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View Full Version : 353FG's Capt. Gordon B. Compton speaking about APIT .50cal rounds



DKoor
11-07-2009, 09:18 AM
On 5th April 1945 he led the 351st FS in an attack on Weiden airfield, the Mustang pilots circling the base a couple of times and spotting at least a dozen enemy aircraft on the ground. In the absence of flak, they decided to make a single pass on the airfield. Compton recalled;


"I picked out a group of five or six enemy aircraft in the south-east corner of the field on my first pass and set two of these (Me-410's) on fire. They were parked nose to tail. Next, I lined up three more enemy aircraft and started making passes on them, One turned out to be a dummy, one an Me-410 and the other an Me-410. After about six passes the two enemy aircraft began burning. While I was working on these in the middle of the field, my wingman, Lt. Pryor, worked just to the east of me and destroyed three Me-410's, bringing the total to seven destroyed, all of which were burning when we left the field.

On this attack I used a full load of the new APIT (armour-piercing incendiary tracer) ammunition and was not impressed with it. The tracer ammunition distracts so much attention from the gun sight that good aiming is almost impossible. <span class="ev_code_red">The gun sight would have to be very much brighter to overcome this</span>. Also, the minimum effective range in not more than 300 yards. Above this range the bullets tumble and spiral. This prevents any concentrations of fire to be directed at any one point."


Capt. Gordon B. Compton was an experienced pilot, an aerial ace with 5.5 kills and 15 strafing kills.
Anyhow, I put the text in red what seems to be some kind of dubious facts when compared to IL-2, i.e. IL-2 is not quite compatible with this account because I don't think that anyone could have any problems aiming with full belt full of tracer .50cals (we already have Fokker belt option with full tracer, check it out, .50cals are about the same regarding visibility).

All in all an interesting story.

Kettenhunde
11-07-2009, 10:12 AM
Come on Dkoor....Not enough .50 cal blowing things up in your thread. You're mojo is weak on this one.

I predicit a quick death for this thread. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

BillSwagger
11-07-2009, 10:55 AM
If he's speaking of M-8, the brightness might be true, although sometimes with these accounts, despite being a good pilot, its just one man's opinion.

You talk to Gabbie about incendiary tracer rounds and he'll tell you they were good from 700 yards in air to air combat.

Kettenhunde
11-07-2009, 11:40 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/partyhat.gif

Tipo_Man
11-07-2009, 01:05 PM
Well, nice report, but you miss the keyword Tiger in the topic http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Anyway, very interesting, but we must keep in mind that experienced pilots in general didn't like tracers.
And that extra dispersion may be even an advantage for a general just-out-of-the-school pilot, in his spray-and-pray passes...

DKoor
11-07-2009, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by BillSwagger:
You talk to Gabbie about incendiary tracer rounds and he'll tell you they were good from 700 yards in air to air combat. Can you post this interview or most interesting part of it?

Just want to point out that for instance this man in the thread above got his Mustang fully loaded with APIT's only... what was Gabreski's loadout?

Also arguably it is easier to spot the distance when attacking targets on ground, for obvious reasons, but in my opinion that is of little importance considering that these men had extensive combat experience.

DKoor
11-07-2009, 02:48 PM
The main point of this thread is about just how the bright APIT rounds are... there is absolutely no way that is the case in IL-2.
Like someone noticed, it is easier to spot .50cal tracer from 3km distance than it is to spot them when you fire them from your plane.

I think this should be addressed in some future patch... I'm not a computer tech wizz but comparing to some work Daidalos does this seems like a child's play to implement.

The main issue with this weapon in game is % of hits on target plane.
Sure some plane will take more some less but they will all be seriously damaged or destroyed if hit good with .50cal.

Secondary issue is their effectiveness at longer range... that issue should be pursued too, however.

horseback
11-07-2009, 06:20 PM
On this attack I used a full load of the new APIT (armour-piercing incendiary tracer) ammunition and was not impressed with it. My first impression is that the tracers might be more distracting than usual because EVERY Round was a tracer...

also, April 1945 is about a month before VE Day. Surely there was an earlier type of APIT ammo in regular use by then...

cheers

horseback

doraemil
11-07-2009, 07:49 PM
DK, that is interesting, most threads say the APIT was perferred and here's a captain saying they aren't all that.



top 10 reasons why US preferred .50 cals


10. Tanks

"Our preferred method was to dive straight down on top of them <tanks>, and when you just come close to just 'nuff height to pull out, unload for a few seconds. It took alot to get the new boys up to speed with this but it was surefire."

