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Author Topic: bomb squad  (Read 4454 times)

modelman66

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bomb squad
« on: June 15, 2008, 08:41:04 pm »

went to ashby ville today launched tirpitz hull and tested it on the water,i was just sat on the bank and this police officer came from nowhere and asked me to move on?  he explained someone had reported a shell in the water i thought he meant a car shell(as in stollen).any way i took a trip further further round and carried on test running.on the way back the bomb squad had been and removed a76mm live shell dated 1966 i can only think if you kept that in your house and were unlucky enough to have a fire you dont go back in.the previous owner must have had second thoughts about his m.o.d.ornament.probably not interesting the way i tell it but summat different and something happened in scunthorpe!
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bigfella

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2008, 09:52:35 am »

Wow that could have been potentially deadly. Especially if you had a wayward R/C Sub.

Along similar lines I helped a friend of mine clear out his grandfathers shed after he had passed away. When we came across a large box of WW1 ammo of all shapes and sizes (he brought them home when he served in WW1.  We thought that the safest place was to take it to the Army Reserve depot near by. It being and artillery outfit they would dispose of it safely. We transported on the back of one of his trucks, very slowly. On arrival we went to the office and they told us they could not help as they were not allowed to handle live ammo. They suggested the Police and they could not help either. I think the end result was he took it to another friends farm who had a licence for opperating explosives and put it all together and Boom.

But the Army Reserve not allowed to handle live ammo??? sounds a bit like Dads Army.

Regards David
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modelman66

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2008, 08:58:11 pm »

yes it makes you wonder just what is out there hidden away in sheds here in blighty?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2008, 08:59:32 pm »

Quote
yes it makes you wonder just what is out there hidden away in sheds here in blighty?

That's a very loaded question on Mayhem!  :o
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sheerline

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2008, 10:07:56 pm »

A chap presented me with a live round which he found with his metal detector. I can't remember the calibre but apparently during WW2, a crippled B17, struggling to maintain  height had dumped a load of gear overboard in the marshes across the road from my house. We reckoned it was a large calibre machine gun bullet, it measured around 3/4inch dia by about 7inch long and was intact and in near perfect condition. The fellow thought it might be a good idea to dismantle it and keep it as an ornament but I persuaded him it was a bad idea and took it away from him.
I found an ice cream container, half filled it with wet sand and placed the round in the middle, filling in the rest with more wet sand.
I phoned the police who suggested sending round the bomb squad but after half an hour they decided to send an officer around to collect it. A young uniformed chap duly arrived and having shown him the ordnance, he developed a nervous twitch and was very nervous about handling it. After a bit of discussion, he decided to place the sand filled carton in the back of his Landrover. Just to make him more nervous, I pointed out that the sharp end was aimed at his bum whilst he sat in the drivers seat and quick as a flash, so to speak, he leapt out and turned it round the other way. I then pointed out that he would now shoot a following motorist so it was decided to face it towards the nearside of the vehicle the logic being that if it did go off, it would stand less chance of shooting a pedestrian as they were rather more intermittent as targets than his bum or following motorists!
I have never seen a Police Landrover driven so carefully before or since!
As a footnote, we also found a pair of scorched pilots sunglasses and an old farmer who lived locally all his life said he remembered a crippled aircraft flying low across here and it had dumped loads of stuff in the marsh during it's run in, including a clutch of bombs!!
I suggested that matey boy with the metal detector cease operations forthwith and he hasn't been back.
The TVs Time Team later unearthed some remains of a B17 a few miles down the road near Reedham but were unable to locate a couple of the engines. Speaking to another old local who is now deceased, revealed that the digger driver who used to clear the ditches in the marshes had unearthed a couple of engines way back in the dark ages and had recovered them and sold them for scrap.
It's amazing the things you uncover about your local history and this kind of recent history fascinates me. These old locals said the skies around here would go black as they were filled with aircraft forming up for raids, presumably American aircraft during the daylight bombing campaigns and thousand bomber raids. These chaps also witnessed the returning shattered remains, smoking and battered with bits falling off and being dumped overboard..... hence our machine gun round and sunglasses.
I spoke with another old farmer who also witnessed German aircraft dumping bombs in the field at the end of the road and turning tail to head back to Holland rather than endure the anti aircraft fire around Norwich, these bombs all exploded and broke a few windows locally. It then transpired that a V2 rocket had landed (exploded) next to the railway line two miles up the road. I found this a little difficult to believe as I thought these were mainly aimed at London but no, he was correct because having bought Bog Ogleys book on flying bombs, I found out that these were launched from the Hague and did indeed reach East Anglia. I was so used to hearing about all the flying bombs around London as I lived there and got all the local history from those who lived through it, it had never really occurred to me that rural areas like this were also subjected to it, albeit on a lesser scale.
 Incidentally, all the houses I had previously lived in in SE London had all been damaged by either V1s or V2s and I was able to identify where the rockets had landed  by speaking to locals and reading Bob Ogleys book. One such V1 almost killed my Grandmother, took out the front of the house and upset the family parrot terribly, that particular bomb was responsible for the large crack in the back of my flat in Bromley!
Fascinating... absolutely fascinating and it all happened just over 60 years ago!

