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MB_Avro_UK
05-09-2007, 04:31 PM
Hi all,

You take off from your carrier for a long mission...night descends...how do you find your carrier?

I'm thinking about real WW2 situations.

How was it organised?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

MB_Avro_UK
05-09-2007, 04:31 PM
Hi all,

You take off from your carrier for a long mission...night descends...how do you find your carrier?

I'm thinking about real WW2 situations.

How was it organised?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Divine-Wind
05-09-2007, 04:34 PM
Radio?

Rammjaeger
05-09-2007, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

You take off from your carrier for a long mission...night descends...how do you find your carrier?

I'm thinking about real WW2 situations.

How was it organised? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dead reckoning, I suppose:

http://www.irbs.com/bowditch/pdf/chapt07.pdf

WarWolfe_1
05-09-2007, 05:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

You take off from your carrier for a long mission...night descends...how do you find your carrier?

I'm thinking about real WW2 situations.

How was it organised?

Best Regards,
MB_Avro. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Cell phones and GPS units http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Waldo.Pepper
05-09-2007, 05:22 PM
In most cases the pilots have a rough idea of the course of the Carrier battle group Task Force etc. They also know the speed of the group. So they know the general vicinity to start with.

They fly in this general direction until they make radio contact with the Fighter Director on the return leg.

Often enough they would have to climb to a high altitude to make this initial radio contact (to achieve line of site around the curvature of the Earth.)

You can then determine the direction to travel, from a few different methods.

If the fighter has a DF loop antenna the strength/direction to the carrier can be measured. If not the Battlegroup/Task Force can use its radar to provide a vector to steer back to the ships.

This method is described in Carrier Pilot by Norman Hanson who flew Corsairs for the RN in the Pacific. Great book btw.

luftluuver
05-09-2007, 05:33 PM
One time the carrier 'slights were turned on but can't remember which battle.

Philipscdrw
05-09-2007, 06:08 PM
I've read that ships leave a visible oil slick in the water behind them and it's possible to follow a fleet that way?

R_Target
05-09-2007, 06:17 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
One time the carrier 'slights were turned on but can't remember which battle. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The USN did this at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Most of the pilots weren't trained for night carrier landings.

LStarosta
05-09-2007, 06:22 PM
Little fluorescent plankton, but you need to have a power failure for your cockpit lights to turn off so you can see them.

tagTaken2
05-09-2007, 06:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by R_Target:


The USN did this at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Most of the pilots weren't trained for night carrier landings. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ouch.

I think I'd have to toss a coin, given a choice b/w carrier pilot, and Komet pilot.

Zeus-cat
05-09-2007, 07:13 PM
Dead reckoning. Radio would never be used to recover a lost pilot in waters where enemy ships, subs or aircraft might be close by. You never risk an entire ship to recover one aircraft.

Read the book "War in a Stringbag" by Charles Lamb. In the book he describes standing on the carrier and listening to fellow pilots fly near enough to the carrier that the plane could be heard from the ship, but the pilot was not close enough to see any of the ships. Eventually the planes would fly off in another direction desperately looking for the carrier. These pilots were almost always never seen again. The crew on the ship always felt bad, but every pilot knew they were on their own in such circumstances and that a ship would never reveal itself for fear of the enemy finding it.

leitmotiv
05-09-2007, 07:17 PM
The Royal Navy and the USN perfected a radio "homing beacon" before WWII. Recall those "ashcans" fitted on the tripods of RN carriers in the immediate pre-war years? That's the device. They sent out a radio signal on a known frequency, and all the aircraft had to do was to latch onto that signal with their radio direction finding gear and follow it straight back to the carrier. The catch was that it did not work at low altitude. The USN always used the homing beacon for their aircraft. The Japanese did not have such a system. Their carriers had to break radio silence and broadcast their position to the aircraft.

The other way USN aircraft had to find their carrier was "Point Option." It was a geographical point unto which the carrier was committed to be located at the time the aircraft were returning. Of course, navigation in pre-GPS days was never precise, especially from an airplane, thus, the homing beacon with its absolute precision, was the preferred way to find the carrier.

