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making own ammo belts


dali
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Was something that real WW2 pilots could choose? I don´t think that was something possible in IRL that years or now.... A pilot doing a personal custom choice of ammo.

 

Specifically individual pilots, no, but it was doable by the armorers in each squadron.

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I don't think this was a common thing, but I'm absolutely certain that in extremely limited instances, this most certainly would have happened, for very specific special/critical missions. Tracers might have been left at the airfield on SOME night intercepts. More AP and incendiary rounds for AG seek and destroy flights, to take out trains and fuel depots and such. But 99.999% of the time though, the belts probably came from the factory and into the ammo trays without any changes.

 

But... were there different ammo mixes, made at the munitions factories? In the Army, not that I've ever heard, just the same 4 ball then one trace and repeat. The last ten rounds might all be trace to indicate a need to reload the belt. But for WW2 warbirds ? I don't actually know. There might have been different mixes of AP rounds, API, incendiary rounds, tracers,,,,


Edited by Rick50
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I don't think this was a common thing,...

 

It was.

 

Ammo belt didn't come "already made". Munition were order. And then ammo belt were made on base. So it was possible to make a squadron preset. And for some pilot it was possible to ask for particular ammo belt. But generally, squadron use own ammo belt in relation to their avarage mission type.

 

There are some testimony about pilot removing tracers (replacing them by other munition) to not alert enemy when they start fire. Or some using ammo belt with more munition of a type.

 

So I think personalised belt was more a modification of a the particular squadron preset.

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The ammo belts assembled at the airfield? Seems a bit odd to me, but now that you mention it, I've seen WW2 footage of some sort of hand-crank device to assemble belts... I assumed that was at a munitions factory, but it could have been filmed at an airbase...

 

I would have thought that to be a job for a munitions factory, not uniformed airmen, but stranger things have happened!!

 

But yes, I agree I have heard of airmen choosing to not bring tracers sometimes. There were times in the Army we'd remove tracers and re-link belts back. Often had to do with concerns of starting brush fires on the big ranges, when rain hadn't been seen for a month or two. And in Vietnam there were some Army machinegunners that would remove tracers to reduce the chance of being targeted by the enemy (GPMG gunners are often killed in firefights, because they are so loud and obvious, and such a threat, that the enemy goes out of their way to terminate the MG).

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