December 12, 2012 would have been Everett Smith’s 98th birthday. I will simply give a salute and say, Thank you for everything, dad. You don’t know how much I miss you. (unfortunately my blog was having technical difficulties Wednesday)
The B-17 Flying Fortress was a primary resource for both the U.S. Army Air Corps and the Royal Air Force early on in the was. Depite going through fourteen different variations, General Arnold decided that the plane was not the most efficient for the unusual aspects of the Pacific War and it generally maintained a status of completing aerial supply drops.
The U.S. B-24 Liberators was capable of of carrying up to 3629kg (8000lb) of bombs and had a range of traveling over 3200km (2000 miles). It was more modern than the B-17 with a longer range, heavier pay load and more speed. This plane was used by almost every army in almost all theaters of operation.
B-25 bomber was a medium bomber which was easily controlled. Named after General Billy Mitchell, the only complaint about the plane was how loud it was. The usual joke heard, “The B-25 is the fastest way to turn aviation fuel into noise.” This plane saw service for four decades, with the Army, Air Force and Marines all having their own variations. This was widely used in the Pacific because it was capable of treetop level strafing and parafrag (parachute-retarded fragmentation bombs).
The Boeing B-29 has become the most famous bomber since it was the Enola Gay that carried and dropped the first atomic bomb. It was designed to be a Hemisphere Defense Weapon with an extremely long range of 4100 miles and had a bomb load capacity of 20,000 pounds. It was well advanced in that the gun turrets were controlled remotely by the gunners sitting inside and using periscopes to aim their weapons. The plane had a total of ten 12.5mm machine guns.
A common complaint was the Wright R-3350 Duplex Cyclone engine and it was eventually replaced with the Pratt Whitney R-4360.
There were numerous other bombers, such as: the Marauder, Dominator, Liberator, B-34, etc., many of which went through different variations.
But, since we are giving credit where credit is due – there were also numerous other planes involved in assisting the ground forces. You had the fighters, such as the P-40 which became known as the plane of the “Flying Tigers.” On February 1, 1945, the Corsair made their first regular operational flight from the US Navy aircraft carriers. It had a kill ratio of 11:1 with it’s six machine guns and capability of soaring 417 mph. The Corsair would become the best of the carrier planes.
And the, you had Dive Bombers, Torpedo bombers, attack planes, Reconnaissance, Cargo and Transport (like the C-46 Commando and C-47 Skytrain), Liason planes, Observation, Seaplanes, and Flying boats – eg. the PBY Catalina, some of which are still in use today. This ship was useful both as a rescue and a bomber.
This post is to give the reader an idea of the constant activity going on in any one area. The Allied forces and each branch worked separately, but simultaneously to accomplish one goal. Perhaps that is one reason why I find the WWII era so interesting. If anyone out there would like to further research this topic, I recommend daveswarbirds.com/usplanes/american.htm as an excellent starting point.
Posted on December 14, 2012, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged 11th airborne, Air Force, Army, aviation, History, Military, Military History, Navy, Pacific War, Philippines, veterans, WWII. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.