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Caption reads
"The key man in a bomber aircraft"

from Bomber Command book, 1941.

Photo by Cecil Beaton, taken in a Stirling Bomber

9 comments on “Navigator
  1. andyholmfirth says:

    I wonder if they still train crews on old fshioned navigation ?

  2. Highy says:

    Hardest job on a bomber I reckon.
    Imagine trying to get your applied maths right when your plane was being shot at or in the fog. True heroes.

  3. pasujoba says:

    I would think they do train them ,if the electronics fail they may still need to use the old ways .

  4. Tech Owl says:

    Missed some of these! – there seems to be a lot of concentration applied

  5. *Psycho Delia* says:

    My dad was a navigator in the RAF during WW2. I think he flew in Wellingtons but I could be wrong about that. He was a POW for 3 years from 1942 to 1945 after his plane was shot down somewhere in Germany.

  6. Ian D B says:

    Really? Lucky to survive his plane being shot down, lucky to survive the jump and not being attacked by the locals. Do you have any other details or photos Liz? I am always impressed by any such stories, as bomber crews were reluctant to talk of their experiences after the war.

    Reading one survivor’s account just last night, an RAF B17 going down in flames but the wireless operator was ‘going beserk’ running up and down the fuselage – his parachute had been shot up and was useless. Another crew member offered to give him a piggy back, but the wireless op (bloke named Ted Cryer) lost his grip and fell to his death when the chute opened.

    It’s unthinkable now what our families went through.

  7. *Psycho Delia* says:

    Somewhere there are some photos, but I’m not sure where they are. My dad died in 1991 and my mum then developed some form of dementia. I know there were some documents and also photos of dad taken during the war. I know also that he visited the village in Germany near where the plane finally landed and met a lady who had seen the plane come down. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the crew.

  8. Ian D B says:

    I was saddened to read about your Mum. Difficult for you too, no doubt.

    But thanks for sharing these details, Liz. Always appreciate it whenever someone mentions a family member’s war history, particularly those who served with Bomber Command. An amazing generation. As Highy says, Navigator was probably the hardest job on a bomber, took a long time to learn, and they often didn’t have that luxury before they were off to Berlin.

  9. Graham Robinson says:

    My father was a navigator with 158 squadron and was shot down in 1943 on a raid to Nuremburg

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