Mosquito Pathfinder: Navigating 90 World War 2 Operations
Having suffered the devastating effects of the Manchester blitz, sixteen year old Salford lad Albert Smith signed up to join the RAF not thinking he would be lucky enough to complete 90 operations. His first tour of 38 operations was as a navigator in Wellington bombers on missions over Germany and North Africa. He then volunteered for 109 Squadron which was flying Pathfinder Mosquitoes and was based at Little Staughton in Cambridgeshire.
The Mosquitoes were equipped with the Oboe navigation system which was then in its infancy and part of one of only two Oboe squadrons. Smith was soon in the air illuminating bombing targets. The use of Oboe equipped Mosquitoes to mark targets was crucial to the success of the RAF's campaign against the Ruhr. 109 squadron continued performing marking duties till the end of the war, including the last raid on Berlin on 21 April 1945.
Over 50 operations relives successes and failures with the new target marking system, triumphs and disappointments, mission aborts and all the fears and trepidation which was felt by Pathfinder crews who were in the first aircraft over a heavily defended target. His narrative, interspersed with extracts from Bomber Command and its sometimes controversial role in the course of World War 2.
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