Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Bombing Leader Course Mamby

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Bombing Leader Course Mamby

    I have a reference to No.81 B/L Course Mamby which is obviously a Bombing Leaders course in April 1944. All efforts to establish the content of any leaders course have not been successful and to confuse things further one connected subject indicates attending for a course over just 8 days which appears rather short to my mind.
    Has anyone any references for these courses in respect of content or time at all.

    Thank you for any help with this one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,011
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Hi Colin,
    Didn't find your bombing leaders course but the training establishment you are looking for is likely to be RAF MANBY (note spelling).

    HTH
    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6,560
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 47 Times in 45 Posts

    Default

    Hello,

    Might be of assistance:

    EMPIRE AIR ARMAMENT SCHOOL.

    Formed 18.4.44 at Manby in No.25 Group (RLG at Strubby); 1946 to No.21 Group.

    FT&SU since 1912/Sturtivant/A-B,2007/106

    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ils/r/C4101512

    and ...

    https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%202212.PDF

    https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%201335.PDF

    Can't access full stories, only 1 page of PDF.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd September 2018 at 19:29.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you kindly that has been of great help, some more meat on the bones needed but thanks again....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SW Wiltshire
    Posts
    237
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hi Colin,

    I don’t have the course details, but I have some general articles about the role of the bombing leader. I’ll post or pm you when I get home this evening.

    Richard

    Edited to add - the bombing leader is not the Squadron Bombing Officer. The role was a link between the SBO and the aircrew, intended to foster enthusiasm. Perhaps a short course was sufficient for this purpose.
    Last edited by Richard; 24th September 2018 at 07:58.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    180
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Colin,

    My grandfather was on No 60 Bomb Leaders Course at Manby, I have his logbook entries for the course which show general bomb aiming exercises but have nothing on any written exercises or lectures. His course lasted from 12th June 43 to 10th July 43 but was only flying on 4 of these days for a total of eight and a half hours
    PM me if you want a scan of the pages, I tried to upload them to the gallery but I seem to have broken something and it refuses to take them!


    Col, if you change the last digit of your link in your browser to the following number you will get the next page. i.e. 201335 to 201336.


    https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%201336.PDF
    https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%201337.PDF


    Richard, any chance you can send me the articles you have?


    Cheers


    Pete

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SW Wiltshire
    Posts
    237
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hi - I sent some articles from Tee Emm to Colin last night, which give an interesting insight into the problems the Bombing Leader and the Flight Bombing Officer were dealing with. I have more stuff which I can dig out when I get the chance - principally from the 5 Group monthly news, where bombing accuracy was getting a major push through the winter of 43/44. However, my original post in this thread is mistaken - my memory playing tricks. The Bombing Leader is the (screened) squadron appointment, whereas the Bombing Officer is an active pilot from each Flight, tasked with liaison between the Bombing Leader and the crews.

    More later,

    Richard

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Gents thank you very much, all very interesting, shortly off to the RAF museum archives to view the actual syllabus of the courses because it appears some bombing leaders qualified without undergoing the full courses...!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SW Wiltshire
    Posts
    237
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hi Pete,

    I said I'd send on what I posted to Colin when I got chance. There are 3 articles from Tee Emm, plus I've added a couple of extracts from '5 Group News'. I hope these are of interest.

    Cheers,

    Richard

    [I]
    Tee Emm, January 1944:

    The Bombing Officer’s Job
    ‘We pointed out last month that to be a GOOD bomber pilot requires a pretty fair knowledge of the air bomber’s job… many Squadron Bombing Leaders report that that they frequently find difficulty in co-operating with Flight Commanders, and in passing gen on to pilots. “A certain lack of interest in the business of actual bombing” is how one of them put it.

    One or two Groups have taken the matter up in a big way and have started a system designed to remedy it. This is the appointment of one pilot in each flight to be the official link between the Bombing Leader and the pilots. He is known as the Flight Bombing Officer.

    The first requirement of the Flight Bombing Officer is Knowledge. He must know what he’s talking about and a short course of bombing in its specific relation to the pilot provides the answer. He must know too the air bomber’s job by carrying out bombing details himself… to be able to get other pilots to know and practise the importance of careful and correct flying during the bombing run. He must know what errors the absence of this can cause and prevent a chaplet of undeserved blame being hung around the air bomber’s neck.