Chris0382
05-09-2007, 07:46 PM
ALl I can think of is reciprical compass direction. Knowing how far, how fast, and directions you have taken, you do the reciprical of the way you came. Helps in scuba diving in NE.

leitmotiv
05-09-2007, 07:54 PM
Carriers don't stay in the same place!

T_O_A_D
05-09-2007, 08:05 PM
Teamspeak Duh?

No just kidding, Dead reckoning, radio, luck, and previous rendevous points to navitgate to.

BfHeFwMe
05-09-2007, 08:46 PM
No ones going to broadcast signals of any sort from a carrier in war time.

Also Japanese Navy aircraft didn't carry radios, kind of hard to have the ship call. One of the major reasons for their demise as a fighting force.

DxyFlyr
05-09-2007, 08:52 PM
From what I've read, it was just as Lietmotiv described. The USN called the recievers in their planes a "Zed Baker" (ZB). The transmitter on the ship was a (YE).

They were notorious for not working properly. The system worked best at high altitude (as someone already mentioned-- having to do with curvature of the earth). Each plane was fitted with a zed baker but it sounds like you were lucky if one or two in a flight would work or get a signal. The lucky guy that got a signal would hand sign to his flight to follow him.

Just as a side note, you seem to read of more Avengers getting lost than Dauntlesses. I wonder if it might have to do with the altitude they typically flew.

leitmotiv
05-09-2007, 08:57 PM
Tosh. All Japanese carrier aircraft carried not only radios but radio direction finders, including the A6M Zero. Position signals were broadcast to lost Japanese strike aircraft on Pearl Harbor day 7 Dec 1941. The USN used the homing beacon for their aircraft in every naval battle of 1942. See Lundstrom's two volume history of USN fighter operations in 1942, THE FIRST TEAM for complete details of the USN homing beacon.

Waldo.Pepper
05-09-2007, 09:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Radio would never be used to recover a lost pilot in waters where enemy ships, subs or aircraft might be close by. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry Zeus-cat. Never say never dude... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"We roared off to the south, climbing like dingbats for altitude in order to establish radio contact. We were up to 16,000 feet before I got a reply. Then Indomitable, with the best radio in the Fleet, came up loud and clear. She told me not to waste time giving her a fix, just to press on and await their call when we appeared on radar. Sometime later the FDO was back:
'Now we've got you. Eighty miles to go. Turn 10 degrees to port on to 175 degrees. Over.'
I thanked him. I was a lot happier now and could almost hear the boys whistling with good cheer. We were still up in the mellow light of an orange setting sun with the sea, far below us, as black as ink. The minutes ticked away.
'Twenty-five to go.' Time passed.
'We're down on your port side now. Can you see us? Over.'
I looked down, at an angle of some 45 degrees. Nothing.
'Not yet. Over.'
'Good God, man! You're looking down the bloody chimney! Look again! Over.'
Yes; they were there."

"Best Radio in the fleet." From the afor mentioned Carrier Pilot.

Here is the page.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/WaldoPepper/Carrier%20Pilot/neverusearadio.jpg

leitmotiv
05-09-2007, 11:37 PM
DEC.7, 1941 by Prange, Goldstein, and Dillon documents many cases of lost Japanese aircraft given fixes to return to their carriers (and the Americans intercepted some of these signals---fortunately for the Japanese, botched the radio direction finding so that they placed the Japanese fleet south of Oahu instead of north!) on 7 Dec 1941.

Roblex
05-09-2007, 11:51 PM
The Japanese fleet was discovered at Midway because a pilot saw a wake.
He did not see the fleet at first and had to follow the wake before the fleet came in sight. This would seem to indicate that a CV fleet leaves a very long trail in calm seas which would be a big help to returning aircraft in daylight and maybe even moonlight.

