Aircraft of 100 Sqdn slowly turn on to a north-easterly heading, shortly after take off, as the wintry sun sets. Unlike the USAF procedure of massed formations the Lancaster force flew as individuals, completely self-contained for navigation and target finding. The path to the target area was defined by the Group navigation team and was best adhered to if the individual crew wished to miss the known highly defended areas. Navigation and timing was of the utmost importance as all aircraft, often close to 1,000 by this time in 1944, were planned to be through the target area in a 45 minute time frame, thus saturating the Lufwaffe air and ground defences. With safety in numbers, cocooned in the mainstream 'traffic', the navigator was the king-pin in the crew (but then I would say that wouldn't I)!!
Shroomer, RonnieAG, pronabk and 45 more