Blister Gunner

Blister Gunner

Joined: May 7th, 2004, 8:28 pm

December 23rd, 2005, 7:22 pm #1

I am sure someone will tell a Lancophile!

Is the Blister on a Hali always the nose perspex and what other gun positions were there apart from Mid Upper, Rear and mid Under? I ask beacause I have some combat reports refering to the Blister Gunner.

Thanks in advance
Peter
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Joined: November 27th, 2003, 10:23 am

December 23rd, 2005, 7:39 pm #2

Hi,

Not heard of Blister gunners but if it was a MK3 they were talking of I would guess the Preston Green mid-under turret.

Early Mk1's had beam guns a bit like the americans used in B17's... I believe manned by the F/E & W/op (Though I can't confirm that).

Regards,

Paul.
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Joined: May 7th, 2004, 8:28 pm

December 24th, 2005, 9:03 pm #3

The a/c in question was JB910 of 10 sqn. On the night in (Plzen raid) question, 16 April 43, this a/c shot down an ME110 over France. She was a MKII and a Z type therefore had no front turret.

Peter
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jettisoning
jettisoning

December 25th, 2005, 5:02 pm #4

if you have access to 'melbourne ten' by brian rapier and look on p 39 you will find on the night in question reference is made to a night fighter shot down by air gunner SGT DESTER of SGT VIRGO'S CREW flying in R-Robert .

no blisters mentioned though .
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Joined: May 7th, 2004, 8:28 pm

December 25th, 2005, 8:12 pm #5

Yes that's the crew. The ME110 shot down was of 6./NJG4 , flown by Fw. Rase. The Halifax had seen the fighter and began weaving, the enemy closed underneath and RG lost sight. The 'blister gunner' then gave instructuion to pilot to dive to to port.... The rear gunner Sgt Hill,fired 250 rounds at 100 yds hitting the enemy a/c between fuselage and port engine it then stalled and exploded. The whole port wing then broke off and she went down in flames.

So I still have the same question!


Halifax JB910 ZA-R
F/S Virgo Capt

Sgt Furlong W.V. Nav

Sgt Hulley J.R. A/B

Sgt. Driver A. W/OP

Sgt Tester D. M/U

Sgt Gabbut F/E

F/S Hill W.L.H. T/G

Sgt Solomon 2nd Pilot
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jettisoning
jettisoning

December 26th, 2005, 9:59 am #6

i have examined a photograph of JB911 which clearly shows a transparent observation bubble (or 'blister'?)on the fuselage underside . the details given in your forum message suggest the gunfire came from the rear gunner . it is possible a crewman was positioned there purely in an advisory capacity to alert the gunners .
There are several photographs of JB911 (77 Sq) in flight and not all are detailed enough to reveal minor 'transparent' features - the best one i have seen to date is that used in Jerry Scutts 'Halifax in Action'ISBN 089747158X .
JB910 - as serial numbers go - is likely to have been built with a similar feature .
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Eddie Fell
Eddie Fell

December 26th, 2005, 11:21 am #7

I have a combat report which indicates the use of a VGO (Vickers gas operated) gun by the air bomber from the nose of a Halifax.

Any chance this is what you seek?

Eddie
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jettisoning
jettisoning

December 26th, 2005, 4:35 pm #8

JB910 was a 'Special' with the Z-Type nose fairing - so no nose gun mounting i'm afraid .
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Joined: May 7th, 2004, 8:28 pm

December 26th, 2005, 6:49 pm #9

I am inclined to believe the 'Blister' was underneath the a/c and a prone position. The RG lost sight of the e/a but it was visible to the blister gunner, who isn't recorded as firing any rounds. Sgt Hill fired 250 and was complimented on the report. No mention of Sgt Tester.

Peter
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Joined: July 5th, 2017, 8:55 am

July 5th, 2017, 9:29 am #10

Yes that's the crew. The ME110 shot down was of 6./NJG4 , flown by Fw. Rase. The Halifax had seen the fighter and began weaving, the enemy closed underneath and RG lost sight. The 'blister gunner' then gave instructuion to pilot to dive to to port.... The rear gunner Sgt Hill,fired 250 rounds at 100 yds hitting the enemy a/c between fuselage and port engine it then stalled and exploded. The whole port wing then broke off and she went down in flames.

So I still have the same question!


Halifax JB910 ZA-R
F/S Virgo Capt

Sgt Furlong W.V. Nav

Sgt Hulley J.R. A/B

Sgt. Driver A. W/OP

Sgt Tester D. M/U

Sgt Gabbut F/E

F/S Hill W.L.H. T/G

Sgt Solomon 2nd Pilot
Very interested to read this. The W/OP on the crew was my late grandfather Alfred Driver.
I'm researching the operational reports for 10sqn (and later 77 sqn) so far only up to March 1943 hadn't got this far yet!

Alf was an air gunner as well as a wireless op.

Did the halliax have other guns ? e.g. I visited a B17 the W/op had a hatch in the roof that opened and a 50 cal that swung into place.

You mentioned the book the melbourne 10 - Is there anywhere to get a copy of that real or digital ?

Also if anyone has any more information on Alf Driver or members of his crew e.g. Sgt Virgo - I'd love to hear it.

E.g. Alf won a DFM a bit later in the war would love to see the citation. Much of the family memorabilia has been lost. I'm reconstructing the history.

Additionally I heard a story about him doing leaflet drops and getting in trouble for carrying a couple of half bricks to chuck out with the leaflets in the hope of hitting someone.
Would love to hear any stories about him or his crew.

Cheers
Ian Jones
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