauer M1938 pistol, a commercial product, was adopted as substitute-standard by Germany during World War II and was widely used by the air, armored, and police units. This weapon, one of the most advanced types of pocket automatic pistols, was originally designed and issued as a police pistol. The barrel on the M38 patrol is mounted rigidly to the receiver in the same manner as on the Walther PP and PPK pistols. The double-action system is one of the simplest and best yet devised, and is fitted with a unique external lever to permit lowering or raising the concealed hammer manually. This weapon also has an unusual magazine in that a projection on the right side of the magazine wall forces the trigger bar up to make rear contact when the magazine is inserted, thereby functioning as a safety feature.

Salient recognition features are: (1) Thumb safety on left rear of slide; (2) checkered top of slide for an aid in quick sighting; (3) external thumbpiece for raising and lowering the hammer; (4) magazine catch on left side behind the trigger guard; and (5) double-action feature of the trigger mechanism.

Continue reading Sauer Pistol M1938

MP 34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

The following report on the MP 34 9-mm Bergmann Submachine Gun was published in Foreign Military Weapons and Equipment, Vol. III, Infantry Weapons, Pamphlet No. 30-7-4, Department of the Army, 1954.

9-mm Submachine Gun MP 34/I (Bergmann)

MP34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

This weapon is a development of the original German Bergmann machine pistol Model 1918. It was in wide use in the German Army and was also used extensively by U.S.S.R. It is the original of all blowback-type submachine guns and is the forerunner of practically every submachine gun manufactured today. It was adopted as the official submachine gun of the Swedish Army in 1937 and was widely distributed throughout Europe during the years immediately before World War II.

This weapon can be recognized by: (1) The cocking handle at the rear of the receiver; (2) the protruding magazine well on the right side of the receiver (on the Soviet Bergmann the magazine well on the left side of the receiver); (3) the automatic safety device placed behind the trigger to prevent firing of the weapon unless the cocking handle is locked down; (4) the cylindrical body tube which is threaded at the front end to receive the barrel and barrel jacket; and (5) the method of selective fire, i.e., slight trigger depression results in single fire, greater trigger depression results in full automatic fire.

Continue reading MP 34 Bergmann Submachine Gun

40mm Twin Mount and Crew

40mm twin mount and operating crew, from: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

40mm twin mount and operating crew.

40mm twin mount and operating crew.


P-61 Escape Hatches

Location of escape hatches on the P-61 Black Widow night fighter from the Pilot Training Manual for the Black Widow, P-61, Office of Assistant Chief of Air Staff Training, Headquarters AAF.

Escape Hatches on the P-61 Black Widow Night FighterEscape Hatches

There are three escape hatches in the P-61. The top of the pilot’s compartment opens to the left when the latch above his right shoulder is released. Normally, he opens this hatch to climb over the back of his seat every time he enters and leaves the plane.

The right side of the gunner’s compartment may be unlatched and pushed out completely. This hatch should never be used except in an emergency. Neither should the RO’s escape hatch. In the early A models, the plexiglas panel over the RO’s head opens in the middle and folds outward to left and right. In later A’s and in the B model, only the port half of this panel opens. It opens out and down.

The chapter on Emergency Operations, Pages 96-105, tells you and your crew when and how to use the escape hatches. It also tells you when to resort to the entrance hatches in bailing out, and how to leave the plane through them when that becomes necessary.