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The formation of the Pathfinder Force in August 1942 produced a steady but certain change in the fortunes of Bomber Command. During the early years of the war, aerial photographs showed that less than one third of the aircraft were successfully placing their bombs with accuracy. There was a basic lack of navigation skills, as well as what came to be known in the RAF as the will to 'Press On'.
Martyn Chorlton has written a gripping account of the RAF's Pathfinder squadrons, recalling the often reckless heroism of the young aircrew and the challenges they faced in the smoke-filled skies over occupied Europe. His book also contains a moving foreword by Michael Wadsworth, chaplain to the Pathfinders Association.
Table of Contents
|Leading the way||p. 9|
|The Butt and Cherwell reports||p. 9|
|The Pathfinder Concept||p. 13|
|Group Captain S. O. Bufton (1908-1993)||p. 13|
|Early Beginnings and Formation||p. 15|
|August - A tentative start||p. 17|
|September - Illuminating, marking/route-marking and backing up||p. 18|
|October - Italian targets||p. 21|
|November - Boozer||p. 23|
|December - OBOE trials & Wanganui into service||p. 26|
|January - 8 Group is born, new TIs, ground-markers & H2S Operational||p. 29|
|February - Blind-Bombing success and FIDO (Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation)||p. 31|
|March - The Battle of the Ruhr begins||p. 37|
|April - More Squadrons, more airfields||p. 42|
|May - Mounting losses||p. 47|
|June - More Mosquitoes!||p. 50|
|July - The Battle of the Ruhr ends and the Battle of Hamburg begins||p. 57|
|August - Peenemünde and the long road to Berlin begins||p. 62|
|September - Varying targets||p. 70|
|October - High price for a new target||p. 75|
|November - Battle of Berlin begins||p. 79|
|December - Nightmare over Berlin||p. 86|
|January - Berlin takes its toll||p. 90|
|February - Battle of Berlin comes to an end||p. 93|
|March - Tactical targets increase||p. 96|
|April - 8 Group lose, 5 Group gain!||p. 100|
|May - D-Day build-up||p. 104|
|June - Overlord and the Flying-bomb||p. 111|
|July - 'Heavy Oboe' attack method||p. 118|
|August - 8 Group's first Victoria Cross||p. 123|
|September - Operation Market Garden||p. 127|
|October - The second Battle of the Ruhr begins||p. 130|
|November - LNSF attacks grow in strength||p. 133|
|December - 8 Group's only Oboe VC||p. 136|
|January - the Mosquito takes charge||p. 142|
|February - Bomber Command's last VC of the war||p. 143|
|March - The Allies push into Germany||p. 148|
|April/May - 'Eagle's Nest', Exodus, Manna and Victory!||p. 151|
|8 Group's swan song||p. 155|
|8 (Pathfinder Force) Group Statistics August 1942 to May 1945||p. 160|
|Aircraft types||p. 162|
|The Pathfinder crews' eight duties||p. 173|
|8 Group Squadrons August 1942 to August 1945||p. 174|
|Early Radar and navigational aids||p. 179|
|Pathfinder jargon buster||p. 183|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|