A B-24 Liberator, Up Close and Personal: German Photographs of a Downed B-24 in Holland – II

This page presents the 15 pictures of Tell Me More in Luftgaukommando Report KU 1679.

By scrolling down the post from top to bottom, you’ll first see images of the two pages in the KU Report listing the captions of the photos. 

This is followed by verbatim transcriptions of the entire block of text on those two pages.  Each German-language caption is followed by its English-language equivalent, in italics

Then, scrolling down through all the pictures you’ll see that each photo has its pertinent caption – in both German and English – beneath it.  The English-language translations are presented in italics. 

Importantly, the images and their captions are not presented in the same numerical order as in the KU Report.  Instead, I’ve arranged them to appear as if you were walking along and moving through the plane, from front to rear.  I’ve also added some comments below the German-English paired translations. 

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KU Report Photo Caption Pages

Bild 1     Ansicht der Maschine von Vorn.
Picture 1     View of the machine from the front.

Bild 2     Ansicht der Maschine von hinten.  Man beachte das weggeknickte Fahrwerk.
Picture 2     View of the machine from behind. Note the bent landing gear.

Bild 3     Rumpfende mit Leiwerk und Staffelkenner.
Picture 3     Fuselage tail with body work and [squadron signal light].

Bild 4     Rumpfvorderteil:
a) Staurohr
b) Blister für Navigator beidseitig
c) Abtriftmesser
d) mit den Bewegungen der Waffen gekoppelte Panzerblickscheibe
e) Panzerplatten aussenbords, links und rechts
Picture 4     Fuselage front:
a) Pitot tube
b) Blisters for navigator on both sides
c) Drift [meter?]
d) Armored sighting window, coupled with the movement of the weapons
e) External armor plate, left and right

Bild 5     Linker Flügel mit Triebwerken.
Picture 5     Left wing with engines.

Bild 6     Blick über Waffenstand Rumpfoberseite, Antennenanordnung nach dem Leitwerk:
a) Rückspiegel für Schützen auf Rumpfoberseite
b) Revi N 6 A
Picture 6     View of the weapon stand [dorsal turret] top of the fuselage, antenna arrangement according to the control unit:
a) Rear-view mirror for gunner on fuselage top
b) Revi N 6A

Bild 7     Blick auf Führerstand:
a), b), c), d), Panzerglasscheiben
e) Panzerplatte
Picture 7     View of pilot’s seat:
a), b), c), d), armored glass panes
e) Armor plate

Bild 8     Ausgefahrener Notsporn
Picture 8     Extended emergency skid

Bild 9     Bugturm mit Panzerglasscheibe und Antrieb.
Picture 9     Nose spire [sic] with armored glass pane and drive.

Bild 10     Plexiglasverkleidung des Bugturmes mit aufgemalter
a) Sprung des Plexiglasses wurde durch beidseitige Lochung der Plexiglashälften und durch Einziehen eines Drahtes zickzackförmig verbunden.
Picture 10     Plexiglass covering of the nose spire [sic] with painted [markings]
a) Crack of the plexiglass was zigzagged by bilateral perforation of the plexiglass halves and by pulling in a wire.

Bild 11     Blick in rückwärtigen Kabinenabschnitt mit MK-Kugel und Rumpfseitenständen.
Picture 11     View in the rear cabin section with machine-gun bullets and trunk sides.

Bild 12     Unterbringung der Munitionskästen für Heckstand an der rechten Bordwand hinter dem rechten Fenster.  Darüber Seenotsender mit Zubehöirbehälter.
a) Ausstiegklappe für Besatzung als auch Agenten und Sabotagebehältern.
Picture 12     Accommodation of the ammunition boxes for the rear deck on the right side of the vehicle
behind the right window.  Above that, distress transmitter with accessory container.
a) The exit flap for crew as well as agents and sabotage containers.

Bild 13     Blick auf ferngesteuerte FT-Geräte
a) BC – 966 – A
b) Stromversorgungsgerät für TR 5043
c) Modulator Unit BC – 456 – E
d) Radio Transmitter Unit BC – 433 – G
e) TR 5043
Picture 13     View of remote controlled FT devices
a) BC – 966 – A
b) Power device for TR 5043
c) Modulator unit BC – 456 – E
d) Radio transmitter unit BC – 433 – G
e) TR 5043

Bild 14     Die schwenkbaren Rumpfseitenwaffen mit Kreiskornvisier ohne Rücklaufbremse.
Picture 14     The swivel[ing] fuselage side weapons with a circular horn sight without a return brake.

Bild 15     Hydraulicbrett an der rechten Bordwand vor Heckstand.
Picture 15     Hydraulic board on the right side of the vehicle in front of the tail.

Bild 16     Servomotor für Seiten- und Höhenruder der Kurssteurerg A 5. Sitz des Gerätes in Flugrichtung hinter der Trennwand des Heckraumes.
Picture 16     Servomotor for side and height control of the steering wheel A 5.  Seat of the device in the direction of flight behind the partition of the rear compartment.

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THE PHOTOGRAPHS

Bild 1     Ansicht der Maschine von Vorn.

Picture 1     View of the machine from the front.

Comments: Note that none of the props appear to have been feathered, and the lower blades of two starboard props appear to be bent.  The landing gear has been lowered. 

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Bild 7     Blick auf Führerstand:
a), b), c), d), Panzerglasscheiben
e) Panzerplatte

Picture 7     View of pilot’s seat:
a), b), c), d), armored glass panes
e) Armor plate

Comments: The skin of the forward fuselage is crumpled.  Armored glass and pilot’s compartment exterior side armor – of obvious of interest to the photographer – are clearly visible.

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Bild 5     Linker Flügel mit Triebwerken.

Picture 5     Left wing with engines.

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Bild 4     Rumpfvorderteil:
a) Staurohr
b) Blister für Navigator beidseitig
c) Abtriftmesser
d) mit den Bewegungen der Waffen gekoppelte Panzerblickscheibe
e) Panzerplatten aussenbords, links und rechts

Picture 4     Fuselage front:
a) Pitot tube
b) Blisters for navigator on both sides
c) Drift [meter?]
d) Armored sighting window, coupled with the movement of the weapons
e) External armor plate, left and right

Comments: Note the attention to co-pilot’s exterior side armor, and crumpled skin of the front fuselage. 

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Bild 6     Blick über Waffenstand Rumpfoberseite, Antennenanordnung nach dem Leitwerk:
a) Rückspiegel für Schützen auf Rumpfoberseite
b) Revi N 6 A

Picture 6     View of the weapon stand [dorsal turret] top of the fuselage, antenna arrangement according to the control unit:
a) Rear-view mirror for gunner on fuselage top
b) Revi N 6A

Comments:  An excellent view of the top of the rear fuselage.  Note the furrows created by the impact of the starboard landing gear tire and fuselage bottom.  These extend only a very short distance behind the aircraft into the adjoining field, implying a very abrupt stop.  

The dorsal turret is probably the Martin A-3C version as opposed to A-3D, the latter of which commenced with Block H-25 Liberators.  Ironically, the German technical analyst referred to the turret gunsight as a “Revi N 6 A”.  (Revi?!) 

More intriguingly – at least, as described in the caption – are two circular rear-view mirrors mounted within opposite sides of the turret, each located between the .50 caliber machine gun and turret bubble.  The starboard inner turret mirror is also visible in photograph number 7.   

Notice that the cover of the starboard emergency life raft compartment has been detached from the fuselage.

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TO RELEASE & INFLATE LIFE RAFTS
PULL RELEASE HANDLE HARD

PULL RELEASE HANDLE AS FAR AS
POSSIBLE WHICH RELEASES DOORS

PULL INSIDE RELEASE HANDLE…

Comments: This is an 800 dpi scan from the previous photo, showing instructions concerning release of the B-24’s life-rafts.

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Bild 10     Plexiglasverkleidung des Bugturmes mit aufgemalter
a) Sprung des Plexiglasses wurde durch beidseitige Lochung der Plexiglashälften und durch Einziehen eines Drahtes zickzackförmig verbunden.

Picture 10     Plexiglass covering of the nose spire [sic] with painted [markings]
a) Crack of the plexiglass was zigzagged by bilateral perforation of the plexiglass halves and by pulling in a wire.

Comments: Here’s a different way of looking at things: The photographer stood atop the front fuselage of Tell Me More, and pointing his camera down, photographed the top of the “dome” of the Emerson A-15 nose turret.  Immediately apparent are numbers denoting the rotational azimuth of the turret – in gradations of 15 degrees relative to the fuselage center line – engraved or etched into the plexiglass.  The overwhelming majority of photographs of the Emerson A-15 turret, where the turret is seen from the side, naturally don’t show this feature. 

(Did the turret dome of the CAC / Motor Products tail turret have a similar azimuth scale?)

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Bild 9     Bugturm mit Panzerglasscheibe und Antrieb.

Picture 9     Nose spire [sic] with armored glass pane and drive.

Comments: Another view of the A-15 turret.  Immediately apparent are the pane of armored glass and elevation drives for the guns.  There’s a small mystery here:  How was the turret dome shattered?  Flak?  Fighters?  During the plane’s landing?

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Comments: An excellent side view of an Emerson A-15 turret, albeit not from the KU Report.  Instead, from Air Force Photo 53584AC / A12599.  This picture illustrates an interesting aspect of the general design of the A-15, as opposed to the structure of dorsal aircraft turrets:  The guns are located well below the gunner’s head and torso.

Caption: “ENGLAND – S/Sgt. Edward J. Mickey, a B-24 nose turret gunner, of Kingston, Pa., has 30 missions to his credit and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters. (53584AC / A12599)”

Here’s an interesting video (at the website of Hugh Fenlon) of an Emerson A-15 in operation, albeit not (!) in a B-24.

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Bild 11     Blick in rückwärtigen Kabinenabschnitt mit MK-Kugel und Rumpfseitenständen.

Picture 11     View in the rear cabin section with machine-gun bullets and [trunk] sides

Comments:  Fuselage interior, looking forward.  This image provides an excellent view of the waist gun opening covers in their stowed positions, and, the location of oxygen bottles.  The wind blast deflector for the port gun can be seen just ahead of the open waist window.  These are the original “open” style B-24 waist gun positions that are neither staggered nor enclosed.  According to Alan Blue’s book, that modification only commenced with Block H-20 Liberators. 

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Bild 13     Blick auf ferngesteuerte FT-Geräte
a) BC – 966 – A
b) Stromversorgungsgerät für TR 5043
c) Modulator Unit BC – 456 – E
d) Radio Transmitter Unit BC – 433 – G
e) TR 5043

Picture 13     View of remote controlled FT devices
a) BC – 966 – A
b) Power device for TR 5043
c) Modulator unit BC – 456 – E
d) Radio transmitter unit BC – 433 – G
e) TR 504

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Bild 14     Die schwenkbaren Rumpfseitenwaffen mit Kreiskornvisier ohne Rücklaufbremse.

Picture 14     The swivel[ing] fuselage side weapons with a circular horn sight without a return brake.

