December 31, 1942 – This Day During World War ll – 6 B-17 bombers

December 31, 1942 – This Day During World War ll – 6 B-17 bombers attacked Lakunai airfield near Rabaul, New Britain with wire-wrapped 500-pound bombs, causing very little damage.
A nasty variant of the general-purpose bomb was the daisy cutter, first improvised in the Southwest Pacific. This was a 500-pound (227 kg) bomb that had sections of steel concrete reinforcing rods welded around its waist and a section of rod added to the contact fuse to detonate the bomb at waist height above ground. This threw out shrapnel that shredded everything at ground level within a hundred yards. An early 300-pound (136 kg) version of the daisy cutter, and its effects, used on Lakunai airfield near Rabaul, New Britain was described by Kenney (Gamble 2010):
To cut up aircraft on the ground we had wrapped these bombs with heavy steel wire, and dropped them with instantaneous fuses on the end of a six-inch pipe extension in the nose. They looked good. The wire, which was nearly one-quarter inch in diameter, broke up into pieces from six inches to a couple of feet long, and in the demonstration it cut limbs off trees a hundred feet away which were two inches thick. The noise was quite terrifying. The pieces of wire whirling through the air whistled and sang all of the notes on the scale and wailed and screamed like a whole tribe of disconsolate banshees.

Wire wrapped bombs over Lakunai airfield near Rabaul, New Britain

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