The forbidden diary: a B-24 navigator remembers
From the author's blow-by-blow diary kept during his tour of duty with the Eight Air Force, thirty-one bombing missions over Europe during WWII are described. Discussions of the art and skill of combat navigation and tales of R&R between missions round out the read. Striking photographs as well as other illustrations (maps & diagrams) add vivid depth to the narrative. Rain or heavy flak, bombed targets and sights of destruction, Air Base scenes, maps and insignia, and pub gatherings are depicted. Songs and poems of the era are also included. In an interesting appendix, portions of an Army Air Force manual, "Navigator's Information File, " are featured. Equipment, procedures and methods utilized are detailed-some of which retain importance today, and some of which ultimately served as prototypes for the technology evolved since.
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8th Air Force accurate aircraft airfield airfoil airplane altimeter altitude angle of attack aspect ratio astrocompass barometric pressure base bomb group bomb load bomb run bombardier bombers bombing accuracy clouds coefficients of lift combat compass rose copilot crew members damage Davis wing dead reckoning degrees distance drift meter E-6B computer engine England error feet fighters FIGURE flak flew flight flying formation German ground speed gyrostabilized induced drag instrument killed knots land lead plane line of position Loran machine guns magnetic marshalling yard measure milk run minutes MISSION NUMBER nautical miles navigator North Star Norwich Pasadena Pearson pilot problem pubs purple hearts put-put Rackheath radar radio recall result runway Second Air Division ship shot skin friction squadron surface takeoff target temperature tion town track true airspeed true north vector visual weather wind triangle wind tunnel