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Thread: Navigator as Captain of Aircraft

  1. #1
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    Default Navigator as Captain of Aircraft

    I have a log book to a 218 Sqn observer who 1940-41 has noted he was 'Captain' of aircraft on three consecutive operations in June 1941. I know this is uncommon. How uncommon is it? This is the only log book I have with this scenario. He was also a Flight bombing leader.

    Information appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Navigator as Captain of Aircraft

    Hi Nipper
    There were never that many Observer/Navigator Captains during WW2 (although I never found an exact figure) - the role did resurface with 'Coastal'/Maritime post war.
    The 1st Pilot would have still been responsible for the safe operation/handling of the aircraft anyway.
    This subject has been discussed a couple of times - one thread below....

    https://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sh...igator+captain

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to bvs For This Useful Post:

    Nipper1940 (5th September 2023)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Navigator as Captain of Aircraft

    Thanks for that... yes, I remember now about the arm bands. The Observer I mention does have 'training' entries in his log. He went up with a 218 Sqn pilot in Tiger Moths and underwent some instruction, his intent to undertake pilot training but he was killed before able to retrain as a pilot. That fits with comments made in the other thread. Its an interesting log book which also contains a Bomber Command meritorious flights (Navigation Bulletin) commendation for navigation, he rose from Sergeant to Flight Lieutenant in 5 months and he was Mentioned in Despatches after his death. He certainly seems to have taken to his role!

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