What were your voice comms like?

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What were your voice comms like?

Postby Todzilla » Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:48 pm

Was the radio clarity good enough that you could recognize each other's voices over the engine noise? What protocols did you use if any when communicating? Did you ever joke around on the radio, say early in a mission or on the way home after a successful mission? Did you ever hear the Germans over your radio?
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Postby PunchyPowell » Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:02 am

It has been some 60 years now and difficult to remember how our voice coms came through. However, overall we were able to communicate with each other, with the bombers and with our home base quite well, the latter depending on distance and altitude, of course. We had four VHF channels and one was for comm with the bombers and usually one pilot in each Sqdn was designated to monitor that channel during the mission. Voice comms between pilots was usually loud and clear depending on the intensity of the air battle but our radio discipline was pretty good. Two pilots could not transmit at the same time, however, as they wouldblock each other out and since you didn't want to miss a call that someone was on your six, the chatter was usually well controlled. I remember one comm when we were in an unusually long air battle with planes all over the sky, friendly and enemy. Jack Thornell came on the RT saying, "White Leader, this is Red One. I'm on tha ass of a Ju-88 and I'm out of ammo. Need some help on this one." White Leader (Col. J. C. Meyer) responded, "This is White Leader. Ram the bastard. What's the matter, no guts?" Well, Jack never forgave the Colonel for that bit of levity and at our next mission briefing, Col. Joe Mason (Gp C.O.), rather than reprimand 487th Sqdn C.O. Meyer, made this statement. "This is an order: No pilot in this Group will ever intentionally ram an enemy aircraft." It was never mentioned again. On one a particularly frustrating and nerve-racking mission when our weather men had told us we would break out of the overcast at 8,000 ft 8we were climbing through it at 25,000 feet in tight formation and the pucker factor was extremely high as we were hearing close flak over enemy territory still in tight formation, one of the pilots popped onto the RT and said, "I would eat a sack of crap to be out of this stuff and another came back with this, "You can start now brother, my pants are full of it." The laugh we all got from that remark broke the tension for me and I think every other pilot sweating that situation. Finally the bombers aborted the mission and we reduced our altitude to finally get under theovercast and head home.
Robert H. "Punchy" Powell328th Fighter Squadron352nd Fighter Group"West 'by gawd' Virginian"
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Postby H/Kriz » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:37 am

Thanks Bob...read your post at work with a number of air traffic controllers reading over my shoulder. Got some more interest in the 352nd, they ended up reading the "Parson" post with great interest. H/Kriz
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