    Next comes Enthusiasm for the job – though we’re not certain this shouldn’t come first or he may not gain the necessary knowledge. His enthusiasm must be contagious and spread to the other pilots in his flight. And, if he is enthusiastic, he’ll be more likely to spread the word and instruct pilots in the latest tactics, technique and equipment. He’lll be able and willing to advise them on flying requirements for bombing, wind-finding and timed runs, on photographic procedure, and on P.F.F. work so far as it affects the bombing attack. He’ll be keen to explain how some bombing errors are due to faulty flying and not to an air bomber with finger trouble.

    The third aspect of his job will be Liaison. He is the link to the pilots, without which the Bombing Leader may bring home some vital points to the air bomber, but the rest of the crew will carry on in happy ignorance of their share in it.

    Above all, he must make the pilot realise that he is largely responsible for the bombing, and not a mere chauffeur taking an air bomber across to do his stuff. One way of doing this is to see that all results of bombing details are entered in pilots’ logbooks. This very definitely – and rightly – makes bombing errors the captain’s responsibility.’

    from Tee Emm, January 1943
    Bombing Exercise – ‘Bombing Errors’:

    ‘In the early stages of his training a bomb-aimer is liable to make mistakes in the air which he wouldn’t dream of making on the ground. Adequate lectures, however, and constant practise under close supervision – both classroom and A.M.B.T. – in computation, switch-drill, bombing procedure and making bomb-sight settings will go far to eradicating the faults. Nevertheless, the instructor must be prepared to meet the following:

    (a) Wrong application of data when setting the sight: e.g. the true airspeed may be calculated as 176 m.p.h. and recorded as such on the Form 3073. The bomb-aimer, however, finding the airspeed knob already set at 170, rotates it in the wrong direction, which results in setting 164 m.p.h. instead of 176 m.p.h. Seems silly – but it happens.
    (b) Wrong setting of the height and airspeed computer: e.g. setting a plus temperature instead of a minus.
    (c) Wrong reading of the computer: e.g. mistaking the 2 m.p.h. divisions on the speed scale at speeds over 160 m.p.h. for the 1 m.p.h. divisions for speeds less than 160 m.p.h. You’d almost think the scale had been specially designed to catch people out – maybe it has!
    (d) Failing to set the fourth vector to zero when bombing stationary targets.
    (e) Failing to convert knots to m.p.h. or vice versa, where the airspeed indicator or bombsight needs this conversion.
    (f) Using the wrong type of height scale (although the resultant error due to incorrect height is generally pretty small unless the actual bombing height is fairly low).

    The above are only a few of the possible human errors. In checking the Form 3073, a good instructor should make the pupil go through the whole procedure of sight-setting on the ground after the exercise, his settings during flight having been noted.

    Besides human errors there are, of course, such things as mechanical defects. They are nearly all well known and listed in A.P.1243 but we give some of the more common ones below:

    (a) Defective A.S.I. and altimeter.
    (b) Defective thermometer.
    (c) Defective bombsight. The most common defect is a strained height bar. You can spot this with the test rig.
    (d) Sticky compass pivot.
    (e) Wrong assembly of the bombsight. The most usual is that the wind bar and wind arrow are out of alignment. Occasionally the foresight slider has been mounted the wrong way round, giving a ground speed error of 54 m.p.h.
    (f) Wrong installation of the bombsight itself in the aircraft.

    Instructors should look out for the above errors and should ensure that all instruments have been checked before blaming the pilot or bomb-aimer for poor results. If P.O. Prune is left holding the baby, when all the time it was a defective A.S.I. to blame, he may take a poor view of you as an instructor.

    Leaving aside the subject of errors for a moment, don’t overlook the potentialities of the Range Staff who are watching every attack. If you give them an idea of the causes of errors they’ll take a much greater interest in their job, and so can be of very real help to the instructor. They should keep a rough plot of each exercise so that they can watch the picture as it forms and, by asking themselves the why and wherefore, they’ll soon understand the questions the Instructor has to answer when analysing the chart later. Indeed, with a little intelligent anticipation the Range staff will be able to give not only the answer to many of these questions, but much further information otherwise unobtainable.

    For instance, the Staff plots the first three bombs of an exercise and see that it looks like becoming an open group. On each of the remaining runs, therefore, they check up the ground speed and track made good, with either the Hills Mirror or the Flight Track Recorder, and phone through the results of their findings to the plotting office, where the analyst will at once be able to calculate airspeed as a check against aircraft instruments and bombsight settings.

    Similarly, if bombs are dropping in a haphazard fashion, the Range Staff can line up a ruler along the fore and aft axis of the aircraft as seen in the Hills Mirror, and note steering corrections. They can then easily see if they are excessive or contradictory, and at once tell the instructor.