Comments:  The simple circular ring-and-bead gunsight mounted atop the waist machine guns.

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Bild 12     Unterbringung der Munitionskästen für Heckstand an der rechten Bordwand hinter dem rechten Fenster.  Darüber Seenotsender mit Zubehöirbehälter.
a) Ausstiegklappe für Besatzung als auch Agenten und Sabotagebehältern.

Picture 12     Accommodation of the ammunition boxes for the rear deck on the right side of the vehicle behind the right window.  Above that, distress transmitter with accessory container.
a) The exit flap for crew as well as agents and sabotage containers.

Comments:  Tail turret ammunition storage box, and ventral entry / escape hatch in open (stowed) position. 

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Bild 15     Hydraulicbrett an der rechten Bordwand vor Heckstand.

Picture 15     Hydraulic board on the right side of the vehicle in front of the tail.

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Bild 16     Servomotor für Seiten- und Höhenruder der Kurssteurerg A 5. Sitz des Gerätes in Flugrichtung hinter der Trennwand des Heckraumes.

Picture 16     Servomotor for side and height control of the steering wheel A 5.  Seat of the device in the direction of flight behind the partition of the rear compartment.

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Bild 8     Ausgefahrener Notsporn

Picture 8     Extended emergency skid

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Bild 2     Ansicht der Maschine von hinten.  Man beachte das weggeknickte Fahrwerk.

Picture 2     View of the machine from behind. Note the bent landing gear.

Bild 3     Rumpfende mit Leiwerk und Staffelkenner.

Picture 3     Fuselage tail with body work and [squadron signal light].

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There ends the tail – literally (ahem! – pardon the pun!), and figuratively – of Tell Me More.  The photos tell the story of a single B-24 Liberator – of very, very many – that was lost in the air war against Germany in the Second World War. 

Certainly every man in the plane’s crew certainly had his own, much more human story, as well:  Of attempted evasion, eventual capture, and ultimately liberation and freedom.  I have no way of knowing if in the decades since 1945 those stories were recorded and preserved – especially as suggested by the inscription on the tombstone of Lt. Robert Willson – but it would be nice to think they have been. 

So, let this collection of photos stand as a symbol of a past that should not be forgotten.

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References

The B-24 Liberator

Birdsall, Steve, B-24 Liberator in Action (Aircraft No. 21), (Illustrated by Don Greer), Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., Carrollton, Tx., 1975

Blue, Allan G., The B-24 Liberator – A Pictorial History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, N.Y., 1975

Davis, Larry  B-24 Liberator in Action (Aircraft No. 80), (Illustrated by Perry Manley), Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., Carrollton, Tx., 1987

Joe Baugher’s list of B-24 serial numbers, at
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b24_16.html

B-24H 41-28754

American Air Museum, at
http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/804

8th Air Force Historical Society, at
http://www.8thafhs.com/get_one_acgroup.php?acgroup_id=53

Robert Edwin Willson Commemorative page, at
http://findagrave.com/ for Robert Edwin Willson

Luftgaukommando Report KU 1680

United States National Archives – Collection of Foreign Record Seized – Record Group 242: “Records of Luftgaukommandos: German Reports of Downed Allied Fighters and Other Aircraft – KU Reports”

Report KU 1680 at NARA: (In) Records Group 242, Entry 1022, Shelf Location 190 / 14 / 9-12 / 1-5, Box 231

Demonstration of Emerson A-15 Turret

Hugh Fenlon’s website, at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_eQx_7J2Gk

Modelling the B-24H Liberator

US-Aircraft.com History-Modelling-Forum
http://usaircraft.proboards.com/thread/1570

IPMS USA
http://www.ipmsusa.org/reviews2/aircraft/details/eduard_48/eduard_48_b24j-stuff.htm

Captive Technology: German Photographs of Electronic Equipment in a Downed Special Operations Squadron B-24 Liberator – III

This page presents the other pictures in Luftgaukommando Report 1054, in a format akin to the prior blog post.

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DESCRIPTION OF AIRCRAFT 42-63792, AND PHOTO CAPTIONS

Feindgerät-Untersuchungsstelle 5
RLM GL C-Rü                                                                                                O.U. den 23.4.44
Feldpostnummer: L 50825 FW, Lgp. Brüssel.

Untersuchungsbericht Nr. 5/2021:

Am. 2.3.44 um 23.30 Uhr wurde in Fienvillers (8 km s.w. Doullens) eine Liberator durch Flak abgeschossen.  Von der Besatzung wurden 2 Mann gefangen genommen.

Das Flugzeug war als Sabotagematerialträger eingesetzt und sehr stark zerstört.

Die Typenbezeichnung des Flugzeuges lautete: B 24 D, Ser. 42-63792.  Bemerkenswert an diesem Flugzeug war die FT-Ausrüstung.  Es befanden sich beiderseits des Rumpfbuges die im Bild 1 u. 2 dargestellten Antennen.  Ferner befanden such nachfolgende FT-Geräte an Bord, die grösstenteils bereits durch Kurier nach dem RLM GL C-Rü gesandt wurden:

1.     RT-3 / APN-1
27 Volt
D.C. N.X.S. – 2424
1341 C.R.V.

2.    T-7 / APN-1
110 DB / 25
N.X. – 23763
1237 C.R.V.

3.    Anzeigegerät mit Braun’scher Röhre, vermutlich Suchgerät (Bild 12, 13, 14, 15 u. 16). –
4.    BC-433-C, Ser. Nr. 14506
5.    BC-966-A, Ser. Nr. 45327
6.    BC-454-A, Ser. Nr. 140
7.    BC-455-B, Ser. Nr. 20162
8.    BC-445-B, Ser. Nr. 52370
9.    BC-929-A

Trotzdem bei diesem Flugzeug verschiedene neue Geräte dabiei waren, waren sämtliche FT-Geräte von der Funkmeisterei des Fl.H. Rosiéres weggenommen worden.  Die FT-Geräte mussten erst dort abgeholt und zur Entnahme der Stecker und Kabel wieder in das Flugzeug eingesetzt werden. –

Ferner wurden mehrere Agenten-Empfänger des Musters Miniature Communications Receiver (M.C.R.1.) festgestellt.

Als Anlage zum Bericht werden 18 Fotos übersandt.

Erläutering zu den Bildern:

Bild 1 u. 2:     Antennen an beiden Seiten des Rumpfbuges
Bild 3:           Gerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.  Rechte oben im Bild ist die Kabeleinführung der im Bild 1 u. 2 gezeigten Antennen ersichtlich.
Bild 4:          Kabeleinführung in grösserem Masstab.
Bild 5, 6, 7:  zeigt den Lageert der Geräte RT-7 / APN-1
Bild 8, 9, 10: RT-7 / APN-1
Bild 11:         RT-3 / APN-1
Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.
Bild 17, 18:   zeigt den Agenten-Kleinempfänger.

Engelhard
Stabsing. Und
Sondering. GL

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Enemy equipment investigation center 5                                             KU 1154
Ministry of the Air Force GL C-Rue                  Local Quarters, 23 April 1944
Field postal No L 50825 FW
Air District Post Office Brussels

Investigation Report No 5 / 2021

On 2 March 1944 at 2330 a Liberator had been shot down by anti-aircraft over Fienvillers (8 km southwest of Doullens).  Two members of the crew had been captured.  The plane was equipped as sabotage material-carrier and therefore very seriously damaged.

The type markings of the plane were as follows: B 24 D, Serial No. 42-63792.  This plane was equipped with remarkable radio equipment.  There were aerials on both sides of the front of the fuselage as pictures 1 and 2 show.  Further, there was the following radio equipment on board, the greatest part of which has been sent by messenger to the Ministry of the Air Dorces GL C-Rue.

1.     RT-3 / APN-1
27 Volt
D.C. N.X.S. – 2424
1341 C.R.V.

2.    RT-7 / APN-1
110 DB / 25
N.X. – 23763
1237 C.R.V.

3.    Indicator-set with Bruan’scher tube, probably search-equipment (see picture 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16)
4.    BC-433-C, Ser. No. 14506
5.    BC-966-A, Ser. No. 45327
6.    BC-454-A, Ser. No. 140
7.    BC-455-B, Ser. No. 20162
8.    BC-445-B, Ser. No. 52370
9.    BC-929-A

Though this plane was equipped with different kinds of new radio equipment, all radio equipment had been taken out by the radio office of the Air-base Rosieres.  The radio equipment had to be obtained from that office, and for the purpose of the removal of the plugs and cables had to be installed again into the plane.  Also, several agent receivers of the type “Miniature Communications Receiver (M.C.R. 1)” were found.

Enclosed in this report 18 photographs.

Photo explanation.

Picture 1 and 2:     Antenna on both sides of the front of the fuselage.
3:     Equipment with Bruan’scher tube.  In the right upper corner of the picture the cable installation of the antenna (shown in picture 1 and 2) can be seen.
4:     Cable installation on larger scale.
5, 6, 7:     shows the location of the equipment RT-7 / APN-1
8, 9, 10:   RT-7 / APN-1
11:            RT-3 / APN-1
12, 13, 14, 15, and 16     Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.
17 and 18:     Shows the Miniature-Communications-Receiver.

Enclosures:

Instructions for the
“Miniature Communications Receiver”
and 18 photographs.

Signed: Engelhard
Staff-Engineer and Special Engineer

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PHOTOS: APN-1 Radar Altimeter and M.C.R.-1 Miniature Communications Receiver

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Bild 8, 9, 10: RT-7 / APN-1

Pictures 8, 9, 10:   RT-7 / APN-1

Bild 8, 9, 10: RT-7 / APN-1

Pictures 8, 9, 10:   RT-7 / APN-1

Bild 8, 9, 10: RT-7 / APN-1

Pictures 8, 9, 10:   RT-7 / APN-1

Bild 11:         RT-3 / APN-1

Picture 11:            RT-3 / APN-1

Comments:  Here are several views of the APN-1 radar altimeter.  The case has been damaged and the front cable sockets removed, but the interior of the unit – chassis and attached components – is completely intact. 

A video description of the APN-1, created by the infoagemuseum (Wall, New Jersey – in Monmouth County) and narrated by Mr. Ray Chase, describes the operation of the unit.  A beautiful set of illustrations of a (quite intact!) APN-1 is available at the website of Aces, Contrails and Unsung Heroes, while the schematic diagram of the APN-1 can be found at this link to the Waverley Amateur Radio Society

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Bild 17, 18:   zeigt den Agenten-Kleinempfänger.

Pictures 17 and 18:     Shows the Miniature-Communications-Receiver.

Bild 17, 18:   zeigt den Agenten-Kleinempfänger.

Pictures 17 and 18:     Shows the Miniature-Communications-Receiver.

Bild 17, 18:   zeigt den Agenten-Kleinempfänger.

Pictures 17 and 18:     Shows the Miniature-Communications-Receiver.

Comments for Photos 17 and 18: One aspect of the crew’s intended mission is evidenced by the subject of these images:  A Miniature Communications Receiver – 1 (“M.C.R.-1”).  The M.C.R.-1, a portable, tube-based miniature receiver unit, was designed for use by S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) Agents, Special Forces, and Resistance Groups.    

