Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Halifax Navigational Equipment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,722
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default Halifax Navigational Equipment

    The Loss Card for Halifax HX167 (lost 02/12/1943) shows that it was equipped with API, Monica, IFF, Gee, Nav Aid Y and H2S.

    Its PFF role was as a "Blind Marker" and I was wondering which navigational aids were used to get the aircraft to the target and which were used for blind marking.

    This also brings me back to a question which I still haven't found a wholly satisfactory answer for which is, if the Air Bomber / Set Operator was sitting at the navigational table monitoring H2S, what mechanism was used for physically releasing the bombs.

    Did the Air Bomber / Set Operator hand H2S over to the navigator and position himself in the air bomber station?
    Did the Flight Engineer position himself in the air bomber station to trigger the release?
    Was there a release mechanism at the navigational table?
    Was the release automatically triggered by the ground station?

    Your usual thoughts would be much appreciated

    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]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    422
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Pete, My feeling is that API, GEE and H2S would be used to get to the target. Monica was a tail-warning radar, Y was a signals intelligence collection device. H2S was probably used for blind marking. Happy to be corrected. Regards, Terry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,722
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Terry

    Navigational Aid Y is causing me a problem as I thought this was Gee, a book I have says it is H2S, but, if it was either of these, why list it separately on the Loss Card. Also the squadron ORB (1943) shows that Blind Markers were using Nav Aid Y to identify and mark the target (I am guessing this was prior to the introduction of H2S).

    I have decided to work through the ORBs that I have to see if I can work out what was used at various points in time.

    I have also e-mailed the RAF Museum to see if they can provide some input

    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]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts

    Default

    Primary Blind Marker - carried out by experienced crews - the TI’s would usually be dropped by a second navigator identifying the target by interpretation of the H2S returns. He was thus acting as a Radar Bomb Aimer.H2S equipped aircraft would normally carry 2 navigators - one for Navigation (plotter) and one to operate/interpret H2S returns,this carried over to the V force as Nav (Plotter) and Nav (Radar)

    I don't know if you have seen the Masterbombercraig website Pete - https://masterbombercraig.wordpress....inder-methods/

    This is an extract from the pathfinding page


    Except on special flights, Pathfinder Force did not use a Front Gunner nor a separate Bomb Aimer. The Flight Engineer was given training to enable him to operate the bomb sight with additional information from the Observer. Depending on the raid, either the Flight Engineer would drop the bombs visually, with information from the Observer and Plotter for setting the bomb-sight, and the pilot would be given the course to fly to bring us over the target on the proper course. Then it was just set the bomb release switches, hold the plane steady and level the last 5 miles to the release point, push the “tit”, “Bombs Away!” and immediately change direction to get out of the way of main force. When it was a blind bombing raid, the Observer set the release switches, timed and released the bombs and flares from his position, based on his reading of the H2S scan.
    Tricky work as the H2S operators could see where they were going and where they had been - but had a 'blind spot' under the aircraft which is why they had to do a timed run from a known position (perhaps later called 'initial point').

    rgds baz

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts

    Default

    Just for general navigation interest.

    From the book The Everlasting Arms by 'Honest John' Searby DSO,DFC

    P124
    It was usual to work to the limit of GEE range which guaranteed fair accuracy depending on conditions; after that the Nav would work on dead reckoning,supplemented by pin points from the bomb aimer (if carried),if equipped with H2S he would switch on to see coast lines,cities etc.The Nav plotter had a repeater H2S PPI indicator (screen).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,722
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I am still working through the ORB to see what equipment the crews recorded as being used for marking when the role was shown as "Blind Marking" and establishing whether it was a seven or eight man crew.

    In addition, a veteran navigator has advised that "Blind Marking" could actually refer to Sky Marking , rather than Blind Ground Marking, and whilst working through the ORB I noted that whenever the term Blind Marking was used, cloud cover was 10/10, so that has put another interesting slant on my research

    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]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 22 Times in 22 Posts

    Default

    Yes Pete I would say 'Blind Marking' usually referred to 'Sky Marking' - hence no need for bomb aimers!
    As you prob know the pathfinders had back up marker a/c who could visually mark on top of (or close to/aim adjust) previous blind marking at the request of the Master Bomber.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •