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Mtflyer

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 #1 

Last weekend I was out searching for the crash site of an OV-1D Mohawk and found a lot of small scattered pieces of wreckage, but most of them were indefinable other than they were from an aircraft. I did find a piece that turned out to be from a Bell & Howell gun camera. Searched online for information about the camera, but was coming up with different info. Does anyone know the time period these cameras were used and would a OV-1D be fitted with one?

 

It was marked with,

 

12V=CAMERA AN TYPE M-4A

24V=CAMERA AN TYPE N-4A

ORDER NO. W-535-AC-28135

BELL & HOWELL CO.

 

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Joe Idoni

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RareBear

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 #2 
Here's a link to a site that shows an entire AN Type M4 gun camera. The site says they were used in the Corsair/Mustang aircraft, but the "M4A" model could have been in a Mowhawk, I guess.
Your third photo shows what appears to be the lens.

http://www.warbirdsite.com/museummustang.html

You can also get a manual for the M4A at  http://www.craigcamera.com/ib_b.htm  for $15.00.
Apparently the M4A was built for the Navy.


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Mtflyer

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 #3 

Walt, thanks for the link. Looks like these cameras were mostly used in the 1940s, doubt if it would have been installed on the OV-1D that I was searching for that crashed in 1982. Read where this model camera was installed on the P-38, P-47, P-51 and F4Us, and I'm sure they must have been used on others. 

 

Later I'll post the photos of some of the other pieces that were at the site to see if anyone can narrow down which model plane it was.   

 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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Mtflyer

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 #4 

I put an album together with some of the pieces that may give clues to the type of aircraft or at lease what time period it might be from. Most of the pieces at the site were just small pieces of mangled aluminum. I picked up each one hoping to find a inspection stamp or part number, but only found the partial number 43 on one piece. After finding a few pieces, I thought that following them would lead me to a crash site, but I was only able to find scattered pieces and no sign of a site. If anyone has any ideas about the pieces, I would be interested in hearing them. Photos are HERE


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Joe Idoni

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theronmoon

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 #5 
Hey Joe,

I have been to the OV-1 and it is a very very contained site. There is a P-63 and P-38 in the area. The P-63 was mostly intact though from a midair with a B-24 that returned to Muroc. I suspect there is a great chance it is from the P-38 which has a crappy report. I believe that P-38 would have been scattered throughout the crash area.

Ryan

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Mtflyer

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 #6 
Ryan, if your talking about the P-38E #41-2119, that is the first ones I thought it might be, but I had it marked as being somewhere near Barstow. Going back and rereading the report, I see where one statement put it 10 miles farther to the west. There is a chance that it's the one. In the report, a photo (attached) shows a good size impact crater, I didn't see any sign of one. I may have not gone far enough, never did find a lot of tiny pieces that would indicating an impct area. Plan to return and do a better job of checking the area.

Joe

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WaltW

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 #7 
Carl Drake's P-38 crash is about 7 miles south of the B-1A based on data from the crash report, media, and county records. Given the OV-1D is west of the B-1A it's also too far from Drake's crash.  The remaining event I know of is the P-63/B-24 midair.  I don't know if the gun camera was wing mounted on the '63 or if this one even had one.  The '63 lost most of it's tail plus prop and canopy damage in a headon midair glancing off the underside of the B-24's nose.  The '24 had lower nose damage and landed at San Bernardino depot for repair.

   There is a P-38 north of Harper Lake that was a bailout but not sure of what circumstances he was in other than an engine fire.

Were the rest of the components indicative of newer technology vs. old stuff?  There was a silver pressure sphere out there at the impact point but it may be gone now.  There were also the octagon G Grumman stamps and OV-1 crossing part numbers.  If you've got an debris field of old stuff you've got a different bird, possibly the P-63.  The '63 fell off into a spin after losing it's tail so it would be a splat and burn.

  The pic is the OV-1 site.  Sorry for the quality but it's a scan of a printed pic shot with my old Mavica FD7 in '99.  I lost the original pic files for the OV-1 and only have archived printed emails.

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theronmoon

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 #8 
The gray paint and 340 degrees debris field is starting to sound like the Hawes P-80A. The report is vague enough for it to be further west then Hawes. That would be cool. There wouldn't be much of a main impact or even debris left over. That plane slid in there just breaking up a bit.
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theronmoon

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 #9 
I found a P-39 that was over ten miles away from where the report said it was near Barstow. And a different direction. Wouldn't surprise me if the Hawes P-80 report is bunk to.
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Mtflyer

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 #10 
Walt or Ryan, do you guys have some info on the P-63/B-24 mid-air, like date and serial numbers? 

Joe


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Joe Idoni

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WaltW

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 #11 

From my notes:

19 Dec 1944         B-24J&P-63A    

 
P-63 was part of a flight making head on passes at a flight of three B-24s over 
20 mi. NE of Muroc AAF.  Fighter flown by 1Lt. Herbert J. Holden made three passes, the last one breaking away under the B-24 too late, causing a collision.  The P-63 struck the lower nose section of the bomber, damaging the propeller, canopy, and losing most of it’s tail.  Shortly after passing behind the bomber the P-63 pitched up and fell into a spin, the pilot, unable to regain control of the aircraft, bailed out successfully.  (AR notes P-63 crashing 10 mi. NE of “cement plant” on a 60 degree heading from Muroc.  Words on crash photos report location 10 mi. NE of Kramer Junction.)  The B-24’s instructor pilot assumed control of the damaged bomber and flew to Muroc AAF.  B-24’s hydraulics were gone and it had damage to nose wheel and bomb bay doors but was flyable and not in immediate danger.  Pilot was told to fly to San Bernadino air depot where the plane could be repaired.  Successful landing was made there using three crew parachutes for braking and having all available crew move to the rear of the plane to keep the nose wheel from touching the ground on landing.  Collision occurred approx. 23 mi. NE of Muroc.  B-24J SN 42-78571, P-63A SN 42-69026

Mtflyer

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 #12 
Thanks Walt, that gives me something to work with.

Joe

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Joe Idoni

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Mtflyer

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 #13 

Starting to think that the pieces I found are from the P-63A #42-69026. The 23 miles NE of Muroc is about right, but what got me thinking that it is the P-63A was the photo of the piece that I thought might have been from an engine with the unique bolt pattern. Found a photo of a P-39 prop reduction unit and the pattern matches. In the photo of the display, looks like they only installed the nuts on the studs with the though holes left without bolts.

 

Thanks Walt and Ryan for the info.

 

Joe

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WaltW

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 #14 
Looks like you may have found the collision debris field.  Given the bird was a pitch up and spin the splat and burn shouldn't be too far.
WaltW

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 #15 
I explored that debris field yesterday.  The camera and gearbox fragment are still there along with other stuff.  It is the collision field as there are B-24 parts present (32 prefix) in addition to Bell parts plus no telltales of fire or impact.
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