An M.C.R.-1 unit with its associated components is seen lying on a table.  Three power packs (one of which is connected to the unit by a short cable) are present, while on the right are three “Frequency Plug-In” coil packs, each of a different frequency range (2.5 MHz – 4.5 MHz, 4.5 MHz – 8 MHz, and 8 MHz – 15 MHz), which extend the receiver’s length. 

A thorough description of the M.C.R.-1 (with very nice color photographs) is available at the CryptoMuseum website.  The operating manual for the receiver – in which it’s dubbed a “Midget Communications Receiver” – can be found here, while the schematic diagram of the unit (via the Waverley Amateur Radio Society) can be found here

The Luftgaukommando Report includes a small and fascinating bonus:  It contains a very actual – quite original – very genuine – surviving remnant of the McDonald crew’s last mission: a placard of operating instructions for an M.C.R.-1. 

A superb set of images of an M.C.R.-1 and its associated components (including interior views of both the receiver and its power supply) as well as instructions covering its installation and use, is available at Jan Poortman’s PA3ESY Vintage Radio Collection website

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References

Harrington Museum – Carpetbagger Planes (compiled by Roy Tebbutt)

Harrington Museum  (Aircraft of the 801st / 492nd Bomb Groups, and 406th NLS, compiled by Roy Tebbutt)
http://www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Carpetbagger-planes.pdf

Harrington Museum (List of Allied Aircraft lost on Special Duty Operations, compiled by Roy Tebbutt)
http://www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Aircraft-lost-on-Allied-Forces-Special-Duty-Operations.pdf

Frank G. McDonald Crew

USAAF Special Operations – 801 BG – 492 BG Carpetbaggers (McDonald Crew History)
http://www.801492.org/Air%20Crew/McDonald/McDonald%20Crew.html

USAAF Special Operations – 801 BG – 492 BG Carpetbaggers (McDonald Crew Orders)
http://www.801492.org/Air%20Crew/SO%20Singles/SO75-Sta102-431216.pdf

USAAF Special Operations – 801 BG – 492 BG Carpetbaggers (McDonald Mission Reports)
http://www.801492.org/Air%20Crew/McDonald/McDonald%20Crew%20MRs.zip

Escape & Evasion Report 669 (Lt. Frederick C. Kelly)

NARA Escape & Evasion Report search portal:
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/305270

NARA Escape & Evasion Report search portal (Escape & Evasion Report 669, for Frederick C. Kelly):
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5555339

WW II Escape and Evasion Information Exchange (Directory of MIS-X Report Numbers for members of US Army Air Forces, and, US Army Ground Forces) – An extraordinarily comprehensive website! 
http://www.conscript-heroes.com/Art38-MIS-X.html

BC-929A “Rebecca” Radar Interrogator

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (general description):
https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/indicator-radar-interrogator-bc-929-anapn-2-rebecca-mk-iia

AeroAntique.com (general description):
https://aeroantique.com/collections/other-instruments/products/receiver-indicator-rebecca-id-169a-apn12-bc-929-a?variant=28901668295

QSL.net (“Connecting Hams Around the World”) (brief description):
http://www.qsl.net/pe1ngz/airforce/airforce-raf/raf-eureka-rebecca.html

Wikipedia Entry for Rebecca Radar Interrogator:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca/Eureka_transponding_radar

Walt Gromov’s Radio Museum – Communications in WW I and WW II:
“Graphic Survey of Radio and Radar Equipment Used by the Army Air Forces – Radio Navigation Equipment – 1 July 1945” (BC-929 and APN-1 illustrated in document)
http://www.rkk-museum.ru/documents/archives/images/52b-45-04.pdf

Braun’scher Tube

The Inventors.org
http://theinventors.org/library/inventors/blkarlbraun.htm

APN-1 Radar Altimeter

Aces, Contrails, & Unsung Heroes (Photos and description)
http://www.usaaf.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=1035

Waverley Amateur Radio Society
http://vk2bv.org/archive/museum/apn1.htm

Waverley Amateur Radio Society (APN-1 schematic diagram)
http://vk2bv.org/archive/museum/k-files/apn1.gif

HyperWar (Use of the APN-1)
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/ref/RADTWOA/RADTWOA-6.html

Inforagemuseum (Video about APN-1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9nsNCibnC8

VMARS (Vintage and Military Amateur Radio Society) Manuals (APN-1 Manual
“Handbook Maintenance Instructions for Radio Set AN / APN-2  –  AN APN-2Y  –  AN / APN-2B (1945 09 25) (Technical Order 12P-5 – 2APN-2)”
http://www.vmarsmanuals.co.uk/archive/4016_APN-2_Maintenance_Manual.pdf

Miniature Communications Receiver M.C.R.-1

Crypto Museum (Description of M.C.R.-1)
http://www.cryptomuseum.com/spy/mcr1/

Crypto Museum (Detailed instruction manual for M.C.R.-1)
http://www.cryptomuseum.com/spy/mcr1/files/mcr1_manual.pdf

Imperial War Museum (Photographs of M.C.R.-1)
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30005792

Waverley Amateur Radio Society (M.C.R.-1 schematic diagram)
http://vk2bv.org/archive/museum/k-files/mcr1.gif

Jan Poortman’s Vintage Radio Website (illustrations of M.C.R.-1)
https://www.pa3esy.nl/military/gb/army/mcr-1/html/mcr1_set.html

Books

Freeman, Roger, The Mighty Eighth – A History of the U.S. 8th Army Air Force, Doubleday and Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1970 (Special Operations Group – Carpetbagger history summarized on p. 263)

Captive Technology: German Photographs of Electronic Equipment in a Downed Special Operations Squadron B-24 Liberator – II

This – and the next – page present the 19 pictures in Luftgaukommando Report 1054, for B-24D 42-63792.  The format is identical to that followed in the blog post covering the Luftgaukommando Report for B-24H Liberator Tell Me More:

By scrolling “down” the post from top to bottom, you’ll see images of the two pages in the Report listing the captions of the photos. 

This is followed by a verbatim transcription of the block of the German text in those two pages.  The German text is followed by its English-language translation (in italics) which I transcribed from the MACR.

Then, moving “down” through all the pictures…

Each photo has its caption – in both German and English – below it.  The English-language translations are presented in italics. 

The images and their captions aren’t presented in the same numerical order as in the KU Report.  They’re arranged as if you were moving along the plane (or, er, uh…in this case, what’s left of the plane…) from front to rear.  I’ve also added comments below some captions.

____________________ 

DESCRIPTION OF AIRCRAFT 42-63792, AND PHOTO CAPTIONS

Feindgerät-Untersuchungsstelle 5
RLM GL C-Rü                                                                                                O.U. den 23.4.44
Feldpostnummer: L 50825 FW, Lgp. Brüssel.

Untersuchungsbericht Nr. 5/2021:

Am. 2.3.44 um 23.30 Uhr wurde in Fienvillers (8 km s.w. Doullens) eine Liberator durch Flak abgeschossen.  Von der Besatzung wurden 2 Mann gefangen genommen.

Das Flugzeug war als Sabotagematerialträger eingesetzt und sehr stark zerstört.

Die Typenbezeichnung des Flugzeuges lautete: B 24 D, Ser. 42-63792.  Bemerkenswert an diesem Flugzeug war die FT-Ausrüstung.  Es befanden sich beiderseits des Rumpfbuges die im Bild 1 u. 2 dargestellten Antennen.  Ferner befanden such nachfolgende FT-Geräte an Bord, die grösstenteils bereits durch Kurier nach dem RLM GL C-Rü gesandt wurden:

1.     RT-3 / APN-1
27 Volt
D.C. N.X.S. – 2424
1341 C.R.V.

2.    T-7 / APN-1
110 DB / 25
N.X. – 23763
1237 C.R.V.

3.    Anzeigegerät mit Braun’scher Röhre, vermutlich Suchgerät (Bild 12, 13, 14, 15 u. 16). –
4.    BC-433-C, Ser. Nr. 14506
5.    BC-966-A, Ser. Nr. 45327
6.    BC-454-A, Ser. Nr. 140
7.    BC-455-B, Ser. Nr. 20162
8.    BC-445-B, Ser. Nr. 52370
9.    BC-929-A

Trotzdem bei diesem Flugzeug verschiedene neue Geräte dabiei waren, waren sämtliche FT-Geräte von der Funkmeisterei des Fl.H. Rosiéres weggenommen worden.  Die FT-Geräte mussten erst dort abgeholt und zur Entnahme der Stecker und Kabel wieder in das Flugzeug eingesetzt werden. –

Ferner wurden mehrere Agenten-Empfänger des Musters Miniature Communications Receiver (M.C.R.1.) festgestellt.

Als Anlage zum Bericht werden 18 Fotos übersandt.

Erläutering zu den Bildern:

Bild 1 u. 2:     Antennen an beiden Seiten des Rumpfbuges
Bild 3:           Gerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.  Rechte oben im Bild ist die Kabeleinführung der im Bild 1 u. 2 gezeigten Antennen ersichtlich.
Bild 4:          Kabeleinführung in grösserem Masstab.
Bild 5, 6, 7:  zeigt den Lageert der Geräte RT-7 / APN-1
Bild 8, 9, 10: RT-7 / APN-1
Bild 11:         RT-3 / APN-1
Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.
Bild 17, 18:   zeigt den Agenten-Kleinempfänger.

Engelhard
Stabsing. Und
Sondering. GL

____________________

Enemy equipment investigation center 5                                             KU 1154
Ministry of the Air Force GL C-Rue                  Local Quarters, 23 April 1944
Field postal No L 50825 FW
Air District Post Office Brussels

Investigation Report No 5 / 2021

On 2 March 1944 at 2330 a Liberator had been shot down by anti-aircraft over Fienvillers (8 km southwest of Doullens).  Two members of the crew had been captured.  The plane was equipped as sabotage material-carrier and therefore very seriously damaged.

The type markings of the plane were as follows: B 24 D, Serial No. 42-63792.  This plane was equipped with remarkable radio equipment.  There were aerials on both sides of the front of the fuselage as pictures 1 and 2 show.  Further, there was the following radio equipment on board, the greatest part of which has been sent by messenger to the Ministry of the Air Dorces GL C-Rue.

1.     RT-3 / APN-1
27 Volt
D.C. N.X.S. – 2424
1341 C.R.V.

2.    RT-7 / APN-1
110 DB / 25
N.X. – 23763
1237 C.R.V.

3.    Indicator-set with Bruan’scher tube, probably search-equipment (see picture 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16)
4.    BC-433-C, Ser. No. 14506
5.    BC-966-A, Ser. No. 45327
6.    BC-454-A, Ser. No. 140
7.    BC-455-B, Ser. No. 20162
8.    BC-445-B, Ser. No. 52370
9.    BC-929-A

Though this plane was equipped with different kinds of new radio equipment, all radio equipment had been taken out by the radio office of the Air-base Rosieres.  The radio equipment had to be obtained from that office, and for the purpose of the removal of the plugs and cables had to be installed again into the plane.  Also, several agent receivers of the type “Miniature Communications Receiver (M.C.R. 1)” were found.

