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Follow my Leader

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Follow the Leader

“I hope the guy in front knows where he’s going!”

The pressures of WW2 led to the situation, many times repeated, where relatively untrained navigators were faced with extreme weather conditions and serious difficulty in determining their position. Wartime navigators had only seven months from induction to completing training including initial and advanced navigation courses - (when I trained in the 50’s it took over two years to reach Squadron as a nav). The navigation aids then were very basic and the weather forecasting regime was rudimentary. Many aircraft were lost due to navigation errors and many missions were compromised due to lack of navigation skills. Some USAF units relied on a lead aircraft to undertake all navigation duties for the unit - genuine ‘follow my leader’ technique - which was fine as long as that crew survived the early stages of the mission. The RAF relied on each individual crew to make their own way to the target which generally worked but could go spectacularly wrong - one crew took off to target Keil, northern Germany, and largely through a bad weather forecast ended up bombing (quite accurately) Bassingbourn airfield, just outside Cambridge, and landing at Liverpool! The captain was demoted - there is no mention of the fate of the navigator.

The image, a multiple composite, hopefully affords some idea of the hazards of early flying/navigation in bad weather conditions. My hat off to these pioneering navs.

Title:Follow my Leader
Username:patspeirs patspeirs
Uploaded:22 Feb 2010 - 10:03 AM
Tags:Digital art
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Votes:14

Comments

stephenscott
22 Feb 2010 - 1:17 PM

A great image here pat,well taken. Superb write up too a great image aswell..

Steve..

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UBOAT
UBOAT  641 forum posts Scotland
22 Feb 2010 - 8:30 PM

Great composition grumpy and has to be my second or third picture you have done.

connor

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metro074
metro074 e2 Member 4metro074 vcard Australia8 Constructive Critique Points
22 Feb 2010 - 9:41 PM

Wonderful image. Brings home historical harsh reality. Those costly mistakes and lives were a high price for our safety of today
Carol

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Imagephotographics

Great work again - well done !

Chris

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clicknimagine
23 Feb 2010 - 8:31 AM

superb shot, very nice atmosphere...

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Mad4WDW
Mad4WDW  5 England
20 Apr 2010 - 7:08 AM

Up to the usual standard Pat, which is high praise indeed I think

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