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Thread: Urban Legend?

  1. #1
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    Default Urban Legend?

    Crewmember went down with the load?

    I recall a conversation that took place about 50 years ago, shortly after I had joined the RCAF. Two of my section-heads, ex-WAGs, were swapping "war stories" and one of them mentioned the tale of a crewmember who went into the bomb-bay during runup to the target to investigate a "hang-up" problem and ended up going down into town with the load when the bomb-release systems finally functioned as advertised. He survived, obviously wearing a 'chute and became a POW.

    Is this story plausible? It could be debunked very quickly by someone assuring me that no, the bomb bays of the aircraft employed by Bomber Command were not accessible from inside the fuselage while in flight.

    Cheers, Ken

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    Hi Ken,
    As far as the Lancaster goes, there is no way to access the bomb bay from
    inside the aircraft. There is a small inspection panel in the front of the bomb bay,
    so the bomb aimer could shine a torch inside to check for hang ups, but there is no
    way to climb inside the bomb bay.

    Regards,
    Wayne.

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    Hi Ken
    I think the only a/c where this might have worked was the B17 which the RAF used for bombing for a while and also for ECM Ops.There are many stories of US aircrew leaving B17's and B24's via the bomb bay which was accessible from the inside and had a walkway along the a/c. As far as I know a/c like the Lancaster, Halifax ,Stirling and Wellington only had inspection panels to enable crew to examine the Bomb bay and these were only about 9" square at the most
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hi Ken,

    Dick is right - as far as I know there was no acces to bomb bay of RAF bombers - it was possible only in B-17 and B-24.
    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    B-24 rather than B-17, the latter being used in small numbers.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all,

    I will now put another "war story" away in my "not substantiated" file.

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