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  #11  
Old 11th February 2019, 01:45
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

All things are possible, but I still feel that 3 Squadron "preferred" cannon rather than wing tipping, unless out of ammo, which is not the case from eye witness description......But I wasn't there so not dismissing.


For the purpose of the Parish Council, it would be "useful" if he "saved the village/school/church" by his interception of the V1, but unless I have proof (and the only V1 airburst is 1st August, and therefore NOT involved) then the interest is considerably less.
I know of one other V1 close to the village, but that was a ground explosion so difficult to see how that would have caused his Tempest to crash, and I don't know the date to link to 6th August.

I had hoped that we might have experts knowing V1 launches or fates but looks as if I'll have to see what ESRO at The Keep might divulge....
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  #12  
Old 11th February 2019, 02:58
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

Just thinking out aloud.


1. It may not have been 3 Squadron's usual attack profile to wing-tip a V-1 but if Mackerras was trying to save the village, could he have wing-tipped it to alter the V-1's course? If he opened fire would there have been the possibility of the V-1 wreckage still hitting the village?


2. V-1s are solidly built. Shooting at one - even without exploding the warhead - may result in a lot of solid wreckage and debris coming back at the attacking Tempest. Is there a possibility of accidental collision with a sizable chunk of V-1 wing or engine causing Mackerras to suffer an injury or lose consciousness? The rest of the V-1 would still continue flying long enough for it to impact the ground.



...geoff
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  #13  
Old 11th February 2019, 20:23
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

Geoff, interesting points....
i had tried consciously to avoid the "heroic pilot dies saving schoolchildren" type of scenario, but thinking about it, then it may well have been why he tried to tip the V1, especially if he saw its course and flight were descending onto the village. It could have been damaged crossing the AA belt and then started to fall towards the village...

I'd not considered that aspect, assuming it was a fully functioning V1 on its way to London, but a damaged one descending onto the village being tipped away then fits with the second V1 that did explode on the outskirts of the village. I just need to find the date for that, if it's the 6th August then Bingo! You've solved the conundrum of how it may have happened without there being a mid air explosion and consequent debris damage.

That's why I needed to ask, if there were Experts here who know where such information may be....
Looks like East Sussex Records Office to see if they have ROC or Police reports.....

Thanks, you've put forward a better "hero" concept for me to consider.
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  #14  
Old 12th February 2019, 03:19
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

It didn't need to be a damaged V-1 to head for the East Sussex village. A very effective disinformation campaign by double-agents working in England for the Allies were feeding V-1 target damage assessment to the Luftwaffe, indicating heavy damage when the V-1s were falling short. Successive waves of V-1s were then programmed with the same fuel burn times resulting in large numbers undershooting London. Though I'm not sure if it would have have any effect in early August.

Let's explore the mechanics of wing-tipping a V-1 to discuss possible scenarios as to why MacKerras may have crashed afterwards.

Wing-tipping can be done to any aircraft - not just V-1s. So if a RAF pilot came across a Fw190 after the pilot had baled out and the Fw190 was still flying straight and level, it could be made to crash by wing-tipping it. The technique is more effective against V-1s because the V-1s are directionally stabilized in flight by a internal gyroscope. Tipping the V-1 topples the gyroscope, causing essentially mechanical confusion as to which way is up, resulting in the V-1 crashing. It is less effective - for example - against the Fw190, as aircraft are inherently stable in some flight conditions, and thus the wing-tipped Fw190 may just change direction and re-establish a state of stable flight in a different heading.

Wing-tipping is carried out by placing your wing-tip under the other aircraft's wing-tip and using the boundary layer of moving air over your wing (e.g. Tempest) to nudge the boundary layer of moving air under the other wing (V-1). Ideally to prevent structural damage to your Tempest wing-tip, there should not be any mechanical contact between wing-tips, only between the boundary air layers.

What could go wrong?
V-1 interceptions are at reasonably high speeds - of the order of 400mph. Wing-tips will be bouncing up and down slightly in normal flight.

1. If the Tempest pilot mis-judges the wing-tip locations due to turbulent air, possibly the Tempest wing-tip is placed over the V-1 wing-tip. Downward movement of the overlapped wing-tips would cause the V-1 to roll towards the Tempest. V-1 collides with Tempest - pilot incapacitated - V-1 flies on to impact ground - Tempest stalls and crashes.

2.Tempest pilot places wing-tip correctly under V-1 wing-tip. Rolls away too enthusiastically - V-1 gyro topples and the V-1 goes on to crash. Tempest goes into a high speed stall. If the Tempest is at too low an altitude, it may impact the ground before the pilot can recover.

(High speed stall occurs when the aircraft is rolled in a turn too quickly and the wings are aligned vertically. The wing dynamic lift vector is at right angles to the wings, so pointed sideways with no force opposite to the weight. If left in this state too long - possibly mere seconds - the momentum of flight is overcome by the weight downwards with no restoring lift force upwards. The aircraft stalls, possibly entering a spin and crashes.)

3. Mechanical damage to Tempest wing due to collision with V-1 wing or excessive applied force during wing-tipping. Loss of a chunk of Tempest wing at high speed, causing unplanned roll motion, resulting in high-speed stall, spin, crash.



Hopefully I haven't just given you some red herrings to set you off in the wrong direction.
...geoff
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  #15  
Old 12th February 2019, 15:43
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

No, I don't think they're red herrings but a plausible explanation as to why no third V1 (the mid air exploded V1 was on 1st August with no damage to property, so wrong date) and the only other known was a ground impact causing damage to buildings and thus not a mid air explosion which is what I thought was needed to damage the Tempest.

Your very detailed descriptions of wing tipping and its consequences makes the second V1 plausible - IF I can correlate that to the 6th August.

Not only that, but it gives a good reason for not using cannon, as overshoots could have impacted the village and wing tipping required to steer the V1 away from the village.

Without becoming too melodramatic, it does appear that he could have sacrificed his life to save lives in our village - once by refraining to use cannon fire and the second by tipping the V1.

Thanks for the insights
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  #16  
Old 19th February 2019, 14:29
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=340#3


6-Aug-1944

"...Anti-aircraft batteries along the southern British coast were in action throughout the day, bringing down V-1 flying bombs; the beaches along the coast at Folkestone and Hythe, Kent, England, United Kingdom were becoming littered with wreckage from the bombs. The fighter squadrons were busy too with the Polish 316 squadron bringing down 9, mostly behind the coastal anti-aircraft guns near Hastings, Sussex. Flight Sergeant Don MacKerras RAAF was killed when his Tempest V fighter spun into the ground whilst he was on patrol; he had attempted to tip a flying bomb over with his wing tip but collided with the missile, losing his wing. ..."


Not in my area of knowledge to be able to verify but interesting, as they note that MacKerras collided with the V-1.
...geoff
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  #17  
Old 20th February 2019, 22:40
Icare9 Icare9 is offline
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Re: V1 interceptions in East Sussex

Geoff: That's most helpful and you must have been scouring rams of records.
The significant new information is regarding the Tempest losing a wing, which I haven't known of previously. But someone must either have seen it happen or described the crash site as a Tempest minus a wing, not torn off in the landing....

I do sincerely appreciate the effort you have gone to over this - Thanks
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