Enclosed in this report 18 photographs.

Photo explanation.

Picture 1 and 2:     Antenna on both sides of the front of the fuselage.
3:     Equipment with Bruan’scher tube.  In the right upper corner of the picture the cable installation of the antenna (shown in picture 1 and 2) can be seen.
4:     Cable installation on larger scale.
5, 6, 7:     shows the location of the equipment RT-7 / APN-1
8, 9, 10:   RT-7 /APN-1
11:            RT-3 / APN-1
12, 13, 14, 15, and 16     Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.
17 and 18:     Shows the Miniature-Communications-Receiver.

Enclosures:

Instructions for the
“Miniature Communications Receiver”
and 18 photographs.

Signed: Engelhard
Staff-Engineer and Special Engineer

____________________

Photos: Crash Site, APN-1 Antenna, and BC-929-A “Rebecca” Radar Interrogator Unit

____________________

These three un-numbered images show the scope and scene of the plane’s crash.  Most of the airframe and wings have been destroyed (the tail and left wing broke off during the crash) but ironically, several components of the plane’s special electronic equipment, situated in the central fuselage and nose, survived relatively or completely intact.  These have been extracted from the fuselage and placed in front of the wreckage. 

____________________

Bild 1 u. 2:     Antennen an beiden Seiten des Rumpfbuges

Picture 1 and 2:     Antenna on both sides of the front of the fuselage.

Bild 1 u. 2:     Antennen an beiden Seiten des Rumpfbuges

Picture 1 and 2:     Antenna on both sides of the front of the fuselage.

Bild 3:           Gerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.  Rechte oben im Bild ist die Kabeleinführung der im Bild 1 u. 2 gezeigten Antennen ersichtlich.

Picture  3:     Equipment with Bruan’scher tube.  In the right upper corner of the picture the cable installation of the antenna (shown in picture 1 and 2) can be seen.

Bild 4:          Kabeleinführung in grösserem Masstab.

Picture 4:     Cable installation on larger scale.

Comments for Photos 1, 2, 3, and 4: Close-ups of nose-mounted external receiving antenna associated with the APN-1 radar altimeter, and, the interior electrical connection of an APN-1 antenna within the fuselage.  Notably, the nose-mounted BC-929-A “Rebecca” Radar Interrogator unit and its attached cables (in photo 3) are completely intact. 

____________________

Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.

Pictures 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16: Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.

Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.

Pictures 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16: Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.

Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.

Pictures 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16: Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.

Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.

Pictures 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16: Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.

Bild 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Suchgerät mit Braun’scher Röhre.

Pictures 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16: Search equipment with Braun’scher tube.

Comments for photos 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16:  These are external and internal views of the BC-929-A Rebecca Radar Interrogator.  The phrase “Braun’scher Röhre” (Braun’scher tube) is German for “cathode ray tube”, the first such device having been invented by a Dr. Karl Ferdinand Braun in 1897. 

The remaining photographs are presented on the next blog post…

A B-24 Liberator, Up Close and Personal: German Photographs of a Downed B-24 in Holland – I

In September of 2016, this blog commenced with a post about Luftgaukommando Reports – documents created by the Germans to record information about aircraft and aircrews of the United States and British Commonwealth air forces shot down over German-occupied Europe and Germany itself, during the Second World War.  Also known as KU (Kampflugzeug Unterlagen – “Downed Allied Aircraft”) Reports, these documents are part of Records Group 242 (Collection of Foreign Records Seized, 1675-1983) in the United States National Archives. 

By nature, Luftgaukommando Reports comprise records compiled by the Germans, and not uncommonly, include documents (personal and otherwise) and other items, such as V-Mail and hand-written correspondence, carried or worn (dog tags) by air crewmen. 

That “first” post (a multitude of keystrokes ago…!) focused on Luftgaukommando Report J 2525, which covers “Chicago’s Own”, a P-51D Mustang (44-41010) of the 353rd Fighter Squadron of the 354th Fighter Group, which was piloted by Captain Gordon T. McEachron, and served to introduce and describe general aspects of Luftgaukommando Reports. 

What makes Luftgaukommando Report J 2525 noteworthy is the presence of several excellent photographs of the downed and mostly intact – albeit no longer quite flyable! – Mustang. 

Report J2525 is one of the very few Luftgaukommando Reports containing photographs.  Sometimes, like the pictures of Chicago’s Own, such images suggest the features, components, and design aspects of American warplanes that particularly drew the attention of German investigators and technical analysts.

In a large sense, perhaps an apt word for such images is “evocative”.  It’s one thing to read “about” the loss of an American military plane in a book, article, or Missing Air Crew Report.  It’s quite another to actually see and hold an image of what that aircraft looked like, to those who actually flew within it over seven decades ago. 

____________________

This post presents another series of German photographs of a downed American warplane:  An entirely intact yet rather broken 8th Air Force B-24 Liberator – ironically nicknamed “Tell Me More” – which was examined by the Germans after force-landing in Holland on April 29, 1944.  The 15 images presented here, in Luftgaukommando Report KU 1679, represent the second highest total quantity of images found in any of the Luftgaukommando Reports (whether J, KU, or ME Reports) I’ve thus far examined.  (The largest quantity of photographs in a Luftgaukommando Report– 19 – hopefully the subject of a future post!)

“Tell Me More”, a B-24H 41-28754 of the 787th Bomb Squadron, 466th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, squadron code 6L * N, was piloted by 1 Lt. Carl E. Hitchcock, and was lost during the Group’s mission to Berlin on April 29, 1944.  Its loss is covered in MACR 4447.  The 466th lost one other Liberator that day (41-29399, “T9 * D”, of the 784th Bomb Squadron, covered in KU 1681) while the 8th Air Force lost 61 other B-17s and B-24s; the 15th Air Force 4 B-24s. 

In human costs, approximately six hundred and seventy men.

According to tables of B-24 Liberator serial numbers in Allan Blue’s The B-24 Liberator (pp. 195 and 202), Tell Me More was a B-24H-1DT, and – going by serial numbers alone, rather than calendar date of manufacture and delivery – was the very first ”H” version of all 3,100 B-24H Liberators manufactured. 

The crew list from the MACR is shown below:

____________________

Neither the MACR nor the KU Report contain information describing the actual cause of the aircraft’s loss.  The KU Report simply states that the plane, “made an emergency landing 6 km east of Apeldoorn”, also vaguely mentioning “Liberator Shot Down”.  Regardless, as can be seen from the list in the MACR and KU Report, the entire crew of 10 was eventually captured.  

Fortunately, all survived the war. 

They were:

PilotHitchcock, Carl Edward, 1 Lt., 0-664597
Mrs. Mary Hitchcock (mother), North Bradley St., McKinney, Tx.
Born 1/17/15, Tx.; Died 9/23/95
Buried Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, Tx. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
POW Stalag 7A (Moosburg)
Captured by 6/22/44

Co-PilotYoung, Lloyd G., 2 Lt., 0-680791
Mrs. Mary Young (mother), Park View Ave., Knoxville, Tn.
Born 9/25/18, Smith County, Tn.
POW Stalag Luft 3 (Sagan)
Captured May 3, 1944, at Vorort v Tiel, by Officer Heitzwebel

NavigatorWillson, Robert Edwin, 2 Lt., 0-698245
Mrs. Frances (Gardner) Willson (wife), 3026 Lebanon, El Paso, Tx.
Born 9/9/20, Sherman, Tx.; Died 2/3/08
Buried Dallas – Fort Worth National Cemetery, Dallas, Tx.
On tombstone – “Ex-POW – It is well with my soul.”  (https://www.findagrave.com/)
POW – Camp Unknown
Captured by 6/22/44

Robert Willson’s tombstone, photographed by FindAGrave contributor William Nance, is shown below:

BombardierBochicchio, Vito Joseph, 2 Lt., 0-682047
Mrs. Margaret Bochicchio (mother), West 21st St., New York, N.Y.
Born 1/1/17, New York, N.Y.; Died 3/23/10
Buried Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, N.Y. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
POW Stalag Luft 3 (Sagan)
Captured May 3, 1944, at Vorort v Tiel, by Officer Heitzwebel

Flight Engineer DiManno, Carmine Gerard, T/Sgt., 31276739
Mrs. Mary Dimanno (mother), 19 Orchard St., Hartford, Ct.
Born 7/7/23; Died 5/29/77
Buried East Cemetery, Manchester, Ct. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
POW Stalag Luft 4 (Gross-Tychow)
Probably Captured April 29, 1944, near Apeldoorn

Radio OperatorMcCue, Thomas J. (“Thomas Francis”?), S/Sgt., 12188732
Mrs. Lee V. McCue (mother), 476 Dean St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
POW Stalag Luft 4 (Gross-Tychow)
Captured April 29, 1944, near Apeldoorn

Gunner (Ball Turret)Browne, Charles Graham, S/Sgt., 19116027
Mrs. Agnes G. Browne (mother), East South Mariposa St., Glendale, Ca.
Born 12/21/19, Twin Falls, Id.
POW Stalag Luft 3 (Sagan)
Captured April 29, 1944, near Apeldoorn

Gunner (Right Waist)Smith, David Leon, S/Sgt., 18213749
Mrs. Mary Smith (mother), General Delivery, New Franklin, Mo.
POW Stalag Luft 1 (Barth)
Captured by January 5, 1945

Gunner (Left Waist)Lugosi, Alex Paul, S/Sgt., 36631214
Mrs. Anna Lugosi (mother), 12632 Wallace St., Chicago, Il.
Born 11/11/21, Chicago, Il.
POW – Camp Unknown (numerical indicator is “0”)
Captured April 29, 1944, near Apeldoorn

Gunner (Tail)Dorrian, Thomas George, S/Sgt., 12121740
Mr. James Dorrian (father), 2541 99th St., East Elmhurst, Long Island, N.Y.
Born New York, N.Y.
POW Stalag Luft 3 (Sagan)
Captured April 29, 1944, near Apeldoorn

____________________

The crew list and other documents in the KU Report imply that the crew split up after landing – the enlisted men in one group, and the four officers in two pairs – in an attempt to evade capture.  This is suggested by their dates of capture, which are listed in the KU Report as follows:

Captured on April 29, at Apeldoorn:

T/Sgt. Carmine G. DiManno (flight engineer)
S/Sgt. Thomas J. McCue (Radio Operator)
S/Sgt. Charles G. Browne (Ball Turret Gunner)
S/Sgt. Alex P. Lugosi (Left Waist Gunner)
S/Sgt. Thomas G. Dorrian (Tail Gunner)

Captured May 3, at “Vorort v Tiel”, by an “Officer Heitzwebel”:

2 Lt. Lloyd G. Young (Co-Pilot)
2 Lt. Vito J. Bochicchio (Bombardier)

Captured by June 22, at an unspecified location:

1 Lt. Carl E. Hitchcock (Pilot)
2 Lt. Robert E. Willson (Navigator)

Managed to evade until early January, 1945; location of capture unspecified:

S/Sgt. David L. Smith (Right Waist Gunner)

____________________

The specific location of the aircraft’s landing is presented as follows:

1) The American Air Museum website lists the plane as having crash-landed at Apeldoorn.

http://www.americanairmuseum.com/aircraft/804

2) The Eighth Air Force Historical Society lists the plane as having landed at Wilp-Achterhoek, in Gelderland.

