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On This Day…October 20th

A TBD-1 Devastator of Torpedo Squadron Six (operating from the Enterprise) drops a Mark 13 torpedo during exercises in the Pacific, October 20.

General McCarthy arrives at Red Beach, Leyte, October 20, 1944. Historians are divided over the spontaneity of the photos, many contending that ‘Dugout Doug’ staged his ‘return’.

Armourers check on the bomb load of a Lancaster of No. 207 Squadron RAF before a night bombing operation to Bremen, Germany 20th October, 1944. . The payload consists of a 4,000-lb ‘cookie’ bomb, small bomb containers (SBCs) filled with 30-lb incendiaries, and four 250-lb target indicators (center of photo).

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.


15 responses to On This Day…October 20th

  1. Great photos, David. I got a kick out of Gen. McCarthy. (see above spelling)

  2. Great shots David. The photo of the TBD shows the MK-13 torpedo without the nose cone protection or the fin box. The MK-13 was very unreliable. Some times it would porpoise wildly if the pilot was in too steep of a dive, causing it to go of course and/or damage the detonator sensor on the nose. This lead to the development of the wooden attachments discussed in https://imodeler.com/2018/10/on-this-day/

    Of note, the Japanese had used the same method at Pearl Harbor. The shielded the nose cones and applied wooden fins on their torpedoes to insure the torpedoes ran close to the top of the water and not submerged.

  3. James, that explanation makes more sense than in the previous posting. I suppose this photo was shot before Pearl and therefor there were lots of bugs to iron out of the systems in terms of battle effectiveness.

    Cheers,

    David

  4. Love the Lanc shot best the bomb bay is huge , I often wonder why the B17 was designed with such an inefficient bomb load when this is possible , didn’t the Mosquito carry the same payload as a B17 ?
    Neil.

    • The B-17 had a much smaller bomb load, I think, to its rugged low wing construction. Also, the spar linking the two wings cut the bomb bay directly in half reducing the load further due to forward trajectory arc problems. That said, the wing spar is largely responsible for the B-17 legendary robustness.

      In terms of the Mosquito…

      Mosquito B MK XVI
      Bombload 4,000lb
      Max Speed 415 mph
      Range with 4,000lb bombload 1300 nautical miles
      Crew 2

      B17 Flying Fortress
      Bombload 6,000-8,000lbs
      Max Speed 287 mph
      Range with 6,000lb bombload 2000 nautical miles
      Crew 10

      That said, it’s like comparing apples to oranges I guess.

      @neil-foster

      • The B-17 was also designed 6 years earlier than the Lancaster. If you compare it to its actual design contemporaries, the bomb load was quite respectable.

        • Here’s a few pictures showing the Bomb Bay of a B-17. This is the “Cat walk” looking forward to the cockpit.

          and looking down………………

          There’s really not too much room inside for ordnance.

          Here’s another picture showing 500 pounders mounted in a different B-17.

          Here’s a cool picture showing the actual bomb release mechanisms from a B-17.

          The B-24 had more room inside for ordnance, owed partly to having a second bomb bay and a top mounted “Davis” wing…………….

  5. Never knew those bronze statues existed.

  6. Funny how the bronze statue of McCarthy is ‘obviously’ taller.

  7. They are one and a half times life size, on Red Beach. You can see the scale of the statues in that last photo with some ‘locals’.

  8. The MacArthur “return” was indeed staged, the photos shown the world being “Take 3.” The overrated @#[email protected]#@!! (his staff of incompetents denied all evidence of the coming Japanese attack in 1941, since The Great Man had determined they would not attack before April 1942 at the earliest, just as THE EXACT SAME GUYS denied all evidence of the coming Chinese attack in North Korea nine years later). The egomaniac’s staff was 50% PR personnel.

    At the same time General MacArthur was being nominated for and awarded the Medal of Honor honor for non-existant personal military bravery in combat, morale among the American and Filipino troops on Bataan had dropped and the men began singing a song written by Sergeants Bernard Fitzpatrick and Jerry Lundquist of the 194th Tank Battalion, titled “Dugout Doug” and sung to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”:

    Dugout Doug MacArthur lies a shaking on the Rock
    Safe from all the bombers and from any sudden shock
    Dugout Doug is eating of the best food on Bataan
    And his troops go starving on.

    Dugout Doug’s not timid, he’s just cautious, not afraid
    He’s protecting carefully the stars that Franklin made
    Four-star generals are rare as good food on Bataan
    And his troops go starving on.

    Dugout Doug is ready in his Kris Craft for the flee
    Over bounding billows and the wildly raging sea
    For the Japs are pounding on the gates of Old Bataan
    And his troops go starving on…

  9. Thanks, Tom. Appreciate the post – fantastic to read that song.

  10. Thanks for this excellent post David…………….

    Years ago I met a very nice elderly gentleman who was Macarthur’s orderly. This man was responsible for shining the General’s shoes, pressing his uniforms and making sure that his brass was highly polished at all times (among other things). Unfortunately I don’t remember his name, or know if he served with the General in WW2 or Korea.

    My Dad was a Korean War US Army veteran who landed at Inchon and was later at the Chosin Reservoir. Dad never spoke too much about the General, good or bad. One thing he did state was that Macarthur wanted to take the fight into China, in order to stop the Communist expansion, but was stopped by President Truman fearing a nuclear war.

  11. Lots of interesting information here. Not to mention an entertaining song. I’ve heard whispers of much of this before. I guess we needed heroes more than truth back then …

  12. I vaguely remember my uncle talking about Macarthur in not to friendly terms,he served on an LST off the Philippines.

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