View Full Version : USAAF Fire Fighting

5th March 2007, 15:04
Chaps, this is a bit of an unusual question, but I'm confident someone will know the answer.

While attempting to put out fires on crashed aircraft during WW2, did the USAAF use a foam-based extinguisher? I seem to remember seeing photos of various ships covered in foam, but am unable to locate pictures at present to clarify this.

Also, I would like to confirm that fire-fighting crews on USAAF bases wore asbestos protective clothing?

Hope someone can help.

Thank you

Tony Kambic
5th March 2007, 16:57
In the book below is a photograph of a crashed P-51 covered with foam following a fire. It was a strange situation where the P-51 pilot flew to a bomber base to show his bomber crew brother the new P-51 aircraft and while taking off he went out of control and crashed into a parked aircraft and was killed. Mr. Zorn was an 8th AF photographer who was assigned to document crashes. He kept rather thorough documentation and I found the book very interesting.

Eighth Air Force Bomber Stories; McLachlan, Ian & Zorn, Russell J., 1991, 224pp, hard; Non fiction. Eye witness accounts from American airmen and British Civilians of the perils of war., B & W, 1st ed., Patrick Stevens Ltd, 7 x 9.5., $15

6th March 2007, 01:17
Thanks for this information, Tony. What a terrible end for that P-51 pilot.

Tony Kambic
6th March 2007, 03:16
Here's more on this incident now that I am in front of the book. The brother who watch the crash was not in a bomber crew but was in the infantry visiting the base. The pilot of the P-51 was Lt. James R. Korecky on the 364th FG which was based at Honington where the 1st Strategic Air Depot was housed. Lt. Korecky's group had just converted from P-38's and the pilots had been warned about the single engine torque.

During takeoff, he veered left and crashed through the tail section of a 385th B-17 (42-107226) undergoing repairs. The bomber was severed in two and the P-51 traveled a little further bursting into flames. Two enlisted crew working in the B-17 were injured. On the tail of the P-51 you can see a partial serial 4034 and on the right fuselage is code 5Y =#= . The date of the incident was Jul 30, 1944.

One fireman does have a long jacket but it does not appear to be an abestos suit.

6th March 2007, 11:53

Thanks for taking the time to share this information. Just latley we were discussing, over on another forum, the appalling losses suffered due to non-combat related incidents, such as buzzing the field.

Very interesting, thanks again for sharing.