   
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GaryM

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 10:25:14 pm »

Sheerline, I saw the "Time Team" episode - very interesting. 
My dad was nearly killed by a V bomb, it landed at the head of the convoy, my dad was at the back, he was lucky, he only lost a few good friends.... :'(

regards
Gary
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Jonty

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2008, 10:57:47 pm »

  At 3/4" diameter, it sounds more like a 20mm cannon shell, so unlikely to have been jettisoned by an American bomber.
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sheerline

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2008, 11:06:02 pm »

Hi Jonty, I am guessing at the size here as although I measured it at the time, I have forgotten the actual dimensions.
It was deemed to be an allied round by someone I spoke to at the time.
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OMK

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2008, 04:19:51 am »

Nice piece there, Mr. Sheerline. My grandfolks used to tell me similar tales of unexploded doodlebugs and live ammo' found in the fields and gardens.
Reading your post suddenly reminded me of a good old gadgy who used to lve in the next village. He died a couple year ago, but his old job, he was one of the UXB boys. The dude was a total nutter - with a brilliant character to match. We were down the pub one night and he told me that, even though he was armed with all the training, he still piddled his pants whenever it was the choice of cutting the red wire or the blue wire.
The dude was obviously a hero. But man, what an interesting job.

The bit where you said about stuffing it in an ice-cream container with wet sand. Now that's pretty neat. But I'm not lying when I say that one of my bro's would be in seventh heaven it that were to happen to him. If he found that live bullet, the first thing he would do is stuff it in the vice, then wack the detonator with a nail and hammer, "just to see how fast that sucker goes."

They tell me that when you heard the doodlebug engine stop was when you had to run for cover.

That must have been pretty spooky.
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tigertiger

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2008, 04:42:54 am »

  At 3/4" diameter, it sounds more like a 20mm cannon shell, so unlikely to have been jettisoned by an American bomber.

Could be .50 caliber shell, then the shell casing could be 3/4" as I think .50 used a parabelum cartridge. i.e. the back of the cartridge is fatter than the pointy end, so more bang for the size of round.
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sheerline

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 08:08:28 am »

PMK, you are correct when you say V1s (doodlebugs) dived earthwards when the motor quit and they were originally termed 'divers'. The control mechanisms for the flying surfaces were pnuematically controlled by air pressure supplied by compressed air bottles stored on board. The fuel feed to the motor was cut by a timer mechanism and at the same time a cutter chopped through the air lines to the control actuators and set the elevator in a fully downward position causing the aircraft to dive earthwards, very crude but effective!
My Grandmother was hanging out the washing when she heard a bomb coming and when she heard it cut out she ran for the  bomb shelter at the bottom of the garden. As she dived through the door, the thing went off, she said the blast and shock wave made her feel as though her face was being peppered by broken glass. On emerging from the shelter she found the remains of her washing still attached to the clothes pegs on the line. The front of the house had been blasted but was still intact but the windows were blown in with the  result that poor old Polly parrot who had been basking in the sunshine in his cage on the table near the window ended up on the other side of the room. The birds language was apparently quite colourful as he had been brought home on a destroyer a few years earlier and the Mateys on board had taught him a few choice phrases!
This particular V1 had landed in the Hope Park area of Bromley in Kent and as my flat was also in the vicinity, it had suffered quite badly.
I used to get loads of stories from all the old folks around South London as years ago I used to repair televisions  and would often miss my lunch break or be late for my next job as I would be rivetted by the war stories these folk would relate about the Blitz. I was able to piece together various bits of this info and build a picture of which bomb landed where and when... later to be confirmed by the information in Bob Ogleys book.
The V2s were a totally different beast altogether as they were true rockets and flying faster than sound, would simply arrive without any kind of audible warning and explode at random anywhere. People began to notice that immediately after the initial explosion they had heard a whooshing sound... this was the rockets' high speed passage through the air being heard AFTER it had arrived! The only way any kind of warning could be given about the arrival of one of these missiles was to have spotters look for teltale vertical streaks in the air over Holland, indicating that one had been launched.
I could ramble on about these things for hours but I am afraid I have detracted from the thread again.... must be my age!! :embarrassed:



   
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John W E

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2008, 10:53:24 am »

Sheerline, you have sent me off researching for the last 2 hours - because, when I served my apprenticeship time at Brigham & Cowans there were numerous Wartime Stories that used to be told by the older guys - I was trying to get verification of one or two of them.   

