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"Japanese Ta-dan air-to-air cluster bomb" Topic


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Kaoschallenged Inactive Member22 Feb 2012 1:30 p.m. PST

Recently on this site I saw a mention and drawing of a "Ta-dan air-to-air cluster bomb". The site stated "Detail of the Ta-dan air-to-air cluster bombs carried under the wings of Capt Yasuro Masazaki's 2nd Chutai, 47th Sentai Ki-44-II Hei and replicated from a photograph of the actual aircraft with this ordnance." Does anyone know of where I can find some more information on the "Ta-dan air-to-air cluster bomb" How it was used? When? How successful? Photos? Robert

picture

link

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member22 Feb 2012 1:52 p.m. PST

IIRC they were first used over Rabaul in late 1943. Use continued over the Philippines, Balikpapan, and the Home Islands.

The idea was to fly over a formation of bombers and release the Ta-dan, each of which could take out multiple bombers.

Claims were (as usual) grossly exaggerated. There were a few successes, with a few B-24s and B-29s lost to them, but nowhere even close to the numbers claimed.

From reading AARs, it seems the bomber crews didn't particularly fear them, regarding them as a usually harmless oddity. Unless the Ta-dan actually hit and detonated on the bomber there was nothing to fear.

Sundance Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

As highlandcatfrog said – a few successes, but generally not very useful. Was this the phosphorus bomb or was that a different one? The phosphorus bomb put on a spectacular show, but didn't accomplish much.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member22 Feb 2012 2:13 p.m. PST

That is what I am wondering too Sundance. I found this little snippet on Lone Sentry,

"Aerial Bombing

The enemy made 11 single plane aerial bombing attacks which resulted in no damage to any of the B-29s. The closest burst occurred at 50 yds off the wing of one of our planes, while most of the bombs exploded 200-400 or more yards away from the formation. Phosphorous and fragmentation bombs were observed by crews with the former in the majority. The method of releasing bombs by Jap fighters consisted of: (1) releasing from level flight; and (2) "flipping" or "slinging". No dive bombing encounters were reported. Coordinated attacks employed two fighters each."

link

Robert

highlandcatfrog Inactive Member22 Feb 2012 2:14 p.m. PST

It's the phosphorus bomb.

Time and again I've seen bomber crews report in AARs that it looked great as a fireworks show but was nothing to really worry about. Not nearly as deadly as flak or fighter attacks.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member22 Feb 2012 2:25 p.m. PST

Wiki (I know,I know) lists a Type 4 No.25 Mk 29 Air-to-air bomb Explosive with white phosphorus filled steel pellets "Under development at the end of the war to replace No.25 Mk 3 for use against bomber formations, having a larger explosive charge and less incendiary shrapnel." But so far I can't find a Army version or any others.
link

Robert

ghostdog24 Feb 2012 6:38 a.m. PST

i readed somewhere about german pilots using cluster bombs against allied bombers with some succces

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 3:53 p.m. PST

Any information on what aircraft other then the Ki-44-II Hei that may have carried these? Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 Feb 2012 9:48 p.m. PST

"i readed somewhere about german pilots using cluster bombs against allied bombers with some succces"

Would you happen to have the source for this? Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member28 Feb 2012 8:42 p.m. PST

Perhaps someone else remembers hearing about this? Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member01 Mar 2012 7:56 p.m. PST

I did find this though. "The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA."

link
8thafhs.org/combat1943.htm

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Mar 2012 10:47 p.m. PST

Found a great document on Japanese bombs and it does mention a couple of the phosphorus ones with information and diagrams of them. Robert

PDF link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 Mar 2012 9:59 a.m. PST

Looking at the diagrams in the document though there doesn't seem to be any that match what is in the drawing. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 May 2012 2:12 a.m. PST

Would anyone be able to translate this,

picture

link


Robert

Lion in the Stars07 May 2012 11:21 a.m. PST

Let me ask one of my classmates, he is a JMSDF veteran. He'll do much better than I could on militaryisms.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member07 May 2012 5:11 p.m. PST

I would appreciate that very much Lion thumbs up Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 May 2012 7:45 p.m. PST

picture

Mako1109 May 2012 10:06 a.m. PST

I've heard of the Germans using bombs against enemy bombers in flight, with a timed, or altitude fuse, but they weren't very successful.

