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Thread: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

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    SuperMod P Bellamy's Avatar
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    Default 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Some images showing a conversion done by the 44th Bomb Group at Shipdham in May 1944, replacing the hand-cranked bomb winch on their M6 Bomb Service Trucks with a powered one.

    As standard:



    Converted:





    Details:




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    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Fascinating photos - didn't someone tell these guys the idea was to use a RAF bomb trolley and roll the bombs straight from the battens to the trolley .

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    Cool Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by Carnaby View Post
    Fascinating photos - didn't someone tell these guys the idea was to use a RAF bomb trolley and roll the bombs straight from the battens to the trolley .
    Ever tried rolling stacked bombs Carnaby? The top ones are quite difficult!

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Somewhere I have some text on that modification. Nice photographs; interesting to see camouflage netting still in use in 1944.

    By that stage of the war in Europe, the original intended capacity of an HE Bomb Store compartment was being considerably exceeded and stacking was higher. Note that the rigid jib on the bomb lift and limited extension meant that it could only reach the end of a stack so bombs in the top row and out of reach had to be manually rolled along 'clang'....'clang'.....'clang'.....; not too difficult with 500 pounders.The RAF were smart enough to put dunnage (battens) atop each row so that higher bombs could be rolled. They had to be chocked of course or there could be a runaway

    Alternatively, they would lift bombs top to bottom then reverse (backup) the hoist. But Sod's Law said that the bombs you wanted to use first are on the bottom row!

    Shipdham had two bomb stores, the original 1940 pattern and the later 1942 supplement so these images appear to have been taken in one of the later HE Bomb Stores 3164/42 Type D judging from the continuous camo netting.
    Last edited by PETERTHEEATER; 16-11-2011 at 09:33.

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    SuperMod P Bellamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Having one of these tracked cranes on hand would always have been useful.



    Peter, if you come across the writeup on the modification could you let me know please?
    There's some confusion about what winch was fitted and where.

    All the best,
    PB

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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by PETERTHEEATER View Post
    Shipdham had two bomb stores, the original 1940 pattern and the later 1942 supplement so these images appear to have been taken in one of the later HE Bomb Stores Type D judging from the continuous camo netting.
    I've just had a quick glance at an aerial photo from March 1943 and the RSP dated March 1945.

    The photo shows only two Type D stores (3164/42 from the RSP) in place at the time, both nicely covered by camouflage netting.
    Afterwards a further two were added, to the NW of the first ones. The RSP lists these as being to drawing 1212/34.

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    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    How "safe" were bombs without fuzes? I assume they wouldn't go bang if you dropped one.

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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Paul Bellamy said:

    Peter, if you come across the writeup on the modification could you let me know please?
    There's some confusion about what winch was fitted and where.


    I will take a look now. I feel sure that it is embedded in a diary of activities at another 8th USAAF base when the mod was was passed to them.

    The photograph which you show in your Post #5 is a modified CLERTRAK I think.

    The photo shows only two Type D stores (3164/42 from the RSP) in place at the time, both nicely covered by camouflage netting.
    Afterwards a further two were added, to the NW of the first ones. The RSP lists these as being to drawing 1212/34.


    Thanks for that; my research is now leading me to believe that the 1212/43 drawing increased the capacity of the Type D store by adding an extra compartment at each end. I'm still gathering evidence.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Quote Originally Posted by PNK View Post
    How "safe" were bombs without fuzes? I assume they wouldn't go bang if you dropped one.
    Very safe usually especially if the exploders were not fitted but, with the huge number manufactured during WW2 there was always a risk that the main filling had unintended voids, bubbles or fissures. If such a bomb was dropped fairly hard, such as rolled off the tailgate of a truck onto the ground, there was a risk of detonation. It is very likely that this is what happened at Metfield. Been there, done that! Post war bomb manufacture is subject to stringent quality control and NDT such as X-Ray of fillings to detect such defects. It is particularly risky in artillery shells where the acceleration upon firing 'sets back' the filling

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8AF M6 Bomb Truck: Power winch field conversion

    Although I feel that I have more some where my PC search did find mention of a modification devised (?) at Wendling:

    Personnel of the Automotive Section have experimented with a modification of the Holland Hoist on bomb service trucks. This modification, which facilitates the operation of the hoist, has been approved by 2nd Bomb Division. Plans and drawings have been forwarded to Eighth Air Force for final approval and acceptance.

    I have posted this link before but worth another look since it is in context of this thread:

    http://www.b24.net/support/1825th.htm

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