Damage caused by shot-down aircrafts

Thank you. I did not infer that his/her uncle was an AA gunner. I had thought that the uncle fired his pistol/rifle/shotgun straight into the air, and the bullets/pellets fell back into the muzzle of the pistol/rifle/shotgun.

I don’t have any idea what you mean here, as my post was entirely about aircraft-fired projectiles, which are not time-fused nor proximity-fused.

And the US is switching to missiles because they are more accurate, yeah – said accuracy being a factor in reducing civilian casualties – but the US government has specifically stated that one of the reasons behind the switch is that even though a missile makes a bigger bang than cannon shells, it kills fewer civilians (assuming it’s targeted at the right thing) for exactly the reason I listed – cannon shells from aircraft and helicopters can soar miles downrange, creating a cone of damage.

True. Here is the crater made on May 31st 1965 when a Royal Navy Sea Vixen went straight in from 28,000 feet. I visited the crater myself a couple of years ago and there are still small pieces of wreckage to be seen. It’s not an easy place to reach so souvenir hunters are few and far between.
Apparently Dartmoor National Park are making noises about extracting the engines.
The pool is only about 20m across.

My original line I believe set you off prematurely
“Not a biggie - they (((for clarity here flak shrapnel))) follow a ballistic trajectory for a bit and them just fall at a terminal velocity. Like a bullet fired straight up it isn’t a big deal;”

I will cite Mythbusters Episode 50 “In the case of a bullet fired at a precisely vertical angle (something extremely difficult for a human being to duplicate), the bullet would tumble, lose its spin, and fall at a much slower speed due to terminal velocity and is therefore rendered less than lethal on impact.” as well as ages of personal experience doing dumb things with firearms.

I then went on to say “Now the bullets fired on target from planes and missing mentioned before were a really big deal to AA crews and a friendly fire that drove them nuts sometimes.” which gets into the ballistic trajectory thing mentioned by your cite.

“Like a bullet fired straight up it isn’t a big deal; my one uncle related how their gun sometimes caught so much falling flak that it locked in the gears and gear.”

The long version is that a series of flak batteries would all be shooting at the same time at the same formation (or series of formations) of enemy planes. Shrapnel from other guns missing would fall into their position, regularly hitting the crew. Because its ballistic trajectory had been followed and had ended, the damage was the same as simply dropping it from the sky. The intensity of some barrages was such that besides hitting the crew there was enough falling to find its way into the mechanism of their gun. As a result the gun would become hard (or impossible) to traverse or elevate properly until the offending pieces were found and removed.

He and I have both done that too with the exception of the “back into the muzzle part” -------- but that is more due to rural living and it sounding like a good idea at the time. Sort of like when we decided to make silver bullets just like the Lone Ranger (they were less accurate in the end and there is no possible way Tonto cast them over a campfire).