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It's been bugging me awhile, Carl. The Marine PBJs were pretty well used over there and more than a few never made it back. 

 

Love Bug had two crews, as was custom with Marine PBJs. The Commanders of each crew were brothers, last name of "Love".

This plane was one that didn't return.

 

8 Ball spent a lot of time Stateside getting crews worked up and ready to go overseas.

 

As a result, I think this build will be "Love Bug".  Probably a much more 'boring' airplane when finished, especially without waist glass and the top turret removed and blanked off, but in my opinion, a much more interesting aircraft.

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I also believe they were single pilot only, with the former copilot area being reserved for gun servicing?

 

And that nose art, if applied, would be subdued and clandestine at best.

 

They featured only a single set of controls, but were manned with pilot and co-pilot, who swutched places inflight to reduce fatigue. Loading the gun was the task of the navigator one seat behind.

 

Here is the homepage of VMB-613 who operated the PBJs. There are also photos, numbers and markings of the planes and much more.

 

The PBJ had beside the common nav and com gear and the wingtip search radar also a "Falcon" radar gun director for the 75. The display was on the instrument paneel. Field modifcations beside the replacing of the dorsal turret with an astrodome and removing the waist gun windows also included the addition of a spoiler/windshield at the forward rim of the waist gun windows and the removal of the 4 "chin" gun pack to save weight and increase range. Without the dorsal turret they also reduced the crew by one, saving more weight. Okay, now start building!

 

 

Have fun!

- dutik

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Dutik, I'm going to have to start calling you "Martin", with you knowledge on the subject. :)

 

Also, another thing I've seen with the H was the addition of an armored windscreen, specially designed to reduce forward vision to not much more than a peephole. :)

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Easy. Just read Catch-22 and you will know all about the Mitch  :punk: 

 

 

 

To be honest: I had an eye on this conversion some times ago and started digging into the subject...

But my gunship will finally go with the ootb markings. It's because I like my aircraft colorful and - most important - a Mitch without a rear turret doesn't look right :piliot:

 

Regards

- dutik

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I love the H. It looks like a bulldog to me, and with the top turret removed, it looks like a streamlined bulldog..

 

I've pretty much settled on a configuration of no top turret and no waist glass, but still retaining the package guns.  This will allow me to have the nose art applied in it's full glory and show some coral wear to the front and undersides, without the extreme wear present even a few weeks later.

 

I'll need to do some research on when the side spoilers and windscreen armor was added to make sure the whole thing coincides with the "not too heavy coral wear effect" I'm looking for.

Some pics of some birds show these touched up with GSB late in the war. That, sure is odd looking.

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I don’t understand the wisdom of removing the top turret and waist guns on a PBJ-1H, unless it was in a stateside training environment. If you were using it in combat, I’d think you’d want more than the tail guns for protection, and the top turret was probably the most effective defensive station.

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Posted (edited)

The Pacific bugaboo was the long distances between base and the targets. Especially for a land bomber, it could be hours upon hours of transit time to the target, then hours upon hours back to base. Every single drop of fuel was precious, so you'd leave bombs or ammo behind to not overload the aircraft.

That's one reason the B-17 was a flop in the Pacific. It didn't have the range. The B-24 reigned supreme there.

 

Back to the PBJ-1H. It was the last subtype to be received by the Marines, so it was the most advances and the mop up in the Pacific was well along. It was the perfect weapon at the perfect time. Huge forward firepower and long range.

Later in the war, as Japanese air resistance became almost non existent, they removed the top turret and eliminated one crew member. So they had weight to add hardpoints and sling rockets and other fun toys under the wings, along with more fuel, bombs, or ammo as needed. 

Later, so also went the four package guns on the fuselage sides. Sling even more stuff under the wings and have fun.

Other equipment was dropped from the H as the war dragged on, but those were the big ones.

And they didn't remove the waist guns. they removed the waist gun windows.

 

Even in Vietnam, B-52s flew into combat with nothing but tailguns. Because they expected little to no opposition.

Edited by Clunkmeister

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Ahem, the BUFF never had any other guns than tailguns... :coolio:

 

But there were other Mitchs that went into combat agaitst the Tenno with most guns removed to increase range: The Doolittle raiders.

 

BTW, do you plan to strap a load of FFARs under the wings? And for the bomb bay you could use these retarded bombs made by an AM company (don't remember the brand at the moment). Would suite a low rider well.

 

Regards

- dutik

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Ahem, the BUFF never had any other guns than tailguns... :coolio:

 

But there were other Mitchs that went into combat agaitst the Tenno with most guns removed to increase range: The Doolittle raiders.

 

BTW, do you plan to strap a load of FFARs under the wings? And for the bomb bay you could use these retarded bombs made by an AM company (don't remember the brand at the moment). Would suite a low rider well.

 

Regards

- dutik

 

I know they only had tailguns, but was making a point that porcupine looking bombers aren't always needed. :)

 

I'm thinking yes, rockets under the wings would be cool, but I really need to do some research and get the timeline down, because things changed almost weekly with these and I'm not sure if you'd have package guns and Zunis at the same time. 

 

I looked a bit closer at the Profi conversion last night, and it's pretty darn nice.  I'm a bit excited about this because finally after a couple years of nothing but WW1 stuff and T-28s, I'm gonna get to do a real live Pacific bomber and actually get to use stencils and actual real. live masks for my National markings for a change. Yippee!

 

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What a nuisance research is. I well remember fitting every rocket/bomb/gun in the kit to Airfix planes as a kid. Pity you can't do that to this one and go ship busting

 

Richard

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