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Author Topic: Devastator Research Challenge #1  (Read 15812 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Devastator Research Challenge #1
« on: June 20, 2009, 09:12:52 AM »

See the photos and article by Russ Matthews in the To Save a Devastator news section. Can anyone identify the box on the right side of the Browning .30 cal receiver?   ???
Ric
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 03:22:32 PM »

There's a suggestive picture of a Navy gunner manning a .30 cal ANM2 in an aircraft, that has a rectangular box mounted on the right side of the receiver, at http://liberatorcrew.com/15_Gunnery/02_30cal.htm -- about 60% of the way down the webpage on the left.  The box looks like it might be for catching the expelled links coming out of the link chute.  With the wind whipping by the plane, a metal box probably worked much better than just hanging a canvas bag there! 

 
LTM,

Bruce
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Arthur Carty

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 04:17:10 PM »

Navy PBY...there it is but still no proof what it is.

http://www.shorpy.com/node/2557?size=_original
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Arthur Carty

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 04:19:18 PM »

There is an earlier picture of the weapon being carried aboard and the box is not there.  Pretty certain that it is related to the weapon magazine.  This other picture is on the same site.
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Russ Matthews

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 02:45:40 PM »

Nice find, Arthur.  The configuration looks right to me.  If only the photographer had been shooting down on his subject, we might catch a glimpse of the elusive data plate on top. 

It's certainly a stunning image -- the gorgeous color bringing that bygone era vividly to life.
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Arthur Carty

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 10:31:38 AM »

The following links are to 3 photos taken at Corpus Christi in 1942 of a Navy PBY and a 30 caliber Browning AN M2 machine gun.  They are posed recruiting pics which explains some of the goofiness of an aviation ordnance mate wearing a soft helmet and goggles.

Picture 1:    http://www.shorpy.com/node/1001?size=_original

Note the assembly attached to the weapon over the feed and eject mechanisms.  Also note that there is a circular whole visible on the left (feed) side.

Picture 2:   http://www.shorpy.com/node/2555?size=_original

Feed side view of the weapon mounted on a fixed mount.  Note that the circular hole is now covered by the ammunition magazine box and that a metal brace holds the ammunition magazine box in place.  It appears that the metal brace is attached to the gun mount and to the weapon.  The brace can be seen wrapping around the bottom of the weapon and disappearing up the right (ejector) side of the weapon.

Picture 3:   http://www.shorpy.com/node/2557

The brace can be seen going up the ejector side and disappearing behind what I believe to be Russ's artifact.  Note the plate on the vertical portion of the brace.  My guess is that this is the Bureau of Ordnance ID plate for the brace assembly.  Unfortunately, there is no top view of either the ammunition magazine box or what I believe to be an ejector box.

I just received the Base Shop Data Manual for the 30 caliber Aircraft M2 Browning.  No braces/boxes are shown so we can say that whatever is on the Devastator is a Navy add on.

Without a top down picture of how the ammunition feed and ejector hardware looked, I don't think that we can go any further.  I do realize that a PBY is not a TBD-1 but the time frame is the same, it's the same branch of the service, it's the same weapon, it's in a Navy plane, and it's the best we have.

Art Carty
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Randy W Kerr

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2010, 02:22:08 PM »

I concur that it is probably a catch for the links ejected from the weapon.  I was trained as a Gunner's Mate in the USCG and worked on both .30 and .50 Brownings.  And while on surface vessels the ejected brass and links were not an issue in the slipstream of an aircraft they would be.  The standard configuration for a single mount is for left hand feed, when doubled the feed was changed by reconfiguring the guides on top of the bolt.  (One gun would be left feed and one right, in the cover plate which closed down on top of the weapon is a feed pawl which has a stud that runs in the groove on top of the bolt to pull the next round into position) This was accomplished by the cam in the center of the bolt you could rotate for different feed sides. (see fig #1 in the photos of the bolt in the second row down in the post by Bruce Thomas and look at the center of the bolt)  In the shorpy.com pix the radiused box in the center is for the ejected brass as both the .30 and .50 ejected the brass out the bottom of the receiver. If a Field Manual for that model could be obtained you might find a reference to it but it could also be a field modification.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2010, 04:56:14 PM by Randy W Kerr »
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2011, 03:22:57 PM »

I realize that building scale models of aircraft for most of my life does not qualify me as being an expert on the subject, but from some of the pictures I have in my collection, I concur that the box was intended to catch the CLOTH ammo belt used by the M-1919A1 cal. .30 machine gun at this point in the war (1942). Remember that the Navy was using weapons and ammo from as far back as WWI, mainly because that was all that was available at the time. American industry didn't catch up with demand until well into 1943. As far as I'm aware, the .50 cal M2 wasn't used on Devastators or Dauntless aircraft due mainly to sheer size of "Ma Duece". I think the aircooled version weighed in at some 64 pounds WITHOUT ammo. Too big for the rear seat position on these aircraft.

Gums
Brad

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JIM PRESTON II

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 06:00:24 PM »

Hey Ric, I just read about a TBD off the Coast of San Diego that the Navy is going to raise. The article says the Navy Museum(Pensacola) gave up on the ones in the Marshals as too expensive. It says the Firm of A&T Recovery of Chicago will do the recovery as the located it in 1996 and notified the Navy. Article is in the latest Newsletter of EAA. Whats up with that ?
Jim Preston(Jimbo)
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 07:00:01 PM »

Article is in the latest Newsletter of EAA.

The new EAA article, "'Holy Grail' of Warbirds Found off San Diego," can be accessed by clicking here.
LTM,

Bruce
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2011, 11:04:29 AM »

Bummer - looks like the NNAM has given up on the Majuro Devastator.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2015, 08:57:55 AM »

What is the current status of the Devastator Project? I seem to recall some mention elsewhere, but would like to know where TIGHAR's efforts stand. Might be time to reassess and reallocate resources.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 EC
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2016, 07:31:45 PM »

I'm not sure it's ethical for TIGHAR to keep accepting donations for a "project" that has apparently lost the interest of the major entity the project was being undertaken for. Unless there is something going on behind the scenes that we have not been updated about. And even then ... this would be a good opportunity to look at how TIGHAR allocates its always too-few resources.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 EC
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Devastator Research Challenge #1
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 08:51:05 AM »

I'm not sure it's ethical for TIGHAR to keep accepting donations for a "project" that has apparently lost the interest of the major entity the project was being undertaken for. Unless there is something going on behind the scenes that we have not been updated about. And even then ... this would be a good opportunity to look at how TIGHAR allocates its always too-few resources.

(Deep breath...1..2..3...4...5..6...7...8..9...10)
If a project is shown on the TIGHAR website as an active TIGHAR project you can safely assume that TIGHAR is still actively engaged in that project.  If there are no recent updates you can safely assume that, for the good of the project, we're not at liberty to provide an update.  You can also safely assume that we are constantly looking at how TIGHAR allocates our all too-few resources.
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