The RAF Pathfinders

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-12-31
  • Publisher: Countryside Books

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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'.

Author Biography

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

Forewordp. 5
Introductionp. 9
Leading the wayp. 9
The Butt and Cherwell reportsp. 9
The Pathfinder Conceptp. 13
Group Captain S. O. Bufton (1908-1993)p. 13
Early Beginnings and Formationp. 15
Operations 1942
August - A tentative startp. 17
September - Illuminating, marking/route-marking and backing upp. 18
October - Italian targetsp. 21
November - Boozerp. 23
December - OBOE trials & Wanganui into servicep. 26
Operations 1943
January - 8 Group is born, new TIs, ground-markers & H2S Operationalp. 29
February - Blind-Bombing success and FIDO (Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation)p. 31
March - The Battle of the Ruhr beginsp. 37
April - More Squadrons, more airfieldsp. 42
May - Mounting lossesp. 47
June - More Mosquitoes!p. 50
July - The Battle of the Ruhr ends and the Battle of Hamburg beginsp. 57
August - Peenemünde and the long road to Berlin beginsp. 62
September - Varying targetsp. 70
October - High price for a new targetp. 75
November - Battle of Berlin beginsp. 79
December - Nightmare over Berlinp. 86
Operations 1944
January - Berlin takes its tollp. 90
February - Battle of Berlin comes to an endp. 93
March - Tactical targets increasep. 96
April - 8 Group lose, 5 Group gain!p. 100
May - D-Day build-upp. 104
June - Overlord and the Flying-bombp. 111
July - 'Heavy Oboe' attack methodp. 118
August - 8 Group's first Victoria Crossp. 123
September - Operation Market Gardenp. 127
October - The second Battle of the Ruhr beginsp. 130
November - LNSF attacks grow in strengthp. 133
December - 8 Group's only Oboe VCp. 136
Operations 1945
January - the Mosquito takes chargep. 142
February - Bomber Command's last VC of the warp. 143
March - The Allies push into Germanyp. 148
April/May - 'Eagle's Nest', Exodus, Manna and Victory!p. 151
8 Group's swan songp. 155
8 (Pathfinder Force) Group Statistics August 1942 to May 1945p. 160
Aircraft typesp. 162
The Pathfinder crews' eight dutiesp. 173
8 Group Squadrons August 1942 to August 1945p. 174
Early Radar and navigational aidsp. 179
Pathfinder jargon busterp. 183
Abbreviationsp. 188
Indexp. 190
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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