I don't recall mention of cluster bombs, but I guess they could have been.

If I recall correctly, they were used on the Schweinfurt and Regensburg raids, and dropped from German bombers flying above the Allied ones.

Of course, it could have been during the raids on Berlin, but I think it was actually on the earlier raids on the other targets.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member09 May 2012 12:31 p.m. PST

From one of the links I had posted earlier,
"
February 26, 1943
8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2nd Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany. The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 1123 and 1125 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 82 uneventful sorties; 6 on shipping patrols and 76 on 3 missions escorting Venturas attacking Dunkirk, France. [NOTE: At this time, there were 3 squadrons flying Ventura Mk Is and Mk IIs assigned to RAF Bomber Command and based in Norfolk, England. No. 21 Squadron, RAF, was based at Methwold; the other 2 squadrons, No. 464 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and No. 487 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), were based at Feltwell.] "

And,

"FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 1943

(Eighth Air Force) VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany. The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 1123 and 1125 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA."

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member09 May 2012 3:26 p.m. PST

Just found this,
"The Japanese were the prime exponents of air-to-air bombing during the Second World War, and went so far as to develop a series of weapons specially for this purpose. The flrst of these was the Type 99 No 3 Mark 3, which entered service in 1939 and weighed 83 pounds. It was shaped like a normal bomb except that it had offset tailfins to rotate it after release, and thus arm the clockwork tail fuse. When the bomb detonated, explosive charges at the centre and rear of the weapon blew outwards and forwards the 144 phosphorus incendiery pellets carried inside the casing. The bomb was effective out to about 75 Yards bcneath the point of detonation. A heavier weapon along the same lines was the Type 2 No 3 Mark I, which weighed 551 pounds and was introduced in 1942; it carried 759 incendiary pellets, and was effective to about 200 yards beneath the point of detonation. Finally, at the end of the war, tests were in progress with the Type 5 No 25 Mark 29 bomb which weighed 551 pounds and contained 102 pounds of phosphorus incendiary material 1100 pellets. This bomb could be released in the normal way or, if the pilot was one of the Banzai breed, he could plunge into the enemy formation and at the flick of a switch blow up his aircraft, himself and hopefully, one or two of the enemy. "

link

Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 May 2012 3:40 p.m. PST

"The Japanese knew that the Christmas Eve raid was coming, and they filled the sky with antiaircraft fire as the Liberators made their bomb runs. Showing "intrepid determination and daring," 20 to 25 Zekes and Hamps made repeated passes at the bombers as Tafaro and the other pilots doggedly tried to stay in formation. To make things even more difficult, the Japanese had introduced a new tactic of deploying phosphorus bombs from cables to improve accuracy. An American combat narrative states, "As the Japanese fighters came in with machine guns firing at our planes, phosphorus bombs were thrown toward the formation. No actual damage resulted from these bombs, but they were effective from a demoralizing standpoint. They burst close to our planes, with flying fragments of burning phosphorous seemingly surrounding the entire plane."

Flight Journal:Mission to Balikpapan,David Lewis,2003."

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member16 May 2012 9:30 a.m. PST

As a gaming question how would you game and portray on a gaming board the use of such weapons? Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 May 2012 11:38 p.m. PST

Any luck yet Lion? Robert

Lion in the Stars19 May 2012 7:39 a.m. PST

Sorry, been a bit busy. I've sent him the image, he just hasn't gotten back to me yet.

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member21 May 2012 9:25 a.m. PST

I understand Lion. No problem. Thanks. I eagerly await the help grin. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member24 May 2012 5:34 p.m. PST

AIR TO AIR BOMBING
By: DALE HOWIESON 823RD

This article decribes the Japanese attempts to use white phosphorous bombs in air to air combat.

On a flight out of Nadzab on a strike at the Wewak airdrome. we made a run over the target in flights of three and were starting to join up as a Group.

