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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.”

 

M46 Twin MG Pedestal Mount

Illustration of the M46 pedestal mount for twin water-cooled .50 caliber machine guns. (Source: TM 9-230: Machine Gun Mounts for Boats, War Department Technical Manual, October 1943.)

Figure 3—Twin Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M46, with Water-cooled Guns

Figure 3—Twin Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M46, with Water-cooled Guns

 

Naval 3-Inch Mark 21 Mount

Left and right-side views of the Mark 21 mount for the 3-inch/50 cal. naval gun from Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); right-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

The 3-inch/50 cal. gun and mount (Mark 21); left-side view.

 

M39 .50 Cal. Pedestal Mount

Illustration of the M39 pedestal mount for the .50 caliber machine gun. (Source: TM 9-230: Machine Gun Mounts for Boats, War Department Technical Manual, October 1943.)

Figure 1—Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M39, with Aircraft Machine Gun

Figure 1—Cal. .50, Machine Gun, Pedestal Mount M39, with Aircraft Machine Gun

 

M10 Tank Destroyer Ammunition

Illustration of the shell labels and markings for the ammunition of the M10 tank destroyer 3-inch main gun. Source: TM 9-731G: 3-Inch Gun Motor Carriage M10A1, War Department Technical Manual, July 1943.

m10-td-main-gun-ammunition

m10-td-ammunition-shell

 

Mark 24 Naval Gun Mount

Illustration of the Mark 24 3"/50 cal. naval gun mount from: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

3"/50 cal. gun and Mark 24 mount.

3"/50 cal. gun and Mark 24 mount.

 

Head Control for Hull Machine Gun

Unique head control for the hull machine gun in the Panzer III. (Source: Preliminary Report No. 5, Pz Kw III, School of Tank Technology, September 1942.)

 

Battleship’s Main Battery Directors

Illustration of U.S. Navy WWII battleship’s main battery directors. Source: Naval Ordnance and Gunnery, NAVPERS 16116, Bureau of Naval Personnel, Training Division, May 1944.

Main battery of directors.

Main battery directors.

 

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-POLIZEI-PISTOLEN W.PP & 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.

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