    In checking the 3073, the Instructor must always scrutinise the height-setting stated to have been used and, if the Range Staff note the time of fall of the bombs in every exercise, he can make a rough check of the actual height at which the exercise was done.

    So don’t belittle the Range Staff – the above shows how they can help if you use them properly. Proper analysis of results is the only way to improve the standard of bombing. But the analysis must be a proper one; that is, thorough. And this means it may take time.

    Don’t run away with the idea, however, that thorough analysis means constant delving into those terrific and complicated formulas that go with bombing errors. Just memorise a few ‘Times of fall’ for the various heights at which the exercise takes place, and a few airspeed and height errors that give you such –and-such errors on the ground, and train yourself to judge distances on the Bomb Plot chart, to 20 yards or so, and it’ll be a great help.

    Here’s the sort of thing we mean:

    To get feet per second from miles per hour (roughly), multiply by 3/2. In other words, just add half of the total of m.p.h. and you get f.p.s.: 100m.p.h. = 150 f.p.s., 160 m.p.h. = 240 f.p.s., 170 m.p.h. = 255 f.p.s. etc. For an 11.5lb practise bomb the time of fall is 4,000’ in 16 seconds, 6,000’ in 20 seconds, 8,000’ in 23 seconds and 10,000’ in 26 seconds. For a 2 m.p.h. error in airspeed, the ground error is the same as the time of fall in yards and for every extra 2.m.p.h. you double the time of fall figure. Thus a 2.m.p.h. error at 4,000’ = 16 yards; a 4 m.p.h. error at 4,000’ = 32 yards; a 6 m.p.h. error at 4,000’ = 48 yards etc.
    Tee Emm, September 1943:

    Are you a Good Bomber Pilot?

    ‘What is the object of having a bomber aircraft at all? Simply and solely to transport a load of high explosive over enemy territory and explode it as close as possible to the Aiming Point. That, stripped of all essentials, is the One Big Idea. That is the one main fact.

    We can see that it is not only the flying that finally counts, but the bombing. The flying is only an aid to bombing; the pilot, as a driver, is a servant of the air bomber.

    It is thus apparent that a GOOD bomber pilot, as opposed to just a good bomber pilot, is a pilot who not only flies his aircraft well, but gets its bombs dropped well and truly. And in this main object the air bomber becomes the servant of the pilot. In other words, bombing is 75% pilot ability.

    Now ask yourself, are you a GOOD bomber pilot, pulling that 75% weight. Here are a few subsidiary questions to help you answer the main one.

    Do you, as pilot, know all about the flying requirements of the new bomb sights? Do you know Pathfinder technique and what your role in it is? Do you really know something about the trajectory of a bomb and what is meant by accurate flying for bombing and wind-finding? You know, of course, that poor old Sgt Straddle, the air bomber, has his problems, but have you some idea of what they are? Do you interest yourself at all in bombing practices, and the analysis of errors, or the general significance of operational photos? Or do you say, “Oh, all that’s the air bomber’s pigeon” and let it go at that?

    Well?

    Time’s up. We haven’t heard your answers, but we’ve got a sort of feeling (the famous Tee Emm second-sight inherited from Old Mother T. Emmie who was burnt for witchcraft in 1642) that there are a good few of you who are not GOOD bomber pilots. Not you, of course, who are reading this at the moment, but the other chap, the clueless type who hasn’t read Tee Emm since 1941.

    As a matter of fact it is certain that there are several bomber pilots who do not fully appreciate their bombing, as opposed to their flying, responsibilities. They should take the matter up. We know an enormous amount of shop is talked in R.A.F. Messes – and very rightly so, too – but how many pilots talk bombing shop with air gunners at noggin’ time? Try it!

    Remember what we said above. Bombing is 75% pilot ability. Then act on it and you should soon work up out of the good bomber pilot class into the ranks of GOOD bomber pilots.’
    ‘V GROUP NEWS’ AUGUST 1943 (EXTRACT)

    AIR BOMBING

    Drive for Greater Accuracy Paying Dividends

    August has seen great strides in our drive to attain greater bombing accuracy. There is still a great way to go and no room for complacency but there are several pointers to the progress made by crews recently:

    1. Practise bombing results have shown considerable improvement both in visual and indirect methods.
    2. Visual bombing improvements on practise details are reflected in the concentration of bombing round the P.F.F. markers as shown photographically and by fire track location. Where markers are well placed, Main Force bombing must cause considerable devastation, as evidenced particularly on Berlin and Mannheim in early September. Creep-back has been almost entirely eradicated and Mannheim even showed a tendency to overshoot.
    3. Many crews employed the indirect method on Peenemunde. Whilst this method of approach proved an excellent guide to the accuracy of P.F.F. markers early in the attack, many of those arriving later were able to judge that the only markers showing then were on one of the sections allotted to another Group. Those that used the Indirect Method stayed more accurate, therefore, than those relying on markers. It should be remembered that the Indirect Method is primarily an accurate guide to visual identification or to the accuracy of P.F.F. T.I.s and is only to be used as a deliberate bombing attack when the A.P. is obscured or markers misplaced.

