AGLT

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smudgersmith218
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AGLT

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Gents,


Looking for any details on encounters / confirm kills using the AGLT. Also looking for a detailed photo of inside the turret. Lastly what squadron's / group was it used with. Not may area so any help appreciated.

TIA

Steve
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No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

Dave_Richardson
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Re: AGLT

Post by Dave_Richardson »

Steve

Here's a photo of LAncaster PB979 'F2-F', of No. 635 Squadron with AGLT fitted. Any help?

Dave

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kookabat
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Re: AGLT

Post by kookabat »

Steve,
A veteran I know was a 49 Sqn rear gunner, originally trained as a pilot but was 'volunteered' for a new 'secret weapon' thing that became known as Village Inn... he might be able to help. Post any specific questions here and I'll throw them his way if you like.
Adam
Remembering the crew of 467 Sqn Lancaster LM475 PO-B Jan-May 1944
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highnoon1966
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Re: AGLT

Post by highnoon1966 »

Found this Steve, hope it's of some use

Gary

http://www.bomberhistory.co.uk/49squadr ... %20Inn.pdf

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PAFG
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Re: AGLT

Post by PAFG »

Hi Steve - 460 Squadron went operational with A.G.L.T. on 20/21 July 1944, 49 Squadron followed on 11/12 September. A.M. agreed on 19 October 1944 to equip a third squadron by the end of the year. Not sure how the rollout progressed, but 460 Squadron A.G.L.T. a/c were withdrawn and reissued to P.F.F. for 635 Squadron. 582 and 35 Squadrons were equipped by the end of the war.

The reason for taking the kit off 460 Squadron was that 'false positives' remained a real problem, no effective identification system being developed before the war's end. Gunners didn't trust the readings from Z equipment. As a result, A.G.L.T. was mainly used when other squadrons weren't operating, so 8 Group was a preferred home and 5 Group was pretty much independent.

There's no mention in Harris's Despatch of A.G.L.T. kills.

The A.H.B. Armaments history suggests A.G.L.T. was fitted to F.N.121 (4x.303), and the twin .50 F.N.82 and Bolton Paul Type D MkII turrets. I can post a photo (when I have more time) of the inside of the BP turret, but not the others.

Cheers,

Richard

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smudgersmith218
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Re: AGLT

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Gentleman,

Thank you all for your replies.

I would be interested to learn what was the general consensus was regarding it operational use by war's end.

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
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kookabat
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Re: AGLT

Post by kookabat »

Hugh (my veteran mate) is of the opinion that it stank. Here's an extract from a letter I got from him last year. For context, he's just arrived in the UK after pilot training in Australia.
Once there [in the UK] we had a series of about one months courses. The actual flying was teriffic.
The last one [course] I did was at Fiskerton - Airfield Control tower instruction. While there I was approached by a Wing Commander who told me they were recruiting 12 pilots to help pioneer this so called secret weapon Village Inn. We were supposed to be a bit brighter than the average A.G. (I doubt it!).
The 12 of us gathered at Fiskerton for training which was, in light of events, bloody inadequate.
[...]
The VI wasn't a great success. It was often u/s and hard to interpret otherwise. I think only six of us got through our tours.
Not much in the way of specifics, but certainly his dislike of the equipment shines through here!

Adam
Remembering the crew of 467 Sqn Lancaster LM475 PO-B Jan-May 1944
www.somethingverybig.com

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smudgersmith218
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Re: AGLT

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Adam,

I think that sums it up !!!!!

I don't think I would be willing to risk my life on something like that, give me a Mark 1 eyeball every time!!

Thanks for the post mate.

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
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M Simpson
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Re: AGLT

Post by M Simpson »

Steve,
There are a number of combat reports in AIR27/1911 that explicitly mention A.G.L.T. on 460 Sqn.,starting on 28-29/7/44 and ending 23/2/45.They are (in date,target,A/C serial,fighter type,claim order);
28-29/7/44 Stuttgart ND791 Fw190 Probable;
8/8/44 Aire PB176 U/I No claim;
17/8/44 Stettin ND959 U/I Probably damaged;
25/8/44 Russelsheim PB968 U/I No claim;
25/8/44 Russelsheim ND864 Me.109 No claim;
26-27/9/44 Kiel ND959 T/E U/I Probably damaged;
12/9/44 Frankfurt PB116 Fw 190 Possible hits (combat took place before A.G.L.T.was switched on);
15-16/10/44 Mining Kattegat NE141 U/I No claim (combat before A.G.L.T.contact);
21?/11/44 Aschaffenburg PB419 Ju88 Probably damaged (no A.G.L.T.contact);
6-7/12/44 Merseburg PB383 U/I Probably damaged;
24/12/44 Cologne ME357 T/E U/I No claim;
5/1/45 Hanover PB522 Ju88,Me109 No claim (A.G.L.T.u/s);
14/1/45 Mining PB463 Fw190 No claim (visual contact then A.G.L.T.);
20-21/2/45 Dortmund PB463 T/E U/I No claim (A/C A.G.L.T. equipped but visual contact);
23/2/45 Pforzheim PB463 Me110 No claim.
Hope this is of use,
Regards,Mark Simpson

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PAFG
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Re: AGLT

Post by PAFG »

Some extracts from 'Despatch' pp110-111:
14. The identification problem was tackled promptly, but no form of positive identification was found. The alternative, negative identification, where the friendly must prove himself friend, increases the necessity for greater efficiency and for some extremely simple and efficient means of identification. The B.D.U. working in conjunction with the R.A.E. and the A.R.L. devised the present Type 'Z' equipment. Briefly, these equipments require the whole bomber force to be fitted with I.R. transmitters and for all A.G.L.(T) aircraft to have an I.R. telescope aligned with the sight. Identification was then assured by coded transmission which the gunner in the A.G.L.(T) aircraft was able to read.

[...]

17. The equipment was first used operationally by 460 Squadron on the 20th/21st July, 1944. Whilst the equipment worked well generally, it was obvious from the first that negative identification required great care and restraint by gunners. To make matters worse, trouble was experienced with I.R. filters fitted to the transmitting lamps, and I therefore decided to operate A.G.L.(T) aircraft only under certain conditions and when other aircraft were not likely to be encountered. In the meantime, aircraft had been arriving at 49 Squadron and gunners had been trained in the equipment. This Squadron first operated A.G.L.(T) on the night 11th/12th September. Both the squadrons experienced a considerable amount of unserviceability with A.G.L.(T) and test gear was therefore fitted so that the gunner could try out the equipment during flight. When the equipment was working well, numerous contacts, chiefly friendly, were made. It was apparent, however, that gunners mistrusted the Type 'Z' identification and were loath to fire blind at what they thought might be friendly aircraft. As a tail warning device, the equipment was exceptionally good, giving both correct line and range of approaching aircraft.

[...]

20. To sum up, A.G.L.(T) gave promise of becoming one of the greatest assets to the defence of heavy bombers at night, but unfortunately, no completely successful identification system was found and there was no practical scheme for one by the end of the war. Moreover, it has been found that the present Mark of A.G.L.(T) is most difficult to keep in a serviceable condition, and when unserviceable puts a gunner at a distinct disadvantage owing to restrictions in view which the extra equipment imposes. A.G.L.(T) Mark III, or, as it is likely to be, Mark IV, should offer very distinct advantages over Mark I as the necessity for continuous search with Mark I is most tiring to the air gunner.

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