Azon Bomb and information

Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by Mutley, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    On the 4th August 1944 the 397th Bomb Group, specifically the 598th Bomb Squadron, was involved in the only operation undertaken by Martin B-26 Marauders using the Azon Bomb.

    I have pictures of several of the aircraft used in this operation, and some details of other aircraft that were fitted with the Azon Radio Antennae, but were not used at that time. I recall reading that up to 15 aircraft were planned to be fitted, with some (possibly 6!?) being fitted prior to leaving the USA, and others being fitted after their arrival in England.

    Bill Wolf in his book "Martin B-26 Marauder - The ultimate look", states that they took off from Hartford Bridge. This is incorrect. They took of from, and returned to, Station 168 - Rivenhall, Essex.

    On the 5th August the Group moved to Hurn, which Bill also misspells 'Hurne'; Hampshire; which is now Bournemouth International Airport.

    I believe there is a connection with Hartford Bridge, possibly also known as RAF Blackbushe(!?) and that he has misread and misconnected things, but have unfortunately filed and misplaced the specific data that I collected on the AZON project 10 years ago! At that time I believe that it was Dan Halman(!?) at the AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, that was compiling a work on ALL Azon related operations, but I do not know if he ever completed and had this published by them.

    I will be writing to AFHRA shortly about this, but thought I would put out this thread also, as there is lots of other information out there!, somewhere!? It's just finding it and piecing it together properly.

    What I am specifically looking for is anything that pertains to the use of Azon and may in any way be connected with, or linked to by default, the Martin B-26 Marauder. The 8th AF and 15th AF both used Azon, and some of their use must have come through the same supply channels, both in the USA and Europe.

    Where for example were the units made?
    I know that they tested the units at Eglin AFB, Florida, as I have film footage of this!
    I found on Wikipedia, some time ago, an old photo that pertains to being an Azon bomb, but this appears to be an early test version, with the control vanes being a part of the bomb casing, rather than an individual detachable 'Tail Unit', as used in operations.
    When did they get shipped over, and to where!? Hartford Bridge!??
    I have heard rumour of an after attack report being made, but have not been able to find this anywhere! Maybe I have asked the wrong people, the wrong questions, to get the right answers. So I am trying another way!

    Mutley
     
  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    The bomb was developed by the Gulf (Oil) Research and Development Corporation with headquarters in Pittsburgh. The actual research (and also I believe) the manufacturing site was at Harmarville, PA, about 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh. It is now part of the University of Pittsburgh.

    Here is some info on one of the developers of the bomb. http://wiki.seg.org/wiki/Ralph_Wyckoff
     

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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  3. Darin Scorza

    Darin Scorza New Member

  4. Airwar

    Airwar Well-Known Member

    More articles
     

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  5. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Report No. 8
    May 1964
    THE ACCURACY OF THE AZON, GUIDED BOMB AS AFFECTED BY BATTLE CONDITIONS IN WORLD WAR II http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/600601.pdf deployed Italy, Northwest Europe, Burma.

    There is a reference PDF pages 21 & 22 communication August 11, 1944 Eaker to Spaatz 15th AF turned their AZON project over to MATAF (B-25) [Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force]. This is the only reference to medium bomber use, the groups involved or their combat results if any are not covered in this report.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    RSwank likes this.
  6. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    I found a reference to the B-26 use of the Azon on this thread. Specifically, a post by Mil-Tech bard toward the bottom of the 2nd page of the thread.

    https://forum.axishistory.com//viewtopic.php?t=207005&start=15

    "A Case History of Azon. an Azimuth Guided Bomb"
    By Grant D. Gordon, III,
    Air University (U.S.). Air Command and Staff College.

    "The B-26 unit tried Azon once and decided it was not usable
    as a tactical weapon, The mission was flown on 4 August 1944 by
    s1x (five were Azon equipped) Ninth Bomber Command B-26s. The
    targets were a railroad embankment and three highway bridges at
    Epernon, France. A total of ten Azon bombs were ,dropped. The
    need for evasive maneuvers immediately after weapon release
    degraded the bombardiers ability to accurately guide his ,_ weapon.
    The lead bombardier was aiming for the entire flight and had
    insufficient time to acquire and aim on target two.
    Consequently, he had to direct a withhold against it (43:2).
    Because evasive action negated the guidance advantage of Azon,
    the B-26 crews felt it was no more effective than an ordinary GP
    bomb and never used the weapon again (11:1)."
    .
    "11. Taylor, L. S., Chief, Operational Research Secfion,~Ninth
    Air Force. Letter to Hq Army Air Force, Washington D.C.
    6 October 1944."

    I think the paper is this:
    Grant D Gordon III.
    A Case History of Azon, an Azimuth Guided Weaponî, April 1987, Air Command and Staff College student paper, located at AUL, Maxwell AFB, AL, (call no. MU- 43122-G663c), 1.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  7. Mutley

    Mutley Member

    No wonder some people have got so much messed up! I don't see a single reference here (Not the posts, which are excellent!) that seems to quote the only B-26 Marauder mission with information that is even close to true!

    I met William 'Bill' Ryherd at a 397th BG reunion in 2003. Who may you ask is he!?
    Bill was the Pilot of B-26G-1-MA, 43-34116, U2*U of the 598th BS, 397th BG, that was shot down on that 4th August mission. MACR 7874
    He disliked the squadron C/O who was nick named Ack Ack Allen (actually Franklin S. Allen. Jr) by some of the squadron, as he seemed to want to be in the thick of it all the time!! Why did Allen get involved in the Azon project? Well he had done some of the early Torpedo Drop testing with the B-26, when he was with the 22nd BG in the South West Pacific, but that's another can of worms!!

    I'll sort out and post some further information, just to show what I mean about misinformation. But now I really have to get to compiling everything I have done in the past, and add in what I am now finding!; thanks guys; and write up something properly!!
     

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