Enemy aircraft were sighted at 12 o'clock high. Our gunners were firing at a plane ((I believe it was a "Val") and something fell off as the plane pulled up. I thought the gunners had knocked a wheel loose but as I watched it falling, it suddenly exploded in a large white burst with at least a dozen tenticles formed by particles dropping from the object. It resembled a giant octupus – a really colorful display.

Later during examinations of the planes, it was noted some of them had holes burnt through the wings. Intelligence concluded it a phosphorus or some other flamable metal bomb. Later I witnessed one more such incident but at a greater distance. Apparently it did not work very well since no casualties were reported and I never saw another one after the second sighting of this air to air bombing."
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member31 May 2012 10:06 a.m. PST

I was just thinking on how to portray Phosphorous Bomb explosion in a Bomber formation. Any ideas? Robert

fernworthy Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2012 7:48 a.m. PST

All players must say "Oooh" and Aaah" ;)

Lion in the Stars01 Jun 2012 1:36 p.m. PST

On a roll of 1,1,1 the closest bomber crew needs to change their shorts…

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Jun 2012 8:28 a.m. PST

LOl Lion. I think that to all of a sudden place this in the middle of your formation on the game board and see the shock would be precious wink laugh. Robert

picture

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member09 Jun 2012 9:46 p.m. PST

Looks like a fairly large airburst to have suddenly happen and would be a big surprise factor to a formation.wink Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member18 Jun 2012 12:20 p.m. PST

Steve Birdsall's history of the B-24, Log of the Liberators (New York: Doubleday, 1973 ), illustrates this type of bomb in use. A photo on page 279 shows four B-24s seen through the white smoke trails of a phosphorus bomb. It's captioned:

"August 1944, and the 30th (Bomb Group, 7th Air Force) flies through one of Truk's treats, aerial phosphorus bombs. The wispy finders were deadly bue seldom found their targets."

"The author also mentions their use in Guam's air defense in April 1944.

"First the fighters launched an attack with phosphorus bombs, which did not cause the Liberators a great deal of concern…"

In the photo the bomb burst itself produces a dense white cloud while the incendiaries radiate out from below in many thin, feathery white smoke trails. The whole looks like a great white man-o-war jellyfish in the sky."

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member21 Jun 2012 3:24 p.m. PST

Some nice shots of some going off in a B-24 formation. Robert
link
link

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member30 Jun 2012 1:14 p.m. PST

"Kuishira Airfield, 27 April 1945

Crew P-17 departed Guam with other members of the 60th and 61st. Arriving over the target assembly point only one other B 29 was there to assemble with (Crew 6). At this point our pilots decided to make a Two Plane Formation and go in together at 12,500 feet which we did. Flak was meager and inaccurate however, we had about a twenty minute running battle with about 25 fighter planes that used every method to knock us out. We were met with air to air phosphorus bombs as well as cannon and machine guns. A twenty mm shell exploded in the wing flap behind the No. 4 engine causing loss of this engine. All in all we had four confirmed kills and several damaged on this mission. Results of bombing was proclaimed excellent and we got our 4th Mission and 15:00 combat hours."
link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member08 Jul 2012 12:04 p.m. PST

Used against USN PB4Ys. Robert

20 October 1944: Lt.. Lencioni and crew attacked by two Zeros out of Iwo Jima. A near miss on Lencioni's PB4Y by phosphorus bomb streamers.

5 November 1944: Lt.. D.K.Close, Lt.. J.H.Goodman and crews were attacked by four Zekes off Iwo Jima. The Zekes dropped air to air phosphorous bombs with negative results.

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member10 Jul 2012 5:03 p.m. PST

So it looks like they were used against PB4Y a few times. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member16 Jul 2012 8:33 a.m. PST

This sounds like there were perhaps Ta-dan were used,

"On May 16, Crew 6 flew wing to Crew 7 (PPC Farwell) on a patrol to the Tsushima Straits. After an unsuccessful rescue search, they were intercepted by 2 Japanese "Jacks" (Mitsubishi Raiden navy interceptor with four 20mm wing cannons). From 2 miles out, they initiated the first clash between Japan's new interceptor and the new U.S. PB4Y-2. The 2 Jacks took turns with high-speed diving attacks, countered by evasive weaving by the 2 Privateers, bow and top turrets blazing. The Jacks made unsuccessful bomb runs on the patrol, then strafing runs. On its strafing run, one of the Jacks received engine damage, smoked, and flew directly away. Each PB4Y-2 plane took one 20mm round. The patrol dumped their bombs and sped to 200 knots. Two more Jacks intercepted them and also made unsuccessful bomb runs, followed by strafing runs in which all the bow and top turret gunners of the 2 Privateers bore down on them with their twin .50 guns. Both Jacks crashed into the sea. For this action the crew received the Air Medal."

