The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spitfire's Browning Machine Gun Spits Fire Again After 70 Years

BBC News posted a very interesting article about the discovery and excavation of a World War II RAF Spitfire that crashed into an Irish bog in 1941.  Despite the damage from the crash, the properties of the peat bog preserved the remains of this vaunted British aircraft.  The diggers were able to recover six of the eight Browning .303 machine guns carried in the wings.  Experts cleaned and reassembled one complete gun using the workable parts from all six, and after 70 years, it still fires.  There is a great video of the excavation and test firing. 
The gun fired without a hitch. There can be no greater testament to the machinists and engineers in UK factories in the 1940s who, despite churning out guns at the rate of thousands per month, made each one of such high quality that they could survive a plane crash and 70 years underground and still fire like the day they were made.

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