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Video showing Emerson A-15a turret interior details

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That is cool! Thanks for sharing Jim. It’s amazing and easy to forget what complicated pieces of machinery these were, and not simplified pieces of plastic. This is great to help with a sense of scale, to see how the operator fits inside. The control yoke is in his lap! 

 

Observations/questions from a completely uninformed individual: the gun elevation movement (up/down) seems so slow. I suppose the reality of an approaching FW-190 is much more controlled and not the Adrenalin-filled terror Hollywood wants me to believe. Well, I’m sure there was plenty of terror, but, those turret gunners were trained to sit in a fish bowl in the face of fast-approaching machine guns, and rockets, and flak, and so on. I’m humbled by the thought of what those guys faced on a daily basis. 

 

Did turret gunners ride in the turrets for the entire duration of a mission? Loading ones self into one of those is not a quick thing. I’m not claustrophobic but I would go half crazy stuck in one of these for more than an hour, no less 10.

 

Jimbo

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Ok, I watched the other video that Jim posted, and it answered my two main questions re: elevation speed (they had a high-speed switch!) and how long they rode in them (pretty much the whole way). Amazing!

 

jimbo

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4 hours ago, jimbo said:

Did turret gunners ride in the turrets for the entire duration of a mission?

 

It seems like takeoffs and landings they were in the fuselage (makes sense, it seems a bear to get in and out of) and loaded up at the Channel until the return.  There are several books ("Bomb Run" by Spencer Dunmore, for one) that describes the hellish ride these turret guys endured during the War.  I couldn't even comprehend climbing into those turrets every mission.  They were brave, young men!  

Jim 

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Cool video.  Hard to understand how cramped that is until you see a guy in it.   Even that video wasn't fully representative of reality since (at least in the ETO), the gunner would have had on very bulky coldweather flight gear, most times a flack vest and an oxygen mask.   Between all that gear and having to undo his intercom, electrically heated suit connection and O2 leads, I would not wanted to have been a gunner trying to rapidly bail out.

 

Nicely restored turret, only thing I saw that was missing (aside from the entire left side), was the big slab of armor glass that was normally mounted in front of the gunner. 

 

It sounds implausible but from the references I have, the gunner's position with the highest surviability rate on a B-24 was actually the ball turret.  

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