Bomb pistols, Detonators & Bombs – WW2 Instructional Film

When recovering WW2 relics, identifying what you’ve found can be quite a challenge at times. I am always on the look out for sources of information to aid identification, and I just came across this rather unusual one.

This video shows RAF ground crew the basics of arming and loading aerial bombs into a Wellington bomber, along with servicing of the Browning MGs, and manufacture and loading of belts of 303.

At a number of points during this video I saw items that I had recovered in the past, so thought I would post it here to help others.

I’ve been through the video and logged various time codes against bits that you may find interesting. Of course, you can just watch the whole thing, but if you want to see a particular item, the list is below. This may also help those of you who recover aircraft/aircraft parts as it shows a lot of bits of Wellington quite close up.

So, without further ado……

  • 2:25 – Oxygen bottles being loaded
  • 2:50 – Servicing of a 303 Browning MG
  • 4:20 – Manufacture of belts of 303 cartridges in metal links
  • 5:24 – Loading 303 cartridges into a Browning MG
  • 7:50 – Portion of video showing and explaining different bomb types
  • 12:42 – No 27 nose pistol being examined and tested
  • 13:08 – Arming vane in bomb tail assembly
  • 13:28 – Anvil detonators being unpacked
  • 14:00 – No 28 bomb tail pistol being examined (you can tell it’s not a No 30 by the firing pin)
  • 14:32 – Installing anvil detonator and tail pistols
  • 15:02 – Installing anvil detonator and nose pistols
  • 16:10 – Testing tail arming vane
  • 16:40 – Small bomb container. Close-up showing various release mechanisms
  • 17:25 – 4lb incendiary bombs
  • 17:40 – Loading incendiaries into small bomb container and showing how they are kept in place
  • 19:18 – Bomb carrier (Type A, 2000lb) and release mechanisms
  • 20:15 – Winching into bomb bay. A lot of inner workings of bomb bay can be seen
  • 20:40 – Fuzing wire attachment
  • 21:30 – Fuze setting wire
  • 21:38 – Fuze setting control box (bombing arming solenoid)




The video shows some of the same artefacts that were recovered at RAF Little Staughton during filming for WW2 Treasure Hunters, Season 2.

No 28 bomb tail pistols
Incendiary bomb tile breaker and parts from aerial bomb (lift eyelet and fuze well transport plug)
No 28 firing pins. No 848 arming vane column. No 27 arming fork (seen being removed in the video)
Bomb arming solenoid and bomb arming wire, both seen in the video
Parts from aerial bombs on right. Left are two pieces from British incendiary bombs and, above those, a bent in half Sten mag. Remains of an anvil detonator bottom right.

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