    Squadron Bombing Officers

    Steps have been taken during the month to emphasise the importance of crew co-operation. Pilots in particular are rapidly becoming ‘bombing conscious’. We always knew that much depends on the accuracy of the pilot’s flying on the bombing run, but we may now look forward to the day when Pilots, Navigators and Bomb Aimers discuss bombing over a quiet pint in the Mess.

    This new attitude can be attributed mainly to the creation of Flight Bombing Officers. These are pilots noted for their enthusiasm for bombing and promoted to a leadership role to take responsibility for bombing technique and training. They are to be congratulated for the progress they have made to date. At last, the pilot is being brought back into the bombing picture, the Flight Commander is proving far more accessible on bombing subjects and the Bombing Leader is discovering the great value of liaison between the Pilots’ and Air Bombers’ Unions.

    Total number of bombs dropped by Squadrons = 5,141.
    Average error at 10,000’ = 198 yards (decrease of 27 yards).
    Average error at 20,000’ = 280 yards.
    Average C.U. error at 10,000’ = 317 yards (up 30 yards).
    Average C.U. error at 20,000’ = 448 yards.

    ‘Big Chief’ Competition

    AVM Cochrane at 10,000’ Error at 10,000’ = 67 Converted to 20,000’ = 95
    A/C Whitworth at 10,000’ Error at 10,000’ = 88 Converted to 20,000’ = 124
    AVM Cochrane at 10,000’ Error at 10,000’ = 96 Converted to 20,000’ = 135
    G/C Butler at 12,000’ Error at 10,000’ = 177 Converted to 20,000’ = 223

    ‘Bombfooleries’

    Manipulation failures have crept in once more among our new crews. There have been two cases this month of Air Bombers carrying out jettison action with bomb doors closed. This can only be due to bad procedure. Pilots must remember that bomb doors are not to be closed until jettison action has been performed and a light test for H.E. bombs carried out, and only then after the Air Bomber has requested “bomb doors closed”.

    'V GROUP NEWS' JANUARY 1944 [EXTRACT]

    AIR BOMBING

    It was at the beginning of May 1943 that we began the drive in this Group on greater accuracy in practise bombing. Very good co-operation from squadrons led to much intensified training with an amazing 23,310 bombs dropped in May, June, July and August, almost equal to the number dropped in the preceding 4 years. However, one fact emerged, that the average error was stuck on around the same stubborn figure of 220 yards, still much too high.
    September heralded the introduction of bombing analysis. An expert from 25 Group was attached to us, travelling from squadron to squadron to implement the Group’s very sketchy knowledge of assessment of bombing. Thus, we slowly learned the way bombing errors are split into certain definite categories. The first major item that was tackled was bombsight maintenance, which had contributed no small percentage of the bombing error. By the end of November, bombing errors directly attributable to bombsight were almost eliminated.

    We learned next that the main error, called Crew Error, had two main components: the errors caused by the failings of pilot and bomb aimer, and the Vector Error, which is caused by the use of faulty wind velocities.
    We tackled the errors due to pilots and air bombers with a will, getting them down to a very small proportion by the end of December. 106 Squadron, for example, dropped 182 bombs at high level with an average pilot/air bomber error of 78 yards, an astonishingly good achievement. 619 with 101 yards, 467 with 115, 50 with 116 and 463 with 117 yards were close behind.

    However, and now we come to the major bombing problem, our Crew Errors were still too large because our average Vector Errors were much too high.
    The Group’s average Vector Error for November was 169 yards at 10,000’, and 162 yards in December. These figures convert to roughly 13 m.p.h. A good Vector Error is considered to be 5 m.p.h. and that is our target for all crews.
    When this is achieved, and it can only come with the greatest flying care by the pilots and the most accurate plotting, timing and computing by the navigators, then a crew will be able to drop 6 bombs in a close group of less than 50 yards radius with the m.p.i. less than 70 yards from the target. Then, and not until then, we can call ourselves BOMBER CREWS.

