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Under Water Warfare The Struggle Against the Submarine Menace 1939 -1945
Aircraft Offensive Weapons

Aircraft Offensive Weapons

(a) Leigh Lights
R.A.F. Coastal Command Aircraft patrolled the Bay of Biscay seeking out surfaced U-Boats, bound to and from their French bases. By the Spring of 1942, these Aircraft had been fitted with a powerful searelt light named after their inventor, and slung under the Aircraft's wing. when switched on, a surfaced U-Boat could be illuminated up to a mile away, 10cm. Radar was also fitted in Aircraft.

(b) MAD ( Magnetic Anomaly Detector)
An American invention fitted in Aircraft, designed to detect a Submarine just beluw the surface, or in shallow water, by the magnetic field emanating from the Submarine's hull A Retro Rocket was coupled with MAD. so that a detecting Aircraft could fire rockets backwards, instead of having to circle to carry out a convential attack.

(c) Sonar Buoy (Sono Buoy - British)
The Sonar Buoy was yet another American invention, used by Aircraft to drop into the ocean in a pattern of five, each Buoy floated, and listened for noise from a Submanne. Each Buoy was colour coded, Purple. Orange, Blue, Red, and Yellow, ( P.O B.R.Y.) and was monitored in turn by the dropping Aircraft, ifa Submarine was within range of these Buoys, it could be tracked for course and approximate speed.

During my T.A.S. course in U.K. over 1947 and into 194g, I spent lime at Londonderry in Northern Ireland in R.A.F. Liberators, dropping Sono Buoy patterns over suspected Submarine positions, and monitoring the results, it was quite exciting to hear tlte noise level from the target when one happened to drop a pattern over the Submarine, and theit track it, and calculate its course and speed reasonably correctly.

(d) Parachute Flares
Early in 1944, Coastal Command Anti-Submarine Aircraft were fitted with parachute flares which, when dropped, produced two million candle power of light.

related links
Fighting the U-boats. The Leigh lights

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