Halifax III Guns

Joined: March 13th, 2007, 8:44 pm

April 5th, 2007, 12:59 pm #11

Interesting point about the painted over windows on the Preston Green turret, that explains alot as most of the photos I have seen of them they appear to be all black.

In regards to the K gun in the nose on MkIIIs, I once asked a family friend who was a M/UG on Halis with 426 squadron about them. After he stopped laughing he said the concept of the "scare" gun must have worked because the Germans never attacked from the front so they must have been afraid of it.
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Joined: March 13th, 2007, 8:44 pm

April 5th, 2007, 1:01 pm #12

identified as MOD 871 LOWER GUN MOUNTING (.5" BROWNING)- in the official HP Ltd 'The Halifax Aircraft - DESCRIPTIVE AND INSTRUCTIONAL MANUAL' .

also see BRITISH AIRCRAFT ARMAMENT Vol I RAF Gun Turrets 1914 to the Present Day - R Wallace Clarke . Chapter 5 - Turret Designs from other British Manufacturers . Section 'Preston Green under defence mounting Mk II' reasonably full description including development and final removal . two photographs - 1.The interior of the Preston Green under defence turret and 2.Gunner's services on the port fuselage wall .
"identified as MOD 871 LOWER GUN MOUNTING (.5" BROWNING)- in the official HP Ltd 'The Halifax Aircraft - DESCRIPTIVE AND INSTRUCTIONAL MANUAL'"

Was the turret built and istalled by HP?
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jettisoning
jettisoning

April 5th, 2007, 5:32 pm #13

the turret was built by the preston green company and installed by HP
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Graham Boak
Graham Boak

April 5th, 2007, 6:54 pm #14

Use of this gun was largely restricted by the shortage of supply, but it was more widely used than suggested above. The "field modification" referred to is presumably a reference to the Rose-Rice turret, which was adopted on one Bomber Group midwar. The Lancaster also adopted the Martin twin 0.5 top turret on later Canadian production, and both Lancaster and Halifax had adopted twin 0.5 tail turrets before the end of the war, often with Village Inn gun-laying radar. On Halifaxes, they were not only seen in the Preston-Green belly turret but on Coastal Command Halis in place of the Vickers "scare" gun in the nose, to provide firepower to keep down the heads of U-boak flak gunners.

Incidentally, though it is a long time since I read it, Calmel's biography includes an account of a night fighter being shot down with the Vickers nose gun, so it wasn't completely useless!
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richard.k
richard.k

April 5th, 2007, 9:16 pm #15

I have a combat report concerning a B/A from 429 Sq who downed a FW-190 in a head on attack with a VGO gun in a Hali III. I'm sure there was some luck in this one...
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Don Huestis
Don Huestis

November 7th, 2013, 11:11 pm #16

As you've pointed out some squadrons experimented with two .50 claibres installed. 431 sqn was one, they eventualy were ordered to reomve the second gun by the air ministry. I would like to know if there was ever a claim made by a gunner using a Preston Green.

431 sqn manned the turret for daylight ops but when on night ops it was usually unmanned but was armed. My cousin and his crew were also lost in Hali that had a Preston Green turret. I would love to get some schematics of this turret to see it in detail.
Matt, my wife is the niece of P/O Robert Arthur Leman. Robert was on MZ-589 when it went down over Germany and I'm trying to put together a bit of a history for her and the rest of her Family. Any info on MZ-589 would be appreciated. Also interested in why you chose your handle! Regards, Don

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john merkel
john merkel

March 18th, 2015, 2:51 am #17

hello, i'm the son of RAAF halifax 462-466 air gunner, warrant officer R J Merkel. firstly, can i ask, is this discussion still active?
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Joined: March 9th, 2004, 5:14 pm

April 15th, 2018, 5:06 pm #18

MZ589-Matt wrote:
... the introduction of the Preston-Green mid-under turret in Feb of '44 was an attempt to contend with underbelly attacks.  As I understand from behind and underneath was the preferred attack approach position of the German Night Fighter defenses and Shrage Musik (the upwards firing cannon) may have negated this defensive turret to a large degree anyhow.

I believe some Squadrons even doubled the # of .5 in Brownings in the Preston Green position an effort to augment the underbelly firepower.  Either way the use of the PG turret was relatively limited as the much more common outfitting was the large H2S radome and this ultimately displaced the ventral defensive position.

I always wondered why the RAF never truly seemed to have the same development of waist gunner positions as the USAAF did in Forts & Libs? And as a corollary why the calibre was never upgraded either. One explanation maybe the primary operation of RAF Bomber Command in a night bombing offensive role although in the later stages of the war Bomber Command undertook a large amount of daylight ops as well but perhaps this was at a point where the German Fighter forces had been weakened.

Another maybe that the sheer weight of the necessary extra ammunition would have reduced the bombload and range.  There may well be additional rationale behind the decisions of defensive limitations.
As you've pointed out some squadrons experimented with two .50 claibres installed. 431 sqn was one, they eventualy were ordered to reomve the second gun by the air ministry. I would like to know if there was ever a claim made by a gunner using a Preston Green.

431 sqn manned the turret for daylight ops but when on night ops it was usually unmanned but was armed. My cousin and his crew were also lost in Hali that had a Preston Green turret. I would love to get some schematics of this turret to see it in detail.
 
My dad, a WAG in the 420 sqdrn used to tell us stories on wow the bomber was belly vulnerable, so some of them took the raider out, cut a slot in the dome, mounted a board for the gunner to sit on and a 50 cal to catch the Germans unaware. He said they
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Joined: March 9th, 2004, 5:14 pm

April 15th, 2018, 5:08 pm #19

RBeetham wrote:
MZ589-Matt wrote:
... the introduction of the Preston-Green mid-under turret in Feb of '44 was an attempt to contend with underbelly attacks.  As I understand from behind and underneath was the preferred attack approach position of the German Night Fighter defenses and Shrage Musik (the upwards firing cannon) may have negated this defensive turret to a large degree anyhow.

I believe some Squadrons even doubled the # of .5 in Brownings in the Preston Green position an effort to augment the underbelly firepower.  Either way the use of the PG turret was relatively limited as the much more common outfitting was the large H2S radome and this ultimately displaced the ventral defensive position.

I always wondered why the RAF never truly seemed to have the same development of waist gunner positions as the USAAF did in Forts & Libs? And as a corollary why the calibre was never upgraded either. One explanation maybe the primary operation of RAF Bomber Command in a night bombing offensive role although in the later stages of the war Bomber Command undertook a large amount of daylight ops as well but perhaps this was at a point where the German Fighter forces had been weakened.

Another maybe that the sheer weight of the necessary extra ammunition would have reduced the bombload and range.  There may well be additional rationale behind the decisions of defensive limitations.
As you've pointed out some squadrons experimented with two .50 claibres installed. 431 sqn was one, they eventualy were ordered to reomve the second gun by the air ministry. I would like to know if there was ever a claim made by a gunner using a Preston Green.

431 sqn manned the turret for daylight ops but when on night ops it was usually unmanned but was armed. My cousin and his crew were also lost in Hali that had a Preston Green turret. I would love to get some schematics of this turret to see it in detail.
 
My dad, a WAG in the 420 sqdrn used to tell us stories on wow the bomber was belly vulnerable, so some of them took the raider out, cut a slot in the dome, mounted a board for the gunner to sit on and a 50 cal to catch the Germans unaware. He said they
I was going to say they surprised a few fighters that way. And yes it’s “radar” I’m having issues with the editor right now....
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