Sad But True ...........

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K4KittyCrew
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Sad But True ...........

Post by K4KittyCrew » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:34 am

One can't help think of the poor gunners crammed in this ball. Note the writing on the ball turret.
John
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630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

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halifax1
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Re: Sad But True ...........

Post by halifax1 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:09 pm

I believe they had to be small of stature but one cannot also but think that not everyone would be able to cope generally with the claustrophobic conditions and the feeling of intense vulnerability from being so exposed! No visible means of support. I recall being told by one vet. that he used to crouch down behind the IP when approaching some targets partially as a kind of protection (but in vain of course) and partially so as to avoid "seeing" what was coming". Concentrating on the instruments was a diversion. Not so for the BA however? Again a reminder of the sheer strength of mind of these chaps.

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Denonline
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Re: Sad But True ...........

Post by Denonline » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:41 am

Do any other Vets share my opinion, it being that the nearest the Lanc. came being the mid upper stuck on top, I felt more protected in the rear turret with the a/c. protecting my back & the make believe that the fins gave added protection, on the downside the rear turret was miore noisy & smelly due to the large clear vision panel added to which the engine exhaust fumes caused some eye irritation.

Dennis

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: Sad But True ...........

Post by K4KittyCrew » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:21 am

Dennis, I'm thinking that your comments regarding the 'safety' of the rear gunners position make a lot of sense, so to speak. The fins may absorb or more likely deflect ( hopefully ) any action coming from the port or starboard but as you know, I can only guess ............ you sir, have first hand experience.

I must admit though that I never took into consideration, the exhaust fumes passing your way.

I can only surmise to say that for me, the mid upper would be a definite no, no .........too open for my liking, so I can only assume I would be heading down the back to sit where both you and my father, sat.
Cheers,
John
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630 Squadron - East Kirkby
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halifax1
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Re: Sad But True ...........

Post by halifax1 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:17 pm

Yes - my Uncle was a Wop/AG and on the night he was killed he was in the mid upper - on a Halifax BI MkII - which resembled a goldfish bowl being even more exposed psychologically than the Lancaster mid upper! I often wondered how it must have been like though - right up there - sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb! In the way of all bits of debris, the first to take a hit if an aircraft above got too close - methinks the FE might have been the best of a bad job - at least you had a bit of armour plating here and there in the Halifax! And as if to prove the point the FE in my Uncles aircraft was the only member of the crew who was identifiable when the aircraft crashed near Essen having been hit probably by predictable flack and caught fire and may even exploded. There is a report from another aircraft suggesting so.
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