3) The KU Report gives two locations for the plane’s loss:

a) 6 kilometers east of Apeldoorn
b) 4 kilometers south of Touge

Touge is east-northeast, and Wilp-Achterhoek directly east, of the geographic center of Apeldoorn.  Based on this information, I’ve created three Google maps at successively larger scales, “zooming in” on the location which seems (seems!) to be the best composite of the above-reported locations.  This is denoted by the north-south oriented red ovals superimposed on the map, just southwest of Wilp-Achterhoek, and repeated on the Google Earth view of the same locale. 

These maps and the aerial photograph are presented below:

Here is an image of Tell Me More from the American Air Museum website, showing the relatively intact and rather bent B-24 resting on its forward fuselage, on a vacant field.  The American Air Museum website includes two other images of the plane, one showing what seems to have been a very hastily applied individual aircraft letter – “N” – on the lower port fin. 

____________________

But, what about the images in the KU Report?  To be told more of Tell Me More, refer to the next post…

Captive Technology: German Photographs of Electronic Equipment in a Downed Special Operations Squadron B-24 Liberator – I

The three prior blog posts concerning photographs in Luftgaukommando Reports (that for P-51D Mustang 44-14040 (“Chicago’s Own”) in Report J 2525, and the two posts for B-24H Liberator 41-28754 (“Tell Me More”) in Report KU 1680) share a fortunate similarity:  The aviators aboard that Mustang and Liberator all survived the loss of their planes.  Taken prisoner, they all returned to the United States after the war’s end. 

The loss of the aircraft covered in this blog post – B-24D Liberator 42-63792 of the 36th Bomb Squadron, 328th (later 801st) Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, covered in Missing Air Crew Report 3666, resulted in a different outcome:  One crew member evaded capture, but one aviator was killed in the loss of the aircraft, and the remainder spent the rest of the war as POWs.

In historical and archival terms, the Luftgaukommando Report (KU 1054) covering the loss of this bomber so far has the distinction of having the largest number of photographic images I’ve found in any KU Report I’ve examined.

This is probably attributable to the nature of the electronic equipment found in the plane, which comprised three notable items: 1) A BC-929-A “Rebecca” Radar Interrogator, 2) An APN-1 Radar Altimeter, and 3) A M.C.R.-1 Miniature Communications Receiver.

____________________

This nicknameless Liberator, piloted by 1 Lt. Frank G. McDonald, squadron letter “U”, was lost at 23:30 on the evening of March 2 – 3, 1944, during an operation dubbed “Musician 5”.  The Crew’s Mission Report for March 3, 1944 describes the plane’s load as 3 packages and 13 containers (both of unspecified contents), and 10 leaflets (containers of leaflets?). 

Roy Tebbutt’s extraordinarily comprehensive document “Aircraft lost on Allied Force’s Special Duty Operations & Associated Roll of Honour” states that the plane was shot down by flak mounted on railway cars.  The crash location in his compilation is stated as “Hem-Hardinval, Fienvillers (Somme)”, France, which is consistent with the location given in the KU Report as “five kilometers southwest of Doullens”.

Co-pilot Lt. Frederick C. Kelly’s Escape & Evasion Casualty Questionnaire (one page of which is included in the MACR; the transcribed account is given below), states that the propeller on the #1 engine was damaged, the #2 engine was on fire, the #3 engine was struck by flak and inoperative, the tail turret would not work because of damage to the hydraulic system.  And unsurprisingly, the fuselage was peppered with flak holes.

Here is a page from the KU Report describing the plane’s wreckage.  Note that the investigator identified the plane as a “Boeing Fortress II”.  (!)

____________________

Here is the crew list in the MACR:

More information about the crew – all of whom were still in the aircraft when it crashed – is given below:

Pilot
McDonald, Frank Green, 1 Lt., 0-675932

Mrs. Mary Thornton (mother), 1975 Sabine Pass, Beaumont, Tx. (or) 2823 South Adams St., Fort Worth, Tx.
Born 7/15/17; Died 1/15/99
Buried Hopewell Cemetery, Bowie, Tx. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
POW Stalag Luft 1 (Barth) – (North Compound 1)

Co-PilotKelly, Frederick Clyde, 2 Lt., 0-681112
Mrs. Frederick C. Kelly (wife), 26 Bellevue Road, Arlington, Ma.
Mrs. Elnora E. Watson (mother), Main Street, Taftsville, Vt.
Born 7/14/23
Evaded – Returned to England approximately June 1, 1944

NavigatorKendall, Thomas H, 2 Lt., 0-690665
Mr. Philip R. Kendall (father), Williamsburg, Oh.
POW Stalag 7A (Moosburg)

BombardierShevlin, Edward Francis, 2 Lt., 0-679669
Mrs. Mary R. Shevlin (wife), 908 Presidio, Forth Worth, Tx.
Born 8/12/19, Cortland, N.Y.; Died 3/7/11
Buried Oaklawn Memorial Gardens, Titusville, Fl. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
(Edward Shevlin’s tombstone – illustrated in his biography at FindAGrave – gives his wartime rank as S/Sgt.  This is almost certainly in error.)
POW Stalag Luft 1 (Barth) – (North Compound 1)

Flight Engineer Gellerman, Norman Raymond, T/Sgt., 37309882, 5 missions, AM, PH, KIA – Sole Fatality
Mrs. Virginia L. Gellerman (wife), 1415 Palace St., St. Paul, Mn.
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Louis and Winnifred Gertrude (McHugh) Gellerman (parents)
Brothers and sister: Vincent Clay, John Paul, Francis J., Louis Ernest, Roger Leonard, and Kathleen Mary
Born 12/20/17, Ramsey County, Minnesota
Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent-sur-Mer, France – Plot A, Row 13, Grave 32 (https://www.findagrave.com/)

Radio OperatorRoss, Warren Lewis, T/Sgt., 16092986
Mrs. Carrie E. Ross (mother), 216 West Ann St., Ann Arbor, Mi.
POW Stalag Luft 6 (Heydekrug)

Gunner (Right Waist)Goswick, Leroy Ellsowrth, S/Sgt., 13090050
Mrs. Amy Goswick (mother), 19 South 2nd St., Youngwood, Pa.
Born 7/28/22, Youngwood, Pa.; Died 1/12/17, Greensburg, Pa. (https://www.findagrave.com/)
Buried Youngwood Cemetery, Youngwood, Pa.
POW Stalag Luft 4 (Gross-Tychow)

Gunner (Tail)DeCoste, Edward Henry, S/Sgt., 11087792
Mr. Alcid Decoste (father), 36 Adams St., Newtonville, Ma.
POW Stalag Luft 4 (Gross-Tychow)

____________________

Though the MACR gives no details, translated German documents indicate that Lieutenant Shevlin was captured on March 3 in Rosieres, and was hospitalized at Luftwaffe Hospital 8 /31 at Amiens with a broken leg and a wound to his lower left arm.  Sergeant Goswick appears to have been captured by May 11.  The German crew roster in the MACR (translated from the German KU Report) also lists the capture of Lieutenants McDonald and Kendall, and Sergeant De Coste, but does not specify the dates and places of their capture.  The surnames of Lieutenant Kelly, and Sergeants Ross and Jennings appear in the translated crew roster with no further information.  The 801st/492nd BG website specifically states that some of the POWs had been betrayed to the Germans by collaborators.

What about Lieutenant Kelly?  As mentioned above, he was the proverbial “one that got away”. 

A transcript of the typewritten account he composed for his Escape & Evasion Report (E&E Report 699) appears below.  (Notably, what follows isn’t a verbatim transcript.  I’ve included those few sentences and phrases which were “struck out” of the original document, as struck-through text.) 

____________________

LIEUTENANT FREDERICK C. KELLY’S ACCOUNT OF ESCAPE AND EVASION

We were shot down by flak.  The plane crashed and a couple of us were thrown out.  We walked several miles and slept the rest of the night in a gully, where we also stayed the next day.  That night some Frenchmen who had seen us brought us bread.  We continued walking, and lay up in a shed on the edge of town, and spent the next day there.  In the evening a girl who had come upon us gave us food.  At nightfall we continued on our journey southwards, found a barn from which no dogs scared us away, and rested part of the night in a barn.

The third morning we approached an old man.  He said that the women of the village would take care of us.  We were led down the main street of the village, still dressed in our flying clothes, and taken in out of sight.  We were then given civilian clothes and taken to a house from which our journey was arranged.

However, when I got down in the S of France something went wrong with my helpers’ connections, of the people who were helping me.  I was given a railroad ticket to another town and continued the journey to Spain on my own.  After the train ride I walked out of the town and spent the night in bushes by a river.  The next morning I made the mistake of walking to the NE.  I spent the night outside a village and approached help the next morning and was told to take a bus to a town where I could find directions for getting to Spain.  The bus, however, went only as far as the town at which I left the railroad.  So I continued walking S and was taken in by a peasant who agreed to shelter me if I would leave my identity papers with him for the night.  It seemed that the farther S in France I went the more suspicious the people were

I walked to the town to which I had been directed, was fed by a peasant, and went on to a town farther to the S.  On the way a French gendarme checked my identity papers and asked me where I was going.  When I told him he asked me why I was going there.  “To work”, I explained, my identity card said that I was a blacksmith.  The gendarme laughed and let me go.  I spent an uncomfortably cold night in a shed outside of town and was colder than hell

I walked all the next day and spent that night in a sheep-fold.  The next day I continued walking.  About 1000 the next morning a women took me in and fed me.  She explained that it was dangerous to be found in the area along the Spanish border, that it was a in the Zone Interdite along the Spanish border, which I already knew from P/W lectures.  This woman kindly arranged got a guide to take me over the mountains.

Additional Comments

Airmen should have explained to them the difference between regular French gendarmes and the Vichy police – they wear different caps, for instance.  Men should be especially careful in the south of France where the people are not as friendly as in the north; they will feed you but are less likely to shelter you.

If you are not being moved it is a good idea to set a definite date by which your helpers must take some action; if they do not move you or do not give you a good reason for their failure to move you, you had better go on your own.

Statement of information covering the period from 2 March to 21 April 1944

Appendix B

Traveling by train from AMIENS to Paris in middle April informant saw that the railway yards at ALBET had been thoroughly blown up by bombing, with box cars strewn around and locomotives overturned.  AMIENS railway yards had also been hit but had not suffered so much damage.

In March or early April there was some kind of maneuvers around CONTY (Somme).  Infantry and tanks were involved (hearsay).

Informant saw a submarine in the river at BORDEAUX in middle April.

