An illustration from the “Don’t be a Dope!” series was included in the M36 tank destroyer technical manual.
Diagram of the armament and ammunition storage of the M3 Medium Tank. (Source: TM 9-750: Ordnance Maintenance, Medium Tanks M3, M3A1, and M3A2, Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, May 1942.)
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.
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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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.
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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Diagram of the upper turret fire interruption angles for the A-26, from: Pilot’s Handbook for Army Models A-26B and A-26C Airplanes, AN 01-40AJ-1, August 1945, revised January 1946.
This illustration shows the gunfire intercepting areas and the margins of interruption (approximately) and indicates the limits of gunfire from the upper turret for efficient use of the guns by flight personnel.
Summary of M4 SHerman tank characteristics from the training booklet Tracked Vehicle Chassis Units, The Armored School, Fort Knox.
MEDIUM TANK, M4 SERIES
2. DESCRIPTION. a. Characteristics
76-mm Gun, M1A1
2 cal .30 machine guns
1 cal .50 machine guns
71 rds 76-mm
6250 rds cal .30
660 rds cal .50
Fire Control Equipment:
Periscope, M10 or M4A1
Elevation Quadrant, M9
Gunner’s Quadrant, M1
Periscopes, M6 (4 each)
Ford, 500 HP @ 2800 rpms
Model GAN, V-8
Synchromesh, 5 speeds forward and 1 reverse
23″ steel chevron, rubber backed, double pin, T80
23″ rubber chevron, double pin, T84
Height, 124 7/8″
Combat loaded, 71,175 lbs
Description and characteristics of the 12-inch Mortar M1912 from TM 9-458: 12-inch Mortar M1912 Mounted on 12-inch Mortar Carriage M1896MIII, U.S. War Department Technical Manual, Washington, D.C., August 1942.
12-inch Mortar M1912 Mounted on 12-inch Mortar Carriage M1896MIII
These 12-inch mortars are comparatively short-barreled weapons able to fire in all directions (360° traverse) but only at high angles of elevation. The maximum elevation attainable is approximately 65°. The minimum elevation (just clearing the emplacement walls) is 45°. The weapon must be depressed to 0° between rounds for loading. These mortars are no longer manufactured.
FIGURE 1.–12-inch mortar M1912 on mortar carriage M1896MIII.
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A-26 ditching procedure, from: Pilot’s Handbook for Army Models A-26B and A-26C Airplanes, AN 01-40AJ-1, August 1945, revised January 1946.
Ground checks for the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk from Pilot Training Manual for the P-40, Headquarters, AAF, Office of Flying Staff, 1943.
P-40 Pilot’s Ground Checks
Before you get into your airplane, look it over closely. Walk around and inspect the wings, fuselage and control surfaces. Look carefully; take your time.
Before you climb into the cockpit be sure you have checked all of the following:
1. Check your tires and tailwheel. See that the struts have plenty of clearance. An instruction plate on each strut shows the necessary clearance.
2. Make sure the cover is off the pitot tube.
3. See that the covers are on the gun hatches.
4. See that the caps are fastened tightly on the gas, oil, and coolant tanks.
5. Make sure the Dzus fasteners are secure, and check the fairing on the entire ship for looseness.
6. Find out whether the propeller has been pulled through. It needs at least four turns if the engine is cold.
7. See that the wings and wingtips are not damaged.
8. Check canopy for proper tolerance.
Basic flying characteristics of the SBD Dauntless from Pilot’s Handbook Model SBD-3, Douglas Aircraft, 1942.
The model SBD-3 airplane is a single engine, low wing, monoplane, designed for dive bombing or scouting operations from either shore stations or aircraft carriers. This airplane performs all ground and flight maneuvers with the normal characteristics of its type. As a land plane, this airplane will take off from the ground or carrier deck with or without the aid of a catapult, and will land on an ordinary landing field with or without landing flaps, or on a carrier deck in an arresting gear. Dive bombing maneuvers may be made with or without the use of the diving flaps.
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