PDA

View Full Version : Meaning of "No ball"



Dan Conner
07-08-2013, 02:02 PM
I looking at my father's flight logs of his B-24 missions, a large percentage of his targets were "No Ball" facilities. Could someone please tell me what "No Ball" was/means?

tankgeezer
07-08-2013, 03:16 PM
I believe that the term "No Ball" was used to identify missions that were intended to destroy V-weapons installations. Though I don't recall if these installations were launch facilities, or production facilities. (might have been used for both) My recollections are sketchy, so hopefully, another member will have some meaty specifics for you.

Dan Conner
07-08-2013, 03:25 PM
I believe that the term "No Ball" was used to identify missions that were intended to destroy V-weapons installations. Though I don't recall if these installations were launch facilities, or production facilities. (might have been used for both) My recollections are sketchy, so hopefully, another member will have some meaty specifics for you.Hey, thanks tank geezer. I suspected that was what it meant, but I wasn't sure. Dad was a B-24 pilot, who flew 35 missions in Europe.

tankgeezer
07-08-2013, 06:53 PM
A very Brave man indeed..

JR*
07-18-2013, 06:26 AM
There is an interesting reminiscence about "No Ball" missions at http:www/b24.net/stories/Keilman6.htm. As far as I understand it, these missions were primarily targeted at V-1 launch facilities. They were relatively straightforward at the start, but became much more difficult and dangerous as the Germans took more effective measures to conceal such facilities and to protect them with anti-aircraft guns. The difficulty of concealment was countered to some extent by employing the French Resistance to scout out hidden and/or mobile launchers on the ground - quite a dangerous employment for the resistants involved, although it was regarded by Allied air commands as a very valuable one from their point of view.

As to the term "no ball" - a strange enough one to apply as a codename for missions that were particularly associated with US bombers. The only use I know of the term is in baseball's "ancestor", the very English game of cricket. In cricket, a "no ball" is a delivery by the bowler which is deemed invalid by the umpire for one of a number of reasons (incomprehensible to anybody without some knowledge of cricket). The normal penalty for delivering a "no ball" is the award of one run (unattributed by batsman) to the batting side, although repeated delivery of "no balls" may attract personal penalties to the bowler. Since it is quite easy for a bowler to contrive to deliver a "no ball", it is hardly surprising that no balls have featured in some of the recent betting-related controversies in cricket, in which certain bowlers in high-profile matches were alleged to have agreed with gamblers to deliver a certain number of invalid deliveries (or a minimum number) within a match, or within a certain period of a match. As far as I know, the term did not carry forward into baseball, so I am a bit stumped (to coin a phrase) as to why it was employed as a codeword in this case. Perhaps somebody else In Here has a better idea as to where it might have come from ? Yours from the Tavern End, JR.

Rising Sun*
07-18-2013, 07:54 AM
No personal knowledge in this area, so this is just Mr Google's response to my curiosity, which confirms the V1 missions as one possibility but throws up an alternative which is more, albeit vaguely, consistent with the 'no ball' rule in cricket arising from undefended targets.

http://www.buffalogal.org/FirstMission.htm

http://416th.com/671.pdf

[I confess to an unfortunate if barely remembered familiarity with the 'no ball' and 'wide' rules during my enforced participation in school cricket. But I was so erratic that I also managed to bowl good batsmen, as conventional defences do not always work against unconventional and uncoordinated idiots who are just flinging balls randomly down the pitch as fast as possible to end the misery of not always stifled laughter from the opposition and, worse, ones' own team.]

pdf27
07-18-2013, 08:04 AM
Pierre Clostermann's Autobiography (The Big Show/Le Grand Cirque) goes into some detail about these missions, although he was a Spitfire pilot at the time.