Grunman Avenger

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BONNACON, Jun 30, 2012.

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  1. Seriously I have often wondered what that mangled wreck was. Pondered it might be a Corsair or Firefly but I see the wreckage is a bit big for either. Famous photo. I have it in the maritime books FAA in ww2 in my loo at the moment. Do you have a before pic of the aircraft I would be quite interested. Next time I take a dump I will think of your grandad.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Grandad's Grumman Avenger, 4th May 1945


    He landed, looked up & pegged it into the coning tower about 20 seconds before a Zero hit his plane and went on into the flight deck.

    Got the DSM, shrapnel and a loathing for Nips
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Grandad certainly kept a lot of firefighters busy.

    Good to know he survived though, very rarely see this sort of information in the captions to photos.
  4. Thanks for that.

    He was flying with a chap called Gillie Potter and was out of the shot of the photo at the time, giving him a blood transfusion just inside the blast doors

    The Formidable was in the same carrier group as the Indomitable and I gather they had just returned from a BDA mission following airfield bombing the previous night / day

    It's testimony to the Formidable crew that they were back in action in just under an hour

    Something like 6 Corsiars and one Avenger were destroyed and if I'm perfectly honest with you, we've only assumed it to be his plane 'P for Peter' because his citation stated that they were fortunate to have stopped directly next to the tower

    My grandad was clearing the gun whilst Gillie was shutting down the engines, & hence manged to see the kamikaze and get them both away in time

    Gillie lost his leg(s?) and my grandad was relatively unscathed*

    I've got some pictures of the crew and plane and will post as soon as can :)

    (* edited: paralysed)
  5. Photos were taken on every take-off

    'P for Peter' on HMS Formidible


    Grandad in centre, Gillie to his left


    They once crashed on takeoff and the carrier drove through the plane, leaving the crew standing on broken wings and going into the water. He recalls passing under the hull and watching the props above him before coming to the surface and getting picked up by a US Frigate*

    Unfortunately they lost the very first plane mounted radar the British Pacific Fleet :(


    (* wrong HMS Quality)
  6. That's an impressive submarine. I believe it's called an island.
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  7. They were very brave fellows - I'd have probably dived over the side.
  8. You can tell he was impressed that I joined the army ;)
  9. A piece of vandalism any Squaddie can be proud of. Seriously, your Gramps and his muckers were nails
  10. Thanks, very kind of you to say :)
  11. If you look closely at the pic you can see some poor sod climbing the mast with the radar on. IIRC whiplash had tripped circuit breakers and he had to get up there pretty quick as it was the principal air warning for the task force.
    True She was back in action pretty quick albiet with a concrete patch over the dent in the armoured deck. Yanks were very impressed with the design as their carriers only had a load bearing deck covered in wood. Sadly the armoured deck and low hanger height (along with structural damage caused by kamikazi hits) precluded rebuilding after the war to operate more modern and heavy aircraft.
  12. He was with 848 Squadron and got some of the very first bombs onto Japanese soil.

    His biggest raid was on Okinawa in support of the US Marine advance and then did BDA flights over the cloud at Nagasaki approximately Day+5. He recalls flying his plane 'covered in carpet' - which I can only assume was some sort of radiation protection?

    Either way, they had all dental fillings removed prior to the flight and had the whole plane thrown overboard when he retuned, getting washed down with 'orange foam' and handing over the roll of camera film to the Slime entirely butt naked whilst the flying gear was burnt!

    My dad has some BDA imagery stashed away so I'll get out the scanner out when I can.
  13. Go for it. You may also find an appreciative audience on the Hysteria and Neuralgia board HERE.