Another entry from the Bombardiers’ Information File, War Department, March 1945:
B-29 REMOTE CONTROL TURRET SYSTEM
The 4 turrets and tail mount of the B-29 all operate by remote control. The gunners sit at sighting stations inside the fuselage and manipulate their gunsights. Computers, connected to the sights, automatically figure deflections for any fighter within range.
A system of control transfer enables gunners to take over control of more than one turret for a single gunsight. For every turret there is a gunner who has first call. The nose gunner is given first call on the upper and lower forward turrets. This affords him the greatest possible fire power with which to meet a frontal attack.
If he doesn’t need the lower turret, he can let one of the side gunners take it over. For instance, he might be using the upper turret to shoot at an enemy coming in high, while at the same time another hostile plane may be coming in low. In such a case, he would give one of the side gunners control of the lower forward turret. Similarly, he can release control of the upper forward turret to the top gunner.
In the nose sighting station there are 3 units of gunnery equipment that are of concern to you, the bombardier:
1. Control box with the necessary switches for operating the turrets and gunsight.
2. Gunsight and controlling equipment.
3. Transfer switches.
An auxiliary switch on the control box starts the compressor motors that operate the gun chargers. A computer standby switch turned to the IN position cuts the computing mechanism into the forward turret circuits.
To operate both forward turrets, turn both transfer switches to IN and press down on the action switch. The guns in both turrets then follow your gunsight and fire when you press the trigger.
To give up control of one turret, use the transfer switches. When the upper forward turret switch is OUT, the top gunner has control of the upper turret. When the lower forward turret switch is OUT, one of the side gunners takes over the lower turret.
If you take your hand off the action switch, control of both turrets passes automatically to top and side gunners regardless of transfer switch settings.
Warning — Always sound a warning over the interphone before you give up control of either or both turrets. If you don’t, the gunner who takes over may have his finger on the trigger and the guns will spray bullets into your own formation as they swing into line with his sight.
It is your duty to stow the lower forward turret when it is not in use. Run the turret around so that the guns point aft; then turn off the designated switches. The guns will automatically stow at the correct elevation.
A friction adjustment gives the gun sight just the right touch. You will find there is only one right setting for you. Set the sight so that you can track smoothly. Once you have started tracking, don’t change your grip on the hand wheels. Don’t jerk your point of aim. Move it smoothly and don’t fire until you’re on the target.
Cool the guns at every opportunity. If you fire as much as 50 rounds within a short period, look for a chance to move the guns into the slipstream of the airplane—and hold them there.