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Thread: Aiming Point Photos

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    Default Aiming Point Photos

    Dear All
    I know this is probably very basic, but could anyone confirm that aiming point photos were only taken when bombs were dropped? Was there any chance other random pictures were taken? The reason for asking is that I have seen several pictures from one raid where the photographs are of various cities. It could be that as the weather was very bad the aircraft did not all reach their intended target and bombed 'other' targets instead. Any views are welcome.
    Thank you
    James

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    James,
    Read the Butt Report. In the early days of WW2 it is apparent that Bomber Command aircrews did not, on a significant number of occasions (a) know where they'd been, (b) knew where they were, (c) knew how to get to where they were supposed to have been, and (d) reported at debrief that they had been where they were supposed to have been when they dropped their bombs. They lied - not deliberately, but simply because the various tools they were asked to their job with were not good enough!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Dear Peter
    Thank you for your kind relpy. The flight in question was not long after the Butt Report and I agree with all you say. The photos all have a 'reported position' and a 'plotted position' none of which match which proves that Butt was correct in his findings and that the weather that night was bad, hence difficulty in navigation. What I am wondering though is were these photos only taken when bombs were released, or did aircraft take other photographs that could be used for intelligence purposes? If the former, then it proves what you say and the Butt Report wrote about was 100% accurate.... which we know it was.... but this gives lovely photographic proof.
    Thank you
    James

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    In the book "Bomber Intelligence" by WE Jones it states:

    "The photoflash was selected by the bomb aimer with the first bomb and, on pressing the bomb tit, the bombs were released together with the photoflash, which was released from its retaining mechanism in the flare chute on the floor of the fuselage".

    This suggests that the process is interlinked, but it does not preclude the bomb aimer releasing the photoflash without releasing the bombs.

    As I understand it, the "positions" were added to the photographs based on information supplied by the crew at the debriefing; as we know, on occasions, the photograph did not tally with the information supplied by the crew.

    Anyway, just a few random thoughts which may or may not assist you.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Dear Pete
    Thank you for your valuable input. Very much appreciated.
    Best wishes
    James

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    No problem James ... not sure if it really helped .... my enquiring mind now wants to know how the bomb aimer selected the photoflash ... I will have to check to see if there was a separate switch for the flare chute (I am guessing there was)
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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