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Close Air Support

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by acker, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. acker

    acker Member

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    Does anyone have an approximate list of how many friendly vehicles were killed by friendly planes?

    You see, someone just told me this:

    "Funny fact, American bombers killed more friendly tanks than enemy tanks, partly due to the fact that the German tanks were numerically inferior and also due to poor communications."

    And I have no way of checking if it's true or not. It is the first time I've ever heard this claim, and I can't find a corroborating or refuting source.
     
  2. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Your friend doesn't sound too bright with a statement like that. How accurate the statement is, I am not sure, but I am sure some one can provide some details shortly.
     
  3. Joe

    Joe Ace

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    I seem to have heard that before about the 2003 Iraq war, but I highly doubt it happening in WW2.
    Didn't the USAAF have air-ground controllers in US Tank columns?
     
  4. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    Blue on blue did happen. Particulary in Normandy. The Canadians got bombed to bits on several occations.

    But to imply that the USAAF bombed more allies than axis is rubbish.
     
  5. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    Well, they're Canadians...target practice and all :p

    Nah, just kidding (maybe, maybe not).

    But agreed, CAS targeting enemy units produced greater results then friendly fire incidents. I am sure mistakes did happen, but that is to be expected any time people start shooting each other.
     
  6. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    http://www.ww2f.com/wwii-general/25386-history-third-canadian-light-anti-aircraft-regiment-3laa.html

    Later in the day two Spitfires following the same course as the enemy and machine gunning as they came passed over the gun positions. Both were shot down. A Court of Inquiry was convened to investigate the tactics of the Spitfire pilots and the Regiment was relieved of all blame.


    On 8th August, 1944, American Fortresses, due to an error in navigation, unloaded their bombs a short distance south of Vaucelles causing a large number of casualties. Eight members of the Regiment were killed and a number injured. No anti-aircraft guns fired at them.

    (Added by Michelle)

    Casualties on 8 August 1944 were:

    K18091 Gunner John Earl Boyd - Killed Age 30, son of Hugh Archibald and Edith Jane Boyd of Kamloops, British Columbia; buried IX. A. 11 Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery, Calvados, France

    F78103 Gunner Gordon Albert Dewar – Killed Age 21; date of birth September 1, 1922 Roseneath, Prince Edward Island, son of William Weston Dewar and Florence M. Dewar of Brudenell, King’s Co., Prince Edward Island; buried VI. F. 13 Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery
    [photos http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/photos&casualty=2332064 ]

    L10546 L/BDR David George Farrow – Killed Age 24; son of Ernest T. Farrow and Ann Farrow of Regina, Saskatchewan. Buried VI. F. 12, Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery

    B111901 Gunner William Leo Fortier – Killed Age 21; son of Albert and Mary Fortier of Toronto, Canada; buried VI. F. 10, Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery

    D124613 Gunner Joseph Bernard Horn – Killed Age 22; son of William Horn and Regina Horn of Montreal, Quebec; buried V. F. 7. ,, Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery

    [photos http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/Detail&casualty=2333458 ]also includes mini bio and notes that he is also honoured on pg 35 of the memorial book, Canadian Jews in World War II, Part II, Casualties

    K76810 Gunner Albert L. Kinney – Died of Wounds Age 26; son of Milo J. and Florence A. Kinney of South Fort George, British Columbia; buried VI. F. 11, Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery

    K15182 BDR Gordon G. Sheldon – Killed Age 39; son of John Herbert and Lena Sheldon; husband of Exie Estelle Sheldon of Stockton, California, U.S.A.; buried VI. F. 15, Bretteville-Sur-LaizeCanadianWarCemetery

    From The Gunners of Canada Vol II more on 8 August "...492 bombers unloading 1,488 tons of bombs on three of the four targets assigned them. But two groups of twelve Fortresses each dropped their bobms within the Canadian lines. According to American sources, one case occurred as a result of faulty identification of the target; the other happened when a leading bomber, badly hit by flak, salvoed short and the rest of the formation followed in regular routine. These misdirected bombs fell in the tightly packed 2nd Canadian Corps area...The 3rd Canadian Infantry and the 1st Polish Armoured Divisions suffered heavily. So did the Canadian Artillery. Personnel loses were estimated at a total of 65 killed and 250 wounded, of whom Canadian casualties numbered 25 killed and 131 wounded....The 3rd L.A.A. Regiment's 16th Battery which had fired the directional tracer on the previous night, had seven men killed in the bombing [This was my Dad's battery - and I know the incident changed forever who he would have been] ....

    In mid-afternoon on the 14th there occurred another of those unfortunate incidents which further weakened the soldier's wavering faith in air support. As the great force of 417 Lancasters, 352 Halifaxes and 422 Mosquitoes of Bomber Command carried out their assigned mission against their targets astride the Caen-Falaise road, 77 planeds bombed short, inflicting on Canadian troops casualties estimated next day at 65 killed, 241 wounded, and 91 missing. By an irony of fate, 44 of the offending aircraft were from a Canadian formation - No. 6 (R.C.A.F.) Bomber Group....Once again Canadian artillery regiments were hard hit. In its position beside Haumesnil quarry...the 12th Field Regiment suffered grieviously...For 70 minutes the agony of the devastation from above persisted, turning th ewhole area of the quarry into a blazing inferno. When it was all over, Lt.-Col. Webb had lost 13 men killed and 53 wounded. Practically all the 16th Battery's vehicles and most of its guns had been destroyed or badly damaged...

    As a result of the two incidents, the Royal Air Force agreed to deploy a ground O.P. manned by R.A.F. personnel, to provide the contact which had previously been lacking between air and ground, once the planes took off on their mission. After this change was made, there were no further accidents of such magnitude."
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Here are a few,

    1942
    21 February - Flying Tigers proceeded with an air attack on retreating Commonwealth forces mistaken for an advancing Japanese Column with over 100 lives lost



    1943
    • General Omar Bradley recalled that his column was attacked by American A-36s in Sicily. The tanks lit yellow smoke flares to identify themselves to their own aircraft, but the attacks continued, so the tanks were forced to fire and downed an aircraft. The parachuting pilot was brought before Bradley. 'You stupid sonofabitch!' Bradley fumed. 'Didn't you see our yellow recognition signals?' The pilot replied 'Oh, is that what that was?'
    1944
    and some good incidents here,

    Amicicide: the problem of friendly fire in modern war

    And of course on the subject of Air to Air "Friendly Fire",
    http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/22475-friendly-air-air-kills-blue-blue-incidents.html
     
  8. TA152

    TA152 Ace

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    Radios were much inferior to what we have today and had shorter range and lots of static. Morris code was used due to the poor voice quality of the radios and short range. Also they used vacuum tubes that did not like rough use and wet weather.
     
  9. acker

    acker Member

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    To everyone who responded, thank you for the information.
     

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