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Bombing Strategies

Heroes Remember

Our crews didn't have formation flying, and the Americans did. They were crewed up, the Americans, and stateside, and were brought right over, but one aircraft from another they, they were you know, it wasn't their fault, because they just weren't trained. And they also had a method of... they'd take, they'd approach a target and the lead bomber would open his bomb bay and then a chain reaction, the rest. And when the lead bomber dropped his bombs, then the chain reaction. Now if he was right, great, but if he was wrong, they were all wrong. Ours were, all our aircraft were individual. We flew in on our own navigational points and our turning points and the release was, in my case, it was the air bomber that released the bomb when, when he thought so, not by one fellow that, as I say, and it happened, unfortunately in, where they'd bomb our own troops. Again, they're, they're so close at, at the, the front lines, and if you're right, great, but if you weren't... Like, the, the army were cheering (inaudible), I've seen that, and then they'd have to run for cover or, or worse.

Mr. Reid describes American 'formation' bombing vs. the more individualistic approach used by the Royal Air force. Mentions consequences of missing targets.

Bill Reid

Mr. Reid was born on August 15, 1922, in Toronto, Ontario. His upbringing was middle class, and he disagreed with Hitler's ideology. As a consequence, and along with 5 friends, he decided to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force so that he might ‘learn to fly at the government's expense.' Ironically, government cutbacks cost him his ambition as a pilot and he was redeployed to bomber and gunnery school in Trenton. After sailing to England, Mr. Reid was eventually posted to Upper Hayford, where he trained on both Anson and Stirling bombers. He was finally posted to 49 Squadron, 5 Group and was the air bomber in a crew of seven aboard a Lancaster bomber.. Mr. Reid flew missions in both the German and Norwegian theatres. He retired from active service upon returning home with the rank of AC2, Flying Officer.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Bill Reid
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
49 Squadron / 5 Group
Flying Officer
Air Bomber

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