    A navigator of 619 Squadron looked into why such large Vector Errors occur. He back-plotted his bombing wind, to a much larger scale, and found that a 15 seconds error in timing over 6-7 minutes gave a Vector Error of 10 m.p.h., that is 130 yards at 10,000’. The wind found, he says, ‘brought us from Nottingham to Base on E.T.A.’

    This makes sense, because an error up to 3-400 yards in track and 1/2 to 1 second in time is almost unnoticeable, but it is such small and apparently insignificant navigation errors that cause displacement of bombs from the target to distances up to 200-250 yards away.

    5 L.F.S. reports the most creditable achievement of an average height of 12,300’ for all practise bombing in January. This is what we want!!!

    The Secret of 617 Squadron’s High Standard of Practise Bombing – the S.A.B.S. Pilot/Navigator/Air Bomber Team (By Flt Lt Hay)

    The excellent results gained by crews of 617 Squadron using the S.A.B.S. have only been achieved by the fullest, most practical use of the ‘bombing team’. Before any bombs are dropped, some 4 hours training on the specially adapted A.M.B.T. are carried out by the pilot and air bomber to give manipulation practise to the latter and to familiarise the pilot with the B.D.I. (Bombing Direction Indicator). The navigator is trained to carry out computation of true height and airspeed, and settings for a given course of attack with the instruments and computers at his disposal. Some 2-4 hours are then spent in the air doing ‘dummy runs’, firstly on objects ‘on track’, then choosing targets and ‘turning on’, and finally on to targets and setting up sight in accordance with settings computed from known navigational data. The sight is only accurate when correct height above target is set. Thus the pilot must fly at the indicated height he states he will be at, the navigator must correctly compute this to the true height above target, and the air bomber set this accurately.

    True height is dependent upon:

    i. Sea Level Pressure at Target. This is gained by setting the aerodrome height for practise bombing or, operationally, from Form 2330. It is the Q.F.F. which is set.
    ii. Indicated Height Above Sea Level. All 617 Squadron altimeters have been accurately calibrated for every 1,000’ for 140 and 180 m.p.h. I.A.S. and from the appropriate card the navigator allows for this error, which may be up to 300’.
    iii. Temperature. ‘Thermometer, Air, Direct Reading, Mk I’, now fitted, doesn’t give an accurate reading for temperature of the outside air as a) the stem is heated by cabin temperature and b) the outside air bearing against the bulb is under pressure varying with airspeed. Both factors tend to give a ‘warmer’ reading than true. Again, the navigator computes from a special computer to get an accurate air temperature.
    With these factors and the use of an ICAN computer, true height (c) can be computed. True height above target will need a deduction of target height above sea level and there will be a further allowance (addition) to be made where stick bombing is being used.
    When the pilot advises I.A.S. with aircraft trimmed and bomb doors open, the navigator computes a T.A.S. which is used against a Trail scale for the appropriate bomb number. Errors of + or – 5 m.p.h. make negligible ground errors. Most errors in range can be traced to (1) flying at other than the indicated height stated by the pilot, (2) incorrect computation of height and/or T.A.S. by the navigator or (3) incorrect settings or bad manipulation by the air bomber.
    The sight will automatically correct for drift and ground speed if switched on with the target in the graticule and held there by proper manipulation of the sight by the air bomber, and by the pilot following the direction of his B.D.I., until such time as the point of release is attained. Those who remember the A.B.S. and who used it to its utmost efficiency realised that the length of run could be considerably reduced if settings were applied before the run. As the heading of attack is generally known, the navigator can pass a drift and G/S to the air bomber just prior to the run. So, after practise, the air bomber need only wind his sighting head back for a 25 second run, whereas 40-50 seconds may be required without these settings.
    Let us listen to a typical 617 Squadron bombing run:

    Pilot: “Turning onto a heading of 250.”
    Nav: “250 - drift 4 port, G/S setting 17.”
    Air bomber: Acknowledges, directs pilot on and calls “Run started” at the appropriate moment.
    After 30 seconds of concentration, but silence, by pilot and air bomber, we hear:
    Air bomber: “Bombs gone. Good run here, drift 3 port, G/S 16.5.”
    Once the bomb hits the ground:
    Air bomber: “Bomb plotted, ten yards overshoot.”
    Pilot: “Sorry, my fault, I was 120’ too high!!”

    When results are received from the Range, the team assembles about the plotting table to further sort out factors causing any errors.
    Last edited by Richard; 1st October 2018 at 18:54.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    180
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Richard,


    Thanks for going to the trouble of posting those excerpts, much appreciated.


    Pete

Posting Permissions

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