Boats And Rafts

■ 72. Engineers in Boats.—a. Often, before a bridge can be built, part of an army must cross a river by means of boats. It is the job of engineers to supply these boats, to manipulate and paddle them, and to carry other troops, principally infantry, across the stream. Every soldier, and especially every engineer, should be a strong swimmer.

b. Much of the crossing is done at night. Speed, silence, and coordination are demanded . It is up to you to be able to handle your boats in such a manner that the crossing may be made according to plan.

c. With proper training, handling these boats is easy. It requires only one simple rule: Care.

■ 73. Assault Boats.—a. Ml.—The assault boat Ml (fig. I23i is a 200-poiuid. fiat-bottomed, plywood skifr. It carries 9 infantrymen and their equipment and an engineer crew of 2. It can be carried easily by 4 men.

b. M2.—The assault boat M2 is a 420-pound, blunt-nose scow It carries 12 infantrymen and a crew of 3 engineers

c. Handling.—(1) The boat carriers grasp the boat by means of hand grips on the gunwales. Rifles are slung on the shoulder away from the boat. Care must be taken not to drag the bottom on the ground, or to bump the boat against stumps and trees. The boats are usually carried bottom-side up.

(2) The engineer in the stern commands the boat. Pad-dlers pass their rifles to the men in the boat who are not paddling and kneel on the knee nearest the side. The paddle Is grasped just above the blade; the palm of the other hand cups the grip (end of handle). tSee fig. 124.) The paddle must enter the water noiselessly at the beginning, and should be held well away from the boat during each

11B 73-74

stroke to avoid thumping the side. Speed and silence are essential in making a crossing.

■ 74. Pneumatic Boats.—a. Engineers are equipped with a six-man pneumatic reconnaissance boat propelled with paddles (fig. 125). It is inflated by means of the air compressor or by means of a hand pump.

Pneumatic Boats

Fi core 123—Ml assault beat.

Boat Assault Pneumatic

Fiol'ke 124.—M2 assault boat with 3-man engineer crew and U

infantrymen with equipment.

b. The 6-ton and the 12-ton pneumatic floats may be used as boats.

■ 75. Storm Boat.—The storm boat is a high-powered, flat-bottom. outboard motorboat used in the swift crossing of a wide river.

■ 76. Infantry Support Raft.—a. The principal raft, of the engineers is the infantry support raft made out o: M2 assault boats. The M2 boats were designed especially so that they may be used for this purpose.

b. The usual three-float raft Is made with six M2 boats and six plywood treadways. (Pour- and five-float rafts to earn* heavier loads can be made.» The sterns of the boats are fastened together in pairs, forminng three floats upon which are placed the treadways. Siderails (curbing) are attached by means of siderall clamps. .See fig.s 126 and 127. >

c. The raft will hold a loaded 2Vz-ton truck. It is propelled by means of a 22-horsepower motor, or it may be used as a ferry manipulated by ropes.

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G Boot with paddles and pumps.

Infantry Support Raft

g> Boat with six-men engineer crew.

Fionas 126.—Pneumatic reconnaissance boat.

118 74-77

■ 77. Ponton Rafts.—a. The 10-ton annd 25-ton ponton bridge equipment may be made into rafts propelled by out-

Infantry Support Raft

Tígvke 126.—Infantry support raft with outboard motor attached.

Picture Infantry Support Raft

AIRDROMES CHAPTER 11 S7-79

■ 78. Engineers and tot Flims.—Engineers prepare the way lor the Army Air Forces. They are builders, defenders, and maintainers of airfields. Well armed and with much mechanical equipment, aviation engineers plunge into the wildest country, the most forward battle areas, and build swiftly the bases from which our aircraft fight. Once built, these bases must be defended and kept in good condition despite bombing, strafing, or artillery bombardment. The flier depends upon the engineer far this support. You must not let him down.

■ 79. Detcnitiows.—All army engineers should be familiar with the general design, construction, and nomenclature of military airfields, since any general engineer troops may be required to build them. Airfield itself is the general term applied to any area used for landing and taking-off of aircraft. Following are some of the more common terms used in connection with airfields.

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3 BL

r a. Advanced landing field.—Temporary airfield near front, with only minimum servicing facilities.

b. Air base.—An area including a parent or base airdrome and one or more smaller airdromes situated at some distance from parent field. Smaller airdromes are sometimes called auxiliary or satellite fields. They depend on the base airdrome for complete repair arid supply facilities.

c. Airdrome.—Landing field with facilities for shelter, supply. and repair of aircraft.

d. Alternate airdrome.—Airfield available for use of air force units, In addition to one to which they are assigned.

e. Approach zone.—Cleared area, which allows friendly aircraft to see the field at a distance and come in at a low glide.

/. Apron.—Surfaced or paved area used for parking, servicing. and maintenance oi aircraft.

Aircraft Parking Areas Pictures

cr. Dispersal parking area.—Area in vicinity oi airdrome, used for dispersed «widely separated) parking of aircraft.

h. Dispersed airdrome.—Airdrome in which runways, technical facilities, and housing are spread out bo aid concealment and lessen damage in event of a bomb hit.

i. Field airdrome.—Airfield built for wartime use only. It Is built so as tu satisfy minimum military requirements.

j. Hard standing.—Surfaced or paved area used for parking of art individual airplane.

k. Landing strip.—Prepared strip of land used for landing and taking-off of aircraft. It may or may not have a rtmway.

I. Runway.—Paved or surfaced strip located in the center of a landing strip. «See figs. 130 and 131.)

m. Shoulder.—Graded area adjacent and parallel to runway.

7i. Staging field.—Intermediate landing and take-off area with a minimum of servicing, supply, and shelter, for temporary occupancy of military aircraft during movement from one airdrome to another.

a. Taxitoay.—Surfaced or paved way primarily intended for circulation of aircraft on and near an airfield.

■ 80. The Airfield.—-The building of a military airfield is an involved and complicated construction operation. In many respects it is like building a superhighway to support very heavy wheel loads. But there are certain differences from road-building which are extremely important, and with which the aviation engineer must be fully acquainted in order to accomplish his job.

a. Construction.—An airfield must be able to take, for the most part, a heavier load than a road. Where an average heavy load for a road is a 10-ton truck, a runway may have to support an 80-ton bomber. It is clear, therefore, that airfields must be built on firm, well-drained ground, with a strong base. Figure 133 illustrates how the load of a plane is distributed through the layers making up an airfield runway.

b. Surfacing.—The surface of a runway must be smooth and even, free from pebbles or loose material that may be blown Into the air and damage propellers and other

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9 u.

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