Informant was told, that DAX was a military headquarters of some sort.  Between BORDEAUX and DAX he saw a lot of German soldiers, most of whom seemed to be young.  There seems to be a large hospital at DAX; informant saw many German nurses.

There are a number of airfields between DAX and PONTONX  (Pontoux sur l’Adour)

Appendix D

I used the Horlocks tablets, milk tube, halazone tablets, matches, adhesive tape, chewing gum, water bottle, and compass.  The water bottle leaked.  There should be a check to see that the kits are new and in good condition.

I carried a yellow purse, the contents of which I gave to helpers. 

I carried eight passport-size photographs, one of which I used on my identity card.

I had been lectured on evasion and escape.  The lectures were of value only in so far as they concerned the use of the escape kits.  I don’t believe that I had ever heard of evaders.  At CCRC on November I believe I heard only a lecture on enemy interrogation, which was excellent.

Suggestions:  Carry every escape aid that you can.  Keep optimistic.

Lieutenant Kelly arrived in Spain on April 21, reached Gibraltar on May 29, and departed for England May 31. 

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Akin to the blog post concerning B-24H Tell Me More, I’ve used Google (what else…no-one escapes Google!)* to generate maps – at successively larger scales – of the plane’s crash site, with the “concluding” image being an aerial view of the crash site as it appears in now, 2017.  The most probable general location of the crash site is denoted by a red oval superimposed on the maps and photo. 

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The next two blog posts cover the 19 photographs contained in the Luftgaukommando Report for 42-63792.  Click ahead…!

* Yet…. 

Technology, Work, and The Future II: “Where The Jobs Go”: The View From Galaxy Science Fiction in 1966

Over five decades ago, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner Frederick Pohl wrote an editorial entitled “Where the Jobs Go”, which appeared in the April, 1966 edition of of Galaxy Science Fiction.  The impetus for his essay was the New York City Transit Strike of January, 1966 (1).  That event created an intellectual springboard for musings about the relationship between automation, information technology and employment, particularly in terms of the diminution – if not outright elimination – of existing occupations.  Writing in the midst of the strike – with the cancellation of bus and subway transportation affecting millions of New Yorkers – the issues Pohl raised are even more pressing today than in 1966.

Pohl presented a specific example of the effects of technological change on employment, through his discussion about the future of publishing, with representatives of the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (a.k.a. “ISI”) (2), and, Simon and Schuster.  He clearly foresaw what today would be termed “on demand” publishing.  Though he didn’t specifically estimate when this would occur, he understood that for the replication of printed information, the central dependence on and necessity for human activity, and in turn specific job categories, could in time be eliminated.  In the mid-1960s, this was in the areas of linotype operation, printing, binding, storage, and sales.  Bypassing and eventually supplanting the these steps – and the human role in them – could enable a customer; a user; a consumer; to produce a book, “on order, anywhere in the world”.

Which is where we’re at today. 

Another notable aspect of Pohl’s editorial was the realization that there is a natural and perhaps inevitable tendency to perceive the uses, effects, and implications of any new technology through the context of the past.  Pohl’s “twelfth-century armaments expert” has appeared throughout history in all venues of human endeavor: technological, military, economic, educational, and political.   

Pohl’s other examples included bank tellers, retail clerks, and accounts.  he realized that the commonality among these occupations was their general predictability and codification.  His prediction: Technological advances in electronics (“black boxes”) would eventually supplant established work activities, let alone categories of employment.

Pohl didn’t really address issues that would in time (our time) be wrought by these changes.  Instead, he concluded by simply suggesting – simplistically and optimistically; resignedly and pragmatically – their acceptance:  “Postponing this revolution or slowing it down isn’t going to make us very well indeed; let’s swallow it and get it over!” 

Perhaps he couldn’t have foreseen – could anyone? – the magnitude to which the issues he discussed – in terms of both physical and intellectual activity; in terms of social cohesion; in terms of geopolitical stability; in terms of ethnics and morality – would rise to prominence only a few decades later.

His editorial follows below…

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WHERE THE JOBS GO

As this is written, the city of New York is tying itself in knots because of a strike in the Transport Workers Union.  All of the city subways, and nearly all of its buses, are idle.  Workers can’t get to their jobs; shoppers can’t get to stores; salesmen can’t call on their customers; theatergoers can’t reach the plays for which they have bought tickets months in advance – in a word, the normal operations of the city have stopped.

All of this costs money.  The current guess is that the paralysis of the city is costing it something like $100,000,000 a day or substantially more than the combined expense of the space program, the war in Vietnam and Medicare put together.

It is our opinion that this is only a beginning, because it begins to look clear to us that the real squeeze brought about by automation is going to express itself – has already begun to express itself – in a wave of strikes such as we’ve never seen before. 

True, automation is not technically an issue in this strike.  The TWU had its confrontation with the machines – the “Headless Horseman”, as Mike Quill called it – when the subways installed the first automated tracks a few years ago.  At union insistence the Transit Authority provided a standby motorman on the train, whose principal efforts consisted of walking from one end of the train to the other each time it came to the end of its run.  The automated was destroyed accidentally in a fire after a year’s trial – apparently to the unspoken relief of all parties.  There has been no announcement of any plan to build another, but we would judge that its ghost haunts the negotiating tables.

Nearly all of the subway jobs involved are relatively unskilled – changemakers, conductors, station guards, motormen – with only a comparatively small number involved in maintenance, repair, construction and other more technically demanding jobs.  And this is the edge that cuts.  The subway workers have not been through the automation shakeout, when a large number of repetitive jobs are obsoleted and the jobs that are left require more training and more skill.

In other words, their productive capacity has not yet been multiplied by the machine factor.  This produces two opposed points of view, both of them unarguable.  Say the subway administrators and the public at large: These jobs just don’t call for that kind of money, and besides it would make the expense of running the subways ridiculously high.  Say the subway workers:  Other people putting in the same hours earn much more; we have to live in the same world with them, we have to compete with them to buy what we want in the stores, and we can’t do it unless we make as much money as they do.

This is the classical formula for the hardest-fought wars: both sides are right.

Is there any way to avoid more and even worse strikes than this one in the transition to the Cybernetic Age?

We doubt it very much.  Certainly what is happening now is not the final struggle; in fact, the issues haven’t even been joined.  The present subway strike is only a taste of what will come when “Headless Horsemen” are beginning to come out of the shops for all the major routes – and that day cannot be far off.  Remember the newspaper strike of a couple years ago.  That one was indeed fought on the issue of automation; but we have it on the word of the man who designed the systems that triggered the strike, Eugene Leonard, that it was the wrong fight at the wrong time over the wrong issues – because the systems that caused the strike were already obsolete at the time.

Not long ago we took part in a radio program with the aforementioned Gene Leonard, along with Arthur Elias of the Institute for Scientific Information and Henry Simon of Simon & Schuster, talking about the future of the publishing business in the Cybernetic Age.  We started by discussing automated typesetting, and it took exactly twelve minutes by the studio clock before we had reached a proposal for high-speed facsimile machines which would produce a book to your order, anywhere in the world.  In twelve minutes we not only got rid of the human linotype operator, but abolished the linotype itself and went on to obsolete the printing press, the binderies, the warehouses and the publishing house’s road salesmen.

Is such a new kind of publishing technologically feasible right now?  Certainly.  Is it likely to come into being in the next few years?  Certainly – cultural lag doesn’t permit us to move that fast – but it, or something like it, is surely the shape of the publishing business some time in the future.

We tend to think of automation’s effect on our own jobs in terms of a wilier, cheaper competitor to do the same things we’re doing right now.  In the event it isn’t going to be like that at all.  An analogy: Suppose we resurrected some twelfth-century armaments expert and asked him how he thought we should employ the resources of modern technology to build weapons.  No doubt he would be delighted; at once he would proceed to the fabrication of sharper lances, springier bows, truer shafts; and just how far would his troops get against H-bombs or napalm grenades?

Unfortunately, our own outlook on our own jobs is largely medieval.  The long lines of girls who used to assemble radio components don’t get replaced by speedier machine assemblies; they get put out of business entirely by printed circuits.  The stockbreeders who used to export power to the cities in the form of draft animals weren’t hurt by competition from more efficient breeders.  They simply ceased to have a market when the cities began exporting power to the farms, in the form of tractors and trucks.

Just so, in the long run (which may be measured in years or even months, these days), the bank tellers and retail clerks and accounting departments are not as likely to be replaced by whirring black boxes which accept ten-dollars bills and return change as they are to be retired completely by new electronic credit systems.  The machines don’t confine themselves to doing our jobs faster and more reliably – and cheaper.  They make it unnecessary for a great many of our jobs to be done at all.

Meanwhile, we have the strikes.  More and more of them, we would bet; worse and worse strikes, costing us more and more money.  (Each day’s loss to New York under the current subway strike would build a couple dozen handsome new schools.)

As long as Smith, operating at a job with only his own decision-making power, lives next door to Jones, whose decision-making power and consequent productivity is multiplied by the machine factor, they’ll go on; because Smith eats as many pork chops in a year as Jones, his children wear out as many clothes, his car uses as much gas – and he wants as much money.  Postponing this revolution or slowing it down isn’t going to make us very well indeed; let’s swallow it and get it over! – THE EDITOR

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Akin to my prior post “The Past As Prologue: Technology, Work, and The Future – The View From 1947” (which was based on a New Republic article “Communications Revolution” from 1947) “this” post includes – below – links to a variety of articles, essays, and a video or two.  They cover topics such as the effect of the Internet and technological change upon employment, and, social stability (both domestically and internationally); the return – with a searing vengeance – of the question of “class” in contemporary America (it never really went away), whereby social status has become a zero-sum-game conferred through thought, belief, pose, and moral intent; the impact of automation and robotics on employment; the economic and social corrosiveness of an informational oligopoly; the cognitive and cultural effects of “social” media.  And, in an age of ostensible meritocracy, the not uncommon lacuna between intelligence and wisdom. 

The commonality among these writings is that most (not all) have been published since February of this year (2017), when I created that “first” post covering the 1947 essay from The New Republic

For future blog posts concerning technology, economics, employment, and society, I hope to present links to similar writings, as they become available.

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Thoughts of Note

Uncertainty Without Principles

Rod Dreher Economic Insecurity
(The American Conservative – February 20, 2017)

Nicholas N. Eberstadt Our Miserable 21st Century
(Commentary – February 15, 2017)

Esther Kaplan (Photography by David M. Barreda) – Losing Sparta: The Bitter Truth Behind the Gospel of Productivity
(Virginia Quarterly Review – Summer, 2014)

Michael Lind – The New Class War
(American Affairs – Summer, 2017)

David Ramli Jack Ma Sees Decades of Pain as Internet Upends Older Economy
(Bloomberg.com – April 23, 2017)

Walter Scheidel The Only Thing, Historically, That’s Curbed Inequality: Catastrophe

(The Atlantic – February 21, 2017)

Yves SmithHow Financialization and the “New Economy” Hurt Science and Engineering Grads
(Naked Capitalism.com – May 12, 2017)

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The New Zero Sum Game: Social Status in America* in the 21st Century (The Aristocracy Reborn?)

