On This Day…March 30th.
Jagdtiger 131 (Panzerjager Abteilung 653) knocked out in Schwetzingen, Germany, on March 30th, 1945.
US Navy K-class airship K-111 on exercises with Escort Carrier USS Rudyerd Bay (CVE-81) off San Diego, California, on 30th March, 1943. K-class airships were non-rigid airships, or blimps, that were developed from early 1930’s designs. The Goodyear Tyre Corporation had been using airships for advertising since the 1920’s and in 1937, the US Navy ordered a prototype airship from Goodyear on a larger scale. The prototype was the K-2 and first flew on December 6, 1938 in Akron, Ohio.
An unpainted Messerschmitt 262 (Wk.Nr 111711) 'surrendered' by Luftwaffe test pilot and flight instructor Hans Fay on the 30 March 1945 (although this photo was actually taken two days later).
Photos of the outside and inside the turret of a Comet (essentially an upgraded British Cromwell) - T335126 - of the 23rd Hussars, struck twice by 88mm fire - 30th March, 1945.
A Gladiator fighter of Flying Regiment 19 'Swedish Voluntary Air Force' of the Finnish Air Force, Kauhava, Finland, 30th March, 1940.
TBF-1 Avengers from the USS Essex (CV-9) dropping a practice torpedo from 150 feet, Gulf of Paria, Trinidad, 30th March, 1943. Note the porpoising early Mark XIII torpedo.
On March 30, 1939, the Heinkel 100 single engine piston powered fighter prototype set a new World Speed Record at 463 mph (745 kph).
Incredibly, although then the fastest plane in the world, the He 100 was not put into production.
The reasons given for not producing this potential (at the time) super-fighter vary with the source, but the bottom line is that the fortunate Allies did not have to face a German fighter years ahead it’s contemporaries.
US Army Privates George Cofield and Howard Davis manning an anti-aircraft Unit near a bridge under construction over the Rhine River, March 30th, 1945.
The night of March 30th 1945 saw Bomber Command’s greatest losses in a single raid. Of 572 Lancasters, 9 Mosquitos, and 217 Halifaxes, 95 bombers were lost. The target was Nuremberg and one shocked gunner, looking upon the German countryside from the tail end of his Lancaster would describe his...“comrades’ funeral pyres stretching 60 miles into the distance”.
Come the dawn of March 31st, more than 700 men failed to return and the RAF alone lost more men in one night than in the entire Battle of Britain.
British Comet tanks of the 11th Armoured Division in Germany, March 30th, 1945.