vpnavy.com/vp118_crews.html

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member25 Jul 2012 9:51 p.m. PST

" On 5 February, the Leuhman crew was about 25 miles north of Iwo Jima, headed outbound on a sector patrol, when they were attacked by two Zeroes (Zekes) which were by then based on island airstrips, since there were no operational carriers at that time. One Zero attempted to hit the Privateer with a phosphorous bomb, but it missed. Then they made runs on the PB4Y-2 from in front and broadside, firing 20mm cannons. However, both Zeroes fired from "extreme range" and broke off their runs as soon as the gunners on the PBY4-2 fired their .50 cal guns. After that, the Zeroes ended their attack and flew away, with one plane smoking.

On 7 February Degolia was on a patrol passing five miles east of Iwo Jima, with Hollywood actor Leif Ericson onboard. leifericson.jpg (3K) Ericson had enlisted for the war effort and was serving as a war photographer. While Ericson was photographing several small ships near Iwo Jima two Zeroes took off from #2 runway and came after the Degolia plane. One attacked from 5 o'clock but broke off when gunner Brooks fired a burst back. The other Zero flew alongside from 600 yards out then came around and started a run from 1 o'clock but was dissuaded by gunner Ransom in the forward top turret. Another phosphorous bomb was dropped, but apart from a little nervousness on the part of the crew, no damage was done to the Privateer. By this time the Japanese fighters were starting to be seen by VPB-118 crews as cautious and their phosphorous bombs as dramatic but ineffective. In fact, no damage was ever done to a VPB-118 plane by a phosphorous bomb. "

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member27 Jul 2012 10:24 p.m. PST

"FRIDAY, 7 MAY 1943

SOUTHWEST PACIFIC THEATER OF OPERATIONS (Fifth Air Force) B-17's and B-24's bomb the airfield, supply dumps, and other targets at Madang. Japanese fighters from Wewak were on patrol and intercepted seven B-17s and six B-24s over Madang. The B-17s reported interception by seven Japanese fighters including two that dropped aerial bombs that missed by a considerable distance."


link

Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian29 Jul 2012 6:47 a.m. PST

Pretty sure some are being used in this video about B-29s:

YouTube link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member31 Jul 2012 12:59 p.m. PST

Thanks for that Virtualscratchbuilder thumbs up. That is what I would love to see happen in a game wink. Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Aug 2012 7:59 p.m. PST

So. No help in the translation yet? Robert

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member15 Aug 2012 10:45 a.m. PST

"Tokyo May 24 1945

Crew P-17 left Guam at 8:00 pm the evening of May 24, 1945 arriving over Tokyo at about 2:00 am on the 25th. The flak was intense and accurate along with a new "flare" bomb and various rockets. Of course we claimed that bombing from 7000 feet allowed BB guns and sling shots to be used against us. Fires could be seen for 150 miles. Managed to get back with only minor damage about 11:00 am the 25th. Results were announced as excellent and we were credited with mission No. 10 and 16:00 combat time."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member26 Aug 2012 8:40 p.m. PST

"On 5 February, the Leuhman crew was about 25 miles north of Iwo Jima, headed outbound on a sector patrol, when they were attacked by two Zeroes (Zekes) which were by then based on island airstrips, since there were no operational carriers at that time. One Zero attempted to hit the Privateer with a phosphorous bomb, but it missed. Then they made runs on the PB4Y-2 from in front and broadside, firing 20mm cannons. However, both Zeroes fired from "extreme range" and broke off their runs as soon as the gunners on the PBY4-2 fired their .50 cal guns. After that, the Zeroes ended their attack and flew away, with one plane smoking.