Matt Stoller On Mocking Dying Working Class White People
(Medium.com – March 24, 2017)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/matthewstoller

Lambert Strether Frank Rich, the Trump Voter, and Liberal Eliminationist Rhetoric
(Naked Capitalism.com – March 27, 2017)
*And beyond.

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Avarice In the Guise of Altruism

Kevin D. WilliamsonWhy Corporate Leaders Became Progressive Activists
(National Review – March 13, 2017)

Michael Hobbes Saving the World, One Meaningless Buzzword at a Time
(Foreign Policy – February 21, 2017)

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Robotics and Jobs: The Unknown Future

Nicholas CarrThe Digital Industrial Complex
(Rough Type – May 12, 2017)

Nicholas Carr The Robot Paradox
(Rough Type – May 16, 2017)

Tyler CowenIndustrial Revolution Comparisons Aren’t Comforting
(Bloomberg.com – February 16, 2017)

Jack MaWorld Leaders Must Make ‘Hard Choices’ or the Next 30 Years Will be Painful (CNBC.com – June 21, 2017)

Cade Metz The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet, It’s the End of the Middle Class
(Wired – February 20, 2017)

Claire C. Miller The Long Term Jobs Killer is not China.  It’s Automation
(The New York Times – December 21, 2016)

Claire C. Miller Why Are We Doing This to Ourselves
(The New York Times – December 28, 2016)

Claire C. Miller How to Prepare for an Automated Future
(The New York Times – May 3, 2017)

Rick MoranThe Huge Economic Issue That Washington Isn’t Talking About
(Pajamas Media – February 12, 2017)

Clive Thompson The Next Big Blue-Collar Job Is Coding
(Wired – February 8, 2017)

Victoria TurkDon’t Fear the Robots Taking Your Job, Fear the Monopolies Behind Them
(Motherboard.com – June 19, 2014)

Marcus WohlsenWhen Robots Take All the Work, What’ll Be Left for Us to Do?
(Wired – August 8, 2014)

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From Prose to Power.  And, More Power.

Franklin FoerAmazon Must Be Stopped: It’s too big.  It’s cannibalizing the economy.  It’s time for a radical plan.
(The New Republic – October 9, 2014

George PackerCheap Words: Amazon is Good for Customers.  But Is It Good for Books?
(The New Yorker – February 17 and 24, 2014)

Matt StollerWhy We Need to Break Up Amazon… And How to Do It
(Medium.com – October 16, 2014)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/matthewstoller

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“Social” Media

Nicholas Carr Zuckerberg’s World
(Rough Type – February 28, 2017)

Nicholas CarrHow Technology Created A Global Village and Put Us at Each Other’s Throats
(The Boston Globe – April 21, 2017)

David FosterMark Zuckerberg as Political and Social Philosopher
(ChicagoBoyz.net – March 7, 2017)

Annalee Newitz Mark Zuckerberg’s Manifesto is a Political Trainwreck
(Arstechnica.com – February 18, 2017)

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Intelligence Or Wisdom

Andy BeckettAccelerationism – How a Fringe Philosophy Predicted the Future We Live In
(The Guardian – June 5, 2017)

Gregory Ferenstein The Disrupters: Silicon Valley elites’ vision of the future
(City Journal – Winter, 2017)

E.M. OblomovIntelligentsia Elegy: American Intellectuals are at Odds with the Workings of Democracy
(City Journal – February 3, 2017)

Paul G. RavenWe’re Reading Up on Transhumanism
(Arcfinity.com – 2014)

Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel Hail the Maintainers: Capitalism Excels at Innovation But is Failing at  Maintenance, and For Most Lives It Is Maintenance That Matters More
(Aeon.com – April 7, 2016)

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On a hopefully lighter (!) note, this post ends with two illustrations that graced the interior of the April 1966 issue of Galaxy, both of which complemented Jack Vance’s remarkable Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella, “The Last Castle”.  They’re by science-fiction artist Jack Gaughan.  They show a Phane and a Mek. 

To learn more, you can read about “The Last Castle” at Battered, Tattered, Yellowed, & Creased.

(For more literary illustrations, particularly from the “Golden Age” of science-fiction, you might want to visit: http://wordsenvisioned.com/.) [Shameless plug.]

Notes

(1) From Wikipedia:  New York City’s Transport Workers Union, and, Amalgamated Transit Union, called a strike against the city’s Transit Authority on January 1.  The strike was resolved by the 13th, through a package comprising, “wages increases from $3.18 to $4.14 an hour, an additional paid holiday, increased pension benefits, and other gains.”  The strike also resulted in the passage of the Taylor Law, which defined, “rights and limitations of unions for public employees in New York.”

(2) Also known as “ISI”; later “Thomson-ISI”, then the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters; now “Clarivate Analytics”.  The title of the enterprise’s next iteration – should one occur – is unknown.

References

New York City 1966 Transit Strike, at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_New_York_City_transit_strike

Frederick Pohl (biography), at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederik_Pohl

“The Last Castle” (by Jack Vance), at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Castle_(novella)

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PHANE

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MEK

Japanese Technology at War: The Interrogation Transcript of a Japanese Naval Aviation Mechanic in 1944

The central focus of literature about military aviation has traditionally revolved around the men – the aviators – who fly and fight within combat aircraft. 

Accounts concerning a less acclaimed but still vital aspect of aerial warfare – the maintenance and repair of military planes – are far fewer in number.  But, regardless of the conflict, country, or military force, the maintenance, modification, and repair of military aircraft has been an essential aspect of combat flying since the inception of military aviation. 

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This post covers one such example.  It’s an interrogation transcript of a Japanese Petty Officer First Class who served in the 751st Naval Air Unit (3rd Maintenance Unit, to be specific) at Vunakanau, Rabaul, from September of 1943 through February of 1944.  He was captured by an American destroyer after the two naval transports on which he was successively a passenger – the Kokai Maru, and Nagaura Maru – were sunk in late February of 1944.  His interrogation transcript presents an interesting and detailed account of his service as a mechanic on G4M Betty bombers, his activities including adjustment of propellers and engine electrical wiring, with his specific duty being servicing carburetors. 

His position as an engine mechanic in the 751st, coupled with having been stationed at Vunakanau (he was present during a 5th Air Force strafing attack against that airdrome in October of 1943), his observations of Japanese military aircraft, and aspects of his military service such as his observations of Allied POWs, open an unusual window upon the history of the Pacific Air War.     

Unfortunately, the man’s name is not given, but the document does provide a few clues about his background.  Born on May 5, 1920, in Toyohashi (Aichi Prefecture, on Honshu), he completed six years of primary school and two years of higher primary school (equivalent of American 8th grade)?, and worked as an assistant at a silk cocoon and silk thread processing farm. 

Were he alive today, he would be 97 years old. 

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The Report was discovered at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, where – listed as Interrogation Report No. 357 – it’s one of the 783 ATIS (Allied Translator and Interpreter Services) Interrogation Reports of Japanese Prisoners of War, which date from September of 1942 through September of 1945.

Importantly…  A list of titles of the specific titles of all ATIS Interrogation Reports can be found at the website of Japan’s National Diet Library.  This is an invaluable resource, for along with the Report Number, it lists the identity of the military unit to which the captured POW belonged, and even in some cases the name of the POW. 

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Given that the interrogating officer placed special emphasis on radar carried by G4M bombers, this post includes some of the very few images available of the components and features of the Type 3 Ku-6 radar system.  (Now, where does one find the instruction manual for the Ku-6?!) 

I’ve transcribed the Interrogation Report, which is available for you here, in PDF format

Paralleling the original physical document, the PDF includes four representative sketches drawn by the POW, showing characteristics of the Kyushu Shiden, the modified tail gun position of the G4M bomber, and the configurations of the nose and tail antenna installations of the Ku-6 radar.  Note that the POW illustrated the nose radar antenna as projecting “whisker-like” – perpendicular – from the fuselage.  However, the images below show the Ku-6 nose antenna as a single mast extending forward from the bomber’s nose, with smaller antenna extending to both sides of the main mast.

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Here are images of the first two sheets of the Interrogation Report, complete with NARA’s declassification sticker at the top.  The first image illustrates the supplementary handwritten notes, and stamps, and signature on the original document.

Excerpts from the text of the document follow below…

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Designation and Markings of the 751st Naval Air Group

4. UNIT OR FORCE

751 Naval Air Unit     PW believed 751 Naval Air Unit would have been disbanded by now because of severe losses.  When unit arrived at RABAUL, Sep 43, it had about 40 airplanes.  Owing to ALLIED raids, Unit had only 20/25 airplanes in Jan 44, and by Feb 44 only 15 were left.  On 19 Feb 44, he heard all remaining airplanes were sent on a special suicide mission against ALLIED Naval forces then attacking either TINIAN or TRUK.  PW doubted that any survived.

Change in Tail Markings of 751 Naval Air Unit

At KANOYA – Apr 42  Tail marking was K-300 series in white numbers on dark green background.  Thought the K stood for KANOYA.

At KAVIENG – Aug 42  Unit name was changed from KANOYA Naval Air Unit to 751 Naval Air Unit and marking was changed simply to the 300 series, the K being dropped.  Numbers were painted in white.

At TINIAN – Jun 43  The marking was changed to read Z2 followed by 300 series in white.

At RABAUL – til Nov 43  The marking was changed back to simply the 300 series painted in
white, Z2 being dropped.

At RABAUL – from Dec 43 on  The marking was altered to 51 followed by 300 series.  Thought 51 possibly referred to the last two digits of 751.  Thought tail marking was changed on Units’ arrival at each new base.

Unit Losses  (See Sec 7, “Modification of BETTY Tail Turret”)

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Information about Kawashini N1K2 Shiden Fighter Plane;
Possible Reference to Mitsubishi Ki.67 Type 4 Hiryu Bomber

7.  SHIPS AND AIRPLANES

Super Fighter     (KYOKUCHI SEN) (#1) (See Appendix “A”).  PW had not seen it but another maintenance man who arrived at RABAUL from JAPAN (Feb 44) told him about this airplane and drew him a sketch.  PW thought KYOKUCHI SEN was only a factory name and that Navy might already have given airplane another name.

Following are particulars he heard:

Type     Fighter pursuit ship (TSUI GEKI KI) said to be much faster than the ZEKE or the P-38 and thought it was the Navy equivalent of the Army TOJO because he recognized similarities when shown a photo of the TOJO.

Construction     Slightly larger in all dimensions than the ZEKE and silhouette from side was “fatter”.  Cockpit was set well back (about middle of fuselage).

Engine     KASEI, of about 1300 HP.

Performance     Could climb very fast and maintain a steady climb at an angle of about 40o.  It required as much runway to take off as did the ZEKE.  Not capable of more than four or five hours’ continuous flight.

Armament     13 mm MGs and 20mm machine cannon.

Propellers     Either 3 or 4 blade.

