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Thread: Bomb loads for Lancasters

  1. #1
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    Default Bomb loads for Lancasters

    In researching a family member's service history, I've copied the relevant pages for the 460 Sqdn (RAAF) ORB during the May-Dec 1943 period.

    In the form 541 (details of work) his crew is listed, by aircraft number, time up/down, bomb load, and the Int Officer's summary of the debrief (target, bombing height/direction/time, comments, pilot assessment).

    For the bomb load, there are a number of acronyms and abbreviations I have no knowledge about. Some quick searching has turned up almost nothing that I can use to decipher them.

    Examples of the types I am talking about include:

    HC
    GPLD - General Purpose Low Drag?
    INC - incendiaries?
    MCTD (often with 0.025) - some sort of contact fuze type, 0.025 thousandths/second?
    MCLD (often with hours figure after) - delayed action fuze of some type, eg 36 hours?
    "X" filled INC - some special incendiary?

    Any old bomb aimers out there?

    I couldn't find any websites with Google that might help me.

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    It appears that the Lancaster Archive (http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_bomb_loads.htm) contains some of the information I require:

    HC - Heavy Case
    GPLD - General Purpose Low Drag
    INC - incendiaries
    "X" filled INC - explosive filled incendiaries

    The following are still unclear though:

    MCTD (often with 0.025) - some sort of contact fuze type, 0.025 thousandths/second?
    MCLD (often with hours figure after) - delayed action fuze of some type, eg 36 hours?
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Adrian,
    HC- heavy case or High Capacity i.e. blast bomb.
    MCTD- Medium Capacity Timed Delay
    MCLD- Medium Capacity Long Delay

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    Thanks Bill,

    So I trust that a MCTD 0.025 is a Medium Capacity bomb with a 0.025 thousanths of a second delay fuze?

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Not really sure on this one Adrian. Alternatively it could signify a 25 second delay, i.e. 0hours, 0 minutes, 25 seconds.
    Bill.

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    Hope I am not speaking out of turn here, but my understanding has always been that HC indicated "High Capacity" (as already mentioned, along with MC for "Medium Capacity", which I also agree with), which meant that a higher proportion of the nominal weight of the bomb was in explosive, and therefore less in the heavy casing department, which rather contradicts the "Heavy Casing" theory. Could anybody with access to some good reference works (either official or at least written by somebody who really knows what they are talking about) on RAF bombs of WW2 and their nomenclature attempt to explain this little conundrum??
    David D

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    Some titles (only) from the TNA would seem to agree with Capacity being the term.

    DEFE 15/2408
    Bombs: high capacity (HC) and medium capacity (MC); list of recommended fillings
    1943 Oct 01 - 1943 Oct 31

    DEFE 15/2444
    Bombs high capacity (HC) 4000lb Mk 4 filled TNT/Al 70/30, TNT/Al 75/25, TNT/Al 80/20: static detonation trials
    1945 Mar 01 - 1945 Mar 31

    DEFE 15/2448
    Bombs high capacity (HC) 4000lb Mk 4 blast performance of RDX/TNT/Aluminium/Carbon/Wax 20/55/25/2.5/3
    1945 Sep 01 - 1945 Sep 30

    etc etc

    'Heavy Casing' does not return any hits on the TNA search engine for AIR or DEFE 1940-1948
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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