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Mancunian airman

Whats this 'aerial' on this Lancaster wings ??

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Looking for something else I came across this photo of a 550 Lancaster at Killingholme but what is that aerial on the starboard wing I wonder  . . .

LL837-Q-Queenie.jpg

 

IF you can enlarge the photo it has a central dipole with two others at 90 degrees Thought it was similar to the aerial carried by our Intruder aircraft (?)

Edited by Mancunian airman
Clarification of description.

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I think someone snapped off a Rebecca aerial and mount and perched it on the wing to tease researchers 70 years into the future. 

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This is a closer, sharpened image.

393ca6f8-f792-4af9-a80f-2ccb32c68de8.png

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Could it be "gee"?

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Hello!

 

Did 550 sqn fly troop supply or precison target missions? Precise air navigation was the other purpose for the Rebecca (advanced variants). See for example:

 

Ground beacon use (Rebecca from pdf page 10 onwards):

https://www.jlab.org/ir/MITSeries/V3.PDF

 

Eureka-H ground beacons:

http://www.rquirk.com/cdnradar/cor/chapter14.pdf

 

AN/APN-2 ("Rebecca") system (pages 10 & 11 of the pdf, antenna AT-2/APN picture and dimension):

http://www.signalspaning.se/wwii_radar_radio/Graphic Survey Section 4.pdf

 

 

Chees

Kari

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6 hours ago, Kari Lumppio said:

Hello!

 

Did 550 sqn fly troop supply or precison target missions? Precise air navigation was the other purpose for the Rebecca (advanced variants).

Formed Nov 43.  Regular bomber squadron until late April 45 when switched to dropping food to starving Dutch people.  After end of hostilities repatriation of ex-PoWs from the Continent and of Eighth Army personnel from Italy.  Disbanded Oct 1945.

 

So food drops might be a rationale but personally I don't see what a horizontally-mounted Rebecca aerial adds that bog-standard Rebecca doesn't offer.  Mounting on a different axis would surely suggest receiving a signal on a different polarisation. 

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The pic is from the 550 Squadron site and the captions says the a/c was going out on a mission in support of ground troops around Caen:

 

http://www.550squadronassociation.org.uk/php-library/mysql-utils/reports/rpt_squadron_operations.php?target=Caen&aircraft=LL837

 

when it got stuck, but pushed out 5 min later to resume the mission, pretty much a close air support mission which probably required precise navigation. 

 

Jari

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5 hours ago, Vicarage Vee said:

She lasted longer than her cousin Monica.

Gee

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Hi chaps

I thought it looked like an Rebecca antenna but why out on the wing ?? They worked as a pair, usually both sides of the nose  . . . .

 

Thought it MIGHT have been associated with the di-poles used on Intruder aircraft but I dont know enough about such a set up.

 

550's old station base isnt to far from me and they were just the usual bomber squadron, No different from the others in No1 Group so I cant see it being used as a Close-support aid but there again we dont know all the in's and out's of what went on at Squadron level do we ???

Ian

 

 

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July 7th 1944 was the prelude to Operation Charnwood, the capture of the northern suburbs of Caen by British I Corps, which launched early on July 8th. I believe this was the first use of Bomber Command in a direct tactical role?

 

Ellis' The Battle of Normandy, (Vol I of Victory in the West, the Official History) records that the bombing area had to be 3 miles clear of the front line. This meant the bombing landed on the German rear defences rather than the heavily defended villages of Buron-Epron-Lebisey. The evening before was chosen so as to not hinder the ground advance and to prevent any overnight reinforcements but also hinder a withdrawal that would have aided the destruction of the German forces north of Caen (12th SS Panzer & 16th Luftwaffe Division). 

Middlebrook & Everitt's Bomber Command War Diaries however state the bombing area was initially targeted at the heavily defended German forward line but was subsequently deliberately moved back during further planning and so damage to German armour and forward fortifications was limited.

Post-battle analysis suggests that damage was done to German materiel, though rubble and other damage hindered movement by both sides. Whatever the reality is, it did have a huge morale effect on the 2nd Army ground troops. 

Operation Charnwood largely achieved its objectives and in future operations bomber use was refined to occur closer to the attack zero hour (viz. Goodwood) to make use of the shock effect.

 

It's possible it was a temporary aerial change due to this concern about hitting the British and Canadian divisions along the front line, using one of the methods in the PDFs above. However, the target area was marked by PFF Lancaster & Mosquitoes using OBOE and was, apparently, highly accurate. There was also a Master Bomber from 35 Squadron....

 

...So (finally getting to my point), I'm not sure why a 550 Squadron aircraft would need such an adaption for army co-operation really and can only conclude that it was a random unofficial change on this aircraft. The 550 sqn link above indicates this aircraft, LL837, failed to return from operations on July 14th 1944, one week after the above picture.

 

I did find a picture of another 550 sqn Lancaster, LL811 BQ-J which seems to have a Rebecca aerial above the rear turret?! Unless it's something else. Maybe a Squadron thing?

Edited by ExiledFish
Charnwood adjustments

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Ahhhh.  If LL811 was lost soon after it might be worth getting the Bomber Command loss card, this should list the 'special equipment' fitted.

The Group diaries go into a fair bit of detail as to how the tactical targets were to be marked and the formations organised. Definitely the onus was as stated on the Oboe Mosquitos, Pathfinders and the Master Bombers.

