Arming for Accuracy

RAF Bomb Aimers During the Second World War

Colin Pateman

This book examines the early development of dropping aerial ordinance and Bomber Command's undertaking to create a unique member of aircrew. In many cases the duties by dedicated Bomb Aimers are recounted from their own flying logbooks. Operational flying, manning guns and accurately dropping bomb loads carried a heavy responsibility.
Date Published :
April 2021
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
42 black & white
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781558157
Pages : 196
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock


During the First World War, fledgling crews in basic aircraft experimented with dropping grenades and small bombs. The need for elements of accuracy became obvious and evolved from that point onwards. The various light bombers that flew during the inter-war period developed procedures which carried on into the early years of the Second World War. Bomber Command eventually witnessed the large 4-engined ‘Heavy Bombers’, namely the Handley Page Halifax, Shorts Stirling, and Avro Lancaster, develop into significant bomb carrying aerial platforms. This book will provide the reader with an explanation of the origin of Bomb Aimers, the training of these men and the complexity of dropping many types of bomb ordinance is an enthralling story. Technical and scientific developments are examined to provide an understanding of the trade that enabled the Bomb Aimers wing to be awarded to the men who volunteered at this time. Many gallantry medals were won by Bomb Aimers. Accounts of dangerous operational flying will be revealed by Bomb Aimers in numerous aircraft. This book will examine true accounts that took place; many will be based upon personal flying logbooks and other unique material originating from the aircrew themselves.

About The Author

Colin Pateman lives in the South of England having spent his working life as a Police Officer, retiring after 32 years’ service. His key roles were as a handler of specialist search dogs, a Home Office qualified instructor and later trained by the Royal Engineers to qualify as a Police Search Advisor. Colin is an avid collector of aviation memorabilia and gains great satisfaction from gathering and preserving personal accounts of pilots and aircrews of the Second World War. His other aviation related publications by Fonthill include ‘Goldfish Caterpillars and Guinea pigs’, ‘Unwanted Hero’, ‘Unshackled Spirit’ and ‘Glorious in Solitude’.


Foreword; Preface; Acknowledgements; Bomber Command Leadership and Direction; Bomb Sight Evolution; Patrick Blackett BA OM Ch PRs Scientist; Dorothy Robson BSc ‘Bombsight Bertha’; Alan Blumlein Scientist; Training for Bomb Aimers; Armourers; Harold Pullen Bomb Aimer; Gardening; Wilfred Comber Isted DFM Bomb Aimer; George Philip Barrell Bomb Aimer; Passenger to Frankfurt 1943; Flak, Searchlights and Decoys; Richard Randall Bomb Aimer; Bomb Aimers Panel; Bomb Aimers Computer; Bomb Aimers Camera; Guinea Pig Bomb Aimers; Taking to Silk; ; Bibliography.


"...a rare book with a viewpoint that combines history of the technical and managerial, yet personal enough to touch a reader, tear welling up in his eye, with a soft, warm, heartfelt desire to return 80 years to join the brave men and women who did their bit, many dying while doing it."


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