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Thread: Engineer AND Bomb Aimer....

  1. #1
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    Default Engineer AND Bomb Aimer....

    First question here is the following. In my F/E 83 Squadron PFF Log Book I noticed that on three Raids under the column duty, Engineer and B/A is written down....does anyone know if this meant a crew of six and why would this have been done???

    Cheers,

    Chris

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    Chris,

    I believe towards the end of the war summer 1944 (daylight ops) onwards pathfinder crews had the Flight Engineer sometimes operate as the VBA Visual Bomb Aimer the real bomb aimer working as the set operator. Most bomber crew members had to be able to carry out other crew members tasks in cases of emergencies.

    I believe on some squadrons the Flight Engineers also pushed out window bundles !

    Mark

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    You might find it interesting to check whether your 83 Sqn FE was actually a 'chopped' Bomb Aimer who remustered to FE.

    As stated, you needed to be pretty flexible in a bomber crew (3 turrets & 2 air gunners) for example.

    There are several cases of another member of the crew flying an aircraft home when the pilot was disabled/killed. Quite a few navigators and bomb aimers particularly were failed pilots (something that went on until quite recent times).

    Old Duffer

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    Hi All,

    He wasn't originally trained as a Bomb Aimer. He did an Air Gunnery Course as a L.A.C. on Defiants, then went straight to 511 Squadron as a Flight Engineer on Liberators. After two years he was posted straight to 50 Squadron, flying Operations on Lancasters, without even going to a OTU, HCU or LFS. After one month and 5 Ops with 50 Squadron he was posted to PFF N.T.U. for a month, then being posted to 83 Squadron.

    In 1946 (!!!) he eventually did a F/E course on Lancaster I and III at St. Athan, afterwards being posted to a Lincoln squadron (probably the same layout as a Lanc.). He was rated from "Well Above Average" to "Exceptional". He stayed in the Air Force till 1967, ending on the VC10 as a Master Engineer and "Exceptional" Instructor.

    Could have been he had a technical background before joining the RAF (???), but he sure didn't do a lot of training in wartime career....

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