Dave H, The machine gun modification on RNZAF Oxfords in 1942 were intended for the FAFAI programme, and they would have equipped Nos. 1 (Wigram), 2 (Woodbourne) and 3 (Ohakea) SFTSs, and CFS at Tauranga. However the big reorganisation of training units in March 1942 meant that it is doubtful that 3 SFTS at Ohakea received many, and some of the others would eventually have ended up in some of the operational squadrons (notably No. 2 at Nelson) and with 1 OTU at Ohakea. I could not say how often practice firing with these guns would have taken place, but bear in mind that one of the roles of the Oxford-equipped FAFAI squadrons was to attack landing craft actually landing troops on beaches, so strafing would have been the order of the day, as well as bombing. You do not often see photographs of the machine guns actually fitted (although this was more likely a result of the great secrecy of these emergency "mods", thus photography of such was greatly discouraged), but my feeling is that vast quantities of 0.303" ammunition were NOT squandered just to see if these guns would actually work in an Oxford - the nose mounting meant that no synchronisation gear was necessary, so if it worked on the ground it should work equally well in the air. Often you also see photos of these Oxfords with the sights fitted, but no apparent gun installed, which is rather odd. David D
Post by Dave Homewood on Nov 10, 2012 21:10:16 GMT 12
It is funny that these modifications to make them slightly capable were secret yet the newsreels at the time tried to reassure the public that we had Oxfords and Hinds defending NZ as if they were frontline combat aircraft.