Manufacturer     Possibly KAWANISHI.  It was originally produced as a float airplane fighter and when tested showed excellent speed, manoeuvrability and climb.  Better results were obtained in tests with undercarriage changed to ordinary ground landing gear.  It was then decided to make slight modifications and produce it as a regular Navy pursuit ship.

General     When first produced in quantity and delivered to Naval Air Units in JAPAN it was used in training.  However, because of its frail construction it many times disintegrated in the air, so was temporarily banned from Service about end 43 or beginning of 44, but after it had been reinforced it was used again.

Y20     While at RABAUL PW heard of a new Naval Bomber called Y20 or Land Bomber (RIKU BAKU) which was a cross between Type 96 2EB NELL Mk 2 and Type 1 2EB BETTY.  It was said to be smaller and much faster than BETTY, carrying a crew of only three or four.  It could carry the same bomb load but fly a greater distance than BETTY and was equipped with 13mm MGs.  Heard it was made by MITSUBISHI and used by some Naval Air Units.

PW thought Y20 was the factory number, and had never heard of its official name.

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Modification of G4M Tail Turret

Modification of BETTY Tail Turret     About Jan 43 while 751 Naval Air Unit was at KAVIENG twenty BETTYs went on a bombing mission to GUADALCANAL, and only six returned.  Airmen who returned complained that revolving tail turret of BETTY was so sluggish and difficult to operate that they were unable to cope with ALLIED fighters, which concentrated their attack on their tail.

Unit therefore effected an immediate improvement by cutting away part of the tail turret to allow freer action of tail gun, although such modification made the airplane at least two or three knots slower.  They simply cut the section right off and did not add any supporting brackets, or covering shield.  The tail was left entirely open, allowing the gunners full traverse of the rear gun. (See Sketch 1 Appendix “B”).

While at TINIAN, Aug 43, about ten new BETTYs arrived for the Unit and they all had improved tail turrets allowing freer action of the rear gun.  The modifications had been effected at the factory in JAPAN, and observed from the top, the tail turret had a “V” shaped section cut away.  This type of turret was also entirely open.  (See Sketch 2, Appendix “B”).

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An American POW at Rabaul

(Probably 1 Lt. Bernard E. Sahl of VMF-223, shot down over Vunakanau in F4U-1 57464 on December 25, 1943; Severely burned; mentioned in Report by Lt. John M. Arbuckle; Held captive by 81st Naval Guard Unit; “executed” (euphemism…) while POW, probably mid-1944)

13.  MORALE AND PROPAGANDA

JAP Prisoners of War       PW had heard that at NOMONHAN, one complete SENDAI Unit, about 2,000 men, was captured by the RUSSIANS.  When the truce was made, those men were returned to JAPAN.  Unit CO committed suicide and it was arranged for the 2,000 men to be sent back to MANCHURIA, rather than to allow then to remain in JAPAN.

ALLIED PsW     On Air Objective Folder No. 92.2 SINGAPORE, PW located an ALLIED PW camp holding thousands of prisoners, as being immediately North of Empire Dock Area. (Target 12).  While on a six-hour leave (Apr 42), he had seen three large, two storey barracks, each capable of housing 500 to 600 men under JAP Army standards.  White PsW could be seen at the windows and one stood guard at the front of the barracks.  There was no fence or wall around camp.

Aug 42, while KATSURAGI MARU was docked at Target Area 11 for three days, PW saw white prisoners crossing by boat to BLAKANG MATI Island just off the Southern tip of SINGAPORE Island.  They did not seem to be working.  They wore light khaki clothing.

In Nov 43, a Fighter was shot down near a native village near VUNAKANAU airfield.  Pilot was brought by natives to HQ 751 Naval Air Unit.  As there was no interpreter present prisoner was sent to RABAUL.  PW heard that prisoner was a Capt.  He was about 5’7” tall and heavily built.  He wore no rank badges but on the sleeve of his flying suit was yellow or gold badge on a black or blue background.  The pilot was uninjured except for burns on the face.

He had seen ALLIED PsW working around RABAUL.  It was not customary to guard them since they could be quickly identified if they attempted to escape.

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Here’s an image of G4M1 Betty “367” which the POW – perhaps? – may actually have seen and maintained.  The aircraft belongs to the 751st Naval Air Group, and was photographed during the 345th Bomb Group’s strafing attack against Vunakanau on October 24, 1943.  The image is one of several pictures of 751st NAG G4M bombers appearing in Lawrence Hickey’s Warpath Across the Pacific.  Six of these aircraft carry three-digit tail numbers, the leading digit being a “3”.      

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The interrogation accorded much attention to the Type 3 Ku-6 radar carried in the G4M bomber.  The following three images, from the USAAF photo collection at Fold3.com, show a G4M2a bomber equipped with this device, as well as other notable aspects of the G4M2.  This aircraft – 763-12 – is the subject of a three-view illustration in William Green’s 1969 book Famous Bombers of the Second World War

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Photographed at Clark Field in 1945, aircraft number “12” of the 763rd Kokutai is shown under examination by members of the Air Technical Intelligence Division of the Army Air Force, with Sergeant H.W. Willis (from Beckley, West Virginia) prominently appearing in two of the images. 

The photo caption for this image (A-68394 AC / A30416) states that the aircraft had been strafed by P-51s but was not badly damaged.  Sergeant Willis is standing next to the port gun window.  The portly yet nicely streamlined shape of the fuselage is quite apparent, as are the dorsal and tail mounted Type 99 cannon mounted in those positions.  Also visible are the radar antennas mounted in the tip of the nose, and, alongside the rear fuselage.  The latter is entirely consistent in configuration with the description given by the POW.

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This image (68389 AC / A30413) shows Sergeant Willis examining the port Type 99 cannon.  (Is he handling an ammunition magazine?)  Notable details include what appears to be a flash suppressor at the cannon’s muzzle; the cylindrical notch at the rear of the waist position for stowage of the cannon (via the flash suppressor); the circular fuselage entry hatch upon and around which the Hinomaru has been painted; the mounting struts for the radar antenna.  Also, notice the rectangular data plate painted below the port stabilizer.

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The last of the three pictures (68390 AC / A 30414) of Sergeant Willis and Betty 763-12 shows fascinating aspects of the plane and its equipment.  Enlargement of the data plate shows the serial number to be “2134”.  Though very faint in the photo, someone has hastily scrawled the warning “BOOBY TRAPPED!  DO NOT (rest of the text is illegible, but the meaning is clear)…” below the horizontal stabilizer.  The cut-away modification to the tail gun position described and sketched by the POW is very obvious.  Finally, the life raft.  The photo caption states that Sergeant Willis is, “…examin[ing] the novel life raft with which the plane is equipped.  He is using the bellows which inflate the boat.  The raft is made of light rubberized material [and] is propelled with wooden paddles.”

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The Rising Decals company (Czech Republic), manufacturer of aftermarket decals and detail sets for Japanese aircraft of the Second World War, has produced an update kit for creating 763-12 based on Hasegawa’s 1/72 G4M2.  This image shows the components of the update set, further illustrating the configuration and mounting of the Type 3 Ku-6 antennas.

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This image, from the website of the National Air and Space Museum, shows a Type 3 Ku-6 (Model 4) radar set and associated connecting cables.

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Here are three views of the cathode ray tube utilized in the Ku-6 Radar, also from the National Air and Space Museum website. 

References

ATIS Interrogation Report 357, from Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, Assistant Chief of Staff (G-2) Intelligence Library Project File, ATIS Interrogation Reports.  (NARA Records Group 165, Box 325, Entry 79, Shelf Location 390/33/27/5-6/7) 

Green, William, Famous Bombers of the Second World War, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1960 (Mitsubishi G4M Type I, pp. 52-58)

Green, William, Famous Fighters of the Second World War, Hanover House, New York, N.Y., 1958 (Kawashini Shiden pp. 111-116)

Hickey, Lawrence H., Warpath Across the Pacific – The Illustrated History of the 345th Bombardment Group During World War II, International Research and Publishing Corporation, Boulder, Co., 1984 (751st Naval Air Group G4M bombers, pp. 78-79)

Thorpe, Donald W., Japanese Naval Air Force Camouflage and Markings – World War II, Aero Publishers, Inc., Fallbrook, Ca., 1977

National Diet Library of Japan (English-language version), at http://iss.ndl.go.jp/?locale=en&ar=4e1f

Index to all ATIS Interrogation Reports, with English-Langauge descriptions, at National Diet Library of Japan (click hypertext)

Multitasking Begins! (Somewhat…) – The Advent of Multiplex Telephony, circa 1918: “Five Conversations On One Pair Wires”

An article from the Philadelphia Inquirer on December 23, 1918, carrying Theodore N. Vail’s announcement about the the advent of Multiplex Telephony.  The full text of the article is presented below, followed by an article from Electrical World of January, 1919, describing the development and implications of this technology in more detail. 

Theodore Vail was president of AT&T between 1885 and 1889, and again from 1907 to 1919. 

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5 Conversations
On One Pair Wires

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 13, 1918

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Theo. N. Vail Describes Invention of Multiplex Telephony and Telegraphy

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Wires Can Now Be Used Simultaneously for Both Purposes If Desired

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Special to the Inquirer
INQUIRER BUREAU, 1406 G St., N.W.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12. – The invention and development of a practical system of multiplex telephony and telegraphy are described as of recent accomplishment by Theodore N. Vail, in a letter to Postmaster General Burleson, made public by the latter today.

Mr. Vail said in his letter:

“After several years of intense effort a practical system of multiplex telephony and telegraphy has been invented and developed, by the use of which it is now possible to increase many fold the message-carrying capacity of long telephone and telegraph wires, especially of the open wire type.”

Four Conversations at Once

Mr. Vail said the service had been in operation between Baltimore and Pittsburgh for more than a month.

Under the system four telephone conversations can be carried on over one pair of wires at the same time, in addition to the telephone conversation provided by ordinary methods.  Heretofore the best possible over a single pair of wires was one conversation, although a “phantom circuit” arrangement, developed some years ago, enabled three telephone circuits to be obtained from two pair of wires.  Now, by the latter device, ten simultaneous telephone conversations are obtainable from the two pairs of wires.

“This represents an increase of more than three fold in the telephone capacity of the wires as compared with the best previous state of the art,” said Mr. Vail in his letter.  “And a five fold increase under conditions where the phantom circuit is not employed.”

Sensational Results

Mr. Vail goes on to state that sensational results have also been attained in telegraphy by the new system.

“The nature of the developments,” said Mr. Vail, “is such that if desired wires may be used partly for telephone and partly for telegraph.  _____ pair of wires is available either for five simultaneous telephone conversations or for forty simultaneous telegraph messages, or partly for one and partly for the other.”

It is announced that from the nature of the apparatus and methods, the system is not practically advantageous [for] short lines.  Its application on lines, however, is to be extended immediately. 

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References

Theodore Newton Vail, at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Newton_Vail

“New Multiplex System of Telephony”, Electrical World, V 73, N 1, January 4, 1919, pp. 11-13.