Did you hear the story about the first use of that 75mm in the B25's, seems every time they fired it they were subjected to accurate Flak.
Turns out the airforce types thought in order to arm the fuze, you had to screw it all the way down. This resulted in ZERO time delay and the rounds were going off just in front of the muzzle!
A small aside to the Cobra disscussion. After the war the navy was given the job of researching swept wing behavior. They bought two P-63C's and modified them with swept wings. The center of gravity was off so they put a P-39 four blade prop because it was lighter. "Tex johnston was one of the test pilots. These planes were called the L-39-1 and 2. The tests that were run led to the standardization of leading edge slats on swept wing fighters for low speed stability. It's a sleek looking plane but a bit out of place with the prop out front.
Then there was the "Grizzley" a twin engine job with a belt fed 75 in the nose. Came out too late for WW2, and that finished it.
I sure wouldn't want to go into a spin in a P39 since it wasn't round and round but rather nose over tail due to the placement of the engine
Not a good thing. I guess Bell made the right decisions to go rotary!
I looked up the Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly and it was a well reguarded "almost" to replace the Douglas Havoc. It was very fast for the time at 376mph with the 75 in the nose with 6- 50's, two under the nose and four in two remote control turrets. It could also land and take off in less space than a single engined fighter so it could have operated from advanced strips. It' biggest problem was the engines. It was designed around two Wright radials, the same model as the B-29. The 29 took precedent so the XA-38 never saw production as the war ended and the need disappeared. Shame, It was a great looking plane and would have been an effective addition to the arsenal.
Their night fighters (PV-1's) were equipped with .50's, and against the typical Japanese aircraft, they were deadly.
He was not as impressed with the single .30 in the belly of the TBM. He went for a couple of "rides" (he was bored and a Marine = extra missions) and said it was not very effective against the Zeros who came up to spoil the the fun.
He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which.
I heard the B-25 and the T-38 trainer were so loud that they were causing excessive deafness. Norht American developed the head set to help the crews and ground crews. Same thing we use for shooting. Another North American innovation was Bondo. The P-51 laminar flow wing had to be so smooth N/A used their Bondo to smooth the leading edge. All Mustang wings were painted silver at the factory back to th control surfaces.
A viewpoint - Many WW2 era fighters were handicapped by decisions made before the war. The US Army Air Corps had favored radial engines before the war, leaving the Allison as the only in-line water-cooled alternative when we need lots of high-performance aircraft right now. Radial engines had to be shared with tanks until a specific tank engine is developed. chain-driven superchargers were dropped because the Air Corps favored turbochargers. Turbochargers require tungten, a strategic material of limited availability. Oops. So the P-38 gets turbochargers. Two! The P-39 gets none. Both the P-38 and P-39 were developed as bomber - defense interceptors, perhaps accounting for the original 37mm cannon armament. They were looked upon as high-tech, limited-use machines used in rear areas with lots of support. Pressed into other uses, the P-38 found a niche as a long-range fighter in the Pacific. Not so good in Europe, as the cockpit heater didn't work well. It is interesting to note, too that the US generally had both a radial-engined and water-cooled engined fighter in service at the same time. Just in case one doesn't work out... For a fighter that was frowned on by the Air Corps, the P-39 managed to stay in production, and development and production of the successor P-63 aircraft continued. The Russians certainly liked them! And I suspect, if the P-51 or other fighters didn't work out - we have backup! Guns? Yes, there are better guns, but we need aircraft in the air and shooting today.
It's amazing in retrospect how those decisions really made a difference. The P-38 F was tested on August 8, 1942 for the use of two 300 gallon gas tanks and it was found to have a ferry range of 3200 miles!!! This would have given the 38 a combat range of aprox. 1200 miles by the end of 42 or early 43 when production of tanks could get into the pipeline. .It was reported that taking off with this load required only a little more caution and no excessive difficulty getting airborne. Unfortunately, Gen. Monk Hunter was old school and couldn't stand the P-38. He was glad to send them off to N. Africa and replace them with P-47's that didn't have any(!) provisions for drop tanks. Think of how many bombers and crews would have been saved if there was "full time" escort that early on. If VIII fighter comand had put the P-38 into the same crash improvement that the P-47's got with their Air Tech. Section programs run by Col. Ben Kelsey and Cass Hough the P-38 would have a totally different history in Europe.