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Thread: Bomb hangups and dumping them in safe mode

  1. #1
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    Default Bomb hangups and dumping them in safe mode

    Still pondering the case of NP709...

    There is evidence from witnesses that this a/c dropped two bombs that did not explode on their return from a raid to Oberhausen on Nov. 1/44. The plane had apparently been attacked by a JU88 within minutes of leaving the target and was looking for a place to crash land. The MRES investigators reported that the crew dropped two bombs in safe mode in preparation for a crash landing but the plane exploded on hitting the ground, suggesting there was at least one bomb still on board.

    Does this sound plausible? Could there have been as many as three bombs still on board after the bombing run and could the pilot and crew have had time to put them in safe mode and drop them while circling looking for a landing place?
    David

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    I think anything's possible. In the chaos of preparing to crash land, I'm sure that procedure is rushed. The B/A or pilot drops the bombs, hopefully in safe mode. If the pilot does this (which he can), he doesn't have the ability to check the bomb bay through the ports with an aldis lamp for hangups. In either case, would they have had the opportunity to check for hangups? I'd doubt whether they would have. Just because the bombs weren't armed does that mean they will not explode on impact? I'm not an expert here but how fail-safe were those mechanisms. Did the A/C explode because of bombs or was it the fuel they carried? Those are the questions that come to mind.

    Jim

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    Thanks Jim. They must have had some time at least to think of it and try, which lends credence to the report that they circled the town before crashing.

    The question of the destruction of the a/c on impact is a vexing one. With half a tank of fuel left, that alone could have caused enough of a fire to do a lot of damage in a narrow street (there are pictures of the place). The investigators did some interviews in Oct 1945 and their report suggests there was at least one bomb still on board that caused all the crew to be thrown from the a/c and found within 100 metres of the site.

    Whatever it was caused damage to 15 buildings on the street and a big enough fire to incinerate the pilot. His disappearance had the Wermacht mount a search for him but witnesses say they saw him strapped into the cockpit, which suggests the explosion came some time after the crash, perhaps long enough to cook up a bomb explosion, even in safe mode.
    David

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