Apparently, during one of the heavy air raids over the River Tyne in 1941 there was a ship blown completely on its side in the dockyard which was next to Brigham & Cowans.   On the same raid the storeyard for the electricians' cables was also hit and it blew one of those large cable drums through the roof of the fitting shop.  Consequently it demolished half the roof of the fitting shop and apparently this 6 foot diameter cable drum came to rest next to where the fitters used to have their sit down tea break.   The old man used to say it was the only thing that Gerry gave them was a new tea table for the shop and a new open roof to stargaze.

The other thing I was trying to research was; apparently in one of the German Bombers which was brought down, they found a map with what they call the 'Knots Flats' marked on it ( and which by the way are still there in North Shields).   On the map it indicated These are not to be bombed as they indicate when to turn left for the River Tyne - or straight on past for Blyth.  This is the bit I was trying to research....

aye - all interesting stuff
John e
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Colin H

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 11:20:02 pm »

At about 7" long with a 3/4" base almost certainly .50 cal. The most prolific machine gun fitted to US war planes at the time was the Browning .50 cal.

An interesting point about non explosive ammo i.e. just a bullet, unless it is in the tube or you are very very close it is not that dangerous.

We used to do a demo with 9mm 2Z British army sub machine gun ammo. We would get a cardboard shoe box, place said round of ammo inside with a soldering iron on the primer, put on box lid and plug in soldering iron. A few minutes later there would be a loud crack as the round went off but neither the bullet or the case ever got out the shoe box.

Having said that if you were holding a .50 cal when it went off you would lose more than your fingers.

The 76mm is a very different beast, circa 1966 it would be for the Saladin armoured car and they had several different types of ammo. Practice, just a lump of turned steel for a projectile. HE for use against soft targets and infantry. HESH for use against armour. Smoke for laying a smoke screen and finally canister which made it a 76mm shot gun. Anyone of these beasties would certainly ruin your day.

As an instructor one of our jobs was at the end of firing practice we would have to get rid of the blinds, ammo that as been in the tube, had the primer struck but failed to go off. Initially these would be placed in a misfire pit in front of the firing point, so that if there was a delayed ignition the blast would be conducted skywards. It was our job to remove them from the armoured vehicle and carry them to the pit, that made your bum twitch.

At the end of practice these would be collected placed in a Landie and transported down range. It was then a case of place a 4oz slab of PE were the projectile joined the brass casing, stick as many machine gun blinds into that as you could fit, light blue touch paper, walk smartly away and wait for the bang.

Glad to say I always heard the bang as there was no set procedure to follow if the PE also failed.

Yours Colin H.
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sheerline

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2008, 12:05:07 am »

Hi Colin, thanks for your input re the bullet. When I retrieved the round from said metal detector chappie, it had the appearance of having lain in a wet boggy marsh for a long time. It was not corroded in any way but was rather blackened due to its immersion in the wet earth. Having wiped the mud off, I gave it a gentle shake next to my ear and could distinctly hear what sounded like powder moving around inside. I could imagine that this item could possibly be waterproof to some degree but if it was indeed still dry inside, would I have been able to hear something like that or would it normally be solidly packed? Is it possible there was in fact water in there and that was what I could hear? I have to say that there was no inertia due to slopping of water as I shook it and it did rather sound like powder.
The wet sand idea was actually done to give those around a little piece of mind as the presence if this live round made a few people nervous.... especially the young constable!
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sheerline

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2008, 12:10:03 am »

By the way Bluebird, I think the only  gift the Luftwaffe gave to Londoners during the Blitz was a load of  swimming pools, freshly created in the gardens and local parks.... and some where houses once stood! ;)
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OMK

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2008, 01:17:37 am »

"I could ramble on about these things for hours but I am afraid I have detracted from the thread again..."

I don't hear any complaining.
Ramble on, my man. 'Tis interesting.
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Reade Models

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2008, 06:55:30 am »


Colin H

Wasn't (isn't) Browning a Belgian armaments company?  I used to own a rather beautiful over and under magnum shotgun manufactured by FN Browning in Belgium (FN = Fabrique Nationale).

It's not impossible that the Americans would use Belgian armaments on their war planes, but I would rather have expected them to use their own?  What was the story behind this?