"The P-38 boys, they were rare (Western front); they had a technique of shallow diving, shooting to bounce off the pavement or rocks to get at the soft spot under the tanks."

"The big Tigers were the best, lots of area to aim for."

"Amazing when you got an open hatch, the tracers go in and come out the sides, back, front, lighting it up like a Christmas tree! The tank would fall apart like chopped vegetables."



8. Ships

"Fifties were a buzzsaw, just cut destroyer (sized) ships in half in one pass." A-20 crew

"The Brits were ****ed when our 47s sank . . . (Zeppelin) only because we had 6 more fifties than they (spitfire) did."

"Silent Service (the) was thinking of replacing torpedos with Fifties but they don't work so well underwater, and popping up to do so was stupid, they could use a surface ship for that. Also all .50's went to a new and powerful US designed british fighter and to the navy's fighter planes, so the project was abandoned."
-USN report on fitting submarines with .50 cals



7. Hitting power:

Found that a single .50 machine did the damage of two 20mm hispanos - USN study.



"API / APIT belting was too good, you could cook fighters, punch hole's in em, and see 'em. Only missing was phosphorous, but that was a Jerry thing. " - THE ordnance guy.



6. Luftwaffe's mistake

"Goering made the mistake. We flew (captured) P-51 with their machine cannons, and they could hit hard and fast. They last long (firing time / ammo count). But we had our cannon and he went with that. Even though the American's was better. His other mistake was Bodenplatte."

"Panzer divisions were not surpised that the American (P-51) cannon went through a 2m of armor used for Henschel (tank). Hitler did not want to believe, even the proof was there (film)."

-HIstory Channels' War Birds of Prey series.


5. "Cobra had too many cannons. It made many aces. The middle one was question. But the 12.7 mm was best. I heared Americans didn't like this fine plane, but that was their problem."
- VVS quote

4. Time magazine: " US won the war nearly single handedly with one plane, the P-51, and one gun, the .50 caliber M2."

3. "We didn't really need them (P-51, P-47, P-38), box formations and our Fifty, called them fly swatters were good enough, because we knocked them flies (109, 110, 190's) dead. There was this theory that the fighter boys wanted to have some fun and they wanted to test long range for fighters." Little Friends vs Big Friends

2. "You didn't even need a gunsight, just point down the nose, and wait till they got big, and let them have it! New best plane!!" Finnish Brewster pilot commenting on the .50 cal upgrades



and for . . . .

#1 ".50 cals were the only thing that could catch up to them new non prop Luftwaffe plane (me-262)" Little friends vs speedy pg 10, 24, 50 and 180.

Xiolablu3
11-09-2009, 05:35 AM
Lmao doraemil, I mean geez http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

BillSwagger
11-09-2009, 06:27 AM
Originally posted by DKoor:
Can you post this interview or most interesting part of it?

http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-24aug43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-24aug43.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-3sept43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-3sept43.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...-gabreski-5nov43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-5nov43.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-26nov43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-26nov43.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-29nov43.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-29nov43.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-30jan44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-30jan44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-20feb44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-20feb44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...breski-12march44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-12march44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...breski-27march44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-27march44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-22may44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-22may44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-7june44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-7june44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...abreski-12june44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-12june44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...abreski-27june44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-27june44.jpg)
http://www.wwiiaircraftperform...gabreski-5july44.jpg (http://www.wwiiaircraftperformance.org/p-47/er/56-gabreski-5july44.jpg)

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



Just want to point out that for instance this man in the thread above got his Mustang fully loaded with APIT's only... what was Gabreski's loadout?

Perhaps i stand corrected, here.

Gabreski used a combination of AP and I rounds. My understanding of strictly (I) incendiary rounds is that there are no tracer elements in it, it is designed to emit a flash on impact, not only for the incendiary effect, but to also give a visual cue that the shots are hitting the target.

