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Thread: Bombed up for a training flight?

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    Default Bombed up for a training flight?

    Hi All,

    I have just read an eye-witness account, many years removed, of the crash of Wellington LP397 near Mayfield on 13 Oct 1944. This 28 OTU crash has been covered in earlier threads (links below).

    The witness said rescuers couldn't get near the plane because it had bombs on board which were exploding. This doesn't sound right to me for an OTU flight. Was it more likely just the gas tanks going up? Would there have been any ordnance on board at all?

    John Stevens and I both have an interest in this one and we have all of the crew info and links to the sites that have covered this one and the memorial put up in 2011.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4063-Sgt.-Richard-John-Taylor-R-203228-RCAF-13-June-1944
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?8132-Help-needed-to-find-Wellington-codes
    David

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    David, just a thought.
    If I was at an OTU as a makee-learnee Airframe Driver/Flt Eng I would like to know how The Thing behaved with a full fuel/bomb/guns load. You might be right that it was just the petrol tanks exploding - with the bombs in the 'bomb-load' being inerts. But somehow, my instinct tells me that even at OTU 'They' would, at some stage in the course, give the pupils The Full (live!) Works to deal with?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Good point, Peter. I wondered about that after posting this. I could certainly see the gunners having live ammo, in case of attack, but from the account, it sounded like more than just ammo going off.
    David

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    David, I agree that gunners had a live ammo in case of intruder attack in case of any training flight.

    But as for the bombs - I do not know who was the witness reporting the bombs explosions but if it was only a civilian he could confused bombs and petrol tanks explosions.

    I suppose they could be bombed up for a special bombing training but as stated in one of links they were on standard X-Country flight I think it is quite impossible they were doing X-Country flight with bombs.

    HTH

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Some cross Country training flights often ended with a bombing practice so I suppose this could have been a live practice.

    Malcolm

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    Very interesting Malcolm!
    Possibly in those later years of war but for example from 1942 when Czechoslovak airmen were trained with No. 1429 COTF I have never read of Cross Country flight ended by bombing.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    I think you will find that air gunners at OTUs also practiced aerial gunnery during these courses, as would observers, although this practice would normally be against towed drogues or sea markers and the like, or with gun cameras against real aircraft, usually RAF ones detailed for the job. Also observers and later air bombers would carry out practice sorties at OTUs, but these would often be "dry runs" or with practice bombs. However it is possible they used a few larger ones, but I doubt this would be normal unless it was against perhaps an old ship wreck or some other handy structure that could take a lot of punishment. Larger bombs were generally reserved for the enemy, unless there was a special reason to use them in training sorties. A certain amount of training (including gunnery and bombing) was also carried out on operational squadrons for various reasons.
    David D

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