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Thread: Stirling bomber used for gunnery training in early 1942

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    Default Stirling bomber used for gunnery training in early 1942

    Hi all, I have doubts about an information stated in reminiscences of one navigator - he wrote it is the 90s so he shoudl be easily mistaken after so long time.

    "In the last days of the course we had to do practical gunnery. The gunnerís course used for that the ancient slow bomber Stirling."

    I do not think that in early 1942 Stirling would be used as a training plane for gunnery training, I never heard about it. I would say he might mistaken it for Whitley which I know was used in Gunnery Schools.

    Any comments in this matter much appreciated.

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    My father was an instructor at Manby & Pembrey for most of WW2 never mentioned Stirlings only Wellingtons

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    Hi Pavel
    As I'm sure you know the Stirling served in the front line for most of the war and was still an active bomber in 1942, but don't fprget that individual a/c didn't always remain in top condition and several would have been downgraded,say after minor crash repairs, but be usable for various roles that did not involve the possibility of combat. Use for gunnery training was possible and a Navigator could have acted as a front gunner on an operational a/c as well as aiming the bombs if required
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 17th May 2014 at 09:21.

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    A gunnery school was very unlikely to have had such a modern and large aircraft, not least because this would be a remarkably inefficient way of training gunners. Looking in the Flying Training and Support Units it does seem that Whitleys and Wellingtons were used, and even the odd Manchester (what else could you do with them, I suppose?). However, the initial equipment seems to have been Ansons, Blenheims, Battles, Whitleys and Bothas, depending upon the school.

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