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Thread: Pathfinders "Y" Method

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    Default Pathfinders "Y" Method

    The 8-Group Form "B" for 5/6-March-1945, Chemnitz, refers to the "Y" method, which I am pretty sure is the release, variously, of Flares, T.I.'s or bombs, blindly using Radar. For example:
    "2. Supporters at H-6 1/2 Must be on time. They will bomb the aiming point on their first run and will do so visually or blindly according to the Y method...

    3. Blind Illuminators at H-6. Will drop blindly flares flares illuminating across the aiming point (6 second intervals) and drop bombs on the aiming point using the Y Method Passed [Sic]. If Y is U/SS [Sic] They will revert to illuminating blindly at H-5..."

    Examination of the ORB's and other entries in this Form "B", I am pretty certain the Y method requires a functioning H2S. The 405 Squadron ORB for this operation refers to two A/C that were unable to mark "as S/E U/S" and therefore bombed as Main Force.

    Has anyone come across documents that describe the "Y" method?

    Edit: My speculation on the meaning of "Y" removed as per my next post.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 1st November 2022 at 14:47.

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    I have found this information on Navigation and Blind Marking on the 8-Group ORB Appendix March 1945:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...-March-page-16

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...-March-page-17

    It seems my speculation about "Y" is likely not true. I believe the above images from the ORB represents the best I can determine for now.

    Jim

    Jim

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    Possibly discussed in

    AHB The RAF in the Bombing Offensive against Germany Volume VI:
    The Final Phase - March 1944 to May 1945


    Don't have it, but available digitised frrom various sources incl MLR Books www.mlrsbooks.co.uk
    Toujours propos

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Don Clark For This Useful Post:

    JDCAVE (3rd November 2022)

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    Thanks Don. I’ve downloaded several documents from the AHB and will look and see if there is anything of note there. Continuing on the vein of this topic, there is a Bomber Command ORS report titled: "H2S Blind Bombing, Illuminating and Marking Accuracy October 1944-April 1945."

    I would like to locate this document in TNA. I do not have an AIR file for it right now.

    Edit: Yes. I have "The RAF in the Bombing Offensive against Germany Volume VI: The Final Phase - March 1944 to May 1945." It is available for download at the AHB. Its a mimeographed draft.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 3rd November 2022 at 06:04.

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    Useful to note that the Air Historical Branch Narratives are not only free to download from AHB at
    https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisat...hb-narratives/
    but also, from those checked today, despite variable PDF quality (eg for some mimeos vs the few typeset examples), the texts are now searchable by keyword, on viewing the PDF.
    These days I view PDFs in my Browser, the usual Ctrl f to search.

    The AHB set has only been available for free download since 2021 I think: see paulmcmillan post here

    I've long been grateful to MLRS Books for their effort in past years, making much official material available at modest cost (and continued by Ros Westwood, since the death of David Westwood in 2016). However, for many (most?) of the MLRS PDF copies for sale in earlier years, text search was not available. Not enough tech knowledge to say why.


    While MLRS Books does offer quite a range of other material still at modest cost, in the case of these AHB Narrative volumes, the AHB online set is the better choice.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    Thanks Don. My apologies for the belated reply. Some useful documents indeed on that site. I've looked around a bit more and cannot find any specific description of "Y" Method. Signals Volume III Aircraft Radio is excellent and covers H2S development nicely. It is also available for download through the AHB site.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Pathfinders "Y" Method

    Don's "nudge" prompted me to download "Signals Vol III Aircraft Radio Chapters 1 - 14" from the AHB site. The material is quite detailed on the developments of H2S. I found some information on training for the H2S Mk.III. The following is notable:

    “It was of the utmost importance that the accuracy achieved in blind bombing training was kept continually under review, and all photographic assessments of trial bombing runs were analysed by the Operational Research Section. Photographs of the P.P.I. display, known as ‘Y’ photographs became of increasing importance…”

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...-MK-III-Page-1
    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...-MK-III-Page-2
    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...-MK-III-Page-3

    So does the comment in the Form ‘B’ pertain somehow to the training and “Y” photographs in some way? I suspect it might but finding a document that discusses the “Y” method would remove all doubt. I suspect the answer lies somewhere in the 8-Group ORB appendices. I only have these for March 1945.

    The section goes on to discuss the importance of P.P.I. photography as those taken at the instant of release provided an accurate assessment of the point of impact when no other means of obtaining the information existed. And they provided valuable intelligence about the nature of the response pattern to be expected from various target areas in enemy territory, prominent landmarks etc.

    P.P.I. is the “Plan Position Indicator” which I think this is the centre of the H2S display, the indicated position of the aircraft in "plan view” on the display.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 8th November 2022 at 17:35.

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