What have you learned about WW2 recently?

Discussion in 'General' started by dbf, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    Are you sure? The 8.34lb per gallon you originally quoted just happens to be the weight of an imperial gallon of water. I suppose it depends on the solvent used for the paint (not sure what it would be in WW2) and the volume the paint would occupy in the gallon v the solvent. Weight of wet paint per gallon = weight of water per gallon seems a bit too coincidental to simple old me.

    Just noted Robert W has queried it as well.
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  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    The solvent would be likely to be some form of acetone as in car paint. The Germans did use a water based paint but only for temporary washes (for example white for snow conditions). Apparently taking the paint off a P51B added 3mph and many experienced pilots demanded that their ground crews put it right back on.
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  3. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    Apparently an Imperial Gallon of Acetone weighs 7.86lbs. A US Gallon weighs 6.6lbs. Calculation still seems a bit off to me.

    I suppose it depends on where the aircraft are operating. When seen from above a nice unpainted aircraft will stick out like a sore thumb against the ground. 8th AF fighter pilots tended to go strafing on the way home to base. So maybe that explains their decision.
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  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    But most of it evaporates when the paint dries. In Europe pilots were more interested on their visibility against the ground when in the air than a 3 mph gain
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  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  6. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Happier than some! And well worth watching the test paint dry.
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  7. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Y'all are killin' me with this paint business. But it is sort of interesting. I think. I've found that it's best to watch paint dry while sipping bourbon and sparking up a good stogie. Or two. Of each. Or more. Anything for the war effort you know and furtherment of WW2 triva. And I'm glad that you people read my posts!

    So, here's what I learned about WW2 today. Really.

    Seems that when the USS Houston (CA 31) was sunk in the Battle of Sundra Straight on March 1, 1942, a recruiting drive in Houston, Texas garnered over a thousand naval recruits for the not yet built new and improved USS Houston. The men were called the Houston Volunteers. It was a pretty big affair it seems, since it was early in the war (for us) and patriotic fervor was very high. $85,000,000.00 in War Bonds was collected as well. That was enough to pay for the construction of the new USS Houston (CL 81) and also for the USS San Jacinto (CVL 30). Them Texans were very patriotic folks. Still are. Most of them anyway.

    Read all about it:

    Houston Volunteers - Wikipedia
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

  9. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

  10. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Something I had never given much thought to was how many ww2 soldiers actually knew how to swim. I assumed it would be similar to today where only the odd person wouldn't have that ability. I've read a few recent accounts where it was said that the majority of the men landing on D-Day could not swim. That fact ratchets up the degree of courage required to step off the ramps of those landing craft, particularly with the loads they were carrying.
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Given the amount of kit they were carrying the ability to swim would not have done them much good. Indeed even without kit swimming whilst fully clothed isn't easy especially if one can't kick one's boots off.The advanced life saving exams include swimming clothed and getting out of one's clothes in water.
  12. wooley12

    wooley12 Member

    I just saw a tv show about the 1936 Olympics and it told about how the American Olympic swimmer Adolf Kiefer taught swimming in the Navy and developed swimming stroke that reportedly saved 1000's when their ship went down.

    Adolph Kiefer - Wikipedia
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  13. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    For canuck, (and in addition to Robert-w's post above)

    Prior to 6th of June, an operational account (below) that let's us come up with a percentage of non-swimmers (from a very small sample albeit).

    Six men of fourteen comes in at over 42%. All fourteen survived, thanks to the fact that they stuck together under the life-saving leadership of Lt Eric Davies, and the debt the men who could not swim owed to their comrades was never forgotten.

    Further attached is a pdf of the account with further details, along with a sign (of one of the good swimmers that fateful night) that was used at the wake of one of the non-swimming survivors who lived to a decent old age as a result of Tommy Toon's actions. Copies were pinned to the doors of ablutions (both ladies and gents) at the venue where the wake was held.

    Said survivor always liked to take some of the credit though as when they ditched, and on seeing section sniper Tommy Toon trying to exit the rapidly filling Waco with his beloved rifle shouted "you won't need that where we're f***ing going!". Tommy fortunately took the advice and let his weapon go to the depths of the Med.

    Kind regards, always,


    PAGE 48.jpg

    Tommy Toon.jpg

    Attached Files:

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  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    And even so they were fortunate that the glider floated and the Med is reasonably warm. Many drowned or died of exposure.

    Post war the US gov spent shed loads trying to develop an alternative to the glider and/or parachute to avoid such disasters - nothing worked apart from the chopper
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
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  15. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Most of a company of - I think - 2/12 Frontier Force Regiment came to grief whilst trying to cross a monsoon-swollen river at night in the withdrawal from the beach at Kota Bharu, Malaya, 1941. The incidence of Indian swimmers was probably lower than British and I believe the Indian Army brought in swimming lessons as similar conditions were expected in Burma.
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  16. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    A fortunate feature of the Waco was that it seemed to float with the wings on the surface and even after a bit stayed just below - some of it may be what they considered as swimmer/non-swimmer - I'm a fair swimmer (not that I've tried for a while) - but in the dark, at sea and with the end point of the swim measured in miles not lengths I'd probably class myself a non-swimmer. A good friend spoke to me about him and a mate volunteering to swim to shore and it took them about 6 -8 hours, he was a fit wee bugger and highly motivated but he told me twice during that night he gave up and would have slipped away if it wasn't for the other lad shouting at him and making him switch back on, something I'm eternally grateful for.
  17. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    I learned today that the USS Wake (as in Wake Island) was the only USN vessel to be surrendered to the Japanese in WW2. The Wake was a river gunboat, and was tied up at a pier in Shanghai. Shanghai was under Japaneses occupation since 1937. The CO was ashore at the time of the attack of Pearl Harbor, and when he was notified of the commencement of hostilities he hustled back to the Wake only to find the berth heavily guarded by the IJA. There were only about a dozen crewman on board at the time, and tried unsuccessfully to scuttle her. The IJN took possession of the Wake and operated her in China for the duration of the war. The crew of the USS Wake was imprisoned at the same POW camp as the defenders of Wake Island. Imagine that. After the war, the USN repossessed the vessel, then turned it over to the Nationalist Chinese Navy. After the Chicoms won the Chinese Civil War, they took possession of the Wake and used it in their navy. So, the Wake served in 2 wars and 4 different navies. Pretty neat.


    Not what you'd call a militaristic looking warship at all. Reminds me of the USS San Pablo, AKA the Sand Pebbles in the movie "The Sand Pebbles" that Steve McQueen served on in the troubles in China in the '20s and '30s. That was a long but pretty good flick, if you like long and pretty good flicks that is.

    USS Wake - Wikipedia

    The Sand Pebbles (1966) - IMDb

    Also Steve McQueen's only Academy Award nomination was for his work in "The Sand Pebbles". Just found that out. The King of Cool with just one nomination? Dang.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2019
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  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    This one wasn't surrendered but captured after scuttling

    USS Stewart (DD-224) - Wikipedia
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  19. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member

    Nice shootin' Tex! He really was from Texas too.


    Owen J. Baggett - Wikipedia

    Of course the Japanese didn't report any aircraft shot down during this mission when Japanese records were seized and studied after the war.
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  20. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    As Japanese records would be for internal use one would tend to believe them (no point in falsifying them).

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