Blutarski2004
05-10-2007, 04:32 AM
Anyone interested in Japanese radio communications and technology will find this webpage useful -

http://wlhoward.com/radios/

Check out the rest of this site as well. There is a mountain of WW2 technical intelligence material on a WIDE range of subjects. Mr Howard was a tech intel officer duringthe war.

Rammjaeger
05-10-2007, 04:39 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by R_Target:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
One time the carrier 'slights were turned on but can't remember which battle. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The USN did this at the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Most of the pilots weren't trained for night carrier landings. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think any navy trained its pilots for night carrier landing in WW2. That concept was still in its infancy back then.

R_Target
05-10-2007, 05:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I don't think any navy trained its pilots for night carrier landing in WW2. That concept was still in its infancy back then. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yup. At least for normal carrier air groups. The Hellcat and Corsair night fighter pilots were pretty thoroughly trained though. They were usually attached to a normal carrier air group and did their business while the other pilots slept. At least until they realized that dedicated night carriers were a better idea.

I would have to double-check this, but I believe at least one night fighter pilot took off during the Philippine Sea recoveries to lead lost pilots back to the ships.

leitmotiv
05-10-2007, 05:46 AM
No. CV-2's Air Group was night trained before WWII, see Lundstrum's THE FIRST TEAM, Vol.1. ENTERPRISE, INDEPENDENCE, and SARATOGA all deployed night Air Groups trained for advanced night strike operations toward the end of the Pacific War, see THE BIG E. This thread reveals the dire danger of relying entirely on intuition and ignorance.

joeap
05-10-2007, 06:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
No. CV-2's Air Group was night trained before WWII, see Lundstrum's THE FIRST TEAM, Vol.1. ENTERPRISE, INDEPENDENCE, and SARATOGA all deployed night Air Groups trained for advanced night strike operations toward the end of the Pacific War, see THE BIG E. This thread reveals the dire danger of relying entirely on intuition and ignorance. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
WORD. Plus the Brits launched the attack on Taranto at night. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Bremspropeller
05-10-2007, 07:04 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Little fluorescent plankton, but you need to have a power failure for your cockpit lights to turn off so you can see them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I never knew you flew Banshees in Korea http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Sergio_101
05-10-2007, 03:40 PM
There was at least one incident where the captain
turned on all lights (against regulation)
to save a as many aircraft as he could
from a mission that ran late.
This action saved many men.

Sergio

luftluuver
05-10-2007, 03:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:
There was at least one incident where the captain
turned on all lights (against regulation)
to save a as many aircraft as he could
from a mission that ran late.
This action saved many men.

Sergio </div></BLOCKQUOTE>see pg 1

horseback
05-10-2007, 03:54 PM
Santa Cruz was the carrier battle where the task force commander authorized turning on the lights. I met at least one guy who blessed that admiral's name to his dying day. It was an incredibly gutsy call.

I can't speak definitively about modern systems, but by the 60s & 70s, US, and I assume, NATO pilots found their carriers by means of TACAN.

TACAN used different frequencies and often, Morse code letters, to identify specific ships, sending a varying pattern of pulses (called 'squitter') over 360 degrees that the aircrafts' TACAN receivers could decode and use to get a bearing and rough range to "home plate". It was sometimes a pain to work on (by necessity, it was often the highest mounted antenna on the ship; antenna maintenance could be a bit nerve racking for some techs), but very popular with the aviation types.

cheers

horseback

Waldo.Pepper
05-10-2007, 04:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
Anyone interested in Japanese radio communications and technology will find this webpage useful -

http://wlhoward.com/radios/

Check out the rest of this site as well. There is a mountain of WW2 technical intelligence material on a WIDE range of subjects. Mr Howard was a tech intel officer duringthe war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Man is that a GREAT GREAT GREAT link! Thanks.

R_Target
05-10-2007, 04:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
No. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Eh? No what? No, all regular air groups were trained for night landings? No, night fighter pilots didn't receive more training than regular fighter pilots? No, night fighters weren't initially based on carriers with a regular air group? No, they didn't realize that dedicated NAGs were a better idea? Or no, night fighters didn't guide some of the strike planes back to TF58?