A little known use of paper during WW2 was in the manufacture of paper drop tanks used by the 8th Air
Force. The British devised a system using laminated and glued paper that would hold 108 gallons of fuel - for one mission!
Plastic model kit makers are well aware of the paper drop tanks as some of them offer both the "paper" and standard
metal tank options.
A good example can be seen at the Air Force Museum virtual tour where a P-51 Mustang
is shown fitted with paper drop tanks. At the link below, find the map at
the right hand of the screen
and click on the blue dots #31, 32 and 34 in the box labeled World War II.
The following 3 page article about the design and construction of these
paper drop tanks was written by John Lane, whose father Bill Lane was on the team involved in their successful
design. The article appeared in the March 2014 edition of the magazine "Britain At War"
( Key Publishing ltd, PO Box 300, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9. 1NA. England Website: http://www.britainatwar.com/view_issue.asp?ID=5881 )
many civilians mistook drop tanks for bombs when they were jettisoned from allied aircraft.So the Germans
circulated a leaflet to clear up this confusion.The leaflet is shown at left and has the following words
in both German and Polish:
Keine Bombe:Not a bombor This is never used for bombing.(German)
To Nie Bomba:This is not a bomb.(Polish)
Fine print reads:Immediately contact the nearest police station or military airfield.(In both German & Polish)