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Hello!

 

I think the antenna may have been part of "H-system". The reference I gave earlier discusses the Oboe and "H-system" in pages 14-17 of this pdf:

https://www.jlab.org/ir/MITSeries/V3.PDF

 

I may well be wrong but to me it looks like the two element beam antenna is directed outboard? The antenna type is directional and the best lobe is some +/-30 degrees. IF the RH wing tip antenna is directed outboard it really cannot be homing antenna. Lancaster would not fly very far side slipping.

 

Also. Is there antenna also on the LH wing tip?

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOetRxKG2a5VNW7QMFYh6lLKSfTgCfVJXK2ewI89RUlXejLU12E6Ivewe8aKArWLg/photo/AF1QipNwWPfmqKW8hGCsL4Yezqnp5mZCn4Gw1ruQQ6G5?key=cFJJOFJuejRrcEZLd2tTQk9kUTdXbTVKWTctd3Z3

Rebecca had also  8 inches long "stub antenna" type AT-1/APN-2 (US designation).

 

Normandy frontline 2nd July 1944 can be seen in this map: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-E-Breakout/maps/USA-E-Breakout-I.jpg (link works with Chrome but not with Explorer). If there was one Eureka line West-East direction and one from NW (RH wing tip antenna pointiing the direction) the crossing could be put on the German rear area like ExiledFish wrote? In other words "H-bombing".

 

Perhaps I am out on a limb?

 

 

Cheers,

Kari

 

PS "Insert image from URL" does not work for me. That's why the links.

 

 

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7 hours ago, ExiledFish said:

I did find a picture of another 550 sqn Lancaster, LL811 BQ-J which seems to have a Rebecca aerial above the rear turret?! Unless it's something else. Maybe a Squadron thing?

 

Think that is a Type 338 vertically polarised antenna for BOOZER III, which gave alerts of being painted by FuG 202/212 or Wuerzburg.  This particular aerial was an unpopular addition to BOOZER as there were so many transmissions of the right frequency over Germany that it gave continual warnings.  [So not such A Good Thing that anyone would want to add an extra one above the wing!]

 

Sources: Streetly: The Aircraft of 100 Group pp 52-53,  Streetly: Confound and Destroy pp 164-5 (description of BOOZER plus photo of identical installation on a Halifax).

 

Think we should discount this one as a red herring. 

 

Edited by Seahawk

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53 minutes ago, Seahawk said:

 

Think that is a Type 338 vertically polarised antenna for BOOZER III, which gave alerts of being painted by FuG 202/212 or Wuerzburg.  This particular aerial was an unpopular addition to BOOZER as there were so many transmissions of the right frequency over Germany that it gave continual warnings.  [So not such A Good Thing that anyone would want to add an extra one above the wing!]

 

Sources: Streetly: The Aircraft of 100 Group pp 52-53,  Streetly: Confound and Destroy pp 164-5 (description of BOOZER plus photo of identical installation on a Halifax).

 

Think we should discount this one as a red herring. 

 

Oh so that's what a Boozer aerial looks like! Always wondered that. A very interesting subject, electronic warfare, and I might try and track down a WW2 reference book.

 

Anyway, I shall happily defer to your expertise! 

Edited by ExiledFish

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Could this aerial be related to an installation for the S phone directional radio?

I've seen documents that discus the use of the S phone by a ground controller in conjunction with Rebecca/Eureka to direct aircraft onto a target.

 

Incidentally my father was on the ground around Caen and witnessed Main Force Bomber Command carrying out tactical support bombing. During operation Totalise the bomb line was as close as 600 yards from the forward troops!

During Totalise the ground troops assisted the Pathfinders by backing up the marker flares with smoke and flares from artillery and tracer from machine guns.

 

The ground troops felt safe with the RAF but not so with the American bombers. My father was caught up in an American 'friendly fire' incident when they managed to drop bombs on Canadian troops several miles behind the front line.

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3 hours ago, Aeronut said:

Could this aerial be related to an installation for the S phone directional radio?

I've seen documents that discus the use of the S phone by a ground controller in conjunction with Rebecca/Eureka to direct aircraft onto a target.

 

 Don't know enough to comment on whether technically that's a plausible purpose.  However, if that's what it is, why would it be on this particular airframe?  No-one's so far said that this is other than a standard squadron aircraft in a regular Bomber Command squadron.  Surely they wouldn't all need direct contact with the ground?  Would make more sense if it was from a pathfinder squadron or the bomber leader of the squadron.  But I'm wandering off into speculation.

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On 12/09/2017 at 7:10 PM, Seahawk said:

 

Think that is a Type 338 vertically polarised antenna for BOOZER III, which gave alerts of being painted by FuG 202/212 or Wuerzburg.  This particular aerial was an unpopular addition to BOOZER as there were so many transmissions of the right frequency over Germany that it gave continual warnings.  [So not such A Good Thing that anyone would want to add an extra one above the wing!]

 

Sources: Streetly: The Aircraft of 100 Group pp 52-53,  Streetly: Confound and Destroy pp 164-5 (description of BOOZER plus photo of identical installation on a Halifax).

 

Think we should discount this one as a red herring. 

 

Looking at my Streetly, Confound..... I think you are correct!

 

A good bit of research there.

 

Michael

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