Regards, Malc


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Colin H

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2008, 03:18:43 pm »

Sheerline,

The .50 cal was not filled with powder or certainly the ones I used weren't. I forget the name of the stuff now but it looked a lot like very thin drinking straws and it was almost certainly this you could hear rattling. These rounds like most one piece jobbies have the bullet crimped to the brass case after the case neck as been annealed. This gives a very good case to projectile seal and on firing allows the brass case to expand in the chamber thus providing a gas tight seal so that the expanding gases do not `blow back` into the weapon or firer's face. It is also very water tight.

Malc your FN Browning was certainly made in Belgium `and I am jealous` they are a lovely gun. But The US having been making and using Browning machine guns for years. The first really successful and widely used model was the 1919 (year of acceptance into service) Browning in 30-06 calibre. We Brits were still using that model with a slight modification until the late 70s early 80s.

The modification is of interest we converted the gun to `rear sear`. In other words when you let go of the trigger the next round of ammo was held on the front of the bolt clear of the chamber. When you pulled the trigger the round was carried into the chamber and the firing pin moved forward with the inertia setting off the round. The original US version was `front sear, this meant that as you released the trigger the round was carried forward into the already hot chamber awaiting the spring activated firing pin. You have probably heard of a `runaway` gun i.e. the gun starts firing without anyone pulling the trigger, the front sear action was the main cause of this.

Yours Colin H.
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Reade Models

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2008, 06:45:37 pm »



Hi Colin

Absolutely fascinating!

My Browning was purchased in Praed Street, Paddington in the 1970's.  I was working at John Brown's offices by the side of Paddington Station at  the time designing Thistle Alpha.  I just happened to be walking past the gun shop and noticed a beautiful leather case which I thought would suit my Masters (Spanish) side by side magnum ejector.  I walked into the shop to buy the case and saw the Browning on the shelf.  It was hand tooled all over the lock.  Apparently somebody had ordered it and applied for an export licence which was refused for some reason?  I just had to have it!
 
I had my shotgun licence with me at the time and having paid cash for the Browning (I was single then), took it away in the leather case that I had seen in the window.  The rules weren't so onerous in the 70's.  It was a shame really, I never did get to go back home to my rough shooting days....In the end I sold them both - and nowadays I couldn't bring myself to shoot anything.

(My friend Jim has a pair of Holland & Holland box lock ejectors that he inherited from his father - put my guns to shame).

Malc



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Colin H

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2008, 10:50:12 pm »

Hi Malc,

What a way to acquire a Browning love that story.

I was for a number of years a RFD and so got to handle most makes of shot guns. I was always fascinated by the workmanship that went into one of the better guns. Truly beauty and the beast, designed to kill in a very efficient manner and yet works of art.

Once many years ago whilst still in the army I was working at the Chatsworth country fair and Purdy had a stand there. I was privileged to be taken into the back room `do tents have back rooms` to have a look at the last .600 nitro express double rifle they made. The gunsmith removed my combat jacket `no zips or buttons allowed` fitted me with a pair of immaculate cotton gloves, assembled the gun and passed it over. It was absolutely beautiful, you could not get a fag paper between any of the joints metal or wood. The walnut stock was polished to see your face in it with superb graining and the lock plates were hand tooled with safari scene's. That one went for about 60K if memory serves.

As an aside I think we all saw Prince Harry sitting behind the machine gun popping off into the distance. That was a modern Browning .50 cal of US origin.

Colin H.
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Peterm

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2008, 08:40:58 am »

Colin H, the `stuff` was nitrocellulose propellant.  Pete M
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tigertiger

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2008, 02:31:20 pm »

This is amusing use of a .50 caliber
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ABGIJwiGBc
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Colin H

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2008, 09:29:49 pm »

Thanks Pete your spot on.

Tiger I am not sure but I think the rifle was the .50 cal Barrett sniper rifle. The guy was very lucky to survive M2 ball ammo as a 720 grain bullet (7000 grains to the imperial pound) with a muzzle velocity of approx 2810 fps. This gives a muzzle energy of about 12,630 ft lbs. Add to that that most .50 cal ball ammo as a mild steel core he was damn lucky.

The only explanation I can come up with is that he was using `home loads` and had down loaded to try and kill some of the recoil.

Yours Colin H
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Colin H

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2008, 09:45:47 pm »

Malc,

A little more info for you on Browning. After the first world war the US was particularly taken with the German 13mm anti tank rifle and decided that they would like something as powerful for their own use. The project was given to John M. Browning who completed his work on both machine gun and cartridge in 1921.

After successful trials it was adopted by the Us Military in 1923. It as remained the standard heavy machine gun/cartridge from that day to this and as been adopted by at least 30 countries.

Colin H.
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GaryM

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Re: bomb squad
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2008, 09:47:57 pm »

So what exactly happened? a ricochet? ???

Gary :)
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