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Bombardier

The bombardier's job was quite obvious, get the bombs on the target. On a bombing mission, the pilots would get the aircraft to their assigned bombing area. Once the bomb run was reached, the pilot engaged autopilot and notify the bombardier. The Norden bombsight was tied into the aircraft's autopilot, and the bombardier would dial in the plane's altitude and speed into the bombsight and place the crosshairs on the target. Once the target was locked into the bombsight, the bombsight would keep the target in it's crosshairs, based on information the bombardier had entered. The bombardier would then get the strength and direction of any wind and program that into the bombsight along with bomb type. The bombsight would calculate the path based on all this information, correct the plane's speed, altitude, and heading through the autopilot to keep these factors properly set, and would automatically drop the bombs on the target. A good bombardier could put the bombs ?in the pickle barrel,? which was the claim of the top secret Norden bombsight.

In addition to these duties, the bombardier would also assist with other duties on the aircraft. Many times they would perform oxygen checks or assist the navigator or radio operator with getting fixes and their logs.



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