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Thread: Short Stirling crew positions

  1. #1
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    Default Short Stirling crew positions

    Can anyone help with questions about crew positions in the Stirling? I'm interested in one that was on the second 1000 plane raid on 1/2 June 1942. I understand that although there was a co-pilot position, one was not routinely carried - is this so? Also, was there a separate bomb aimer, or was that role carried out by the navigator?

    TIA

    Snapper

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    Snapper 41,
    There is no doubt that the air bombing function was carried out by the Observer, as the air bomber trade was not yet quite a trade at this time, although moves were already afoot to implement the new crewing policy and split the original Air Observer trade into specialised Air Navigator and Air Bomber crew members, although this took a short while to introduce in crews already on operations on the front-line squadrons. Also worth pointing out that the Air Observer was a qualified air gunner, and photographer. The question of second pilot status you mention is that the big upheaval in Bomber Command at this time re composition of the crews included deletion of the second pilot, and substitution of a permanent Flight Engineer in heavy (4-engined) bombers. It was considered that a second pilot was not really necessary in bombers (although this had previously been standard practice when this was physically possible - however you could not squeeze an additional pilot into a Hampden or a Blenheim, for instance), although some assistance with the operation of the fuel systems and engines was still required, thus the introduction of the new F/Eng trade.
    David D

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