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tgardner

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  1. If this is in Germany, that would make the helmet as being used by judges / referees in field maneuvers. The standard German / Bundeswehr use is a white armband or band on the hat or helmet and I'd think the US Army would adopt it for joint maneuvers etc. At least, that's what I suspect is the reason for them.
  2. Some more details on these photos. The top one appears to be a US display for public consumption of German technology on a flatbed truck trailer. The first item is a model of a Wasserfall W-5 of W-10 surface to air missile. It has to be a model because the actual missile is far larger. The next item, the "mushroom on a cone" is a V-2 rocket motor. I'd bet it is the real thing. I can't make the other three items out clearly enough to identify them for sure. The next set of photographs, six in all I believe, are likely taken at Elgin AFB in Florida. While this is speculation, the enlisted personnel in the photos are probably from the 303rd BG (heavy) but might be base personnel or from the 384th or 379th BG's (heavy). These three groups trained there on these weapons rotating through one after the other. Elgin was a major testing site for much of US advanced technology of this sort at the time. Going through the photos L to R, top to bottom: Top Left: A 120mm M1 AA gun. Comparison photo: Middle Top: A Douglas VB-10, 11, or 12 Roc. The forward circular wing controls the direction of fall of the bomb, while the tail ring and assembly slows decent. It's impossible to tell which version it is as the difference is in the type of guidance used. Tested between September 1944 and May 1945. Top Right This is a a VB-3 / 4 RAZON. It is a 2000 lbs. bomb and the two shrouds towards the tail are used for guidance by the bombardier on the dropping plane. One controls range, steepening or flattening out the fall of the bomb, the other near the rear controls the left - right movement (azimuth) of the bomb. Lower Left: This is the VB-1 AZON (AZimuth ONly) bomb. This is a standard AN/M65 1000 lbs. bomb fitted with a controllable tail assembly. This allowed the bomb to be steered left or right as it fell. It was intended for use against targets like bridges (long and thin) and used with some success in Burma late in WW 2. It was used in Europe a few times also with indifferent results. Note that there is a JB-2 behind the VB-1 in the photo (that long tube). The JB-2 was a US copy of the German V-1 "Buzz bomb" made by Ford Motor Co. and Willy's Overland. Elgin was a major firing site for the USAAF / USAF of these missiles late in the war and in the early postwar years. Middle lower: This is why I suspect Elgin and the 303rd BG (heavy). This is the GB-1 glide bomb manufactured by Aeronca Aircraft Co. It was issued for service in Europe to the 303rd BG and later to the 384th and 379th BG's all of which were in 8th AF in England. The first combat use was against Cologne on May 28th 1944 when the groups dropped 108 bombs scoring 35 hits on the city with these. The poor results were chalked up to the crews having been in theater so long that most of the original ones that trained at Elgin had rotated out completing their combat missions and the new crews were not trained on the weapons. This is a photo of a 303rd BG B-17 (all the groups flew B-17) dropping two GB-1 in the US while training. This is likely mid to late 1942 when the photo was taken. The last photo I already gave details of. Elgin remained a major base for experimentation with the weapons shown into the late 40's. Many were used up from wartime stocks in testing and experimentation for more advanced systems. I hope this is useful.
  3. Hey... I registered because someone put some pictures up of US guided bombs from the VB series and I thought I'd add some information seeing as how I was writing a book on advanced technology in WW 2, mostly having gotten tired of the "Germany had the greatest (fill in the blank)" nonsense. While not a collector, I think my value as a contributor is I can often identify and give far more background to items that others have. For example, some years ago, a Belgian found a dog tag in the Ardennes belonging to a US soldier. From that tag he had posted up, I found the man's relatives, then his wife and children in Florida and set up a contact so the tag could be returned to them. His wife told us he was in the 106th Infantry Division-- something I had already discovered-- but details of his being a POW then of a visit to Germany decades later where he was still having PTSD flashbacks about that time hearing Germans speaking around him. All that from a dogtag.
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