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1911A takes down a Zero ?

Discussion in 'Air War in the Pacific' started by Ken The Kanuck, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I'm not too sure about this. Some sites have it verbatim as reported here, some are slightly different, others discount it as a tall tale. No other reliable sources.
     
  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Now if you said it was George C Scott........:)
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    would've been a 1 in a trillion hit .....hard to hit stationary targets with a pistol....even at 10 yards, hard for ''bootcampers'' to hit near bullseye...the 45s are ''jumpy''.....unless you are trained, disciplined, and practice.....max effective range about 50 m I remember and believe...would need mucho and extremely accurate lead distance...possible, but unlikely....how many pilots shot their pistols while in parachute?? chances of this happening incalculable....???
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    On the other hand it's pretty well acknowledged that a bolt action rifle brought down a US jet during the Vietnam war. While the rifle was more accurate fewer shots were fired at a longer distance at a target moving faster. So such things can happen. My impression was the plane flew pretty close as well.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    It's impossible to say if it actually happened, but it is certainly possible. People shoot at and from cars with a handgun and this would be no different. I've seen people shoot skeet with various handguns.
     
  7. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    how fast is the plane moving? how far away is it? greater than 50m I would think....even, so--would have to be a super mathematical genius to lead a plane like that, no?....
    1.he has no stability to anchor the pistol at all...
    2.he's flapping and swinging, as he is falling ....etc etc...
    3.the Zero is moving at a high rate of speed
    I'd say it's right next to impossible.... the chances are so great to make a hit on the plane, much less somewhere on the pilot's body, much less a kill shot to his head........possible, but very, very unlikely...I don't believe it.....
    no different??
    1. no stability while parachuting
    2.car going maybe 70 mph vs 200 for Zero...?
    3.air combat/etc 3D vs 2D for 'car' shooting..plane moving up/down...chutist left/right/down..even if going straight up and down, still much different than shooting at a car, or from a car.....
    aren't your skeet shooters well trained? practiced for a lot of time? they aren't in chutes, are they?
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Highy improbable, but perhaps also a lesson in how probability works. There were probably thousands of cases of men firing whatever weapon they had at hostile aircraft, the vast majority unsuccessful of course, but the ones we hear about are the few when it appears to have worked.

    I once read a story which suggested how to get away with murder - constantly set little traps for your target, each of which has only a slight chance of killing him. When one does, use as your defense "what are the odds of that happening?".
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    There are some assumptions here that aren't supported in the info (as little info as we have). One is that it's clear in the story that the pilot had slowed down and pulled his canopy back to check on whether he had killed the guy in his first pass. I don't know how slow a Zero could go (though I'm sure somebody here will know), but I think (if the story is true) that we can safely assume the Zero was making a very slow pass.
    Two, there is an unsupported assumption that the guy was shooting at a 90 degree angle when in fact, he may have been shooting as the plane came almost straight at him which would almost negate any "lead" the shooter would need to score a hit.

    If you browse YouTube you'll find a lot of the following, so even if we can't know if the story is true, it's certainly plausible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1rqtLrXk_U
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    yes, I thought about the head on shot...what about the propellers???? engine?? would not the round have to go through them and/or they would hit the chutist? [shootist ] heeheehee..... unless it's deadnuts strraight on--would mean the the plane is coming directly at him, it would still nead a great lead--because of the speed of the Zero, the chutist falling, and the very low power of the 1911A1...even at the slightest angle.....too bad we don't have a mathematician to give us some numbers
    I see the in the video, the target is more or less, flying about the same all the time, and it is a more or less ''straight'' shot--as opposed to a perpendicular shot....that would be many times harder....he knows about the rough area and height it is going to be.....great shooting though..very great
    wish I could have some fun like that !! the skeet shooting, not the chuting
    do we have any Nascar/racing people who have been ''close'' to a car going ''fast''?? what are the chances of hitting the driver? at say, 100m?
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Good enough that I wouldn't volunteer to be the driver in that test! ;)
     
  12. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm thinking a slow pass with the Zero on track to pass the guy pretty close, and the shots (four) taken as he came in - not perpendicular. The canopy is back, the pilot probably leaning to the left or right of the cockpit for a good look. I note that the Zero had a stall speed of 69 mph, so perhaps a "slow pass" would be something like 80 or 90 mph. So, an analogy might be standing on the shoulder of a highway and trying to hit the driver of a car approaching at that speed, but perhaps he's a couple of lanes over. I'd say a trained pistol shot would have a reasonable chance of making such a shot. And, as Carronade points out above that circumstance may have come about many times during the war (somebody in a chute using a pistol against an approaching aircraft) and it's not unreasonable to assume that one guy pulled it off.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Slow is open to interpretation, it could be 80-90mph or it could be 120-150mph. Also, I can't say that I would equate dangling in a parachute with standing by the side of a highway.

    Still, not matter what happened, Mr. Baggett was one very lucky man.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I'm not arguing the story is true, only that it's plausible. In its entirety it sounds more like a story passed around in the camp as a morale booster, one of those tales that grows as it gets retold. I have no doubt that Mr. Baggett shot at the zero, the rest sounds weak - why would a Japanese soldier confide in a prisoner that a pilot was found with a single hole in his head?

    It may have happened, but unless some Japanese records turn up to verify the manner of the pilot's death it will never be proven one way or another.
     
  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    If the prop was at 2000 RPM there would be a propeller blade in front of the pilots face 100 times a second so the odds of hitting the prop in a head on shot were not small.
     
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    View attachment 23536
     

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  17. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I don't think he'd be hovering near stall speed...this is one of those think 'realistically' deals.....I think a big factor in the mathematical equation is that the pilot is falling as the plane is moving....he has to keep adjusting for his fall AND plane movement....remember, this a 3D equation, not 2D...so that makes the odds more than you think...like a trillion to one...
    and the story says he was pretending to be limp, so it sounds as if he did quick draw type shooting...he wasn't aiming for long .....ok ok 500,000 to 1.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It is possible, but I can't, in good faith, say it is plausible.

    I'd sat the odds would be far greater than 500,000 to 1.

    Where is Mythbusters when you really need them!
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes. But, considering the fact that the gap between the propeller blades is far greater than the blade width, especially at the edge of the propeller disc. And considering the fact that the bullet will be traveling about 800 feet per second. I'd say it is quite possible, if not probable, that the bullet was not hit the spinning prop.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Yes, that picture made me realize that each of those 120 degree arcs will also go by the pilots face 100 times a second.
    Still need an interrupter gear to fire machines guns through it though.
     

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