Tracer rounds (T) or (APIT) has a burning agent that emits a spark designed to get brighter with distance, as to not be too blinding when it is closer. I think because its also burning as it travels, it loses its balance while rifling through the air, so it would appear to spin and curve in trajectory the further it travels and the more it burns.

Why a pilot would use 100% tracer rounds is beside me. APIT can inflict damage but its not going to be nearly the same as an AP round, and choosing to hit ground targets with only APIT seems shortsighted. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif


As for tracers being brighter and more apparent in game, yes it should be done, but hopefully you are aware of tracer mods that allow a brighter more apparent tracer.

Choctaw111
11-09-2009, 07:24 AM
The APIT tumbles after 300 yards?
I find that hard to believe. How would that ammo have even gotten to the point of mass production then?
Sure, a pilot who was there could have a very accurate account of how things really were, but when it comes to performance and such, their observations aren't that scientific, are they?

psykopatsak
11-09-2009, 09:31 AM
3. "We didn't really need them (P-51, P-47, P-38), box formations and our Fifty, called them fly swatters were good enough, because we knocked them flies (109, 110, 190's) dead. There was this theory that the fighter boys wanted to have some fun and they wanted to test long range for fighters." Little Friends vs Big Friends

of course, since this pilot survived. bombing raids whithout escorts made the B17 a flying coffin, .50cal or not.

BillSwagger
11-14-2009, 10:47 PM
Originally posted by psykopatsak:
[QUOTE]

of course, since this pilot survived. bombing raids whithout escorts made the B17 a flying coffin, .50cal or not.

I've read my grandpa's notes on being a tail gunner, and he makes it sound like escorts were seldom around. At least, not visibly apparent to him or the formation.
He also seldom saw any enemy fighters. I think common sense says that if your gonna spray flak at a formation then you probably don't want your own planes in the mix of things. Flak was no doubt a bigger problem for these bombers than fighter planes.

He flew over ten missions and only one of them was what he considered a close call. That was when his plane took a direct hit from flak losing an engine, and then on the opposite wing they had a malfunction and a runaway prop.
If you can imagine flying into a headwind on two engines, with a ground speed of only 80mph, while flak batteries continue to fire on you, i would think that to be a very scary ride.



Bill

M_Gunz
11-14-2009, 11:33 PM
Ummmm, about doraemil's post back there.. uhhhhhh

JtD
11-14-2009, 11:36 PM
If Flak was a bigger problem than enemy fighters, it indicates that the friendly fighters did a good job already.

I also think that Flak fire is psychologically harder than an attack by enemy fighters. It's always good if you can shoot back and never good if all you can do is sit and wait.

When did he fly his missions?

BillSwagger
11-15-2009, 12:13 AM
He flew combat missions in 45 from Feb. to April.

Only one of his reports mentions seeing a fighter plane although several kilometers away. This fighter remained unidentified and no support (escorts) were in the area so it was assumed it was E/AC, however it didn't attack his formation.

JtD
11-15-2009, 12:27 AM
From February to April the USAAF lost in the ETO

149 heavy bombers to enemy fighters and
398 heavy bombers to anti aircraft fire.

Flak indeed was a bigger reason for concern than the Luftwaffe fighters. In fact it was so for almost the entire last year of the European conflict. Sorry for not reading up before posting.

BillSwagger
11-15-2009, 12:48 AM
He doesn't mention this in his reports, but while sharing his photos many years ago, he explained seeing a B-17 take a hit of from flak, and then slowly split down the middle of the fuselage. In the photos you can't really make out the plane so well, but you can see the parachutes and the smoke from the flak. The sky is almost black with flak spots, to give you an idea.
I also read that the advancement of the allied front in the west meant that flak and AAA batteries were moved back, however they were much more concentrated. This made it especially dangerous, and probably why he didn't see many E/AC or escorts. Any smaller aircraft wouldn't last long under such a barrage, and I find it amazing that bombers did make it through such conditions.

That was the day his plane almost went down, but other than that most of his flights went as planned. The formation might've had one or two planes suffer mechanical failures but for the most part they were able to drop their bombs over the target and get home with out incident.

Bill