On 7 February Degolia was on a patrol passing five miles east of Iwo Jima, with Hollywood actor Leif Ericson onboard. leifericson.jpg (3K) Ericson had enlisted for the war effort and was serving as a war photographer. While Ericson was photographing several small ships near Iwo Jima two Zeroes took off from #2 runway and came after the Degolia plane. One attacked from 5 o'clock but broke off when gunner Brooks fired a burst back. The other Zero flew alongside from 600 yards out then came around and started a run from 1 o'clock but was dissuaded by gunner Ransom in the forward top turret. Another phosphorous bomb was dropped, but apart from a little nervousness on the part of the crew, no damage was done to the Privateer. By this time the Japanese fighters were starting to be seen by VPB-118 crews as cautious and their phosphorous bombs as dramatic but ineffective. In fact, no damage was ever done to a VPB-118 plane by a phosphorous bomb. "

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member03 Sep 2012 5:21 p.m. PST

B-29s from the 339th BG 5 May 45.

"Mission: 15

Date: 5 May
Target: Ōmura Naval Air Station, Nagasaki, Kyūshū
Bomber Command Mission: 141
Code Name: Vamoose # 1

Eleven aircraft assembled in formation off an island south of Kyūshū, probably Io-Jima, and proceeded to Ōmura Naval Air Station. The formation reached the IP at 4/1019G with bombs away at 4/1025G from 18,000 feet (5,500 m). A Ki-61 Hein 'Tony' dropped a phosphorus bomb in the formation and then had about six fighter attacks in all. The 314th BW summary states that the Ōmura formation had ten enemy attacks with one enemy plane destroyed by the 459th BS gunners. Flak was heavy caliber, meagre and 90% inaccurate, and five to eight enemy aircraft made up to eight inaccurate phosphorus bomb attacks.

There were no planes lost or casualties and no planes suffered battle damage."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member03 Sep 2012 11:52 p.m. PST

Another drawing of the bomb. Once again I can't read what language it is laugh. Robert

picture

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member04 Sep 2012 6:38 p.m. PST

"The machine guns of enemy fighters were only one means, although the principal one, by which Rabaul was defended. Several times during the late December strikes against the Japanese base, AirSols pilots reported that enemy planes were trying to break up attacking formations and destroy aircraft by air-to-air bombing. Most of these bombs were incendiaries, generally of 70-pound size with a bursting charge of picric acid and an explosive load of about 200 phosphorus-filled steel pellets.19 Zekes, flying above and head on to Allied aircraft, released these bombs so that they would explode in the path of the targeted planes. The incidence of such attacks increased sharply in the new year, and a number of planes were damaged by the spectacular phosphorus fireballs, although actual losses charged to such air-to-air bombing were slight. "

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 9:29 p.m. PST

"A Ki-61 Tony dropped a phosphorus bomb in the formation and the formation had about six fighter attacks in all. They were finally able to release the five bombs hanging in the bomb bay before they landed at Iwo at 4/1330G."

link

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member29 Sep 2012 6:55 p.m. PST

"When the Phosphorus bombs were first used operationally at Rabaul in 1943…Gekitsuio (ACE) Petty Officer First Class Tetsuo Iwamoto was sent aloft to test its use on a B-24 formation of thirty planes. On the ground, a host of headquarters officers made the observation that all thirty planes were destroyed, while Iwamoto watched the formation breakup and leave unscathed. Iwamoto was awarded the thirty victorys to his huge victory talley. As an enlisted person he could say nothing to the officers, tho in his personal diary he rejected the kill claims.
Kampai,
D. Ai-ken, Dai toa senso kokan senshi Shinjuwan Sakusen sensei"

Kaoschallenged Inactive Member11 Oct 2012 2:19 p.m. PST

picture

"Jap Bombs Miss Liberators
A brace of Japanese phosphorus bombs burst over a formation of 7th Air Force Liberators winging over the Kazan Islands. The big American planes had just dropped their bombs on Iwo Jima, 650 miles from Tokyo, when Zeke fighters unloaded the phosphorus bombs and began a series of unsuccessful passes at the bombers.
Credit: (U.S.A.A.F. Photo from ACME)"

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