[Archive] Re: Bomb shackles & release mechanisms
As I recall the bomb was attached to what we called an a-2 shackle. On my
next trip to the March AFB museum I am going to see if I can obtain more
information on this device. It was really well manufactured. The bomb, as
recall, was attached to the shackle. The bomb was then hung on the rack.
arming wire was attached to the shackle and the other end to either the nose
or tail fuze or both.
The fuze in the nose bomb, for example, had attached to it a small
When the bomb was dropped this propeller would rotate so many rpms and drop
off, the bomb was then armed. As I recall, this was to keep the bomb from
exploding while in the aircraft. The arming wire held the prop motionless
until the bomb was dropped.
If the bomb was dropped safe, the shackle released the arming wire with the
the bomb, and the bomb, supposedly, would not explode upon impact. Kicking
the bomb out of the aircraft? Well, not exactly, I have had cases where the
bombs have hung up, one in WWII and once in Korea, in a B-29.
I well remember the bomb hang up over Korea. We were on a night mission.
I recall we had one bomb that refused to leave the aircraft. We had to let
down to 10,000 feet. The aircraft was depressurized and I went into the
Bombay and with a screw driver was able to, like I had been taught, to
release the bomb.
Do any of you ground troops remember the flood lights that illuminated the
front lines in Korea? I can well remember looking down through the bomb bay
and seeing those lights.
We were dropping bombs from the W.W.II era. I did hear that some of these
old bombs dropped from the B-29 bumped into each other and exploded beneath
aircraft. I recall hearing this information.
Sorry I had to use the phrase, as I recall. I am sure there will be someone
that will tell me it was not that way at all.
We never had bombs hang up in the B-52, as I recall.
Another thing I recall. We were on our way to Korea with a full load of
bombs. We were in rough weather. The aircraft was bouncing all over the
place. I looked through the pressurized door into the bomb bays. The bombs
were hung on shackles, they were not secured in any other manner. If the
aircraft dropped, the bombs flew upwards and then slammed down against the
bomb racks. It was a scary situation.
When I visited the All American (B-24) some time ago, it was loaded with
dummy bombs but the fans on the nose fuze were attached, just like in the