Thursday, September 10, 2015

THERMITE: Pacific War: Incendiaries, hit by bullets, cook off and melt through belly of plane on USS YORKTOWN

Above: Video frames from part of "The Fighting Lady",  a 101-minute documentary made by Hollywood and the United States Navy, 1944.
Filmed aboard the USS Yorktown. The carrier plane has been shot by a japanese fighter and the bullets set off the American [plane's load of incendiary bombs, which are melting through the bottom of the fuselage and streaming on to the deck; firefighting is completely ineffective,  from the look of things.  This is because thermite (finely divided aluminum powder mixed with rust powder) carries its own oxidizer, making a thermite fire very difficult to extinguish.

A copy of the original movie can be seen for free without registration  at

 Wikipedia entry:

(Note: the scene ends before the fire is put out; in fact, the movie is suddenly cut just as a very bright light is seen in the scene's final frame. Apparently the extreme heat of the incendiary fire reached the fuel vapors and the plane blew up, most likely instantly killing everyone on the flight deck.

57 Years Later
Below: Molten metal (most likely molten iron) cascading from the side of World Trade Center Two (the South Tower) on Sept. 11, 2001, shortly before the unprecedented total collapse and destruction of the entire building, in less than fifteen seconds.